By Marjaleen Ramos
Aside from its diverse tropical wildlife, stunning mountain ranges and volcanoes, and crystal blue waters, Batangas is also known for its traditional cuisine.
With the aim to give guests an ultimate Batangas experience, Matabungkay Beach Hotel once again hosted the annual Batangas Food Festival in Lian, Batangas.
Batangas Food Festival, in its fourth year, features various Batangas recipes and concoctions curated by homegrown Batangas Chefs – Chef Jaja Andal, Chef Ricardo Dino Jr. and Nancy Reyes- Lumen.
“We’ve been an iconic beach spot, especially during the summer, for the past 37 years. That’s how long MBH has been on business,” says Charley Leviste-Antonio, managing director of Matabungkay Beach Hotel.
“I said let’s take it to the next level, promoting anything but Batangueno, not just the beach, but the food. Not just promote traditional Batangas cuisine but actually elevate it,” she adds.
Started 2015, Batangas Food Festival focuses on championing locally-sourced food and substances from different towns of Batangas such as Balayan, Calaca, and Taal.
The feast will give guests a taste of local Batangueno dishes including lomi ng Lipa, ginataang sinaing na bangus belly, Rodrigo roast (oven roasted pork belly with chocolate), pinais na dulong, swam na mais, menudo Batangas and kalderetang kambing – all made from the recipes of prominent families in the province of Batangas.
Of course, Batangas experience wouldn’t be complete without the famous bulalo. Known as bone marrow soup, bulalo has been the signature dish of the province. “We made bulalo, but differently. We grilled the bone marrow,” the chef shares.
Batangas is also famous for sinaing, but instead of the traditional sinaing sa tulingan, chefs partnered with Saranggani Bay that produces packed fish ready for cooking and preparation, and curated ginataang sinaing na bangus belly.
Chef Andal noted that tawilis are not usually being sold in most wet markets and supermarkets in the Philippines as this type of fish can only live in the Taal Lake in Batangas.
The guests will surely enjoy eating a fresh selection of appetizers and sweet pastries carefully handcrafted by the hotel’s chef.
Batangas Food Festival also showcases a variety of concoctions such as chili mujito or mojito with siling labuyo, barakong Russo, and Barakotini Martini which is a combination of Batangas well-known product Kapeng Barako and Martini and Blue-ya or Ginger Blue.
During a media launch, guests were given a “foodie tour” to a number of artisan places where Batangas’ famous bagoong and bibingka are produced.
Usually sold in bottles, Bagoong Balayan is among the favorite sauces of Batangueños, which originated in Balayan, a municipality in Batangas. This famous bagoong be found almost everywhere in Batangas even in roadside establishments.
Batangas Food Festival ala carte menu will be available from November 12 to December 18, 2018. For more information about Matabungkay Beach Hotel, visit their facebook page.