September 12, 2012

Food Tasting # 15: Hizon's Catering

Last Saturday, Mox and I went to the Themes & Motif bridal fair in MOA, and since we registered for Hizon's grand food tasting at 1Esplanade, we were able to eat a five-course meal for free! Sagot na tuloy ang lunch namin. Tipid moves for the win!

I liked how Hizon's decorated Coral Hall A of 1Esplanade. We had purple and green flowers on little pails as our centerpiece, while another table had bright yellow flowers on low, silver vases, and another had green and white flowers on clear containers. Their sample presidential table had pink flowers on white, ceramic vases. Everything looked classy and elegant without being too over-the-top. However, I don't know if these centerpieces are standard centerpieces, or if you would have to pay extra for them.

I also loved how the white trees with lanterns hanging on its branches gave a whimsical touch to the couple's table. So cute! Another thing that I liked were their ghost chairs, which added an air of sophistication to the venue. These chairs are already included in Hizon's standard wedding packages.

Before the food tasting, we were given a score sheet to rate the dishes that we would eat. This was actually a great idea because I was able to gather more insights from Mox instead of his usual "Okay lang, masarap naman." answer. Haha! The scoring system was 4-Excellent, 3-Good, 2-Average and 1-Needs Improvement. For this food tasting entry, I'd use the same scoring system for my comments about the food, except mine would probably be 4-Super Sarap!, 3-Masarap Kahit Papano, 2-Pwede Na, 1-Kadiri. Haha!

For starters, we were served five bite-size appetizers on a plate. If this is the size of Hizon's pica-pica, then you'll definitely need to add more appetizers because one isn't even enough to satisfy your tummy.

Ang cute nilang lahat. Literal na cute.
We had the Crisp Beef Ssam Fresh Spring Roll, Smoked Tanigue with Mango and Tarragon Salsa, Caramelized Onion and Cheese Canape, Tomato and Mozarella Bruschetta, and Argentinean Steak Canape. I thought the appetizers with  bread tasted the same, so I'd give them all a 2. My favorite out of the bunch was the crisp beef ssam roll. The saltiness of the beef and the sweetness of the sauce underneath was the perfect combination of flavors, so it deserved a 4. However, I hated the Argentinean canape because the green stuff on top of it was too sour. I could barely eat the steak underneath because the sourness was too overpowering. Because of that, this dish got a 1. Mox gave this dish a 3 though, because he didn't mind the green sauce. Weird guy. Haha.

Caramelized Onion and Cheese Canape - 4
Smoked Tanigue with Mango and Tarragon Salsa - 2?
Caramelized Onion and Cheese Canape -2?
Argentinean Steak Canape - 1
Next, we were served two kinds of soup: Cream of Pumpkin Soup and Truffle Cream of Mushroom Soup. We thought the pumpkin soup was the winner of the two because it was creamy, rich and surprisingly filling. The mushroom soup tasted fine, although there was something missing in its flavor. I can't desribe exactly what it is, but I thought the taste was fleeting. One minute it's there, the next minute it's gone. Nakakabitin tuloy ang lasa.

(L) Cream of Pumpkin Soup - 4; (R) Truffle Cream of Mushroom - 3
Then Hizon's served us salads in cocktail glasses. We had the Asian Salad with Wanton Crisps and Mediterranean Salad. We tried to use chopsticks to eat the salads, but we had to resort to using the tiny spoons for the soup because it might take us forever to eat the salads. Ayaw na naming magpanggap na marunong kaming mag-chopsticks. Haha!

The Asian salad consists of romaine lettuce and red coral greens topped with crisped wanton strips and drizzled with Asian barbecue vinaigrette. Our AE said that we must mix the greens with the wanton strips to truly enjoy this salad, but I thought it still tasted just like your ordinary greens with vinegar. Nothing special. I couldn't even tell if the vinaigrette tasted like barbecue. Maasim lang siya, period. So I gave this dish a 2.

I liked the Mediterranean salad better because it had candied walnuts, parmesan cheese and sundried tomatoes. This salad offers a myriad of flavors due to the sourness of the balsamic vinaigrette, the saltiness of the parmesan cheese, and the sweetness of the candied walnuts. Delicious! I so love the candied walnuts; I can probably eat them all day. Hehe. The Mediterranean salad got the perfect rating of 4.

Asian Salad with Wanton Strips - 2
Mediterranean Salad - 4
Now for the main courses, we were asked to line up for the buffet. I wasn't able to take pictures of each entree in the buffet so we have to make do with this crappy photo of all the food in my plate. Takaw mode lang eh.

We were served two kinds of rice during the food tasting: Crispy Beef Rice and Steamed Rice. The beef rice looked and tasted like to Chowking's Beef Chaofan so this garnered a 2. Er, do I have to rate the steamed rice? I think everyone knows how it tastes like. Haha.

For our beef dishes, we had Beef Teppanyaki with Sauteed Vegetables and the Slow Roasted US Beef with Classic Mushroom Gravy and Hickory Smoked Barbecue Sauce, which was carved on the spot. I wasn’t particularly wowed by both dishes, although I still liked the roast beef better than the beef teppanyaki. The latter tasted weird; in fact, I really couldn’t describe exactly how it tasted like. At first, it was sweet, then it became salty, then… I don’t know!  Basta ang labo ng lasa niya talaga.  And so our scores for the beef entrees were: 2 for the roast beef and 1 for the beef teppanyaki.

For our pork entrees, we had another dish that was carved on the spot, the Thrice Cooked Pork Belly with Mango Cilantro Salsa and Lemon Hoisin Sauce, and the Korean Pork Sesame. We could hardly differentiate the pork belly from the roast beef, but we thought the pork was tender and quite easy to slice. Plus, its sauces were much tastier than the beef's choice of sauces. I loved the lemon hoisin sauce because it tasted barbecue-y, while Mox's favorite was the mango cilantro salsa because it had vegetables in it. Tsk, go figure. For this, the pork belly got a rating of 3.

The Korean pork sesame, however, only got a 2 because we thought it was too flavorful. Plus, it had the same weird taste of the beef teppanyaki. It only got a higher rating because it was sweeter than the teppanyaki. And you all know how much I love sweets. Hehe.

We only had one chicken entrĂ©e, the Stir Fry Sambal Chicken with Prawn Chili Sauce. I only took one bite of it because I was already too full, but I’d probably give it a 2 because the chili sauce was too salty. Although I have to give props to them for the large serving of chicken in my plate. Isang chicken lang ata, mabubusog ka na eh.

For our fish dish, we had the Pan Seared Fish with Lemon Dill Sauce and Baked Fish with Spinach. The baked fish was definitely a favorite because the fish was so soft and tender. Plus, the sauce was rich and oh so cheesy that we could barely taste the spinach in it, which was a good thing. This entree actually reminded me of something that I ate from Sbarro: a lasagna-like dish, but with kangkong or some sort of vegetables in it. But while I loved the Hizon’s baked fish, I hated Sbarro’s weird lasagna. Sumakit pa tiyan ko dun eh! Anyway, I digress. For our rating, Hizon’s baked fish wins a perfect score of four!

On the other hand, the pan seared fish only got a 2 because the dish was merely fried fish fillet drizzled with a sauce that was too sour for its own good. Masyadong pinanindigan ang pagka-lemon niya sa sobrang kaasiman.

The seafood entree was supposedly an upgrade in our package, but our AE allowed us to get some Shrimp Tempura with Tempura Sauce and Roasted Sesame Sauce just to have a taste. I don’t have to go into detail on its flavor since most of you probably know how a shrimp tempura tastes like, but I’d give this dish a 3. Why such a high rating for a seemingly ordinary dish? Well, because the tempura was packed with shrimp meat, and considering its large size, that’s already a huge thing to me. Others would use lots and lots of breading to cheat its size, but this one is the real deal. Hehe.

There was also a pasta bar during the food tasting, with two choices of noodles (Penne and Fettuccine) and two choices of sauce (Puttanesca and Seafood Cream). I mixed the fettuccine with the puttanesca sauce and the penne pasta with the seafood cream sauce. I'd give both pastas a 2 though. The seafood cream was bland and there were no traces of seafood in it AT ALL. On the other hand, the puttanesca sauce was too sour. Okay, I'm a bit biased here because I really don't like red sauces on pasta.

(L) Fettucine with Puttanesca - 2; (R) Penne with Seafood Cream Sauce - 2
Lastly, we were given five choices of desserts: Mango Pandan Panacotta, Peach Egg Tart, Blueberry Cheesecake, Pandan Macapuno Cream Cake and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream.

The peach egg tart tasted just like your ordinary mamon so I'd give it a 2. The panacotta garnered a 3 because I love the little sago bits in it. Plus, the pandan tasted sweet, but not too much so there is no umay factor. Meanwhile, I couldn't distinguish the flavors of the pandan and macapuno in the pandan macapuno cream cake so I'd have to give it a 2 also. I'm not a fan of blueberry cheescakes, but surprisingly, I loved Hizon's version. The cake was very moist and the blueberry was not that sour. Plus you can taste a hint of cheesiness in the cake. For that, I'd give this a 3. And now, I saved the best for last. I LOVED the flourless chocolate cake so I'd give this a 4. Well, that's probably a given since I love anything that has chocolate in it.

Peach Egg Tart - 2
Mango Pandan Panacotta - 3

Pandan Macapuno Cream Cake - 2
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream - 4
Blueberry Cheesecake - 3
VERDICT: Well, Hizon's is already a household name in the wedding industry so you are at least assured of the quality of their food. Plus, they give out a lot of freebies and upgrades during fairs and grand food tastings. However, I've been hearing feedbacks that their styling is very limited; you have to upgrade if you want thematic styling. Also, you have to follow up regularly with your AE just to make sure that everything is okay.


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  2. Thanks for the honest review for Hizon's Catering. To check their food, visit Hizon's catering food



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