Pinoy Fridays – Filipino dining in Melbourne, Occasions Restaurant

Filipino Barbie, Occasions Restaurant, William Angliss
March 7, 2014

For this week’s Pinoy Friday post, I wanted to share with you a flashback to early last year where we attended a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event in the city. Chef Sau del Rosario and Chef JP Anglos showcased a procession of timeless Filipino classics with their own little touch to a full house. It was so nice to see that the event was sold out and that the people of Melbourne were interested and willing to give Pinoy a go.

The below lists out the descriptions of each dish from the menu:

Cocktail – Luzviminda
Our pass around food represents the 3 main isalnds of the Philippines. Mini Tamales from Luzon which Spanish influence is very evident, the Ukoy with aoili is an influence from our Malay ancestors and the Fresh Oysters and use of ginger is the Chinese presence in our country.

Malunggay Pan De Sal & Butter

Filipino Barbie cocktail

Appetizer – Kare-Kare
A Filipino “fiesta” staple of braised oxtail simmered in peanut tasting sauce and annatto seeds, we stuffed this in a ravioli and drizzled with macadamia kare-kare sauce and truffle oil

Kare Kare Filipino Barbie 2014

Soup – Binakol
A traditional chiken soup cooked in coconut water, our soup is sous vide seasbass in coconut broth and served with fresh green papaya and candied ginger

Binakol Filipino Barbie 2014

Salad – Pinoy Salad
Grilled prawns marinated in coconut milk, karrif lime leaves and ginger and served on Asian greens and cilantro served with pineapple salsa

Pinoy Salad

Entree – Lechon
Traditionally a whole pig and roasted for 4 hours, we picked the best part of the lechon, “the pork belly” and we stuffed this with paella valencia, a rice dish we ingerited from our Spanish ancestors and formed a cripsy pork belly roulade served with French beans

Lechon Filipino Barbie 2014

Dessert – Halo-Halo
A Filipino favorite dessert all rolled in a spring roll (stuff with red beans, purple yam, coconut) and cut like sushi and topped with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with banana chips

Petit Fours – Filipino Petit Four
An espresso cup of Philippine chocolate tablea drink served with “pinipig”, Filipino crunchies, Uraro, Philippine cookies and Chocnut

Petit fours Filipino Barbie

Filipino dining William Angliss Melbourne

The 2013 Philippine Fiesta

The Urban Ma at the Philippine Fiesta 2013Filipino food fiesta

The 2013 Philippine Fiesta – Melbourne Showgrounds 23rd-24th November

Last weekend was the annual Philippine Fiesta and this year it was again held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Anticipating Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, all the stalls, stages and exhibits were held undercover in the Exhibition Pavilion. We visited on the 2nd day of the fiesta and as always there was a festive vibe with singers and dancers lighting up the stage and the smell of bbq calling us over to the food stalls – Filipinos love to sing, dance and eat! It was great to see the newly launched Cafe Rende serving up smooth coffee using beans from Benguet in the Philippines.
We devoured at least a dozen sticks of bbq and at 4 for $10 it was a pretty good deal compared to the Night Noodle Markets we attended recently! The skewers from soon-to-be-opened Jasmine’s Cafe and Restaurant were tasty and tender and we also tried halo halo (crushed ice dessert with a variety of fillings) from two different stalls at $5.50 and $8 each, the difference being one had ice cream and leche flan (a Filipino creme caramel) and the other didn’t.
Filipino dishes are not really known for their appetizing appearance but give it a go and I’m sure you will get hooked on dishes such as sisig (chopped pork pieces seasoned with calamansi and chilli), kare kare (a stew with ox tail and peanuts) and  lechon paksiw (pork and vinegar stew).
The Philippine Fiesta is in its 31st year and even though there was a cheerful atmosphere when we arrived I did notice that there was a drop in numbers – both in the number of patrons and the number of stallholders that were present at the fiesta this year. It was pretty sad to see this and maybe the car park and entrance fee along with other issues have slowly deterred many people from showing their support year by year. Were you there this year? What did you think?

 

IMG_1547

IMG_1548

IMG_1550
BBQ skewers!

IMG_1552
A busy opening for Cafe Rende

IMG_1575
Daniel wishes Filipino celebrity Isabel Granada good luck for her performance

IMG_1573
Paquiao wins his fight!