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Food and Leisure

What does ‘Zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi!’ mean? Find out at Okada's Octoberfest

THE X-PAT FILES - Scott Garceau - The Philippine Star
What does âZicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi!â mean? Find out at Okada's Octoberfest
Tapping it: (from left) Okada’s F&B director Sumit Rajput, Casino VP Shirley Tam, president Takashi Oya, COO Byron Yip and Hospitality SVP Ivaylo Ivanov led the tapping of a ceremonial beer keg, then raised their mugs.

One thing you might not expect to see while wandering down Okada’s Crystal Corridor is an Austrian band dressed in lederhosen performing Tom Schilling’s ’80s hit Major Tom.

But then again, this is Oktoberfest, Manila-style.

Okada’s “Octoberfest” from Sept. 23 to 28 promises to be one of the more authentic renditions of the great Munich celebration, from the actual Bavarian ingredients and imported beer to the imported band, Alpengaudi (which means “fun in the mountains”).

Along with steins and steins of German Weihenstephan beer, the lively walkway at Okada Manila is crammed with beer-hall-type tables where Filipino beer maidens dressed in dirndls and braids bring you boot-shaped glasses of lager, plates of brotzeitbrettl and poached Munich veal sausages.

The idea of Oktoberfest has so permeated the world that you will find nearly every hotel holding a version of it these days, spreading Bavarian culture in a way not unlike the existence of multiple Chinatowns throughout the world.

But what makes an authentic Oktoberfest?

Prost! Oktoberfest is largely about enjoying German lagers.

Having never been to the real one in Munich, my wife Therese and I were content to let Okada Manila show us their rendition, which including live cooking booths, magicians and acrobats (crystal ball jugglers, unicyclists), photo booths, the peppy Alpengaudi and numerous games.

Then, of course, there is the drinking. Running from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m., there’s lots of time to sample foamy lagers and ales in ice-cold mugs.

Every so often, the band would stop its number and bid us raise our glasses with this refrain: “Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi!” (meaning something like “A toast, a toast, a cozy place! One, two, three, drink!”)

The other toast you quickly learn is “Prost!” (“Cheers!”), yet another command to raise your glass and suck down more suds. Which we did.

So far, this is how we imagined the real Oktoberfest in Munich to be.

Many of the Filipino beer maidens, in the interest of appearing more Bavarian, sported colored contact lenses, which was a bit eerie at first, but they brought us hearty goulash, Swabian cheese noodles (aka spätzle), crispy roast pork knuckle and apple strudel, so we soon got over our initial discomfiture.

The poached Munich veal sausage with sauerkraut

To open the festivities, a group of Okada executives were on hand to tap the ceremonial keg, including Okada president Takashi Oya, F&B director Sumit Rajput, COO Byron Yip, casino VP Shirley Tam, and hospitality SVP Ivaylo Ivanov.

Then, the night commenced — with food games, including one in which team members had to transport pretzels from one end of the table to the next using only the sausages hanging from their mouths — a row of game booths (including Hammer Strength, Barrel Blaster and Ring Shots), and even a constructed Bavarian Castle. 

Guests are invited to come dressed in their own lederhosen and dirndls (those Heidi-like Alpine garments you see everywhere during Oktoberfest).

“Octoberfest is very special as it is that singular event where you gather with your friends or family and just have a pure good time with great food, drinks, music and fun,” says Rajput, “and Okada Manila is proud to be the only venue that provides the biggest and most lavish celebration ‘indoors,’ thanks to the Crystal Corridor’s state-of-the-art climate control.”

From what I’ve heard, the actual Munich Oktoberfest lasts about 17 or 18 days, and includes the wonderful Bavarian practice of shoveling up spilled beer, food and, uh, expelled human fluids from the streets at the close of festivities every night. Thankfully, this is where Okada’s Octoberfest does not strive to replicate the original version.

Prost!

Okada’s Crystal Corridor transforms into a Bavarian beerhall for Oktoberfest this September 23-28.

*    *    *

Entry for Okada Manila’s weeklong Oktoberfest this Sept. 23-28 is P4,500 for regular access and P10,000 for VIP access to celebrate a true Bavarian Octoberfest.

Book and reserve through 555-7799 or 888-0777, email Restaurantreservation@okadamanila.com book anytime during the celebration at the Crystal Corridor registration booth.

OCTOBERFEST OKADA
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