XO46 Heritage Bistro recently launched its food tour called Philippines on a Plate at Whitespace in Makati City.
The tour is a delightful, gustatory trip through time. It highlights more than a thousand years of Philippine history and a myriad of culinary influences, from Arabic to American.
A mix of family and friends from the government and the business sector attended the launch, which coincided with proprietor Andrew Masigan’s 46th birthday.
Theater actor Gabe Mercado played host and food guide for the evening. For other tours, actor/comedian Richard Cunanan will alternate with Mercado as guide.
Philippines on a Plate begins with cocktails of lambanog and tuba. This is followed by a guided, history tour through an eight-course degustation by the resident guide.
The tour goes way past the Spanish era where most history books start. It highlights the richness and sophistication of pre-Hispanic ancestors, how they lived and ate, their cultural heritage, and shatters myths like how Filipino food is all brown and oily.
“Our ancestors actually ate healthily,” says co-owner Sandee Siytangco Masigan. “They ate the landscape…meaning they consumed what was available to them without any processing…always fresh.”
The dynamic couple, Andrew and Sandee, admit that even they were surprised by what they found in their research.
“We had a lot of aha moments,” says Sandee.
Philippines on a Plate menu consists of eight courses: Kilawin to Inihaw na Kalabaw at Ensalada, Sinigang na Talakitok sa Santol, Pato Tim, Binagoongang Baboy Damo, Ensalada de Mexicana, Bringhe at Balbacoa, and Warm Pineapple Pie with Whipped Cream and Salted Caramel/Brownie à la Mode.
The XO46 couple hopes that the tour will help diners, both local and foreign, appreciate better the Filipino cuisine and its nuances.
“The tour is a result of our advocacy to do more for local cuisine,” says Sandee. “It’s important for our foreign visitors and our own people to understand where our food came from and why it is how it is today.”
The Masigans are staunch advocates of Filipino heritage cuisine. Their highly successful restaurants XO46 Heritage Bistro, the New Visayan Room and Isla Café have been gaining a loyal following.
The tour, as Sandee sees it, is a natural progression and extension of XO46.
Philippines on a Plate tours will be held twice a week (Saturday and Sunday), 6 p.m., at the Visayan Room beside XO46 Heritage Bistro along Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Tour fee is P2,800 per person.
The tour can also be mobile and brought to other venues for a minimum of 30 people. Upcoming tours are set for all weekends of December, and of January and February 2014.
For details, call tel. nos. 5536635 and 32; 0923-6150406 (Jane Catapat); 0915-4180643 (Leo Lorenzo); and 0918-8802525 (Sandee S. Masigan).
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