Being born in Sydney to Singaporean parents, I’ve truly experienced the best of both cultures. From this, I learnt that a large component of what defines ‘culture’ is ‘food’ – a beautifully simple notion that has the ability to unite and reflect the customs and traditions of a nation. So what better way to share something new and different with others than making the introduction through a mutual friend, food?
The Grace Hotel, Sydney has successfully achieved this through their numerous “Flavours of….” Food festivals, all of which have proved their true embrace of multiculturalism while introducing us Sydney-siders to the ‘different’ and ‘new’. As Mama works at the Grace, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of their latest cultural affair, “Flavours of the Philippines”. Never having tried Filipino cuisine before, I admit that I was intrigued and slightly excited…ok…very excited to meet this new ‘friend’. The prospect of the buffet might have whet my appetite as well.
The vibrant culmination of spices and fresh foods enveloped the guests in a warm embrace as they entered the Grace Brasserie. A certain authenticity was immediately instilled by the culinary creations of Head Chef, Colin Yee and the expert Filipino chefs flown in by The Grace especially for the event.
Introductions were made to the organisers of the event – Boon Yiam and Jason and a sea of fellow diners, followed by the ‘guest of honour’, the Philippines as the ice was broken by an array of appetizing salads.
On first bite of the crackling pork salad, I knew that this was the start of a beautiful friendship! The kitchen certainly knew how to generate anticipation for the rest of the buffet line through the absolute freshness of the appetisers. The most interesting of these was definitely the smoked oysters with mushrooms…we all know how I feel about seafood J! Analogous to personality and friendship, the uniqueness of this dish may not be appreciated by all but it certainly agreed with my tastebuds!