SEAFOOD lovers, rejoice! Ongoing at New World Makati Hotel until May 20, 2016, is a Norwegian food promotion called A Taste of Norway. The culinary voyage to the North sets sail with Executive Chef Robert Davis and guest Norwegian chef Markus Dybwad heading the kitchen team, bringing Norway’s freshest and finest seafood to the tables via the lunch and dinner buffets at Café 1228.
Chef Markus, a native of Norway who has visited the Philippines on several occasions, gives local diners a taste of Norwegian cuisine, whose cornerstone is cold water seafood, such as salmon, haddock, herring, snow crabs and king crabs, during the three-week food festival.
These cold water seafood varieties, which were imported from Norway for this food promotion, are present in different stations of Café 1228’s buffet spread.
For appetizers, Chef Markus offers Salmon Gravlax or Cured Salmon with Dill, Citrus and Coriander Seeds; Salmon Gravlax with Juniper Berries, Black Pepper and Star Anise; Sweet Curry Herring; and Herring in Tomato Sauce. These can be enjoyed on their own or topped on thin slices of toasted bread or crackers to make excellent canapes.
He also serves Charred Mackerel, Cucumber and Ponzu Vinaigrette, which is made up of slices of very fresh mackerel that have been roasted, served with very thin slices of cucumber with a generous helping of Ponzu vinaigrette dressing. You can taste the freshness of the mackerel fish on the palate, with the cucumber slices adding another dimension of flavor with the very Asian vinaigrette.
Over at the salad station of Café 1228, there’s Salad of Smoked Haddock, which combines the natural sweetness of apples, the sour taste of sour cream, and the nutty flavor and texture of almonds with the smokiness of the fish.
Also a must-try is the Haddock in Beer Batter, which is bite-sized pieces of fish fillet dipped in beer batter and deep-fried in hot oil to a golden crisp. Another is Smoked Haddock with Potatoes and Egg Yolk.
What’s unique with the Norwegian spread is the Snow Crab with Egg Yolk. Snow crabs are a new phenomenon in Norway, but they have become so plentiful in the Northern European country that locals now enjoy it as much and as often as they do king crabs. Snow Crab with Egg Yolk is snow crabs cut open and steamed in sea salt.
In A Taste of Norway, diners also get to savor Grilled King Crab with Lemon and Parsley, a simple preparation that brings out the natural flavors of the King Crab.
Speaking of parsley, Norway has such a huge supply of parsley that Chef Markus has made Parsley Granita to cleanse the palate with and get it ready for more food.
But though Norway is best known for its seafood, it also boasts of a wide selection of delectable desserts, such as Kvaefjordkake, a sponge cake with meringue topping, cream filling and almond slices sprinkled all over. This is a cake that Norwegians often serve on special occasions and celebrations. If you cannot pronounce its name, just call it Vanilla Meringue Custard Cake, which is what the label at the buffet spread says it is.
Other special desserts from Norway to try are Marzipan Cake and Raspberry Jelly with White Choco Mousse Fueillentine.
A Taste of Norway is held by New World Makati Hotel in partnership with Snorre Food, one of the leading suppliers of premium cold water seafood from the Northern and Southern hemisphere.
(New World Makati Hotel is located at Esperanza St. corner Makati Ave., Ayala Center, Makati City; with telephone number 811-6888.)