Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dinner with Matt Basile at the Rockwell Club, and a balut-eating demonstration

Travelife Magazine Managing Editor Ceia Ylagan recently dined with Matt Basile, of the Asian Food Channel's “Rebel Without A Kitchen” fame, to talk about Travel, and Life -- and, of course, Food.

This is  part two of her account of that fun evening.

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Ceia writes:

“Kitchen Revolution” in Manila took off with a specially hosted Scotch whiskey pairing dinner by AFC and The Balvenie, a specially handcrafted range of single malt Scotch whiskies.

Chef Jessie Sinciongco’s own culinary team at Chef Jessie at the Rockwell Club graciously accommodated Matt and his team.


The five-course dinner began with a refreshing salad of octopus with fennel and blood orange, paired with The Balvenie 21-year-old Portwood that effectively whet our appetite.

The dish was a lovely symphony of flavors of sweet, sour, and salty that played off beautifully with a variety of textures that highlighted Matt’s delicate attention to detail.


This was followed by a tender juicy appetizer of salsa verde grilled beef hearts paired with The Balvenie 12YO Doublewood that showed off the beef’s delicateness.

The lamb zoupa and bread course brought us home with its hearty and natural flavors culled from the fresh vegetable soup base that melded with the lamb’s rich, earthiness.


For the main course, guests had the option to choose between the salt and vinegar prawns with pickled cipolini onions and Trinity sauce or the Moroccan beef tenderloin with Marian sauce and pistachios with edamame.

Both dishes catered to diners who enjoy rich, complex flavors, with the prawns’ sweet freshness playing off beautifully with the spicy sauce, while the steak featured bold Moroccan spices that would transport anyone to a spice souk.


The five-course dinner came to a close with the Elvis in a Jar, Matt’s deconstructed version of Elvis Presley’s favorite snack, the peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich.

The dessert was served in a mason jar holds a treasure trove of delicate peanut butter mousse with just the right touch of sweetness, a sinful French toast smothered in creamy banana foam, finished off with salty bacon bits that cut the sweetness overload with just the right touch.

This scrumptious dessert was served with The Balvenie 18YO peated cask.


Matt entertained his guests with a quick and simple demonstration on how to make the octopus with fennel and blood orange appetiser. 

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Then regaled everyone with his gusto and bravado by eating a balut with a shot of The Balvenie.

 Needless to say, that will be one of Matt’s unforgettable food adventures, and certainly one of our more deliciously memorable evenings in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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