Get to know Mhel and Ken Ignacio of Certified Foodies

Celebrate Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian, Batangas

Summer is finally over in the Philippines, but being a tropical country means that we can still get perfectly sunny days even during the rainy season. Add the fact that there are a number of pristine beach resorts just a short drive from Manila, like Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian, Batangas, which will also be hosting the Batangas Food Festival (BFF) from October through December 2016, featuring traditional fare picked from a sea of dishes that have culinary roots in Batangas.

Facade of Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

 

Matabungkay Beach Hotel

If you’re a 90s kid like me, you have probably spent a few summers at Matabungkay Beach Hotel with your family. You will be shocked to find out that nothing much have changed, especially in the main lobby.

Amenities of Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The only thing that have obviously changed in this area was the now tiled floor. Previously, it had pebble wash floors. The wooden interior from the tables up to the ceiling is the same since it was built in the 1980s. And it’s kind of nostalgic and comforting for me to know that a part of my childhood has remained the same.

Room Building of Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The main building that houses the hotel’s spacious rooms looks the same as it was decades ago.

Deluxe Room at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

What surprises me most is how well-kept and clean the rooms are after all these years.

New Swimming Pool of Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The last time I was in Matabungkay Beach Hotel was in 2013, so I immediately noticed the newly built pool at one side of the resort. And it has a bar!

Beach Side Villas at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

At the end of the pool stands the new octagon-shaped Beach Side Villas with a common garden area in the middle. The rooms all have different views. A room could have a view of the garden, of the pool, or of the beach.

 

Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel

Charley Leviste Antonio Nancy Reyes-Lumen Jaja Andal Popit De Leon Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

Matabungkay Beach Hotel and Managing Director, Ms. Charley Leviste-Antonio, have invited celebrity chef and adobo queen, Nancy Reyes-Lumen, to spearhead the food festival. Chef Nancy has collaborated with true-blood Batangueños, Chef Jaja Andal and the executive chef of Matabungkay Beach Hotel, Chef Popit De Leon, to help her come up with a delectable spread of sweet and savory dishes that truly represent the rich culinary heritage of Batangas.

Beverages at Batangas Food Festival of Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

When we arrived at Matabungkay Beach Hotel for the media launch of the Batangas Food Festival, we were welcomed with a glass of cold Camote Tops Juice. The juice is light green in color at first, but once you squeezed in the juice of calamansi, an awesome chemical reaction takes place and the juice turns to purple. It’s such an amazing sight! Another non-alcoholic drink they’ve prepared was the super refreshing Kamias Smoothie. They also have two alcohol-infused drinks – the Dayap Pa More and Si Labuyo Eh. The Dayap Pa More is like a mojito but is citrus-based, while the highlight of the Si Labuyo Eh is the huge piece of chili that delivers a strong but irresistible kick of spice at every sip.

Pistang Pate for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

My favorite appetizer was the heart-shaped Pistang Pate with each stripe representing a different flavor: salted duck egg white pate, salted duck egg yolk pate, atsuete paprika pate, kalabasa pate, and malunggay pate.

Side Dishes for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

Another appetizer was the Suam Mushi, which was a Japanese-inspired custard dish with corn bits. They also had delicious side dishes like ligaw na ampalaya, pickled shallots, and kimchi tagalog. These are made with locally sourced ingredients, like the ligaw na ampalaya, a wild plant which you can find almost anywhere in Batangas.

Salad Bar at the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

They served three different salads: mixed greens, ampalaya salad, inihaw na pakbet salad, and steamed kalabasa leaves and flowers. The salad came with three dressing choices: creamy bagoong balayan, langka dressing, patis-kalamansi, and kamias dressing.

Pancit Batangas with Longganisa Balayan for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The Pancit Batangas with Longganiza Balayan is made with sotanghon noodles, flavored with atsuete and other seasonings, and then topped with the garlicky longganiza balayan.

Bagoong Rice for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

Of course, a Filipino meal will never be complete without rice. At the Batangas Food Festival, they are offering two rice dishes. One of it is their super flavor Binagoong Rice, topped with cut up egg omelet and crushed peanuts.

Paella Ala Eh for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The other rice dish is the Paella Ala Eh, which is a cross between the Spanish paella and the famous kaldereta of Batangas. This paella is so flavor that you can enjoy on its own.

Native Chicken Adobo in Barako Tablea for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

To make the Native Chicken Adobo, they braised the native chicken in a barako table broth then flaked the meat and cooked to a crisp. The barako tablea broth is ingeniously presented in a coffee cup.

Sinaing na Bangus Belly Seaking for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The Sinaing na Bangus Belly uses a traditional method of cooking where pieces of fish meat are stacked on top of each other inside a clay pot. They usually use tulingan fish, but for the Batangas Food Festival, they opted to swap it with bangus belly.

Rodrigo's Roast for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The star of the Batangas Food Festival definitely is the Rodrigo’s Roast. It’s a big slab of pork meat with perfect marbling, cooked in an adobo-based broth. It’s so good that I went in for another three or four servings.

Galapong Puti for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

Now onto the desserts! The Galapong Puti looks simple but it took hours of stirring and steaming to make them. But the income is totally worth it.

Bikong Batangas for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The same technique was used in creating the Bikong Batangas, but this dessert used whole rice grains instead of having them ground up.

Bibingkang Galapong Batangas for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

The Bibingkang Galapong Batangas is like bread pudding but a lot denser. It is also topped with hard, caramelized sugar that truly complements the bibingka’s flavor.

Suman ala Churros with Tablea Chocolate Dip for the Batangas Food Festival at Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian Batangas

My favorite dessert was definitely the Suman Churros con Tsokolate. They fried homemade suman and then served with them with sweet and bitter table chocolate.

 

Batangas Food Festival Package

For only PHP 4,300 net, two persons can already savor the best local dishes that Batangas can offer and enjoy and relax at the pristine beach resort of Matabungkay Beach Hotel.

Inclusions:

  • Deluxe room for 2
  • Breakfast for 2
  • Set BFF lunch or dinner for 2
  • Gift bag of Batangas food products

Batangas Food Festival Menu:

Salads (choice of 1)

Inihaw na pinakbet w/ creamy bagoong dressing

Talbos ng kalabasa w/ sesame seeds

Mixed greens w/ langka or kalamansi & patis dressing

Soup (choice of 1)

Bulalo Suam na mais

Cream of malunggay

Main (choice of 1)

Rodrigo’s Roast

Barakong Adobo

Kinamatisang Baka

Paella Ala Eh

Dessert

Suman churros con tsokolate

Leche flan w/ orange sauce

Saba flambe

This offer is valid from October 01 to December 31, 2016 only.

 

Matabungkay Beach Hotel

Barangay Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas, Philippines

Mobile Number: (63) 917-834-1269

Matabungkay Beach Hotel Office

LPL Towers, 112 Legazpi St., Legaspi Village 1200 Makati City, Philippines

Mobile: (63) 920-950-7032

Tel. Nos.: (02) 752-5252 / (02) 819-3080 / (02) 751-6683 to 85

For more information and updates, visit Matabungkay Beach Hotel’s official website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

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Kenneth is the chef in the family (he studied Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Art in GCHA). He's responsible for most of the more complicated recipes featured here, and loves preparing pastries and desserts. Aside from being a chef, he's also a Registered Nurse and Midwife. His love for cooking led him to pursue a culinary career.

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