Expo 2020 Dubai: 13 Filipino-owned restaurants offer ‘Bangkóta meals’, a traditional taste of Philippine cuisine with a twist – Gulf News

Philippines Pavilion to roll out ‘Bangkóta meals’ across restaurants in the UAE
Looking for authentic Filipino dish in the UAE? Want to savour the flavour of Chicken Adobo or Chicken Inasal (grilled chicken) and Filipino desserts Bibingka (rice cake) and Ube Biko (purple yam rice cake)? Have food galore as ‘Eats more fun in the Philippines’ brings its most popular dishes to the UAE with a twist that is set to elevate the traditional taste of Filipino cuisine.
The ongoing Philippines Food Festival teamed-up with 13 Filipino-owned restaurants from the League of Food and Beverage Entrepreneur (LFBE), a sub-committee of the Philippine Business Council of Dubai and Northern Emirates (PBC-DNE), to collaborate and present specially curated dishes inspired by the ‘Bangkóta’ theme of the Philippines pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (PDTI) Assistant Secretary and Philippines at Expo 2020 Dubai Alternate Commissioner General Rosvi C. Gaetos said that the collaboration of these Filipino-owned restaurants will help amplify the message of promoting the authentic taste of Filipino cuisine to the UAE.
Gaetos said: “We are delighted to be working with these Filipino-owned restaurants who have successfully presented and promoted much-loved Filipino dishes. Their participation in the Philippines Food Festival embody the spirit of ‘Bayanihan’ (a spirit of communal unity and cooperation) among Filipinos in the UAE to present the potential of Filipino cuisine in this day and age to UAE’s diverse audiences.”
The Philippines intends to highlight its traditional flavourful dishes that bring families and friends together at the dining tables of each Filipino home. The organising committee of the Philippines pavilion conceptualised the Philippines Food Festival to run alongside the Expo 2020 Dubai.
PBC-DNE Chairperson Marian “Bobbie” Carella shared that the success of the Philippines Food Festival lies not only in the taste of these dishes but also in the strong social network of Filipinos in Dubai, their ability to influence the rest of the emirates and entice friends from other nationalities to give these dishes a try.
“We urge our fellow Filipinos to help us spread the word about these exciting new dishes that provide our expat friends with an insight into the look, taste, and feel of the real Filipino cuisine. These dishes highlight the ongoing success of our Filipino businesses in the UAE and this is our time and opportunity to show the utmost support for our fellow Filipinos by patronising these homegrown brands,” said Carella.
Bangkóta special meals
Participating restaurants will offer specially curated dishes as part of the ‘Bangkóta Meal’ offering.
On February 3, the dinner launch took place at the Paluto Restaurant in Dubai, where all guests participated on an amazing food crawl that took them through each of the restaurant’s distinct specialities. Each participating restaurant exhibited a sneak preview of their “Bangkóta Special,” which are custom-made menu items inspired by Bangkóta.
Panadero created three classic ‘pandesal’ (sweet bread rolls): the Plain Pan de Sal, the Pan de Coco, and the Ube Pan de Sal. Agemono created a version of the popular ‘Baked Sushi’ for the Philippines Food Festival’s amuse bouche menu.
Diners began their meal with Kubyertos’ Chicken Adobo Confit (soy-vinegar braised chicken) with Pickled Papaya, Mesclun Salad, and Cherry Tomato drizzled with Balsamic Reduction together with Shokuji’s Vegetarian Ensalada Starter. Zutto Suki also combined ramen with the Filipino Kare-Kare (peanut-gravy-based dish) to create the ‘Ramen Kare-Kare’ for the Philippines Food Festival Soup offering.
Off the Hook’s Coco Cream with Lemongrass, Paluto’s Sweet and Sour Hamour, The Catch’s Chicken Inasal (seasoned grilled chicken), and The Desert Wok’s Stir Fry Vegetables and Sinangag (garlic fried rice) comprised the Philippine Food Festival’s main course menu dishes. These were complemented by refreshing drinks including Ounce’s Calamansito and Manchara, as well as Joy Bubble’s special Buko (coconut) Pandan Milk Tea.
There was a wide variety of desserts from Draft Corner’s Pili Nut Cheesecake, Mango Cake, and Ube (purple yam) Velvet Cake as well as Face Café’s Bibingka (rice cake) and Ube Biko (purple yam rice cake).
These menu items will be available for the public across all of the restaurants’ branches until March 31, 2022 to coincide with the final day of Expo 2020 Dubai.

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