Café Ilang Ilang is a well-known restaurant located within the historic Manila Hotel. The restaurant has a rich history and is renowned for offering a wide array of international cuisines in a luxurious and elegant setting.
The Manila Hotel, where Café Ilang Ilang is situated, is one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels in the Philippines. It was completed in 1912 and has since played a significant role in the country’s history, hosting numerous important events, dignitaries, and celebrities.
Café Ilang Ilang is recognized for its opulent buffet offerings, serving dishes from various culinary traditions and cultures. The name “Ilang Ilang” is derived from the Ylang-ylang flower, which is native to the Philippines and is known for its sweet and exotic fragrance.
The restaurant provides a lavish dining experience, featuring different themed stations where guests can indulge in a diverse range of cuisines, including Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian, and more. The ambiance and décor of Café Ilang Ilang often reflect the elegance and historical charm of the Manila Hotel.
Café Ilang Ilang recently featured a thematic addition to its cuisines -Anilag!
“Anilag” typically refers to the “Anilag Festival,” which is an annual event celebrated in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The term “Anilag” is a portmanteau of two words: “Ani,” which means “harvest,” and “Laguna,” which is the name of the province.
The Anilag Festival is a week-long celebration that showcases the agricultural and cultural heritage of Laguna. It highlights the province’s abundance in terms of agricultural products, arts, crafts, and various forms of local talents. The festival includes a variety of activities and events such as:
- Trade Fairs: Local products, agricultural produce, handicrafts, and other items are displayed and sold in trade fairs, allowing both residents and visitors to appreciate and purchase Laguna’s finest offerings.
- Street Dancing and Parades: Colorful street dancing performances and grand parades are held, featuring participants in vibrant costumes depicting local culture and traditions.
- Cultural Shows: Performances that showcase traditional dances, music, and theatrical productions provide insight into Laguna’s rich cultural heritage.
- Agro-Industrial Fair: An exhibit of agricultural and industrial products highlights the province’s economic contributions and advancements.
- Culinary Competitions: Contests featuring local delicacies and culinary creations give attendees a taste of Laguna’s diverse cuisine.
- Beauty Pageants: Beauty pageants are often held to crown the “Mutya ng Laguna” (Muse of Laguna), who becomes an ambassador for the province.
- Livestock and Horticultural Competitions: Competitions involving livestock and horticultural displays showcase the agricultural expertise of the province’s residents.
FLAVORS OF WESTERN VISAYAS
This month of August, Café Ilang Ilang will be featuring the flavors of Western Visayas.
Western Visayas, also known as Region VI, is a region in the Philippines located in the central part of the country. The region consists of several provinces, including Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental. The flavors of Western Visayas are deeply influenced by its geography, history, and cultural heritage. The region is known for its rich culinary traditions, which feature a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and other Asian influences. Here are some of the flavors and characteristics that you might find in the cuisine of Western Visayas:
- Seafood Delights: Given its coastal location, seafood plays a significant role in the cuisine of Western Visayas. Fresh catches from the sea are often featured in dishes such as kinilaw (a type of ceviche), grilled fish, and various seafood stews.
- Ilonggo Cuisine: Iloilo, a province in Western Visayas, is particularly known for its unique dishes. La Paz Batchoy, a noodle soup made with pork, innards, and egg, is a beloved local favorite. Pancit Molo, a dumpling soup, is another iconic dish from the region.
- Chicken Inasal: A favorite throughout the region and the entire country, Chicken Inasal is a flavorful grilled chicken dish marinated in a mixture of vinegar, annatto, lemongrass, and other spices. It’s often served with rice and a dipping sauce.
- Native Delicacies: Western Visayas is also known for its various native delicacies, including biko (sweet sticky rice), piaya (sweet filled flatbread), and barquillos (rolled wafer cookies). These treats often make use of local ingredients like coconut, rice, and sugar.
- Guimaras Mangoes: Guimaras, an island province in Western Visayas, is famous for its sweet and succulent mangoes. These mangoes are considered some of the best in the world and are often enjoyed fresh or used in various dishes and desserts.
- Spanish Influences: Like much of the Philippines, Western Visayas has been influenced by Spanish colonial rule. This is reflected in dishes such as paella, which has a local twist and incorporates regional ingredients.
- Ilonggo Lechon: Lechon, a roasted whole pig, is a staple in Filipino celebrations. In Western Visayas, Ilonggo-style lechon is popular, known for its distinct flavors and cooking techniques.
- Spices and Seasonings: Western Visayas cuisine makes use of various spices and seasonings, including native herbs like lemongrass, ginger, and turmeric, which contribute to the unique and flavorful profile of the dishes.
Experience the “Flavors of Western VIsayas” at Café Ilang-Ilang until August 31. For inquiries and reservations, call +632 8527 0011 or +632 5301 5500, or email [email protected].
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