Starting June 1, diners at the participating restaurants will not only enjoy traditional and modern Filipino food, but will also get a chance to win gifts and prizes. More prizes await diners who snap food photos during the festival and post them to the festival's Facebook page. The 15 participating restaurants are Bistro Luneta, Boracay Garden Grill and Asian Cuisine, Goldilocks, House of Sisig, Intramuros, Jollibee, Kalesa, Mana, Nayong Filipino, Max's of Manila, Ongpin, Patio Filipino, Red Ribbon, Tastebuds, and Tribu Grill.
The Philippine Food Festival also hopes to entice Bay Area residents to visit the Philippines and participate in Kulinarya Food Trips, culinary tour packages designed by the Philippines' tourism department, geared to exploring the culture and food of specific regions in the country's diverse archipelago.We sampled the menus of some of the participating restaurants last week and were definitely wowed by Tastebuds' lechon paella, roasted whole pig stuffed with paella. The pig skin was handsomely red and wonderfully crispy, the way it should be. The meat was tender, moist and perfectly seasoned. We were also drawn to Intramuros' balut pâté: ground duck egg yolk and ground young duck served with cucumber on top of a slice of baguette and sprinkled with sea salt. It might have been the stale baguette that turned us off, but it could just as well have been the dry, funky taste of the duck chick. After all, balut in any form is still balut.
The Philippine Food Festival runs from June 1 to 30.