Last Saturday, after super typhoon Ompong left the Phillipines, life carried on and everyone was grateful that it brought no harm to the country. The disaster preparation and response were remarkable. Despite the ferocity of Ompong, only a few reported unfavorable incidents were reported. The Philippines must have been on its right way to resiliency. While still feeling the tail of the storm, the weather calls for some good wines for thanksgiving and of course, to warm the spirit in air.
Aqua in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa hosted a timely Italian Wine Dinner. It was exquisite. It masterfully curated and paired the lovely dishes prepared by Chef Andrea Burziu of Aqua with the perfect Italian wines from Wine Depot.
We started with a rather unconventional appetizer of deep fried ox tongue, saffron mayonnaise and some greens paired with my favorite wine of the night, the 2015 Col di Sasso from Banfi, Tuscany. The tongue was braised/simmered and deep fried to produce that prized tenderness coated with batter for deeper flavor and crunch. The saffron mayonnaise was a good compliment to the tender-bouncy-textured tongue.
Chef Andrea Burziu told us that for our second dish he has a little surprise for us. On our plate was an oversized Ravioli stuffed with spinach and handmade ricotta giant topped with sweet cheese fondue paired with 2016 Moda from Talamonti, Abruzzo. The surprise was that as soon as we break the ravioli a runny and creamy egg yolk oozes out. It was rich, delicious and crazy beautiful. If chinese dumplings have Xiao Long Bao, this one is for the Raviolis. It got me asking how did they do that?
Our main was a steamed grouper in Potato and Parsley Mousseline crust with Eggplant and sun-dried tomato ratatouille paired with 2016 Trebbiano from Talamonti, Abruzzo. It’s funny how this dish is reminiscent of our well-loved escabeche. I must learn how to cook that ratatoulle. It was divine!
To cap the dinner was a Strawberry Mascarpone Tiramisu it was so gorgeous I didn’t touch it for a long time that I just had to ravel its beauty; that alone, is already enough. But of course, I gave in. I had to eat it paired with 2014 Collepino from Banfi, Tuscany.
That was a lovely dinner with varied table topics from wines, the filipino food on making its way to the world, the hospitality industry and even about wellness in dining.
Thank God, Ompong was already out of the country.