Crayfish Party 2018 Review: A True Nordic Feast at Sofitel Manila

NordCham Philippines in partnership of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila hosted its annual and largest charity event of the year. As expected a long and distinguished guest list came from far and wide to support this famous event that was held last Saturday, September 8, 2018. In typical party fashion, the party went well into the night and the festivities lasted from 6pm until midnight. The party was held in the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila and the festivities not only lived up to the expectations of those in attendance, but it also exceeded them.

The crayfish party is one of the most looked forward to events in Manila. It’s long been a tradition of the Nordic community and the members of NordCham but has also made such a name for itself that the dazzling party is also highly attended by high profile individuals, celebrities, local personalities, the media and even a variety of nationals who are residing in or visiting the Philippines.

To give you a slight history of the event, the tradition is normally referred to as the Noble Crayfish. Dating all the way back to the 16th century, this longstanding tradition of eating crayfish has become known across the world. It was originally started by the Swedish King Erik XIV. He was well known at the time for farming the crayfish ourside his Kalmar Castle in the moat. While he was known far and wide for his crayfish farming abilities, the actual tradition of making an annual event out of eating the crayfish did not catch on until the 19th century.

The Scandinavians used to eat crayfish as part of an end of summer party that signaled the end of one season and the start of a new season. They would hold a garden party and invite their closest friends and relatives to come and appreciate the crayfish as they celebrated they welcomed in a new dawn of a new season and period of life. In fact, this party became such a national tradition and treasure that it actually gained its own vocabulary word in the Scandinavian language in the 1930’s. There are all sorts of variations of the term that applies to this party some of the most popular are Krebsegilde, Rapujuhlat, Vatnakrabbi Oarty and Krepselag. No matter what word or phrase you use to refer to this garden party, it’s clear that the tradition is here to stay.

To celebrate true Nordic culture, guests are invited to come in their own Viking ensemble or favorite Nordic football jersey to show their support of the event and set the stage for the celebration of all things Nordic. Guests are all fully engaged in singing, dancing, and playing games in true Nordic fashion. There’s not a long face in the crowd. One of the best parts of the event is just watching those in attendance let their cares go and fully embrace the event.

The venue is well-located and spacious to accommodate a large number of guests. The entrance had a good lighting, an accommodating and welcoming atmosphere and a well-organized
registration area.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Entrance

Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila – Entrance


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Registration Area

Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila – Registration Area


We had shown up to the party expecting an open area party and were pleasantly surprised with what we found.  In fact, the party was so much better than we could have imagined. Hats off to the dedicated and passionate party planning committee.  They truly outdid themselves and made sure that no detail was left unattended to.  They fully transformed the Harbor Garden Tent into a coastal Viking Village for the most authentic and exciting crayfish party in the country. Every inch of space was decorated in classic Viking décor and left little to the imagination.  The hotel staff also placed some tables outside, to accommodate those that wanted to have a quick smoke or drink inbetween their singing, dancing and game playing.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila Open Space

Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila Open Space


As soon as we entered the tent, we were greeted by other guests and save the party atmosphere was in full swing. The room was completely packed with guests who were enjoying the atmosphere with their friends, laughing and carrying on and also enjoying an amazing array of good food that would appeal to even the most particular palate. The area was completely packed with party goers but not to worry, the air conditioning didn’t disappoint. It was a relaxed and enjoyable environment and the energy in the air was thick.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Guests

Guests having a good time and awesome Nordic food


We can’t talk about our amazing night unless we also talk about the food. The menu served was true to Nordic culture and simply divine. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s commitment to serving good food is on an entirely other level- and they absolutely outdid themselves.

Appetizer and Salads: Beetroot with boiled eggs, Herring and potatoes, and Marinated cucumber with dill

Assorted Cold Cuts: Salmon gravadlax with honey dill mustard sauce, 5 kinds of herring, and Smoked tuna with crispy capers

Crayfish with lemon wedges and dill leaves (This Swedish crayfish is traditionally brine in salt and lots of dill. Boiled for hours until soaked in dill flavor.)

Sofitel artisan bread breakfast: Soft rolls, hard rolls, baguettes, crispy breads, crackers, and 3 kinds of cheese

Carving station: (Whole) Crispy roast pork

Signature selection: Signature Selection, Ham and cheese quiche, Vegetable quiche, Mushroom quiche, Swedish meatballs with lingon jam, Roasted marble potatoes, Boiled dill potatoes, and Jansson’s temptation

Desserts: Ostkaka with strawberry jam and whipped cream, Toscakaka, Kladdkaka, Havreflarn (oatmeal cookies), and Blueberry cheesecake


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Food 2

Nordic food served at the event


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Food

Nordic food served at the event


Guests also had the opportunity to take home some official Nordic merchandise if they so choose to help memorialize the event. There were Crayfish Party T-shirts, viking mugs and viking party hats. It was hard to choose just one, because they were well designed.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Merchandise Booth

Merchandise Booth


One of the highlights of the evening was the auction that boasted some incredible prizes like hand-made Filipino jewelry and return tickets to anywhere in Europe.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Auction

Crayfish Party 2018 Auction


Also, NordCham Philippines recognized the best dressed vikings in attendance was and had fun games that kept the crowd busy for hours.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Best dressed vikings

Best Dressed Vikings of the Night


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Drinking Game

Guests participating in drinking game


In between the auction and games, guests were singing and dancing the night away. The Bloomfields entertained them with some of the greatest musical hits of all time.


Crayfish Party 2018 at Sofitel Manila - Dancing

Look at that crowd dancing!


Overall, this truly was an event not to be missed. The guests dined on delicious food and had a great time with the experience. The best part though, is the end result of being able to donate all of the nights processed to the Chosen Children Village (CCV) – which is a foundation dedicated towards providing a home environment and a care facility for physically and mentally challenged children. We were honored to be part of the 2018 Crayfish party and hope to be able to attend for years to come.


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