Last June 8, in celebration of our Independence month, Novotel Manila Araneta Center launched their Filipino Festival called KANYAMAN at Food Exchange. The hotel invited popular chef Sau del Rosario to re-create classic, well-loved and authentic Kapampangan dishes that will be served to diners until June 30. And to complete the Kapampangan experience, Chef Sau called in veteran chef and another Pampanga-native, Chef Edith Singian, to develop some of the traditional local desserts.
Since then, the lunch and dinner buffet offered by Food Exchange has been a big success. Here are some of the best-selling dishes that one must not miss when dining at Kanyaman.
Kare-Kare in Truffle Oil and Macadamia nuts : Unlike the regular Kare-Kare where everything is mixed and cooked with the sauce, this version has big pieces of crispy-skinned liempo, string bean knots and eggplant as toppings for the sauce. The sauce is also generously sprinkled with macadamia nuts for that nutty, creamy flavor.
Bringhe : A visit to Pampanga is never complete without eating Bringhe. It is made of cooked sticky rice cooked in coconut milk then topped with liver, chorizo, raisins, eggs and vegetables like green peas and bellpepper.
Sisig Paella : Who says we cannot mix paella with sisig? Dubbed as triple-heart attack rice, the paella has truffle oil, chopped chunky pork cheeks (still with bits of yummy fats clinging to the meat), herbs and thinly-sliced spicy chillies. Whew!
Roasted Pork Belly with Mangoes & Chocolate or Cheese fillings : None, there is nothing to be said. These carnivore’s dream, with its crackling sound when bitten, is tender and bursting with flavor.
Tamales Pampanguena : Another iconic Kapampangan dish is Tamales. This is a milled rice cooked in coconut milk, annatto, chicken slivers and topped with salted eggs. Traditionally wrapped in banana leaves, this one is beautifully presented on a clear glass.
For dessert, Kanyaman boast of comfort foods like Biko, Maja Blanca and Sapin-Sapin.
So, what is Kanyaman? It is a Kapampangan word that is commonly used to describe a dish, dessert or a drink. It simply means, delicious.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s Kanyaman Filipino Festival is open until June 30 only.