The Culinary Wonders of Hapag – Whenever the term “private dining” is thrown around, it’s understandable if most people tend to think of a quiet place that’s filled to the brim with elegance and sophistication. Private dining restaurants do, after all, have quite the hefty price tag so it’s no surprise that the surroundings often reflect what people pay for. However, not all private dining establishments are like this; some have a homey, warm, and welcoming feel to them as well. This is proven as much with the private dining restaurant, Hapag.
First established in 2019 at Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, Hapag is a private dining establishment that not only aims to subvert the reputation that private dining is not a filling dining experience but also desires to give the Philippines’ fine dining scene a modern twist through its cooking. With three culinary enthusiasts at the helm, this restaurant also makes it its mission to introduce foodies to new flavors with innovative dishes made with local produce and ingredients. At Hapag and its “progressive Filipino cuisine”, there’s no doubt that Filipino dishes will be shown in a new light and showcase it as one of the best and diverse cuisines in the world.
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Masters of the Kitchen: Chef Kevin Navoa and Chef Thirdy Dolatre
Along with Chef Kevin Villarica (who has recently taken a step back from Hapag to focus on his growing family), Chef Kevin Navoa and Chef Thirdy Dolatre first met at a party in 2005. As the night and their conversation went on, the three learned of their mutual love of food, encouraging them to go on their own culinary adventures.
However, while their nearly two decade friendship was born from that night in 2005, Hapag was not; in fact, it’d be a long road before Hapag would even come into being as each man first spent time working in different kitchens to hone their skills. For instance, Chef Kevin Navoa first worked under Darren Teoh of Malaysia’s Dewakan Restaurant after graduating from a prestigious university in Kuala Lumpur while Chef Thirdy worked as a line cook for several Manila restaurants before earning a gig at Benu, one of San Francisco’s leading fine dining establishments.
Eventually, the three chefs came together once again to kickstart their brainchild, Hapag, where they continue to create new and exciting mouth-watering dishes to this day to further elevate the prestige and renown of Filipino cuisine.
The Culinary Delights of Hapag
Being one of the most renowned private dining establishments in the country, it’s no surprise that Hapag’s head chefs have the skills that make them the talk of the Filipino dining scene as well. On April 21, 2022, Chef Kevin Navoa and Chef Thirdy Dolatre will be one of the guest chefs of Gastronomic Wonders, a three-day culinary event that will be held at Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort in celebration of Filipino Food Month. Eager to showcase the culinary delights of Hapag, the pair have already prepared a menu featuring the mouth watering dishes that they will serve the guests who choose their services for the night.
Hapag’s featured dishes for the event are as follows:
- Sinuglaw or Kinilaw – Flavorful appetizer dish consisting of a mixture of grilled pork belly and fish soaked in vinegar with onion shavings and greens.
- Suam na Mais Custard with Gamet – Soup with a twist; vegetable and corn soup in custard form paired with local seaweed.
- Grilled Prawn – Fresh seafood dish consisting of grilled prawn, cranberry miso, dalandan beurre blanc, ikura, and cold grilled vegetables.
- Slow Braised Pares – A mouth-watering dish made with savory 48 hour braised meat combined with Palawan lamayo sinangag and spicy XO sauce.
- Creme Brulee – A sweet dessert made of Lato white chocolate and paired with honeycomb and Palawan honey. Pomelo pulps and Kaffir lime oil are added for a fruity flavor.
About the Gastronomic Wonders Event
In the Philippines, April is also Filipino Food Month. In line with this, Sunlight Air and Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort, in partnership with Asia Pacific Travel and Moet Hennessy, are treating its guests to a new food event, Gastronomic Wonders, a three-day food event celebrating the Filipino food that is beloved throughout the country by featuring dishes cooked by four of Manila’s rising culinary talents!
At the Gastronomic Wonders event, guests can look forward to a one-of-a-kind dining experience thanks to young wonder chefs Don Baldosano of Linamnam MNL, Kevin Navoa and Thirdy Dolatre of Hapag, and Tina Legarda of Bamba Bistro. Each will showcase their unique cooking styles to create an exquisite and mouth-watering five-course Filipino meal for the event’s guests that will not only help them expand and brighten their culinary horizons but also remind them of the warmth of home. Of course, other than the delicious dishes, guests can also expect drinks to flow as Moet Hennessy will provide cocktails, champagne, and wine to be paired with the food concocted by the chefs.
Want to experience a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure with the Gastronomic Wonders event? Have you decided to add the event to your existing booking with Sunlight Air? Click this link to begin your gastronomic journey for this summer with Sunlight Air. Fly high to sunnier horizons with Sunlight Air today!