Chef Jessie's Hapag ni Luzviminda

Chef Jessie's Hapag ni Luzviminda is a special dinner that celebrate the country's culinary delights and Filipinos generosity. It is a five-course dinner presented in a culinary journey than spans from the different regions of the country. This special dinner is prepared by Chef Jessie Sincioco and guest chef, Kay Carreon.  

I can't remember the last time I had an all-Filipino sit-down dinner and Chef Jessie's Hapag ni Luzviminda is definitely a night to remember. 

Sliced Pulpo over Sushi Rice with Soy Sauce Jelly and Aioli. A very modern way of presenting seafood. The pulpo was very tender and the micro-greens adds some texture and hint of bitterness to the otherwise plain pulpo. Of course, the sushi rice with its soy sauce jelly completes the dish. I am fascinated with the soy sauce jelly and a bit sad when it was all gone from my plate. 

Chicken Binakol with a twist. Chicken binakol is a popular dish in Southern Philippines which is similar to the tinola. The binakol however, uses coconut water instead of just plain water. And to level-up the dining experience, bits of tender coconut meat were added to the soup. The soup is both delicious and comforting. 

Pan-Fried Fillet of Apahap in Mentaiko Bihod Sauce. Now this is my favorite among the dishes presented. Fish is a usual staple in the Philippines and as we are home to a bountiful sea. This is a mouthwatering chunky piece of apahap (or Asian sea bass) that is perfectly pan-fried- crispy skin and succulent meat, with a generous portion of salty bihod. Of course, the mentaiko butter sauce also lent its charm as well as the crisp baby ferns which I also like. 

Native Pink Guava Caviar. A sorbet like-no-other! Sorbet is usually served as a prelude to the main course because it cleanses the palate. In this case, the delicate flavor of guava made me crave for more. I think the other guests thinks the same, too especially when you hear the ooohhs and ahhhs! Alas, native guavas are fast becoming extinct in our country so I think there's a need to propagate more native guava trees. 

Weeks Old Native Pork Porchetta Served with Atchara Rice and Lowland Greens. In the Philippines, a celebration is not complete without a lechon and this porchetta is a fitting tribute to the lechon. This dish is a savory roll of tender native pork prepared with flavorful herbs and spices. The tangy atchara rice balance-out the flavors. It would have been nice if the pork skin was crispy but that's just me. 

Purple Yam Truffle with Milk Chocolate Namelaka. And a meal is never complete without dessert. I love the different textures here, from smooth to grainy. And did I say that the flowers are all edible, too? After eating all these sweets, the meal calls for coffee. 

And these chocolate dipped strawberry and chocolate rice crispies were served along with the coffee. I guess Chef Jessie's Hapag ni Luzviminda is ending on a sweet note! 

Chef Jessie Sincioco and Chef Kay Carreon
Hapag ni Luzviminda is a special dinner curated by Chef Jessie Sincioco and Chef Kay Carreon, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Makati and Globe of Good. Half of the proceeds from this special degustacion will go to the Hapag Movement, a non-profit organization that aims to feed low-income families in the country. Aside from this dinner, the special Hapag ni Luzviminda five-course meal is available on select days at the Chef Jessie Rockwell branch and part of the sales will also benefit the Hapag Movement.