Monday, March 10, 2014

Memories of succulent wagyu and opera songs at the Travelife Magazine dinner




Last February, in Manila living a Travelife and hours after arriving from Singapore, we organized an intimate dinner for friends at Carmelo's Wagyu Steaks in Greenbelt 5.

This is a new restaurant venture put up by Tintin Santiago Rivera and her father, Carmelo Santiago, of Melo's fame.

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GOOD FOOD AT FIRST SIGHT

The moment I saw this restaurant, I knew it would be perfect for a small dinner.

Of course, the food was the deciding factor.

EXCELLENT WAGYU STEAKS



Carmelo's Wagyu Steaks serves Grade 10 wagyu steaks.

There's a range of Grade 1 to 12 for wagyu steaks available overseas, you see.

Grade 10 wagyu was perfect because it was tender and well-marbled. I think anything above this will be way too oily and fatty.



GRADE 12 IS FOR THE EMPEROR

Last night, in fact, I quipped to my guests, who included ambassadors and their spouses, and many stalwarts of Manila society: "Only the Japanese emperor gets to eat Grade 12."

The steaks were really good.

In fact, I'm getting very hungry just writing this and remembering the good food last night.

A VERY DELICIOUS START


We started out the evening with music and lots of delicious appetizers.

I'd asked Tintin to include oysters on the menu for the pass around appetizers because I just love appetizers.




Then I left for four weeks of a Travelife and just returned in time to host this dinner for 45 guests last night.



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With Consul and Madame Tony Rufino
MOUTH-WATERING OYSTERS


But last night, there was an abundance of oysters being passed around, both Rockefeller style and raw.

These oysters were huge and juicy.

Simply delicious.



So I actually thought we'd gotten them from Australia or New Zealand, somewhere abroad.

Wow. These were Aklan oysters and they were just incredible.

Talk about the best of the Philippines here.

AMAZING SWEET BELLA DESSERTS



To end we had the most amazing desserts.

Desserts are Tintin's forte as she trained in Paris for cakes and sweets. Everyone loved them.

STELLAR PERFORMANCE 
BY THE PHILIPPINE OPERA COMPANY


For entertainment, I suddenly had the idea to invite the Philippine Opera Company to serenade my guests.

In fact, this idea came to me while I was in South Africa last month, living a Travelife.



So, while I was actually on the Blue Train making my way from Johannesburg to Cape Town, I contacted Philippine Opera Company director Karla Gutierrez.

She kindly put together a most wonderful show last night, of Broadway hitsall-time opera favorites, and famous Philippine love songs.

The Philippine Opera Company singers last night were:

Karla Gutierrez
Janine Santos
Lawrence Jatayna
Al Gatmaitan
Nazer Salcedo

With the Philippine Opera Company
Then I asked DJ Wilkie and his team to provide the sound logistics for the evening.

DJ Wilkie and his team did the sounds for my birthday party last year as well. And they did a great job.


Everyone truly enjoyed last night.

In fact, I just received a couple of thank you messages from guests right now, mentioning an "excellently organized" event.


And on the way out, we gave them some of Tintin's famous chocolates and a kit of beauty products from The Cream Factory, which I just discovered.



The Cream Factory products are made with goat's milk and they're amazing on the skin, so I decided to share this find with my guests last night.

With the Ambassador of Switzerland
and the newly-arrived Ambassador and Madame of India

All in all, a truly wonderful and delicious evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

With the Ambassador and Madame of the European Union


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