Friday, March 8, 2019


I am reminded of Chef Chris Urbano of "Maputing Cooking " fame  and his thesis that long before the fusion that has been the trend lately,  the Philippines  was already in the center of an amalgamation of cuisines , being a melting pot of  different  cultures during the  Spanish Colonization period.

Indeed the Philippines being the center of trade  was unexpected recipient of  different food, ingredients and cooking method.

So naturally, that period in our history  is still evident to this day because of our iconic Pinoy dishes which actually evolved from the Chinese and Malay traders who visited our shores initially , down to the Spanish  who colonized us for more than 3 centuries, the Japanese who occupied  the country
for a few years and the Americans who "liberated' us from Japan.

It is not surprising therefore to find  parallelism between Filipino food and Latin food having been colonized by Spain for more than 300 years.

Is it fusion though or adaptation?

Media Launch
Waterside RestoBar
Latin-inspired Cuisine

Waterside Restobar   launched its new  Latin-inspired  menu today. Inspired by his spice-and-street-markets trip to Mexico last year, Chef Hylton created an exciting roster of new items  he would love for guests to try.

 I N S P I R A T I O N

Mexico is the hub for South American cuisine. This Chef Hylton found out  up close and personal during his trip there some  months back.  Peruvian, Brazilian, Cuban cuisine were at his fingertips as he  combed the markets for the much needed ingredients for his Latin inspired cuisine.

Once there, he realized how similar and familiar South American food was vis a vis the Pinoy food...


Ceviche P490
marinated king fish, avocado leche de tigre, sweet potato, cancha corn, pomelo

Fresh colors of green, red and yellow delighted. That was one beautiful plate bursting with sunshine.  It did not hurt that it tasted wonderful as well. That avocado leche de tigre provided just the right amount of acidity to bathe the king fish perfectly. Loved the crunch on the cancha corn aka unpopped pop corn  and the creaminess of the sweet potato.

'avocado leche de tigre is used by Peruvians to cook the fish..celery, garlic, ginger, blended fish stock, lime and avocado is the base for the avocado leche de tigre.' - Chef Hylton

Think our local kilawin but instead of calamansi for acidity, the Peruvian version uses avocade leche de tigre made out of lime for acidity.

Leche de tigre or tiger's milk , is the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in ceviche -

Tuna Tostada P330
soy orange  marinated tuna, salsa fresca, cilantro, chili, roasted peanuts

I quite enjoyed this one. I can probably finish at least 3 all by my lonesome. I loved the crunch of the tostada or biscuit as Chef Hylton called it.

Per Chef H, this dish has a Peruvian theme with Japanese, Chinese and Spanish influences. The cubed tuna sashimi style  is obviously from the Land of the Rising sun. Underneath the tuna is chipotle mayo which gives creaminess to the dish and a bit of a kick as well.

There is no other way to eat it than pop it all in your mouth and let all the flavors and textures burst from within.

Albondigas P380
Spanish style beef and pork meatballs, sofrito sauce, crispy potato, Manchego cheese

Albondigas or Almondigas locally is a familiar term which evokes images of   pork meatballs swimming in broth with misua and patola. Chef Hylton's Albondigas although with meatballs is not floating in any broth but instead coated with sofrito sauce and manchego cheese with lots of potatoes.


Sisig P320
Crispy pig mask, pickled cucumber, red onion, chicharon, coriander

Pork Carnitas P340
Crispy slow-cooked pork, grilled pineapple , pickled red onions, jalapeno

I have yet to incorporate grilled pineapple in my pork dishes. Perhaps I shall do so soon. I swear that pineapple became sweeter after grilling

3 sauces for the tacos
Salsa roja is a type of red sauce in Mexican cuisine tomatoes onions red chili coriander
Salsa Verde is a type of  spicy green sauce based on tomatillo and chili pepper.
Pico de Gallo  also called salsa fresca or salsa cruda is made from chopped onions and tomato, cilantro, serrano peppers, salt , pepper lime juice 

Beef Barbacoa P300
Citrus chili marinated beef, coriander, red onion

citrus lime & orange juice


Arroz con Mariscos P880
Peruvian seafood rice, scallops, shrimp, clams, aji amarillo cream, salsa criolla

Caldo de Res P900
Mexican style beef shank and tomato broth, cabbage, corn, carrots, garbanzo beans, 
ancho chili paste

Think bulalo with the marrow incorporated in the sauce. Because of the tomato broth ,  the dish can also be compared to  our local pochero

Pollo Guisado P920
Dominican chicken stew, sofrito sauce, green olives, piquillo pepper, saba chips

Think Afritada with plantains or saba. Chicken  parts were juicy and moist. It really does taste like our afritada except that it has fried saba chips. In that sense, it is also reminiscent of our local pochero.

" Latin sofrito sauce is made up of capsicum onion garlic blend it up... add  potatoes carrots" - Chef Hylton

Escabeche de Pescado P2,500
Fried whole snapper, escabeche sauce, grilled bok choy, cilantro, red onion, garlic chips

The sweet and sour component were perfectly balanced. Red snapper was cooked perfectly. Flesh was succulent and flaky

Cuban Style Suckling Pig Carnitas P2800
1/4 sous vide suckling pig, green mango salsa, mojo sauce, choice of two sides

Per Chef Hylton, he sought to incorporate the carnitas idea in lechon fashion. He relates that  this dish took 2 days to make. They put the suckling pig ina brine of salt, sugar and water then sous vide for 18 hours in very low temperature.

The result is tender slices of suckling pig that had a crunchy exterior.


Pumpkin Flan P200
Buko, fresh mango

Think leche flan with macapuno and fresh mango.

Mexican Bread Pudding P200
Rum raisins, vanilla ice cream,, condensed caramel sauce

Chocolate Coffee Cream Slice P225
Coconut crunch , fresh berries

My favorite among all desserts served, this one had a strong coffee taste which contrasted beautifully with the rich chocolate

Churros and Chocolate P200

Among the four desserts , my favorite would have to be  the coffee cream slice.  I loved how strong the taste of coffee was juxtaposed with the sweet chocolate and fruity berry. I shall order this again.

The churros, bread pudding and flan are familiar desserts that were delicious as well but were overshadowed by that mousse (y), caffeine-rich Chocolate Coffee Cream Slice

Chef Hylton Le Roux

  • originally from  South Africa
  • worked at Gordon Ramsay restaurants at London's Savoy Hotel ( 2 Michelin star),  Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (3 Michelin star) and The Fat Duck in Bray ( 3 Michelin star and the best restaurant in the world)
  • was head chef of many award winning gastro pubs and restos in London
  • moved to the Philippines  in 2009 with wife and two kids
  • became an instructor in one of the leading culinary schools in the metro
  • Have his own catering company
  • TV Chef Host of Market to Master which ran for 4 seasons


The word fusion  has become an ubiquitous word that can mean anything - mostly a new dish that is a combination of one or two other dishes negating the original dish.

In the case of our Spanish heritage and the Latin influences evident in our food,  I would say our cuisine  is more of an adaptation of what our ancestors have tasted before us and the ingredients available to them at the time, that evolved to what it is now currently.

That Chef Hylton had this epiphany this during his Mexican trip was a  testimony to his familiarity with Pinoy food and the fact that whether he is aware or not, he is probably becoming Filipino at heart , in palate and his choice of Latin-inspired cuisines.

His Ceviche and our Kilawin , Caldo de Res and  our bulalo, Pollo Guisado and our Afritada  , Pumpkin Flan and our leche flan, Escabeche and our Pinoy escabeche.... beloved and iconic Pinoy dishes all

If you want to experience  Chef  Hylton's take on our classic dishes using  authentic Latin ingredients, book a table now and be transported to that time when  the food Pinoys  ate was with Latin flavor for more than 300 years

Waterside is located  atht he ground floor of Solaire Resort & Casino Aseana Avenue Entertainment City Paranaque City

Waterside - Solaire Resort & Casino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment