Wednesday, August 30, 2017

# ASEAN 50th Anniversary # Asian Street Food Festival

Enjoy Street Food from all over Asia at Food Exchange in Novotel Manila Araneta Center

Novotel Manila Araneta Center is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN by bringing in 8 Asian cuisines together in Food Exchange, its all day dining cafe until September 3, 2017 (Sunday). The 8 Asian cuisines featured are from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, India and of course, the Philippines with Celebrity Chef Sau del Rosario carrying the Philippine flag. There's no need to fly to these countries as they bring in chefs from these countries in and create their unique street food for us Filipino foodies to enjoy.
This is the display on each table. I like how the symbolisms represents perfectly on what's happening in Food Exchange: the flags represents the countries which the chefs participating in the Asian Food Festival are from while the pineapple symbolizes that they're in the Philippines, particularly in Novotel Manila. It's so geeky but amazing at the same time!
This is the photo of all the chefs that are participating in this festival which is made to assure all the 8 Asian cuisine (street food) are as authentic as it is!
Looking at all of these things, I realized that it's not a food trip I'm here for but an adventure as if I'm traveling to different ASEAN countries to try out their dishes by just walking around Food Exchange. To start of my food adventure, I headed for the familiar drinks which can usually be seen in a corner of a busy street in the Philippines consisting of Buko Juice (coconut juice), Gulaman Sago (Filipino jelly and boba drink) and Melon Juice.

Seeing a fish ball cart, I couldn't help myself but go there! Usually it's scary to buy fish balls in the streets of the Philippines because of sanitary reasons but in Novotel Manila, I can relax and eat as much as I want because I'm sure these fish balls are clean.
Kikiam (It's also made of fish but tastes a bit different)
And the sauce? Yes, they have the sauce which fishball vendors offer! I'm in fishball heaven! Say goodbye to manong and hello to Food Exchange! Hahaha! :D

From Philippine fish balls, I've moved to another balls of happiness but this time it's from Japan - The Takoyaki!

Crunchy outside, soft, chewy and full of veggies with squid inside. So good!

Below are the other yummy finds which I recommend that you must eat.
Crispy Pork Belly
Pork Asado
Steamed Fish
Buchi - freshly fried, very crunchy outside and chewy inside with a surprise sweet center made of mung beans.
Roast Pork Belly
Chicken Pala Pala (Sweet Marinated Chicken)
Singkamas which is good with lots & lots of shrimp paste
Kinilaw na Tuna (A Filipino dish where tuna is marinated in vinegar until it cooks by itself. No heat required. Kinda like ceviche.)
Seafood Laksa
There's marinated chicken on sticks, marinated pork, chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and marinated fish that you can request them to grill.
Choose or mix & match the different sauces where you can dip your grilled meats in.
Here's my ASEAN plate of yummy-ness:

To make your food trip within Food Exchange more exciting, diners get a chance to win a round trip air fare for two to Incheon, Korea via Cebu Pacific or get a 3-night stay in a participating AccorHotels' Asian properties such as Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay, Novotel Saigon Center, Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam, Mercure Tokyo Ginza, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Gangnam and Novotel Manila Araneta Center! Isn't that sweet?

The other part of the sweet ending in this wonderful food adventure is non-other than the array of desserts.

From the Indian station, these sweet finds are a delight!
Gulab Jamun
Rose Lassi
From the Thai station, indulge!
Mangoes with sticky rice (which goes so well with coconut ice cream, by the way!)
There's a sorbetes cart (ice cream cart) that goes around complete with a bell ringing which tempts diners to try all the flavors. I had the coconut ice cream which I ate together with the mangoes with sticky rice like it's a match made in heaven!

The Sorbetes Cart

Coconut Ice Cream in waffle cone
Other Filipino dessert finds not to be missed.
Ube ensaymada
Regular Cheesy Ensaymada
Ube Cake Roll
Maja blanca
Wait...there's more!
Make your own ice scramble!
Yes, you read it right!!! You can make your own ice scramble! And this is my high end version of an ice scramble - with chocolate chips and sprinkles! :D
You gotta love this!!!
I also had some of these fruits which are currently in season here in the Philippines.
Santol - sweet with a hint of sourness that makes it so good that you'd like more.
There's also the famous Pineapple Bun that you can see in China or Hong Kong which I couldn't resist eating.
Pineapple Bun
Want to go on an ASEAN food adventure like I did? All you have to do is head over to Food Exchange in Novotel Manila and enjoy the Asian Street Food Festival which runs until September 3 only. The buffet is P1,299 on weekdays and P1,499 on weekends or holidays. For more updates and news on Novotel Manila, you can check out their Facebook page:

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