I only “encountered” Nora Daza when Rache and I got married because we only had one cookbook at home — “Let’s Cook with Nora”. Nora Daza is revered by the generations before us, and she’s one of the pioneers in culinary TV shows and Filipino cookbooks here in the Philippines.

Basix is honoring her by doing a week-long special buffet from The BEST RECIPES from Nora Daza’s Culinary Life. It started last November 26 and will end on December 3.

The best time to go is on December 2 (dinner time), which is the 82nd birthday of Nora Daza. If your birthday falls on the same date, you’ll enjoy 50% off on Dinner Buffet and even have the opportunity to cut the birthday cake with Nora Daza herself. 

Appetizer Platter: Kilawing Tanguigue, Lumpiang Ubod and Shrimp Rolls

Nora’s recipes revolve around comfort Filipino food. This is the basic taste of how Filipino food should be. It is an education on how we should really experience our food (minus the fusion elements).

I loved the Kilawing Tanguigue, which tasted like cooked meat without the overpowering taste of vinegar.

Soup: Chicken Binakol

Very simple, hot servings of chicken soup with sweet juice of young coconut. Sarap!

Noodles: Pancit Luglog

If you want to know how good Pancit Luglog should taste like, try Nora Daza’s version.

Main Course
: Chicken Relleno

The Chicken Relleno during the preview lunch was a bit disappointing because it was not faithful to the recipe.

Main Course: Batangas Adobo

I loved the big chunks of meat that already absorbed most of the flavor of the sauce. I think you’ll fall in love with this adobo dish, too.

Main Course: Kare-Kare

Nora Daza’s Kare-Kare was bland, and she said that it should be that way. That is why Kare-Kare usually comes with bagoong to balance the taste. (Notice how the sauce is close to a gelatinous texture?)

Now, I know what classic Kare-Kare should look and taste like.

Dessert: Sans Rival and Reina Blanca

The Reina Blanca was just ok, but the Sans Rival was sinfully good! A lot of people said that Nora Daza is famous for her Sans Rival, and she was acknowledged as the one who popularized this dessert (which originated from France) in Manila.

Overall, the Nora Daza meal was a re-calibration of my taste buds regarding comfort Filipino food. Don’t expect fancy Filipino fare but just really good food based on Nora Daza’s timeless recipes.

I was fortunate to have my three Nora Daza books autographed by the author!

  1. “Let’s Cook with Nora” cookbook;
  2. “Galing Galing Philippine Cuisine” recipe book (co-written with daughter Mariles Daza); and
  3. “Nora V. Daza: A Culinary Life” (written with Michaela Fenix).

Nina Daza Puyat and Nancy Reyes, showing off Nora Daza’s glamourous photos during the peak of her career. They were the brains behind the event celebrating the culinary icon.

Please join us in honoring Nora Daza on her birthday! You can also post a comment below on how Nora Daza has made an impact on your life to honor her lifelong achievements.

All the master chefs at Dusit Thani are finalizing the details of the buffet, which includes correcting the recipe for the Chicken Relleno. Don’t miss the Nora Daza special buffet this week!

The BEST RECIPES from Nora Daza’s Culinary Life
Basix, Dusit Thani Manila

P1,250 net Lunch
P1,399 net Dinner

Call +632 238-8888 for reservations!

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Disclosure: I rarely attend press preview events (where you eat for free) and blog about it. I made an exception for this to meet Nora Daza personally and to help promote this buffet, which is a living tribute to her contributions to Filipino cuisine.

P.S. During Nora’s career, she put up a Philippine restaurant in Paris called Aux Iles Philippines, the very first French restaurant in Manila called Au Bon Vivant, and Galing-Galing restaurant, which specialized in native dishes. Sadly, all of them are closed now.

I heard that her son, Sandy Daza, is finally coming back to the Philippines. Hopefully, they set up a restaurant where we can enjoy the Daza family’s dishes.