Street food and wine—with varied selections
Pairing wine with food has come a long way from white-wine-with-fish, red-wine-with-beef rule. Even wine connoisseurs say that the rules have been relaxed, and you should drink what you want to drink.
One wine store and bar that is heeding the times is Planet Grapes. The store, founded by businessman Romy Sia of the Healthy Options chain, has long aimed to take the snooty drama out of wine drinking by hiring chefs to develop menus that are strong on street food. It even used to offer fried squid balls with a dipping sauce.
A new menu by chef Gus Sibayan was recently launched to coincide with the opening of its second branch in the restaurant arcade of Shangri-La at the Fort. Street food is still the main draw, but this time, the selection is more global.
We started with fondue using gruyere and Emmental with a bit of anchovy. In place of cubed pieces of bread were mini puto (rice cakes). The idea was to get a perfect mouthful of salty and sweet.
To wash that down, order a glass of Chenin Blanc, a dry Gewürztraminer, or Moscato if you prefer something sweeter.
Planet Grapes at Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong has Enomatic wine-tasting machines that allow customers to order wine by the glass. The staff is trained to suggest wines based on one’s food selections.
We had the new menu that included sweet and spicy Sotong Goreng (crispy dried baby squid) and BBSM (bagoong, baboy, singkamas at mangga)—the sliced green mango and jicama soaked in water and served in a glass jar.
Planet Grapes also has a lunch menu for those with only an hour or 90 minutes to spare. It includes two pasta preparations (tomato sauce and meatballs or gorgonzola), a rice bowl with tuyo (anchovies) and fried egg, and spicy Bicol Express with fried rice.
“All our wines are imported from small wineries around the world, and available only in the store,” said marketing and sales director Jo-Ann Ramos.
Planet Grapes at Shangri-La at the Fort is open daily at 11 a.m. Visit www.planetgrapes.com.ph
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