July 12, 2017

Australian Grassfed Beef On The Menu Culinary Trail 2017- July 20-August 20, 2017

The Australian Embassy of the Philippines, together with Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Victorian State Government, and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), proudly presents yet another gastronomic culinary journey, which aims to highlight the Australian Grassfed Beef.

After the success of its first promotion in 2015, Australia in the Philippines finally expanded its campaign to Manila, Cebu and Davao.  From the previous 35 participating restaurants, there are now over 60 partner establishments participating in the second Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu promotion.

Last week, I was able to join one day of food crawling to some of Manila's top restaurants in this week-long culinary trail. We visited 4 partner restaurants, who each prepared an exclusive menu showcasing the use of Australian grassfed beef.

First on the list was Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar of  Shangri-La at the Fort. After my Canton Road experience, I've always looked forward to trying out more of Shangri-La's in-house specialty restaurants.

Our tasting session started off with an appetizer of Cape Grim Beef Tartare- a tasty ensemble of raw beef, confit quail egg yolk, capers, greens, parmesan crisps and croutons.

Next, we had a duo of Tenderloin and Striploin from the chopping block, featuring Cape Grim grass-fed beef, and Robbins Island 22-day dry-aged Wagyu MS 7+ grass raised beef, both from Tasmania.

It came with some sides of creamy mashed potatoes w/ truffle and black garlic, Josper roasted Japanese pumpkin w/ pine nuts and puffed wild rice, and cauliflower gratin w/ parma ham & thyme breadcrumbs.

While I liked the tenderness of the Cape Grim tenderloin, flavor-wise, I prefer the wagyu striploin.

To counterbalance all the meaty and savory dishes we had, Raging Bull prepared a sweet and fitting dessert of Candy Floss Pavlova to cap off our meal.

Though we went here for the steak, we also got a teaser of the Raging Bull's bar specialties prepared by head mixologist Ulysse Jouanneaud.

Bonifacio Penicillin and Mamma Mia
Dirty Blue Blazer

We were off to a good start with Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar's specialty creations featuring the Australian grassfed beef.  As much as I wanted to stay and enjoy more of what's left on our table, we had to move on to our next destination.

Next stop, Downtown and Halsted which is just a few minutes away from Shangri-La at the Fort.

We were joined by owner/chef Marco Legasto, who also manages other few restaurants around the metro.

We were first served with an exclusive dish of Chili Con Carne served on crispy potato skins.

Next was a duo of Australian Beef Slider and Braised BBQ Short Ribs with mashed potatoes.

The burger served to me was a bit dry, but it was still tasty with a subtle hint of blue cheese. While the slider didn’t left an impression, the braised beef was something I’d enjoy eating any time of day. No wonder it is one of the best-sellers at Downtown and Halsted.

For dessert, we had this Mango Crepe drizzled with caramel sauce, to finally end our meal on a sweet note.

Our third stop was no stranger to us, as we’ve sampled a few items from their menu way way back.

Although I am not much of a burger person, I could say that 8 Cuts Burger Blends serves undeniably good burgers. For some mean and meaty burgers, there’s always the House Blend which is a constant best-seller and crowd favorite. Since we were on an Australian grassfed beef culinary trail, we were served with the Grassfed Blend which is equally mouthwatering as the house blend, but leaner and healthier.

I like the fact that 8 Cuts Burger offers sliders for those who want to have a little bit of everything without having the need to finish a full quarter pounder.

We had 3 sliders of their best-selling special stacks Piggy, Four Cheese, and Q-Daddy. It was quite hard to choose a favorite as each was equally unique and tasty.

Of course, we also had their classic Cheeseburger which was very meaty, juicy, and flavorful. It lessens the guilt of finishing a whole burger since the patty was very lean.

But more than the burgers we sampled, the Onion Rings and Skinny Fries were the highlights of my return to 8 Cuts Burger Blends.

Our last destination was quite a drive from Taguig to Malate, Manila. It was a nice break from all the eating we did since lunch time. We finally arrived at New World Manila Bay, just in time for dinner at the Fireplace- the hotel's in-house steakhouse.

A bread platter was served as soon as we arrived.

Our course meal started with an amuse bouche of Parmesan Flan, and a starter of Sinuglaw- a combination of two cooking methods (sinugba and kinilaw), using diced tuna and seared Australian grassfed beef.

The result was an amazing blend of smoky and tangy flavors that complemented the tender beef and tuna.

Another appetizer was this Beef Carpaccio which was a great way to tease the palate before the mains.

For main course, both the Tenderloin and Ribeye successfully highlighted the premium taste and quality of Australian grassfed beef.

After these succulent and meaty steaks were devoured in minutes, desserts of Fruit Tart with gelato and Panna Cotta were served to cap off our steak dinner.

Experience the Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu promotion from June 20- August 20 at these participating restaurants:

Metro Manila:
8 Cuts (9 branches)
Bondi & Bourke (2 branches)
Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano
Chef Jessie at the Grove
Chef Jessie Rockwell Club
Chef Jessie Top of the Citi
Chesa Bianca Swiss Restaurant
City of Dreams: Red Ginger
City of Dreams: Crystal Dragon
Dean & Deluca (2 branches)
Discovery Primea: 1824
Discovery Primea: Flame
Discovery Primea: Gilarmi Lounge
Discovery Suites: 22 Prime
Downtown & Halsted
Green Pastures (3 branches)
Hyatt City of Dreams: The Cafe
New World Manila Bay: The Fireplace
Papa Diddi's (2 branches)
People's Palace
Prime 101
Prime 22
Sala Bistro
Shangri-La The Fort: Raging Bull
Smith & Butcher Grill Room
The True Grill
The Wholesome Table (2 branches)
Vask Tapas Room
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery (5 branches)

Buffet Restaurants:
Dusit Thani Manila: The Pantry- "Holy Cow"
Hyatt City of Dreams: The Cafe
New World Makati: Cafe 1228
New World Manila Bay: The Marketplace

Cebu & Davao:
Anzani (Cebu)
Anzani Prime (Cebu)
Circa 1900 (Cebu)
Bondi & Bourke (Davao)

For more information on the Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu promotion, follow "Australia in the Philippines" on Facebook, @AusAmbPH on twitter, or the official campaign hashtag on social media #TrueAussieBeefPH.

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