The SMX Convention Center Manila in the Mall of Asia Complex is the biggest venue in the country for trade and industry events, conventions, and exhibitions.
Every year, its management invites its loyal patrons and throws a lavish culinary event, Culinaire, which guests rave about even after several weeks.
This year, SMX presented “A Constellation of Culinary Wonders.” It was actually more like a GALAXY of culinary treats or, pure and simple, a foodie’s HEAVEN, a PARADISE for those with big appetites!
The purpose of this much anticipated celebration is really to showcase the capabilities of the convention center to take care of the food and beverage requirements of its clients, regardless of the number of attendees in the booked event, thus, the abundance of food that evening. To use a cliché, it was practically coming out of my ears!
There were 15 full buffet spread scattered around the periphery of the humongous hall, courtesy of SMX’s accredited caterers. Each of them offered the particular delicacy they are known for. And to be sure that guests got to try everything, we were given a “map” showing the location of each buffet station. The small “map” had to be validated when you get your food at every station. All 15 stamps earned for myself a pair of huggable stuffed animals, perfect gifts for my grandchildren!
Participating caterers were: Josiah’s, Hizon’s, M, Conrad Manila, Tjioe, Via Mare, Goldilocks, Event Shaker, Kitchen City, Bizu, Manila Catering, Juan Carlo, Creamery, Albergus, and LJC.
I went to all the stations, but I just couldn’t eat everything they offered, and just had a bite or two of some of their delicious treats. I have to confess that I wasted quite a bit of food. If she were around, the late Mother Teresa would surely have reprimanded me, seeing the amount of food left on my plate.
To make the event even more eye-catching, a contest was conducted among the caterers and prizes were given to the Best Entrée, Best Dessert, Best Buffet Décor, Best Table Centerpiece, and many others. You can imagine the kaleidoscope of colors inside the venue.
What I found really unique were the human table centerpieces set up by the catering company, Juan Carlo. Its workers cut up a hole at the center of a big round table. Inside the hole stood a lovely maiden, dressed in a skintight costume, with a lit candelabra on her head (photo somewhere on this page)!
Guests seated around the table were so entertained by this human centerpiece, and her rhythmic movements. Of course, the poor girl had to continue doing what she had to do for the entire duration of the dinner, which lasted close to two hours! Good thing they won the prize for the Best Centerpiece!
Another catering company, Event Shaker, had a unique “angel” serving guests with its own alcoholic concoction. The beautifully painted wings of the angel encouraged a lot of guests, including me, to stand in front of it and have their photos taken as “an angel!”
Not only was the food abundant, the entertainment was also fantastic. They had a group of young boys who call themselves Opus One and they sang all my favorite songs, from Broadway hits to old standards. I am thrilled every time I encounter a boy band like this because, these days, it is quite rare to find one who sings songs from my era.
This yearly Culinaire of SMX is certainly much appreciated. It is a great way for it to flaunt its superiority, its position as the biggest convention center in the country. It is also an impressive feast for the senses!
How can you not be impressed when you’re served delectable culinary treats by people who compete in giving you the best?
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