Thursday, March 19, 2015

Casa Manila - Kamayan Experience [Philippine]

I was invited to Casa Manila (@CasamanilaCa) for a media tasting and was lucky to try their new "Kamayan" style dinner where we got to eat with our hands
I was surprise to arrive at a fairly packed restaurant at around 6:00pm with the rest of the tables already reserved. No wonder since Philippine Restaurants are hard to come by in Toronto which I always find it surprising given the large Filipino population.  

Traditional Kamayan Style dinner means eating with our hands with fresh banana leaves as our plates. It's funny how our amazing waiter kept reminding us not to put our stuff on our plate aka the table covered by the banana leaves. Kamayan is basically a family style picnic allowing everyone to gather around to pick and choose whatever they like to eat. I have always love eating with my eats, everything just taste better so this was definitely a very fun experience for me.

Adobo Popcorn to munch on while waiting for everyone to arrives.

Calamansi Mojito Mocktail
Calamansi is the national citrus of the Philippines, it was a nice twist to my favorite classic cocktail.

Philippines' Root Beer Sarsi & San Miguel Beer

This is actually my second time here and it was over a year ago but I still remember getting a bit confuse as to what to order and our server offer little help in explaining or recommendation department. But this time around, we got the owner Mila Nabor-Cuachon to explain in details the ingredients and origins of each dish. So informative!!!

Chicharon Manok and Atchara
~ Chicken cracklings with a light Adobo seasoning topped with their Mabuhay pickled green papaya slaw served with garlic aioli
Traditionally made with pork skin, this was a nice twist and no idea how they got it so perfectly crisp.

Lumpia Shanghai
A meaty center version of the Filipino springroll which was definitely Chinese original.

Sinigang Baka
~ Beef Tamarind Soup
I am a total sucker for sour soup and the flavor here was so well balanced, no MSG and very light refreshing to start off an otherwise heavy meal.

We were given 6 sauces each for our meal, it's nice to experiment which each meat goes better with which sauce. Casa Manila lauched their own Mabuhay collection with 3 sauces : Adobo (fat free & vegan), Creamy Coconut Ginataan (no MSG, Gluten Free & Vegan) and Savoury Peanut Sauce Kare Kare (no MSG & Gluten Free).

There was also a few quick demonstration showing how easy and quick to cook a meal with the sauces. With simple instruction at the back of the bottle, everyone can unleash their inner chef.

Tinuhog na Manok 
Chicken Skewers for us to try out the sauces.

And tada what everyone was waiting for, the Kamayan feast and yes that's what happen at a Media event.... and for something this epic, it took a little longer than usual since obviously you need a picture from every angle (^_<)

Inihaw Baka
~ Thinly sliced grilled beef ribs infused with their special marinade 

Lechon Kawali
~ Crispy pork belly is a Filipino iconic favorite, the pork belly fried crispy skin and softly marbled meat perfect with the Mabuhay Lechon Sauce or Seasoned Vinegar

Hilaw Manga Insalada
~ Green mango salad, a combination of jicamas, tomato, red and green onions. A tangy salad perfect with the fried food

Flying Tilapia
~ this fried fish presentation was just amazing and it was perfectly cooked, so flaky tender and yummy crispy skin

Plus Garlic Rice which was so addictive, papaya slaw and Thai chili peppers if you want some heat.

With the Kamayan feast, there's choice of add-ons and we got to try the Sisig Pork Mask and bangus "milk fish".

Halo Halo (Mix Mix)
Just as the meal itself the dessert was just as epic, this huge Halo Halo fed the 12 of us and still had leftovers. This dessert have a dozen ingredients that represents the mix of cultures that make up of Filipino culture. Finely shaved ice covered with a cream mixture, topped with assorted fruits, sweet beans, custard, purple am, puffed rice and crowned with Casa Manila's own Mabuhay Ube (taro) ice cream. 

Made by Marble Slab, Casa Manila is selling their own Philippines ice cream flavors including ube (taro, coconut, mango, halo halo and avocado. The avocado was so creamy good but the ube was just like the one in Philippines. OMG good, will need to go back to bring some home.

And of course tea to help us digest all the goodness #sofull

We all did pretty good at finishing the food, so stuffed.

Left with a goodie to try at home.

Eating with your hands are extremely fun
What a deal at $28pp for the Kamayan Dinner (min 4ppl), sure no one will be leaving hungry.
Their also have a really large menu selection, all very authentic
No MSG, very low sodium and oil
Oh and need to come back to get their ice cream

*** This meal was complimentary but opinions are my own ***

Casa Manila on Urbanspoon

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