A Table of Cultures

Kurt Soberano, Jack Triño, Alan Gensoli, Paolo Lindaya, Stephanie Lindaya, Mayee Fabregas, Anya Torre-Robello, Ying Uychiat, Chef BJ Uy, Air Ordinario, and Kenneth Khubchand (L-R)

The Negrense is an avid world traveler. Perhaps, even this aspect of our culture is rooted to sugarcane cultivation, which gives farmers a few months of free time when work in fields are done, and there’s nothing left to do but wait for harvest. In the meantime, we travel.

In recent years this has been encouraged by visa-free tourism in Southeast Asia, and the entry of everything and anything budget, from airlines to hotels, to delightful exotic food. And so Negrenses are quite game at trying out foreign cuisine. But this has been made more convenient and accessible by one restaurant in Bacolod City whose owner and chef precisely has the strategy in mind, to bring a selection of Asian cuisines on one table.

And when better to experience such a treat than in late December when, after wrapping up all our projects for the year, we are able to gather the team of Negros Season of Culture to celebrate the holidays. And so we did, with a special dinner menu curated and created for us by Chef BJ Uy of East Bite Asian Restaurant.

Seafood Laksa Ravioli

Arugula Vietnamese Salad with Nuts

Vietnamese Pizza with Sriracha Mayo

Fresh Mushroom with Truffle Cocotte

Beef Tenderloin with Mashed Squash, Roasted Baby Carrots, Confit of Garlic, and Chimichurri Sauce

Bibingka Cheesecake Brulee with Caramel Sauce, Banana Crumble, and Meringue

Chef BJ went off the grid with offerings not available on the menu, with each of the six courses plated and styled and explained by him. Most, we found out, had been fused with European and American influences. Whatever the pedigree, we agree, we wouldn’t want our holiday treat served any other way. This cuisine tour was a trip-and-a-half.

Text and Photos by Alan S. Gensoli

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