Sunday, October 7, 2012

Food Tasting: Hizon's at La Castellana

Hizon's held a grand food tasting event today at La Castellana in Intramuros. They had other similar events in other venues but I did not attend those because these locations were of no interest to me. But when I read the invitation and saw it will be held in La Castellana, I registered right away. 

The H2B and I like La Castellana but we felt that it was too pricey for 75k for 4 hours. Plus the fact that they have a 20% catering fee and requires that your outside caterer charge you no less than 500 pesos per head. So thinking we can get a good deal if it was packaged with Hizon's, an accredited caterer, I signed up for the event.

Since the H2B is based abroad, I invited his parents along instead. We had to pay for the additional charge of 600 pesos since the food tasting was only good for 2 heads.

When we arrived, we had to look for our AE, she was nowhere to be found at first. Aren't AEs supposed to be at the registration table so they are easily available? It was not a very good start. 

We were seated by a food attendant and after a few minutes the AE approached our table. She introduced herself and gave me a scoring sheet for the dishes. She went on and explained the packages being offered and also the menu for the day. After a few more minutes, the appetizer was served.

Crisp beef ssam fresh spring roll, smoked tanigue with mango and tarragon
salsa, caramelized onion and cheese canape, tomatoes and mozarella bruschetta

Among the four items here, my favorite was the caramelized onion and cheese canape. It was good I didn't even realize I was eating onions until I read the menu!

Next, we were served two kinds of soup. Truffle three mushroom soup and cream of pumpkin soup.

The pumpkin soup reminded me of baby food: Gerber! I did not like the truffle three mushroom soup too much, I felt the mushroom taste was overpowering. Errrr... Yeah, I know, mushroom soup, right.

Next to be served were the salads. There was the Asian Salad with Wanton Crisps and Mediterranean Salad with Candied Walnuts, Parmesan Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatos served with Balsamic Vinaigrette. I was not a fan of these salads, I guess I am more of a Wendy's salad girl and not the gourmet type.

We noticed that once the salads were served, the AEs returned to the tables of their guests. But ours was, yet again, missing. I asked one of the food attendants if we should just proceed and get food from the buffet and he said yes. So off we went to the buffet table.

There were servers dishing out the food on plates. And here is what they placed on mine: 

Slow Roasted US Beef served with Garlic and Mushroom Gravy, and Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce 
Thrice-cooked Crispy Pork Belly with Mango Cilantro Salsa
Beef Teppanyaki with Sauteed Asian Vegetables
Pork Back Ribs
Baked Fish with Spinach
Stir-Fry Chicken Sambal
Roast Pork with Apple Raisin Sauce
Korean Pork with Stir Fry Vegetable
Shrimp Tempura
Penne Puttanesca
Fettuccine with Seafood Cream

I have highlighted my favorites in this selection. I especially liked the chicken sambal, I am sure the H2B will love it too. It was chilly but sweet at the same time. The pork back ribs was too bitter, the Korean pork meat was rubbery, the puttanesca was bland, the mango silantro salsa was bitter too. Overall, I was not impressed with what Hizon's served for their main entree.

By this time, the AE went back to our table to check how the food was. The FMIL said it was okay, apparently she was satisfied with what was placed on her plate. The FFIL was less so. 

The dessert was then served, I got all excited by just looking at it! But then I realized it was  not per person but for all of us already. *Tsk, tsk*

Vanilla Creme Brulee, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cupcake, 
Strawberry Daquiri, Cookies and Milk, Sunken Island

The FFIL loved the Flourless Chocolate Cake, the FMIL loved the Cookies and Milk, and I loved the Vanilla Cream Brulee. Ah, finally, something perfect from Hizon's Menu today.

While waiting for the La Castellana AE (different from the Hizon's AE) to give us a tour, I walked around the place and took some pictures.

The venue has an L-shape. We were seated at the other end of the "L" and the far end is actually the corner of the "L" shape where the couple's couch is normally placed so everyone can see them.

I am a sucker for chandeliers and I love La Castellana's set right here. Vintage yet modern. In short, I just like it. *LOL*

The FMIL and I just loved our table centerpiece, it's quite simple but really cute. I love the kind of flowers they used and the small bucket added to the chicness of the centerpiece.

Here's a sample set up for the presidential table. As per the Hizon's AE, the VIPs get to lounge on these cool ghost chairs. 

Here is another sample set up, this time in yellow. The centerpiece is different for this kind of set up.

Here is a sample set up of the couple's seat and back drop. I asked the AE and was told this can be customized according to the theme. I wonder if they can make me the design that I want...

The dessert buffet was for display only since our dessert was already served to us. 

We were not able to try this anymore because we were already so full! Too bad!

Well, that concludes my Hizon's at La Castellana review, their set up was alright. The styling, I think is enough, since the venue requires minimum styling anyway. I will post a different entry for my review of La Castellana itself in a bit. 

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