Crimson Beach Resort and Spa Mactan is everyone’s dream vacation hub in the country’s prime tourist destination, Mactan Island in Cebu. On top of world-class accommodation, spa and water sports, the resort features a real Cebuano treasure – Saffron Café.
Saffron Café is the home of popular Cebuano dishes like pritong lapu-lapu na may escabecheng gulay at adobo sauce (fried lapu-lapu with vegetables and vinegar-tart stew), and kalderetang kambing na may gata (goat chops in tomato-base stew with coconut milk). Chef Lemuel Algabre, Chef de Partie of Crimson Resort, was inspired to cook because of his late mother. During every fiesta or any family gathering, he helps his mother in the kitchen. Escabeche, adobo, and kaldereta are the main specialties they cook together. As a tribute to his mother, he combined the dishes to enhance the taste and to create a modern Filipino dish.
Saffron Restaurant Crimson Cebu
Kaldereta is a tomato-based goat stew, although pork, chicken, or beef can be used as an alternative to goat meat. The meat is simmered until it is tender, mixed with potatoes, carrots, liver and cream. Kaldereta is known as a Tagalog dish, the use of gata (coconut milk) instead of creamed milk, which is commonly used, gave the dish a Cebuano touch. It is prepared by searing the goat meat, frying it quickly in a separate pan, sautéing garlic, onion, and tomato paste. After the initial steps, the other ingredients are combined – the goat meat, soy sauce, sugar, star anise, bay leaves, pineapple puree, tomato sauce and water. Chef Lemuel prefers using pineapple puree over pineapple juice because they differ in the concentration, which adds flavor to the dish. He also limits the use of herbs to prevent overpowering the taste and flavour. The atchuete gives a bright orange color to the dish, you can opt to add some. Boil it for 8-10 minutes, in medium level and simmer for 2-3 hours until tender. For the final touch, add the gata and let it simmer. As a garnish to the dish, fry ananas (plantains), carrots, wedged potatoes, and bell peppers.
Escabeche is commonly known as fish with sweet and sour sauce on top. Crimson Resort’s version is different, the fried lapu-lapu (or pugapo) is topped with rich adobo sauce. Beneath it is the sugar-sweetened long strips of carrots, ginger, onions, and red bell peppers, which are separately cooked in vinegar and soy sauce. The adobo sauce is prepared separately by sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger, adding the soy sauce and fish stock to enhance flavor. One can taste the contrasting flavors of the saltiness of adobo and sweetness and sourness of the traditional escabeche dish, perfectly combined to come up with a modern escabeche with adobo sauce.
Crimson Resort’s four restaurants serve continental and Asian cuisine at your preferred setting. Saffron Café will entice you with sumptuous feasts and the view of the infinity pool in a new angle while Azure Pool Bar keep your beach vibe while on a chaise lounges built for two. Score Sports Bar lets you play billiards and darts, or guests can top off the night with soothing rhythms in the Tempo Lounge.
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