Special Hyatt buffet highlights Idaho meats, steaks

By Joko Magalong

Posted at Apr 16 2016 06:39 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2016 08:33 PM

Guest chef Matt Carter prepares a beef filet. Photo by author

MANILA -- Chef Matt Carter from Arizona's acclaimed The Mission restaurant is taking his unique culinary experience and translating it to artfully cooked dishes scattered all throughout the extensive buffet of The Cafe at Hyatt City of Dreams Manila for a special promotion.

Idaho Meat Fest, which opened last Friday and runs only until April 17, features premium Wagyu and Angus beef cuts, as well as highly prized Kurobuta pork, from Snake River Farms.

"We started 15 years ago, bringing Japanese Wagyu cattle and we crossed it with American breeds like Angus to create American Wagyu beef, which is a little bit different from Japan. It has a sweet butter flavor, three parts unsaturated fat and one part saturated fat, which is directly opposite of regular beef. And you taste that sweet buttery flavor when you have it today,” explained Jay Theiler from the Idaho-based Snake River Farms.

During a media lunch, Hyatt City of Dreams executive chef Michael Luedtke and Carter, whose resume includes stints in Napa Valley's French Laundry and Fermier, showcased dishes which highlighted Snake River Farms meats, such as the Wagyu beef fillet, which was first browned on the stove, before being vacuum packed and souvide-d. The result was tender and juicy meat, served with a side of mashed potatoes, and a thyme honey pinot sauce.

Filet finished with butter, garlic and thyme. Photo by author

Another type of meat, the Kurobuta pork, meanwhile, was smoked and served with a peppery pineapple glaze with the very inventive (and tasty) popcorn puree, a black bean sauce provided the bit of salt that balanced the sweet and sour flavors nicely.

In the buffet line, diners will get their fill of Snake River Farms meats in the grill area, where they can get orders of skirt steaks cooked upon order and their preference of done-ness.

The grill area of the Hyatt buffet. Photo by author

There’s also the Grilled Smoked Pork Tenderloin served with herb garlic sauce and roasted peppers.

Not to miss is the majestic roasted Steamship Wagyu Beef, carved upon order with your choice of sauces (peppercorn, mushroom, demi glace, etc), or -- as the Café’s staff recommends — simply with horseradish, “so you can taste the meat.”

Steamship Wagyu Beef. Photo by author

In the Italian section, try the Kurobuta ground pork mixed in with a tomato ragout and rigatoni. The dollop of garlic mixed with sour cream on top, perked up the dish and brought out the pork flavors nicely.

Kurobuta ground pork tomato ragout rigatoni pasta. Photo by author

Asian food lovers will love the Kurobuta pork collar cooked asado-style in the roast section -- sweet and juicy, perfect with rice, or in a mantau sandwich. Tonkatsu lovers, on the other hand, will love the Kurobuta pork tenderloin preparation, as it was flattened, breaded, and fried.

Kurobuta Pork Asado. Photo by author

All these and more are available at the Idaho Meat Fest, which is available for lunch (P1,488 net) or dinner (P1,988 net) buffet with the Café at the Hyatt’s signature fare (freshest seafood sashimi, comfort food, salad, charcuterie, dessert, etc).

Checked-in guests at the Hyatt enjoy a 15% discount on the Café’s buffet for lunch or dinner.

Snake River Farms meats are also available in leading supermarkets and grocers.

Other events at the Hyatt

On April 23-24, the Café presents a surf and turf themed buffet, featuring Mayura Wagyu beef, while on April 21 and 28, the hotel presents Sushi Sensei, a Japanese cooking class which will feature sushi-making lessons, followed by a dessert buffet.