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Organising a hotel spread for a large number of people takes a lot of work because the menu and food are prepared under a tight schedule. Additionally, the pressure of making sure the appetisers, entrées, drinks, and desserts cater to different people with varied tastes is quite daunting for a chef and his team. One quick way to solve these issues is to whip up classic dip and dish pairings that are perfect for the occasion. Remember, if the food is incredible, your guests will have an unforgettable time.

 

Birthdays

Hotels are a favourite place to host birthday parties and most of the guests include families and children, so serve the usual party favourites along with delicious dips.

Appetisers: 

  • Crunchy fish fingers – herb tartar sauce
  • Mozzarella sticks – zesty marinara
  • Chicken lollipops – banana ketchup


Main dish: 

  • Fried chicken – banana ketchup and mayo 
  • Crispy liempo – toyomansi
  • Fish cakes – herbed mayo dip

 

Weddings

At wedding receptions, guests have to wait a few hours before they can eat a proper meal. Since wedding menus are often grand and special, it can be a good idea to keep appetisers simple yet satisfying.

Appetisers: 

  • Toasted sourdough – balsamic-olive oil dip
  • Bread or chips – shrimp scampi dip
  • Crunchy rye crackers – herbed chicken liver pâté 


Main dish: 

  • Steak or beef dish – blue cheese dip
  • Tempura – soy ginger dipping sauce
  • Roast beef – mango chutney 

 

Weekend barbecues

Everything’s laid-back during outdoor get-togethers, even at upscale hotels, so keep your menu fun yet filling. 

Appetisers: 

  • Chili wings – sour cream and chive dip
  • Nachos – salsa dip
  • Deep-fried calamari – tangy cream-based French onion dip


Main dish: 

  • Fish – fresh mango salsa
  • Seared steak – roasted garlic ailoi 
  • Grilled ribs – sriracha barbecue sauce

 

Town fiestas

Local fiestas are great occasions for celebrating and introducing local flavours to your guests. Hotels can get busy during festive periods so prepare way ahead of time but keep the ingredients fresh.

Appetisers: 

  • Chicharon – a lightly spiced chili-vinegar dip
  • Lumpiang toge – onion-vinegar dipping sauce
  • Tacos – sour cream dip


Main dish: 

  • Kare-kare – bagoong
  • Lechon – sarsa ng lechon
  • Pinaputok na isda – ensaladang mango dip 

 

Holidays

Add to the festive cheer by serving tasty party nibblers and savoury roasts that make Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations even more memorable. 

Appetisers: 

  • Baguette slices and chips – creamy salted egg yolk dip
  • Toasted pita wedges – bacon and bean dip
  • Salt and pepper fried tofu – spicy garlic soy sauce
     

Main dish: 

  • Fried springs rolls – sweet and spicy chilli dip
  • Piri piri chicken – chimichurri dip
  • Roast beef – demi glace sauce