Saturday, March 7, 2020

A Gastronomic Journey into Canada's 4 Seasons Awaits at Sage Bespoke Grill

Embark on an exciting  gastronomic sojourn into Canada's food and wine sans the requisite boarding pass , at Sage Bespoke Grill at Makati Shangrila Manila until  March 28.

In  collaboration with  Canada Beef International Institute and the Canadian Embassy, Sage Bespoke Grill provides a foretaste if you will of  Canadian cuisine first hand especially for most of us who have yet to travel  to the Great White North .

"The second largest country in the world places the star  of the dinner in a perfect scene - cattle running free across vast landscapes, fit with Canada's climate, pasture and praire ecosystems. The institute believes that keeping cattle on the grass helped shape a healthy environment which in turn makes great beef..."

Jon Michael M. Oleo, Communications Executive for Makati Shangri-la introduces Argentinian Chef de Cuisine  Sebastian Barcudes


'This consomme or clear soup is inspired by the dishes Canadian locals make each spring as a restorative food from a long, cold and dark winter using the first vegetables to appear in their gardens...'

The menu begins with Spring - Le Bouilli de Grand Maman or Canadian Beef Consomme with young vegetables, truffle celestine paired with Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot VQA 2013. Before it was served though , we had a taste of two kinds of freshly baked bread to whet our appetite for the feast ahead.

You know how I love freshly baked bread right? It is safe to say that I was in bread heaven   the first few minutes. I had to exert a modicum of control on my craving though so as to leave room for the first course

The clear soup or consomme is the perfect way to start a meal. Light yet with full bodied flavor, it teases the palate for the best that is yet to come.

The Pillitteri Cabernet Merlot  complemented the soup quite nicely with its  smooth and elegant finish


'To fuel their body, Canadians turn to carb-rich satisfying dishes to fuel their outdoor activities during summer. The use of beans, squash and corn also known as the Three Sisters is highly associated with summer as they are often grown and harvested together.'

What follows next was Reef and Range on The Three Summer Sisters or Confit Canadian Spot Prawn, Beef Cheeks Tortellini with beans , squash and corn. The dish was paired with Pillitteri VQA Gewurztraminer Riesling 2017

The three sisters  on the dish actually refer to bean-squash-corn combo which apparently is associated with summer as they are grown and harvested together. Chef Sebastian instructed us to eat the beef cheek  tortellini  first together with the three sisters followed by the Canadian Spot Prawn.

Hat-like-shaped pasta filled with the Beef Cheek  although small was surprisingly filling. The three sisters went amazingly well with the aldente stuffed pasta. The sweet and fruity Riesling married perfectly with the surf-and-turf like Summer offering.

The Canadian Spot Prawn teased and beckoned with its vivid orange hue. The scale was removed  before serving leaving its succulent flesh bare, ready to be enjoyed.  I savored  the prawn slowly, enjoying each bite of the sweet flesh. The prawn's head was a delight too filled with complex flavors of the sea. It would be a crime to leave it on the plate untouched.


Fall marks the cold weather and hunting season in Canada. As frosty ice crystals begin to form overnight on the long summer grass, locals traditionally start storing preserved meats, fruits and vegetables. This is also a great time to enjoy barbecue cooked cover charcoal with salt-enriched sauces paired with Brassicas such as cauliflower

Thoroughly enjoyed eating Beef Chucks 2 Ways. I was  more inclined to choose  the grilled steak though. There is something about enjoying  the meat as it is without any sauce to distract from its natural flavor. Tried dipping it in  ground mustard too and   found to my delight a surprise  scrumptious alternative to eating the beef chucks au naturelle so to speak

To be fair the braised option was delicious as well. Amazing how the meat is almost melt -in-your-mouth.

Just when I thought we were moving on to the dessert, Wood Grilled Prime Ribeye was served. Yes the FALL course had 3 steaks in the menu!

Buttery, juicy, meaty and sinful,  I suddenly  contracted amnesia and totally forgot my resolve  to eat  just a mouthful and share the rest to my friends.

To think that I just demolished Beef Chucks 2 Ways some 10 minutes ago. I would have to blame it on the Pillitteri Riserva Cabernet Franc Appassimento VQA 2012 which paired quite beautifully with the gorgeous Canadian steak

The “Riserva Famiglia” title is only given to wines produced in the best vintage years which have passed a rigorous tasting panel. Made in the traditional appassimento style, vine dried for 4 weeks past traditional harvest dates and then rack dried in a single layer for 26 days. Dried in an ambient environment with forced air circulation to allow the fruit to slowly dry. Small batch fermented and aged in french oak for 2 years.
Cabernet Franc is one of Niagara’s signature grape varieties and this wine is an excellent example of how it can be made into a complex, and age-worthy wine. The palate and nose follow each other with sweet tobacco, ripe cherry, black plum, black licorice, fresh berry fruit and spice. The same fruit flavours follow on the palate with the added complexity and elegance from notes of vanilla bean, mocha, forest floor and raspberry. Silky tannins brought about through maturation in new French oak barrels round out the palate beautifully onto the long finish - Pillitteri Estates Winery


For the piece de resistance,  Chef de Cuisine Sebastian served us this simple looking  Pumpkin Spice Sticky Toffee Pudding served with dark beer sorbet with dried fruits and nuts .

I loved how moist and sticky sweet the pudding was. The dark beer sorbet was the perfect 'chaser'  jolting the palate back to earth with its bitterness. 

A sip of the Pillitteri Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine VQA 2013  however reawakened  the taste buds with its fruity and  crisp sweetness so a hint of bitterness is called for anew 

Of course with the bitterness comes the craving for something saccharine  ,so my dessert fork reached for the pudding again . Thus went a vicious cycle of sweet-bitter-sweet or pudding-dark beer sorbet- dessertwine-pudding which found me wiping out my plate in  no time haha. 

Overall, with the excellent beef, seafood, produce  and wine from Canada interwoven with the  creativity and passion of highly acclaimed Chef de Cuisine Sebastian Barcudes ,  the dinner was a resounding success... a foodgasmic adventure that only whetted the appetite for more Canadian gastronomic pursuits

with Argentian Chef de Cuisine Sebastian Barcudes

Canada's 4 Seasons will be available at Sage Bespoke Grill until the 28th of March 2020.  The well curated 5 course menu is P3,500+ per person.  Wine Pairing  is also available for an additional fee.

For inquiries and reservations, please call 02 8814 2580 or email For updates, follow Makati Shangri-la Manila on Facebook, Twitter and IG @MakatiShangriLa

Sage Bespoke Grill is located at the 2nd Floor of Makati Shangrila Manila along Makati Avenue Makati City

Sage Bespoke Grill - Makati Shangri-La, Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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