Celebrate a Taste of the Philippines at the Madison's Eighty3

Chef Rodelio Aglibot is bringing Filipino cooking to downtown's Eighty3.

Yes, the barbecue cooking contest is over, but there are still two excellent foodie events at the Madison Hotel to recognize the Memphis in May tribute to the Philippines.

In fact, Eighty3, the Madison’s sister restaurant, is uniquely positioned to embrace Filipino cooking because the restaurant’s concept creator, Chef Rodelio Aglibot, popularly known as “The Food Buddha,” was born in the Philippines. Aglibot is collaborating with Filipino guest chef Sandy Daza (son of culinary icon Nora Daza) to develop two menus for this week’s events. The first is a multi-course dinner on Wednesday; the second is a reception with passed appetizers for Thursday’s sunset rooftop party.

Wednesday night’s dinner, served family style, is $50 a person and starts at 7 p.m. The menu looks fabulous. First, there are these appetizers: Gulf shrimp balls with fresh coriander sauce; grilled Filipino sausages; and mini-vegetable pancakes with pork belly adobo. I am tickled to see the pork belly.  I suppose expertly prepared pork fat is a worldwide thing.

The hits keep coming with the dinner’s additional courses. First course: crispy crab pancit (or noodles) and Filipino egg rolls; entrees: grilled chicken with coconut sauce and crispy local catfish cooked Filipino style; sides: garlic fried rice, tinapa (or smoked fish) fried rice and eggplant and green beans; and dessert: sago cake with palm sugar sauce and coconut custard.

Thursday’s rooftop party will include these appetizers priced from $4 to $10: Filipino egg rolls, stuffed tofu balls, grilled chicken satay, tortilla de patatas, or Spanish omelets, and shrimp fritters.

Eighty3 at the Madison Hotel, 83 Madison, Memphis TN 38103 (901) 333-1224

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