HK’s Cantonese cuisine in FeriaBy Aissa dela Cruz
Cebu Daily News
RADISSON Blu Hotel Cebu’s Feria is probably the biggest coffee shop in Cebu City that sits 240 persons and serves a variety of international cuisines in several interactive stations. And true to the meaning of Feria, Roman for “Feast Day,” dining is festive with good food to feast on. Rica Reyes Rellon, the new Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu Marketing and Communications Director, has an extraordinary flair for handling media personalities. With my frequent trips to and from New York, she somehow manages to see me before I fly out and shakes off my jet lag when I arrive. With her credentials—Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from UP Diliman and Science Management from UP College Cebu and as One of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippine–Region 7 in 2008, not to mention her extensive work experience in advertising and hotels, Rica together with the rest of the Radisson Blu team is out to color the hospitality industry with the shade of blue.
A few days after I arrived from New York, I found myself at Feria with Rica having a taste of exquisite Cantonese cuisine prepared by Hong Kong Chinese Chef Peter Yeung who is ably assisted by Dimsum Chef Eric Zeng. Lively Chef Peter who recently joined Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu can speak both English and Tagalog. He has been working in Manila for 16 years and his last posting was at Sofitel Philippine Plaza. He was born and raised in Hong Kong where he mastered Cantonese cookery. Rica says pampering the discerning market through Cantonese cuisine is one of the marketing thrusts of the hotel.
With Chefs Peter and Eric, the Cantonese menu at Feria has been spruced up and the banquet now offers Chinese lauriat for celebrations. And for an added treat, Dim Sum spread will be featured every Saturday lunch in the Feria Pavilion as a part of the international buffet layout.
Cantonese cuisine is the most popular Chinese cooking style worldwide. Steaming, roasting, stir-frying are preferred cooking methods that retain natural flavors of ingredients. Dim Sum, which means “touch the heart,” is everyone’s favorite. Chef Peter prepared a platter of Chiu Chow Style Dumpling, spring roll and carrot dumpling, which we relished with gusto. Chiu Chow style dumpling has peanuts, garlic, chives, pork, dried shrimp and mushrooms wrapped in glutinous rice wrapper. A plate of Soy Chicken and White Chicken followed this. Just like in Feria, these ubiquitous chickens are seen hanging in the glass counters of Cantonese restaurants together with roast duck and char siu (barbecued pork). The poaching and steeping technique of cooking the white chicken leaves the meat succulent with a silky texture. Chef Peter adds that the chicken must be well selected with a nice layer of fat underneath the skin. I love eating white chicken with ginger sauce (minced ginger with scallions in peanut oil). The Soy Chicken was just as good as well as the Roast Duck served with Honey Plum Sauce. Chef Peter also plated Char Kway Siew Noodles—thick flat rice noodles stir fried in soy sauce with meat, soy bean sprouts and scallions. The Chinese station offers a host of dishes from soups to noodles, seafood, meat and vegetable prepared the Cantonese way by Chefs Peter and Eric.
And to further satisfy the Chinese food cravings, Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu is having a Chinese Food Promotion at Feria on Sept. 13 to 22, where two Chinese guest chefs, John Wen and Zhuo Lu Shi, are being flown from Pudong, China to create more exciting dishes.