At this time of the year, most of us take “dieting” to a pause and reward ourselves with decadent food. Christmas celebrations are everywhere! I’ve been to at least five events with different groups in two weeks, and the parties don’t stop until the first week of the New Year. Last Friday, we held our company Christmas get-together at Planet Grapes – Shangri-La. Food served buffet-style from a special menu were palatable, toothsome, and even more enticing with wine. We enjoyed merry-making and eating until we waved a white flag. Full and satisfied tummy = blissful surrender. 🙂
Company Christmas Party: A Sumptuous Feast at Planet Grapes (Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong)
When it comes to ambiance, Planet Grapes definitely knows how to push all the right buttons. With glamorous interior design, dim lighting, enomatic machines, and wine bottles displayed on the walls, this restaurant makes for the perfect balance of convenience and space for a party of 70-80 people.
Planet Grapes is a great go-to place for a la carte meals, but it can also be dressed up and host private special occasions. So whether heading in with a group of dining companions in search of a decent function room or just coupling up for a quiet, intimate lunch or dinner, you won’t need to look further. Street food meets wine at Planet Grapes, where wine lovers young and old can enjoy international wine with Filipino comfort food.
Food Rundown: Street Food Meets Wine
In my book, Paella is a party dish, the kind of endeavor you’d only undertake if you plan on feeding at least 10, if not 20 people. Planet Grapes’ Seafood Paella worked as a great comfort food, elegant and down-to-earth all at once. With the top layer of rice nice and crisp like those of big Spanish paella pans, the result was a hot and hearty meal, full of shrimps, slices of green and red peppers, and eggs. The best part? The rice soaked up all the flavor of the saffron, so even without the feisty ingredients, taste was spot on.
Porchetta was as delicious as it looked, and we’re glad it’s available in Planet Grapes’ Christmas Package. How can you go wrong with succulent pork with tender, juicy, well-seasoned meat and crunchy skin? The impressiveness of this monster roast makes it a “can’t-miss dish” for the holiday table, but it’s so good that’ll you’ll want to eat it all year. Yum!
Beautifully moist and evenly cooked, the Chicken Barbecue hit the right sweet, tangy, fruity, and spicy notes a barbecue sauce should. With an intoxicating smoky-sweet aroma, it was meaty, flavorful, and not too saucy. Love it!
Steamed meatloaf prepared the Filipino way, the Pork Embutido had a slight pâté-liver-like smokiness from the ground meat combined with the sweetness of the raisins and the bits of veggies stuffed in it. It’s another Pinoy celebration staple that’s simple and homey.
Buttered garlic shrimps were cooked with garlic and butter—two of the greatest pleasures in life, also the two ingredients I could probably live off of for the rest of my life. 😛 Every last juicy bite of the shrimp was completely worth devouring and cheating your diet for. Some of us kept returning to the buffet table to get more of these!
A bowl of Tinolang Manok was particularly warm, wholesome, and soothing. It’s chicken soup made with bone-chicken, wedges of green papaya, and ginger-flavored broth. If you’re wondering how’s tinolang Manok with wine? I thought it’s fantastic. At Planet Grapes, you can be adventurous and try to mix and match the pairing of food and wine or ask the staff for the best recommendation. A sip of white wine provided a welcome note of freshness and contrast, almost like a squeeze of lemon or an extra layer of flavor. Usually, the saltier the broth, the better high-acid wines tend to taste.
Hugel 2013 Alsatian Riesling came with a bouquet of green apple, peach, lime, almond, and a plush mouthfeel with the usual lashings of acidity.
For desserts, we had Suman with Latik (Coconut Caramel Sauce) and Chocolate Balls and Leche Flan (Sweet Egg Custard). Both were heavenly luscious! It’s really hard to choose one over the other. These are the kinds of treats that make me close my eyes for a moment while solely appreciating the taste and texture of food with a smile on my face. Thank you, Planet Grapes. #foodporn #foodcoma 🙂 Happy holidays, everyone!