Ready for Xiao Long Bao & more!

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star

It is truly an exciting time for the Philippines’ gastronomic scene as more and more well-loved and world-renowned restaurants are making their way to the country for Filipinos to enjoy.

Just recently, the world-famous Din Tai Fung restaurant opened its doors with a bang at the SM Megamall Mega Fashion Hall with no less than President Benigno Aquino III gracing the event.

To mark the restaurant’s very first branch in the country, Din Tai Fung owner and chairman Warren Yang flew in with his team from Taiwan. Yang was joined by the Moment Group’s Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa and Jon Syjuco, and SM Prime Holdings president Hans Sy for the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

After the formal unveiling, guests enjoyed dinner that consisted of the exquisite Pork Xiao long Bao and Crab Roe. Other dishes special to the Philippine branch were also introduced like the Black Pepper Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork and Salted Egg Yolk Prawns and Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun dessert.

Din Tai Fung Philippines is the 120th branch and the Philippines is 14th country to hold and continue Warren Yang’s tradition of meticulous attention to detail, excellent service and the best Xiao Long Bao known the world over. The restaurant was hailed by The New York Times as one of the Top 10 restaurants in the world in 1993 and No. 1 on The Daily Meal’s “101 Best Restaurants in Asia” list in 2013. A Michelin star has been awarded to Din Tai Fung’s Hong Kong branch for five consecutive years since 2010.

(Din Tai Fung is located at the ground floor of Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall.

For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 997-1935 and 997-1936.

Visit dintaifungph.com and www.facebook.com/dintaifungph.)

Joining hands for a sustainable tomorrow

In a bid to help save overfished Philippine seas, Manila’s top hotels and restaurants came together with environmental groups and NGOs to declare their support for the promotion of sustainable seafood through “Sustainable Seafood Week.” These groups recognize the marine environment has been plagued by problems such as overfishing due to years of unsustainable fishing practices.

Chefs and representatives from hotels, restaurants and Greenpeace answered questions from the media at a press conference held at the Manila Marriott Hotel in Resorts World Manila. Participating hotels and restaurants had booths set up at the press conference and served sustainably-caught seafood.

Organizer of the event and Meliomar Inc. general manager Christian Schmidradner emphasized the urgent need and commitment towards the promotion of sustainable seafood procurement.

Today, it has been noticeable that restaurants and hotel groups recognize their increasing responsibility to procure from sustainable sources and to educate their consumers about the cause. “Our commitment is part of a global effort to sustain fisheries resources and to protect our oceans, with the recognition that our restaurants and hotels have the responsibility and the power to address this issue from a direct supply-chain perspective,” Manila Marriott Hotel executive chef Meik Brammer explained.

Vince Cinches, oceans campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines, added, “By taking responsibility of sourcing and serving traceable, sustainable, and equitable seafood, the hotel and restaurant industry is demonstrating the viability of sustainable seafood which not only benefits local communities but also helps conserve and protect our fragile marine ecosystems.”

Schmidradner concluded, “The sustainable Seafood Week shall become our main tool for the facilitation of change, to learn from experiences from others and to monitor improvements over time.”

A powerful movie experience

The force was strongly felt at the cinema level of Gateway Mall as eager guests consisting of celebrities, media friends, executives and business partners of the Araneta Center came together for the grand launch of Gateway Dolby Atmos Cinema. 

Recognized as the biggest Atmos cinema in the country, the Gateway Dolby Atmos Cinema features a 524-seating capacity and a screen size of more than 60 feet. It also has the most number of speakers compared to other Philippine Atmos theaters.

Compared to regular theatres, the Gateway Dolby Atmos Cinema creates a powerful, moving audio using audio objects and overhead speakers. With sounds coming from all directions, the cinema creates a multidimensional sound system that makes audiences feel as if they are inside the film and part of the action.

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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