Last June, the Australian Embassy launched its Australian Grassfed on the Menu campaign. They partnered with several restaurants in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao to create special beef dishes that would only be available for the two-month period of the promotion. And it will end on Aug. 30.
What’s so special about these dishes?
Well, for one, they use only high-grade Australian grassfed beef, which is said to be “healthier” than other cattle meat. Ninety-seven percent of Australian cattle are grown, free range. This means that cows freely graze on fields and mainly eat grass. Some Australian farms even allot one hectare per cow.
This type of beef is not actually new to the Philippines because it holds the lion share of beef imports to the country. According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), 40 percent of all imported beef are from Australia. These products mainly go to fast food chains, hotels, and restaurants.
The promo, however, would like to highlight the beef at its best form, serving it like what Filipinos are used to when it comes to premium meat. While most of us are likely to eat more Australian beef than others, it doesn’t have the same brand recall like USDA Prime or Japanese Wagyu.
The Aussie embassy started this promo two years ago. They held special food trails for the media to try out the different dishes. I attended the first one, which is probably the best food crawl I have ever participated in. Because you know, beef. Fast forward to 2017 to another food trail.
They held the food trail for more than a week, covering participating restaurants in Metro Manila. I attended the last trail that listed five restaurants—Dean & Deluca, 22 Prime, Papa Didi’s, Chef Jessie Grill, and Epicurious. It’s basically eating beef from morning to sundown. I mean, best day ever, right?
Like a food crawl veteran (LOL), I was able to power through the whole day of eating beef. I’ve learned how to pace myself and my limits. Like what we usually do at buffet restaurants. And I must say—again—that it was another amazing food crawl.
Here are the five restaurants and the dishes to try:
DEAN & DELUCA, Rockwell, Makati City
Roast Beef Marmalade (Sweet, pulled pork-like shredded roasted beef on crunchy crostini topped with pickles.)
Braised Beef Ragu (Slow cooked beef shank ragu ala Milanese with papardelle pasta and tendon puff. Very hearty!)
Ribe Eye Steak (Cooked to your liking, of course, but topped with flaky sea salt, bone marrow butterm and served with tabbouleh salad to balance things out.)
Roasted Beef Short Ribs (Super tender roasted beef short ribs served with red rice, green shallot kimchi, and jalapeño puree.)
Natural Beef Hash (Heirloom potatoes, bell peppers, onion, topped with two poached eggs, slowly braised beef chunks, chopped tomato, basil pesto, and Parmesan cheese.)
22 PRIME, Discovery Suites, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Steak and Tomato Salad (Grilled sake marinated skirt steak with heirloom tomatoes, basil, feta cheese, and extra virgin olive oil. My kind of salad.)
Oven Braised Short Ribs (Another super tender slow cooked boneless short ribs with seaweed potato purée and wilted garlic spinach)
Sous Vide Striploin (Served with roasted potatoes, mushroom ragout, asparagus, and sambal hollandaise sauce)
PAPA DIDDI’S, Sapphire Bloc, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Pancit Batil Patung (Fresh linguini noodles cooked in beef stock then topped with poached egg, cabbage, onions, and carrots, served with extra stoup, fresh onions, chili, and soy sauce on the side)
Papa Diddi’s Fusion Burger (Beef patty with banana blossom patty, pineapple ring, sunny side up egg, pickles, lettuce, kesong puti, and honey mustard sauce with your choice of ube, malunggay, or pandan bun)
CHEF JESSIE GRILL, The Grove by Rockwell, Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City
Oyster Blade Steak (Cooked in a charcoal grill oven, it is served in mustard sauce with mesclun greens and french fries on the side)
Striploin Steak (Served with grilled leeks, potatoes, and gravy)
Slow Roast Beef Cheeks (Served with poutine and sautéed spinach)
EPICURIOUS, Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Beef Fajitas (Beef strips sautéed with bell peppers, onions, and young corn served with soft tortillas, salsa, and sour cream)
Fettucine Stroganoff (Fettucine pasta in creamy beef and mushroom sauce served with garlic bread)
Roast Beef with Mushroom Sauce (Roast beef served with roasted vegetables and enoki mushroom, rice, and mushroom gravy)
Read my Manila Bulletin Lifestyle article here.
Find the complete list of restaurants on Facebook/Australia in the Philippines / Twitter @AusAmbPH / #TrueAussieBeefPH