The MEGA Equality Ball held last June 12 in Sofitel’s Grand Plaza Ballroom was nothing short of an extravagant affair honoring freedom in all aspects. With glistening fashion, A-list stars, and recognition of barrier-breaking citizens – this year’s ball was definitely a celebration of grandeur. Of course, what is a celebration without an elegant full-course meal to match?
Sofitel’s very own Chef Martin Rebolledo created and prepared this year’s fare. The dinner consists of five dishes that combine the best of Filipino flavors and French culinary techniques, reflecting the Philippine independence theme of the ball and the French roots of Sofitel.
Starting off with the Ensaladang Lechon Sisig. You get a rich pork sisig and brown rice base, topped with slightly cooked tomatoes and green bell peppers. The vegetable topping acts as a fresh balance to the rich sisig rice. Quail eggs and leaves are served on the side to add crunch and richness. A proper introduction to the Filipino fusion dishes to come next.
For the first main we get a salty serving with their Adobo Chicken Liver Parfait Terrine with Garlic Chips. Almost resembling a dessert, the chicken liver parfait is almost mousse-like in texture. Deeply embedded with flavor, the strong adobo taste is the main element of the dish. The soft texture of the terrine is offset with the crunch of the garlic chips.
For the fish main, we get Crispy Skin Lapu-Lapu with Crab Empanada, Pea Puree, and Champagne Velouté. The dinner seems to incorporate more French elements with every succeeding dish. This is seen here with the creamy velouté sauce that perfectly blends with the Lapu-Lapu’s tender meat and perfectly crisp skin. Served also with a crab empanada that adds that extra crunch with its outer shell then to a rich filling of flaky crab.
The final and heaviest main is their Braised Short Ribs of Beef Caldereta, Gratin Potato, and Spring Vegetables. This dish is the perfect midpoint with the Filipino and French elements. The meat is almost a pot roast with its braised short rib with the mellow caldereta sauce. You get a punch of saltiness from the olives on top. The potato gratin acts as a carrier for the mellow sauce, absorbing all the flavors of meat with its layers of potatoes. It is a rich and savory end to the mains.
For the last and most French of the dishes, in terms of plating, we have the dessert. Their Calamansi Tart with Lemon Broken Meringue is a blend of sweet and sour flavors. What seemingly looks like a whole calamansiis actually a fondant flavored with the local lemon variant. Below it is a cheesecake-esque pastry which together with the fondant create a balanced flavor that is equal parts tart, sweet, and sour. Dotted with calamansi purée and small meringue, this sweet ending is bright in color and in taste.
A truly delectable full-course dinner, pulling off a multi-faceted meal with bright flavors and creative plating. The interweaving of Filipino and French flavors, styles, and techniques leads to a colorful and diverse world of flavor that is sophisticated and satisfying. Sofitel’s culinary team has blended elements of both cuisines to serve an elevated gastronomic experience worthy of the MEGA Equality Ball.