Right on the heels of last year’s successful rounds of tours, Chef JJ Yulo and BGC is at it again with BGC: Eats 2014! The premise is exactly the same: hop on a bus and experience the best that BGC has to offer the hungry Filipino. All of this is happening every Saturday of the month of August.
This time, it feels like we’ve entered the big leagues of the Philippine food scene, as JJ has recruited 4 experts to tag along the tours, with four different themes for each tour. As they say, no tour is the same, and each expert was chosen to match the theme. Our tour in particular was a “master class of food and beverage pairings,” guided by Ms. Bel Castro of Enderun College. We learned a lot about the science of pairing food with beverages, despite feeling a little tipsy at the end!
Plus we found out that umami is a real word! What could be better than that?
But before we go too far, here’s a bit of a recap (and a few learning points!) of our tour:
Our first stop of the day was Sunshine Kitchen, where we learned a little about tasting cocktails with food. “What you eat affects the way the food tastes, and the food you eat affects the taste of your food,” said Bel. Our group carefully tried to dissect the taste of each drink, and we were sniffing and swirling like experts in no time! We learned how the beverage tastes depends on its effect on our mouth (did you know that acid content of your drink is measured by the saliva your mouth produces after?), and how to match that with food that can either play with the drink or against it. While we were listening, some of us couldn’t help but start eating. Sunshine Kitchen’s Asian Ceviche (upper right photo) paired with the tequila-based Outlaw was a perfect afternoon kicker!
We had to admit, we were slightly red in the cheeks when we walked into Draft Gastropub. Known in Manila as one of the best when it comes to the beer + food combination, we sat in and tried to find out why.
While munching on Mozarella nuggets, fries and savory sausages, we learned more about beer (and why its so good with fried food). Apparently, the bitterness of the beer really brings out the saltiness of the food, which helps you eat more. We learned about which beers are better below zero (cheap beers are best) and which are better on tap (darker, more complex beers lose some of their nuances when frozen). With the different kinds of glasses and ales vs. lagers, it is highly possible that learning about beer is more complex than learning about wine.
Once the beer was done, we moved on a few stores over to Modern Sichuan, which JJ says is one of “the most underrated Chinese food places in Manila.” While we learned that drinking tea is better with Chinese food (the tea balances out the oil content of the food), our eyes and mouths were pleasantly surprised by the array of authentic Sichuan dishes on our plate. The hanging pork was wonderfully refreshing, while the Spicy Chicken Noodles were springy and flavourful. Everyone’s favourite though, had to be the Baked Sweet Potato with Cheese. “It’s like yema…but better!” our seat mates exclaimed.
For our last stop of the day, there were audible cheers in our bus when we realized we were heading right for Vanilla Cupcake Bakery. One of the newer, more adorable arrivals on the BGC food scene, we were surprised to find they had pretty good food as well! From salpicao to delicious iced teas, the cupcakes were like the frosting on the top of our fun-filled educational day. Here in Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, we talked about coffee and dessert. People used to add cream and sugar in their coffee to dull the bad taste, but now, we can use it to enhance the flavors of our desserts!
A light dessert (mostly fruit based ones) calls for a little bit of cream and sugar in your coffee to bring out the sweetness. For dark, chocolatey desserts, the less sugar you add, the richer the chocolate flavor comes out as.
At the end of the day, we got to see a little more of BGC, chatted with a well-known food writer, learned a lot about beverages (Did you know that you can snort alcohol? You can, but don’t!) and mostly ate a lot. The best way to spend the afternoon, as we say When in Manila.
Next week’s BGC Eats features Healthy Eats by Denise Celdran of Edgy Veggie. As of today, all slots for this tour are full. They are, however, open to standby seats. Please contact Martha Asuncion at firstname.lastname@example.org
BGC Eats 2014: Food Trips for Foodies
2nd Floor, Fort Pointe 1 Bldg.
The Fort Strip, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
For resevations, contact: (02) 847-2791 OR 0929-813-9775
Fort Strip, 1633 Fort Bonifacio, Philippines
Mon – Sat: 11:00 am – 2:30 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 12:15 am
Modern Sichuan Restaurant
5th Avenue, The Fort Entertainment Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig 1201
(02) 752 8728
Vanilla Cupcake Bakery
Two Parkade, 30th Street Corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City