This Harry Potter feast will take you straight to Hogwarts

MANILA, Philippines – If you never got over the fact that your 11th birthday came and went without your Hogwarts acceptance letter arriving, then you’re in for a treat.
Plato PH and Privatus Dining – the same geeks that dreamt up the Star Wars dining experience and Game of Thrones feast – are hosting The Great Hogwarts Halloween. This time around, they've collaborated with Harry Potter event planners Portkey Events, and everyone's invited – even the muggles.
The feast will be held at the Hogwarts’ Great Hall, currently located at Pineapple Lab in Makati. No need to pass through Platform 9 ¾ or board the Hogwarts Express. All you need to do is register!

When you walk into the space, you can expect to be stupefied by the music and the floating candles, house banners, and long tables fit for a feast – and that's just the ambience.
The main event is of course the food, though that may be easy to forget when you get caught up in all the Hogwarts trappings, including students walking around in their robes. If you’re in any way a Harry Potter fan, those little details are sure to get you excited.

The menu starts off with the usual starters, prepared in an unusual way. For the soup we had Kreacher’s Onion Soup, which is onion slow cooked in beef broth and wine. A piece of round flat bread and melted cheese tops off the dish, and it can look confusing when served, but when you take a bite, the flavors and textures come together and the dish starts to make sense.

Speaking of textures, there is also the Gillyweed Salad, which plays with crunch and softness for a very pleasurable experience. Chewy pickled squid, crisp pickled seaweed, and crunchy cucumber are tossed together with a delicate sesame dressing that elevates the salad to first place in the Triwizard Tournament. This Gillyweed won't help you breathe underwater, but it doesn't matter because it tastes so good.

Another starter is the Chocolate Frogs Legs – which thankfully aren't enchanted to croak and hop about, because that would be downright creepy considering they're ACTUAL frogs legs. If you haven't tried frog, this is your chance – and in this case they're deep-fried and covered in chocolate so you kind of forget the animal they used to be.

For the mains, they're serving Molly’s Meat Pie - a dish so hearty it may as well have come out of Molly Weasley’s kitchen. Made with slow-cooked ground wagyu and shank, served with bone marrow piping all that meaty goodness straight to the middle of the plate, this is a dish you’'ll likely be seeing in the Mirror of Erised long after the feast is over.

There is also the Hogwarts Suckling Pig, which is basically the wizard version if a lechon de leche. It does taste like it has the magic touch with its thin, crispy skin cooked to perfection and juicy meat that explodes with flavor once you take a bite. The meat is so flavorful that you won't need a sauce, but they serve it with juniper berry gravy anyway, just in case.
Also on the menu, depending on the day, is the Ron Weasley roast chicken (slow-roasted chicken with pepper gravy) and Hagrid’s roasted vegetables (produce straight from the gentle giant, roasted in butter and herbs).

Topping off the meal are the richest, fudgiest brownies shaped like cauldrons, golden snitch cream puffs that are so creamy and not too sweet and will make you feel like you've won a Quidditch match, and extra-moist Hogwarts House Cake that comes in your house colors.
The table is also set with various breads and wand-shaped breadsticks that you can munch on in between courses.

To sate your thirst, they will be serving – what else? – Butterbeer. Although Privatus’ version is not your typical creamy-fizzy drink. This one is definitely as much beer as it is butter. That is to say, there is a strong alcohol kick, no doubt coming from the mix of amaretto, beer, vodka, and cola, topped off with a caramel brown sugar cream.
Another drink on the menu is Skele-gro, a gin-based drink topped off with green tea and blue pea essence to give it a magical purple tint.

The entire feast was planned out by Privatus chef AJ Reyes, who drew up the menu with a swish and flick of his imagination. The drinks, meanwhile, were concocted by Privatus’ resident Potions master Mark Marquez, who will also be teaching the Potions class.

Yes, there will be classes, because this is Hogwarts, after all. Aside from Potions (which is honestly the best class because you get booze!), there will also be History of Magic, Charms, Divination, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Dueling. The classes will be taught by members of Portkey Events, the new batch of Hogwarts professors.
The Great Hogwarst Halloween is happening on October 28 and 29 at Pineapple Lab on Palma st, Poblacion, Makati. Packages range from P600 to P4,000. You can enroll in the upcoming Hogwarts term on Plato’s website . –

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