Monday, January 2, 2017

Planet Grapes: Celebrate the Holiday Season With a Yuletide Feast

Planet Grapes, as the name suggests, is a cozy wine bar that celebrates good food paired with an selection of carefully curated wine from premium vineyards around the world. That might make Planet Grapes sound like a place only wine snobs would visit, but believe me when I say that's totally not the case. The restaurant takes pride in welcoming wine lovers regardless of familiarity - they don't judge how you like to drink your wine. 

Of course, Planet Grapes would be more than happy to recommend classic wine pairings - such as a Porchetta and a light red wine (i.e. Intrepid Awatere Valley Pinot Nior) - if you ask them for suggestions. But if you'd like to pair everything with a sweet glass of white wine you should comfortable do so. 

We were fortunate enough to sample their exquisite 2016 Holiday Menu that is available for pre-order (at least 2 days in advance) until the end of January 2017. It's 100% customizable and ranges from Php 1,200 to Php 1,800 per head. This is one holiday treat that will really get your tastebuds going. 

The Classic Chicharon is a Filipino favorite and pairs really well with white wine. It doesn't have a lot of fat so it's perfect for a light snack while waiting for the mains to be served. I admit I'm a chicharon lover and I had to take it a few chairs away to stop myself from finishing it off myself because dinner was only just starting! 

The Potato Chips with Truffle is a Planet Grapes favorite and it's not difficult to see why. These delicious potato chips start drawing you in with the lovely scent of truffle and once you take your first bite, you'll find it very hard to stop. It's crisp, nicely salted, with the delicate taste of truffle in each bite. 

It's best paired with a nice white wine, such as a Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc and it's one starter I highly recommend.

If you're into something a bit more spicy, then the Longganisa Paella will definitely get your palate going. It's topped with a generous amount of longganisa, eggs, and some vegetables while a gentle squeeze of lemon juice helps give it a nice zing that cuts through some of that spice. Another perfect way to cut through this flavor-packed dish is to pair it with a lovely light red wine. 

The Paella Negra is perfect for the seafood lovers among you. It's a hearty, flavorful dish with a very strong seafood flavor topped with a generous amount of squid and slices of lemon (I personally wouldn't add lemon, but to each his/her own). I have always loved seafood so the Paella Negra is a winner for me.

I found the Roasted Sous Vide Chicken cooked to perfection, with the meat still very moist. It's difficult to come up with really impressive roast chicken so I found Planet Grapes' version to be good, but nothing spectacular. With all the flavorful dishes I shared so far I found it to be a nice breather to the palate as a compliment to either Paella. Again, it's beautifully paired with a glass of white wine. 

If you could put holiday indulgence on a plate, the Porchetta from Planet Grapes' would be it. This dish features beautifully cooked pork that's still a bit pinkish with a moist layer of fat and perfectly crispy crackling. At one point, I can hear a fellow foodie enjoying the crunch of the crackling a few feet away on other side of the table!

A lovely glass of red wine helps cut through the fat of the Porchetta in every bite. Without it, the amount of flavor and indulgence packed in this delicious dish would be a bit too much. This is one dish I strongly recommend. 

Planet Grapes' version of Banana Turon, in my humble opinion, was the dish of the night. It's the classic Filipino turon made better, with a beautifully crisp phyllo with a banana and ube filling that's served with a generous amount of warm langka (jackfruit) sauce. It's a beautiful blend of flavors and I highly recommend you have a taste. 

This dessert alone can take me back to Planet Grapes' at any moment. It's perfect with a glass of sweet, fruity Reisling. 

Food Quality: 4.5
Service Quality: -
Ambiance: 4.5

Overall Quality: 4.5

Planet Grapes' sumptuous Holiday Feast is a great way to cap off 2016 and celebrate a fresh new year with your family, friends, or colleagues - with good food paired with amazing wine. I hope that delicious Porchetta or the heavenly turon will be made available all-year round. I can't wait to be back!

Kindly check out Planet Grapes' website for contact details to pre-order their special holiday dishes. It takes at least 2 days for them to prepare your order (so that your celebration is nothing less than perfect) so make sure to call ahead. 

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Chef Jay

Planet Grapes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. The author did not pay for any of the dishes mentioned in this article. This, however, does not impair the unbiased opinion of the reviewer. 

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