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Philippines Dinner

Manila, September 6, 2014

Bailliage of Manila’s Moon Festival celebration

The Chinese Mid-autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, is one of two most important among the Chinese. The other is the lunar New Year which typically falls in late January or early February.

The celebrations take place when the moon is at its fullest, that is, on the 15th day of eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. On a cloudless night, the mid-autumn moon looms large and dominates the night sky.



This year, 2014, mid-autumn fell on September 8th, a Monday. Amongst traditional activities are outdoor tea parties where moon cakes are shared and moon gazing takes place. Sumptuous Lauriat1 dinners have a frisson of risk by the playing of a dice game that offers prizes of moon cakes or pastries filled with mung beans or lotus seed paste which have gained wide popularity among Chinese families.



Hence it was the perfect opportunity for a Chaîne event which the Bailliage of Manila chose to be a traditional sumptuous Lauriat banquet at the Shangri-la Makati Hotel’s Shang Palace. Needless to say all the best ingredients were present to satiate the members’ passion for good food, fine wines and convivial company.

Fusion canapés with free-flowing Champagne Lhuillier Brut and Champagne Piper Heidsieck set the celebrations in motion in the Sage Bar.



The Shang’s Chef Paul Lenz designed an eight-course feast that broke convention, not by saving the best for last, but by setting it off with the best: a suckling pig roasted whole! Chef Paul’s feast received high praise.

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Roasted whole suckling pig

Steamed crab claw with Chinese wine and egg white

Fried fish and seafood pumpkin soup

Duo of prawns and wok-fried scallops with pine nuts and dried scallops

Braised sliced abalone with sea cucumber and garden greens in oyster sauce



Shang Place whole roasted duck

Fried rice with Chinese sausage, dried shrimps
diced mushrooms and salted egg in lotus leaves

Purple yam with sago
Strawberry and green tea snow skin moon cake


WINES
Corte Delle Calli Gran Cuvée Spumante Bianco, Veneto, Italy
A.Barr Gewurztraminer 2009, Alsace, France
Moillard Grivot Moulin-a-Vent 2012, Beaujolais, France



The dining room was decorated with calligraphy of the famous poem on Li Bai. However the surprise of the evening was an offering of ‘food for the soul’.

There was a poetry reading by Bailli of Manila Federico Borromeo and Dame de la Chaîne Dellie Yap of the most famous Chinese poem dedicated to the occasion. Beautiful opera renditions were also offered in celebration of the moon: ‘Song to the Moon’ from Russalka, ‘Dolce Suono’ from Lucia di Lamermoor, ‘Ye Liang Thai Piau Wo Te Sin’ (the moon represents my heart) in Mandarin Chinese, and ‘Shanghai Tan’ in Cantonese. The offerings ended with a moonlight serenade with violin accompaniment.



Special thanks are very much due to Vice-Chargé de Presse Eduardo Yap, Vice-Échanson Arnie Del Rosario and Vice-Chargé de Missions Jay Labrador for organizing the event. It was made ever more memorable by the presence of Bailli Délégué Michel Lhuillier and his charming wife, Amparito Lhuillier, Bailli of Cebu. Amparito was wearing a stunning Chinese inspired gown appropriate for the occasion.

We wish you had all been there to share the evening with us!

Federico Borromeo, Bailli


1 Chinese Lauriat was derived from Fookien (Minnan) dialect, Lao-Diat or ‘Re-Nao’ in Mandarin, which means special occasion or banquet among the Filipino-Chinese community. The banquet, which lasts for several hours, consists of approximately ten courses from exotic starters to shark's fin soup, to noodles and desserts.


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