The Paella Festival 2014 was a complete success as it was a full house at the Kapitan Moy Main Hall in Marikina City last November 21. Tickets were sold out to the event hosted by Song and Lydda’s Food Service and some walk-in guests no longer had the chance to join in the festivities.
The night started with the very perky Ms. Kate Villas introducing us to the event’s kingpin: Pastor Jess Grafilo Jr, owner and creator of the various paella dishes we would be having that night. He was the one who came up with the idea of adding various Asian twists to the Spanish national dish.
But before the main event – the eat-all-you-can paella event – we were treated to a Benguet folk dance for good harvest.
Also, the Paella Festival 2014 coincides with the birthday of Mrs. Lydda, Pastor Jess’ mother and co-owner of the catering service. After the guests had sang her a happy birthday, it was time to line up for the paella buffet!
First was the Spanish Paella, made with seafood and lechon in tomato sauce. It is not as oily as the paella I’m used to, which is a good thing, but it had also been less flavorful.
Next was the Green Paella or the Japanese Gomoku Gohan which is actually a vegan dish, composed of rice, tofu, cucumber, cabbage and toasted peanuts. Everything was green! It’s like Emerald City’s paella. As for the taste, well, Moche and I agreed that it was on the bland side.
Third paella was the Paella Negra Marinara, made up of rice cooked in black squid ink sauce and mixed with a variety of seafood. The taste of the squid ink was very prominent in this dish. Good thing though that it did not seem to stain the teeth!
Next was the Chinese Kiampong Paella, made with rice, carrots, radish, shredded bokchoy, gabi, leeks, water chestnuts and chicken pork adobo. This one tasted good, a bit reminiscent of lugaw, but yeah, I enjoyed it. 🙂
The second to the last paella for the night was the Indian Paella, which was rice in curry sauce and mixed with seafood. I must say, it was it was Indian all the way; actually took me back to my days in Little India.
Last but not the least was the Korean Paella, a sweet spicy paella with sesame seeds and toasted pork ribs. I was hesitant at first to try this, being wary of the extreme spiciness (but blandness) I have come to associate with Korean food. But it was pretty good, tasting a bit like pork asado mixed with rice.
Aside from the different paellas, there was also some Kansi soup, the Ilonggos’ take on Bulalo but with kamias and langka chunks. It was like Sinigang sans the sourness or Nilaga with a hint of kamias. And what is a festival without our national food: lechon. Yup, aside from carbo-loading that night, the guests were treated to plate after plate of roasted pork.
The festival lasted for several hours, with lots of intermission numbers from different performers. Ms. Kate also hosted several parlor games and gave away different prizes. There was also a photo booth for photo souvenirs and some cupcakes for giveaways.
Thus the first ever paella festival in Marikina was done and everyone went home in high spirits and full stomachs. Hopefully the paella festival next year would be even more successful.
Visit Song & Lydda’s Facebook page here.Special thanks to
Aldous of Aldous Ate the World and
Edison Reyes for the photos.