The only thing making my trip memorable is really to taste and understand local food. It it a nice way how Island Cove Hotel and Lesiure park showcases Cavite cuisine together with its indigenous ingredients, history and tradition.
They feature food back when they were still kids and most of them are not served at the restaurants of Cavite anymore. This culinary tour aims to bring back memories through cooking and sharing Cavite cuisine to all of you!
We were all welcomed with a refreshing buko juice and the managing director himself, Gilbert Remulla.
The tour started of with some Tahong Chips , deep fried mussel chips made with flour, spices and salt. It was lightly seasoned, crisp with mild tahong taste, you can eat it on its own. It is an alternative to your usual nachos.
Meet the Fried Lawlaw, the name may sound funny but the crunch coming from this dish might be quite addicting. It is a simple dish but the process of filleting the fish can be quite tedious. In fact, only one small restaurant in Cavite City is doing it since the 1800s. It is tender and fleshy but still has a good crunch paired with their homemade sweet vinegar but it is also addicting without it. A certified hit amongst the foodies.
This is a “lutong-bahay” dish made special with a original ham hock stock. It’s called the Calandracas with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas, chicken, gizzard, chorizo and sotanghon finished with patis Tanza Patis Tanza is made from alamang or small shrimp instead of your typical fish. It is their version of sopas without the milk.
This is The Mutya ng Cavite, it is Gilbert’s personal favorite. It consists of mussels, crab, clams and shrimps. It resembles the pride of Cavite that they can offer fresh catch all the time. This rich and creamy soup was originally served in the 7 Sisters Restaurant, owned by the Sabater family. This is the Caviteño’s version of bouillabaisse, the broth was cooked for 4 hours.
Pancit Kawit is better known as Pancit Pusit. It is made with squid ink then topped with squid rings, grated green mangoes and scallions. During the kamias, season, they use it to replace the green mangoes. Another certified hit amongst the foodies! The seafood taste of the squid ink balances well with the light fresh sourness of the green mangoes.
In any fiestas, Paella is always present, says Gilbert. It is a typical dish with chorizo de Bilbao, chicken and pork but with coconut milk. It is highly comparable with Spanish Paella made with tomato paste, chicken stock and of course, saffron.
Have your adobo like never before with Adobong Imus. You will not see any trace of soy sauce because it is slow cooked in vinegar, annatto oil, bay leaves, salt and pepper. This way of cooking adobo has been a tradition already since the time of the chef’s grandmother.
Afitadang gulay na may baboy is made of stir-fried vegetables with sweet potatoes, pechay, bell peppers and sauteed pork which was tender and a little bit salty. Best paired with rice.
Pancit is full of carbs, why not mix it with puso ng saging. Pancit na may Puso ng Saging, a Cavite dish using a combination of bihon and miki bihon cooked in achuete with small slices of pork and thinly sliced green beans, carrots and cabbage. Instead of drizzling with your usual calamansi as a souring agent, it is served with sliced puso ng saging cooked in vinegar. This dish is similar with Pancit Kawit which has a balance of savory and sour flavors.
Another General Trias specialty is Pancit Malabon which was formerly called San Francisco de Malabon. This is just a simple palabok tasting dish but palabok is a classic made with glass noodles, shrimps, smoked fish, and egg mixed with shrimp sauce and topped with fried pork rinds.
This Spanish dish called Bacalao made with dry-salted labahita cooked with vegetables, Spanish chorizo, garbanzo and annato oil. It is perfectly paired with their Paella.
Imus Cavite is also known to be the source of kakanin and this is just a sample spread of it!
My sister personally loved the Sapin-Sapin. It had a great texture, it wasn’t too sticky plus the Ube Halaya flavor made the bigggest plus to this usual kakanin! Lighter than your usual sapin-sapin and it’s not oily. It is flavorful on its own even without the addition of latik.
I’ve heard about tamales from my co-worker in NYC , Marcos, that his mom makes great tamales. With his enthusiasm, I was really curious about it. Tamales is a mixture of glutinous rice flour mixed with corn meal, chicken, pork, and salted egg then wrapped in several layers of banana leaves then steamed. Sir Gilbert shares that they are a lot of ways in making tamales but this the Cavite way of doing one.
They also shared home-made kesong puti. I am a big big fan of cheese so this is something I look forward to eating on my hot pandesal in the future!
We were also serenaded by local folk singers. imagine good food, good weather and someone singing for you, a totally amazing experience!
And of course, meet the star of the Island Cove Cavite food experience, Executive Chef Vill Purificacion.
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park is located in Binakayan, Kawit Cavite which is only 20 minutes away from Mall of Asia. For more information, log on to www.islandcovephil.com , call (046) 434 0210 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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