To celebrate the 117th Philippine Independence Day, Cafe Marco at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu presents the food of the revolution in a culinary journey called Independencia.
All throughout Independencia: A Tribute to Our Filipino Heroes, which will run up to June 20, Cafe Marco will carry dishes that have been around for centuries and favorites of such notable personalities as Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, and Emilio Aguinaldo.
“We thought about what the situation was during that time (1896 revolution) and the commonalities in their areas. What were the abundant food in the community? If they were near rivers or coastlines, then it would be seafood. The revolutionaries would need food they could easily carry in case they need to leave immediately,” said Marco Polo culinary consultant Jessica Avila.
One of the showcase of the Cafe Marco buffet during Independencia is the roasted chicken flavored with sampaloc or tamarind leaves and wrapped in banana bark.
The bark also acts as the chicken container in case the revolutionaries find themselves needing to flee their hiding place.
Like other Marco Polo culinary journeys, the dishes of the Philippine revolution are in addition to the regular buffet offerings.
They include food preferences of Filipino heroes and revolutionaries, such as the tinolang manok with chili leaf of Jose Rizal, pocherong manok of Marcelo H. del Pilar, bulanglang soup and monggo soup with bagnet of Apolinario Mabini, asparagus soup of Emilio Aguinaldo, asadong baka of Antonio Luna, arroz ala cubana of Gregorio del Pilar, and adobong baboy sa dilaw of Marcella Agoncillo.
Cafe Marco offers two menu cycles in Independencia with around 30 different dishes per cycle.
For starters and salads, diners have their choice of any one or more of inbaliktad, mani ken dilis, smoked milkfish cake with local white cheese, mushroom adobo terrine, inartem assorted pickles, itlog maalat with onions and tomatoes, grilled buffalo cheese with cashews, and kinilaw two-ways of tuna loin and grilled pork.
In another cycle, they can have chicken galantina serve with mustard mayonnaise, sinarabasab or pork ceviche, isda tinap-anan with tamatis, bombay, coconut, vinegar (smoked fish salad), kilawin na kanding (goat meat ceviche), green mango with bagoong and crispy bagnet, smoked bangus cake with Cebu mango salsa, kinilaw na tangigue na may sinugbang quesong puti (fish ceviche with grilled cheese), and lechon adobo terrine with Mang Tomas sarsa.
The carving station carries crispy pata, Cebu lechon, lechon manok in banana bark, grilled giant squid plus roast beef for dinner during weekdays and for both lunch and dinner during Saturdays and Sundays.
Other offerings for one cycle: asadong baka, adobong baboy, pocherong manok, arroz ala cubana, hamonadong sugpo, bringhe sa gata, pancit Ilocos, and Bicol express. In another cycle, the buffet can have kalderita (braised goat meat with tomatoes and pimentos), nilasing na itik sa tuba (duck braised in coconut wine), igado (braised pork innards), ginataang lambay sa gata at gabi (braised sea-crab in coconut milk), Waray chicken pork adobo, paella arroz valenciana, and pinakbet with the special Marco Polo bagoong.
Soups can be tinolang manok with chili leaf and monggo with bagnet or bulanglang and asparagus.
The best lunch or dinner ends with the sweetest desserts and Cafe Marco has a whole display of pastries and local delicacies. You can have your cakes and cookies or saging cardaba and sweet potato slices dipped in latik or local choco syrup.
Can’t wait to try Cafe Marco’s Independencia: A Tribute to Our Filipino Heroes buffet? Call Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at (+6332) 253-1111 for reservations or inquiries.