MANILA, Philippines - Until Easter Sunday, April 24, diners can dive into a wave of sumptuous gastronomic treats at the Oakroom restaurant, an all-day fine dining venue at the Ortigas Premiere.
The Oakroom offers pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike meat-free meals via "11 Oceans", its very own seafood festival.
The "11 Oceans" menu includes seafood-inspired dishes from around the world: Sea Scallops in Puff Pastry (French), Risotto with Herbed Scampi (Italian), Grilled Swordfish Souvlakis (Greek), Parrot Fish Curry (India), Classic Fish and Chips (United Kingdom), and Californian Cioppino (USA).
The Filipino Crab Relleno is also a special feature of the "11 Oceans" menu.
The options include a sampler plate of three items: Gindara Teriyaki (Japanese), Bacalao Fritters (Spanish) and Lobster Chili (Mexican).
At the press launch held recently, members of the media sampled three items by Oakroom Executive Chef Jerome Cartailler: an appetizer sampler featuring Spanish-inspired bacalao fritters made of dried salt cod served with aioli dip and Serrano ham, plus the crab relleno, and for the entree, the Californian Cioppino, a soup-based seafood pasta with clams, shrimps, scallops, squid, mussels and grouper, with cherry tomatoes and white wine.
"Summer is the best season for seafood. It's a healthy, delicious indulgence and we use the freshest catch and cooking methods to preserve their natural taste and essence. For added appeal, we are featuring an international theme to highlight the culinary specialties of various countries," General Manager Brian Connelly told "Mornings@ANC."
"Each dish is true to its country of origin. We take great lengths to make sure it's as authentic as possible.
"Here's a chance for you to try some new seafood dishes from around the world. You don't have to go to London to have fish and chips, you don't have to go to Spain, you don't have to go to Greece. You can come to the Oakroom and experience the real authentic food from that country right here," Connelly said.
Complementing the seafood fare are Mapu white Chilean wines by Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Mapu's sauvignon blanc/Chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are vintage 2010 and produced in the wine region of Central Valley, south of Santiago, Chile where the valleys are cooler and the climate well-suited to white wine varieties.
The sauvignon blanc has a rich flavor and a crisp texture with good acidity, while the Chardonnay has tropical fruit notes, building to a fresh aromatic finish.
"You may like the sauvignon blanc because of its crispness, its acidity or maybe the Chardonnay's better because of the richness; [it's] more buttery. Each one will work differently with the food.
"The reason we take wine is to cleanse our mouth. If you eat the same food and don't have wine, the intensity of the flavor drops every time. But with wine, after the first bite, after a sip of wine, it cleanses the mouth so that by the first bite the intensity doesn't drop," Connelly said.
|Crab relleno and bacalao
True enough, the wines bring out the seafood dishes' subtle flavors. While the sauvignon blanc is a perfect match for the appetizer, it's hard to tell which of the two wines is the better complement to the entree.
We capped off our sumptuous seafood meal with a delicious banana mousse topped with a ginger-candy laced meringue, the flavor of every morsel heightened by the fruity tones of Chardonnay.
Something new every month
"11 Oceans" is part of the Oakroom's revolving menu.
"Each month we like to feature wine and or food. We use our monthly promotions to decide which dishes to put on the menu.
"This started about a year ago when we started our promotion called World of Burgers and we offered 12 burgers from around the world. And it was so popular we've expanded that into World of Pasta, World of Pizza," said Connelly.
After Easter Sunday, the Oakroom will be bringing back World of Burgers.
"We'll have 12, 13 different types of hamburgers, and in the next month, July, American food and wine promotions. We'll do Beringer wines and some great American food, so each month when you come to the Oakroom you will find something innovative in addition to the usual menu," Connelly added.
"11 Oceans" seafood festival is available a la carte from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. throughout the Holy Week from Monday, April 11, to Easter Sunday, April 24 at Oakroom restaurant.
Oakroom Restaurant is at the 6th level, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For details and reservations, call (632) 719-1160, 637-7888 or 910-8888.