In celebration of Marco Polo’s 765th birthday, Marco Polo Plaza is throwing an Italian party at the El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar.
Guest Chef Luca Genco
From September 11 to 15, eat and drink Italian at the hotel’s poolside restaurant. The special event is done in collaboration with Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast. Together with the Marco Polo culinary team, Marco Polo will feature the delectable Italian culinary masterpieces of Chef Giuseppe Genco and Chef Luca Genco.
Enjoy traditional Sicilian comfort food and indulge in delicately prepared Italian pastas such as Spinach Ravioli, Rigatoni Pasta, Farfalle Seafood pasta, Penne Pesto Genovese and Italian Sausage Cannelloni. Hand-made and wood-fired cooked pizzas are a must-try together with different kinds of Sicilian Roasts. Of course, this fete would not be complete without a glass of Italian wine to complete the Italian experience.
PIZZA SLICING CEREMONY.Opening La Dolce Vita with a pizza-slicing ceremony are (from left) Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Brian Connelly and guest chefs Giuseppe Genco and Luca Genco.
If you love cheese, sausages, chocolates, and everything Swiss, head to Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza as the award-winning food outlet celebrates Swissness from A to Z.
The event is part of the hotel’s Culinary Journeys: a series of events held throughout the year to celebrate food and culture.
Until August 5, Cafe Marco will serve Swiss chocolates, raclette, cheese fondues and meats such as Alpine dried beef to Zurich-style sliced meat on top of its international buffet spread for lunch and dinner.
Cervelat and Emmentalier, Gherkins Salad with onion chives
Lunch buffet rate at Cafe Marco is P1,300 while dinner is P1,600.
The culinary event is held in celebration of Switzerland’s National Day on August 1.
“Cafe Marco will feature all things Swiss from appetizers to desserts alongside its international buffet spread,” Marco Polo said in a press release.
OPENING. Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Brian Connelly rings the bell to mark the opening of the media preview of Swissness from A to Z. With Connelly to lead the opening is Resident Manager Michaela Priesner.
As an added treat, guests who dine during the event will have a chance to win a special merchandise from Swiss brand Victorinox.
From durian rice cakes to fish stewed
in turmeric to slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth, an interesting and delicious
range of dishes with Moro and lumad heritage are on the menu in Café Marco at
the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
The dishes are made available as
part of Flavors of Mindanao, this year’s Independencia Culinary Journey from
June 7 to 12.
PIYALAM is a Tausug dish of stewed fish with turmeric.
Independencia is a celebration of the food of the Philippines, said Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly.
“We’ve featured cuisine in the past seven
years from heroes of the country, actually also from the president himself who
signed the proclamation. Last year, we did food of northern Philippines. This
year we wanted to go south. And we wanted to do this in conjunction with our sister
hotel in Davao, the Marco Polo Davao,” Connelly said during the opening last
“It’s part of our experience here in
Marco Polo to share cuisine of different parts of the world, of different parts
of the region, as well as different parts of our country. We’ve got this wide range
of food and this year, it’s southern Philippines – Mindanao,” he said.
Chef Alex Destriza
The executive chef of Marco Polo Davao has been studying the dishes for 2-3 years.
Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex
Destriza and Chef King James Tinio worked with the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu team
of Executive Chef Juanito Abangan to create the menu.
Destriza said native Mindanao
cuisine is divided into that of the Moros and lumads. The region is rich in
rice and coconuts and they figure prominently in their cuisine. An example of this
is the Tausug dish Tiyulah Itum, where beef is slow cooked in a broth made of
burnt coconut meat. The use of burnt
coconut meat in the preparation of the food is widespread and includes dishes with
chicken, beef, and fish, he said.
TIYULAH ITUM is a Tausug dish of slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth.
Many of the dishes, including Tiyulah
Itum, are cooked in bamboo, a process that intensifies the flavors, Destriza
said. The Marco Polo chefs just improvised to adapt the preparation in a modern
kitchen and experimented with the cooking methods.
Coconut and rice also figure
prominently in the desserts of the different communities with such treats as
durian rice cake and a ball made of camote with bukayo or sweetened coconut
meat strips filling.
OPENING. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly welcomes guests to the opening of Independencia.
Destriza said he has been
researching these dishes for two to three years. These are served mostly during
special occasions like weddings and are rarely available outside their
communities or region. He said, however, that slowly, the food is being
introduced in other places of the country. Marco Polo Davao, for example, has a
halal station with these dishes.
The dishes are available on top of the regular international lunch and dinner buffet spread at Café Marco until June 12. Lunch buffet rate is P1,300, while dinner is P1,600. For reservations, you can contact (+6332) 253 1111, email [email protected].com or link them up on Facebook or Twitter.
More photos of Flavors of Mindanao
KULMA BAKA is Tausug dish of beef stewed in coconut milk.
PIASSAK is cow liver cooked with burnt coconut.
PIYANGGANG MANOK is a Tausug dish of grilled chicken in burnt coconut.
RIYANDANG KAMBING is a Lanao dish of mutton with coconut and spices.
PIYAREN UDANG is a Lanao dish of prawn with sauteed coconut.
PALAPA is made of ginger and other spices that is then roasted.
Kagikit na manok
Kagikit na isda
Kamias ug dayap
Kiyuning golden rice
PAN-PAN KAMOTE has bokayo or sweetened coconut meat strips as filling.
WADJET MAKADURIAN is durian rice cake.
DARAL or sweet coconut grating pancake.
KINILAW na tuna or tuna ceviche.
Talong sa gata
Pomelo green papaya with prawns salad
MARCO POLO CHEFS. Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex Destriza (center) talks about the dishes they prepared as part of Flavors of Mindanao. With him are Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Executive Chef Juanito Abangan (left) and Marco Polo Davao Chef King James Tinio.
Where 2 of Cebu’s pre-eminent food writers head to, there you follow. In last night’s Sabores de España opening at the lobby lounge of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, it was the station that held Manchego cheese.
I’d return with Manchego cheese in my luggage, culinary writer Aissa dela Cruz told our group of bloggers and writers. She said she buys it during trips outside the country because it’s “so much more expensive here.” It’s hard cheese so it keeps well, she pointed out.
Dr. Nestor Alonzo, food columnist for The Freeman, quickly headed to the platter shortly after hamming it up with Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly as he took photos of the tapas spread. “Take photos of him taking photos,” Connelly said as he playfully posed with Alonzo.
And it was to the Manchego cheese – traditional Spanish cheese, Alonso explained to me – that I returned to again and again last night.
Sabores de España, now on its 12th year, is part of the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s widely anticipated and annual Culinary Journeys. The series highlights the culinary prowess of the Marco Polo team – from Bisdak favorites in January to Swiss, Indian, Spanish, and French throughout the year.
“I also want to remind everybody that this is the 12th year that we’re holding this event,” Connelly said in a short speech to open the event. “It is our commitment to continually develop the different cuisines in the different parts of the world, in different countries, so that we could share the rich tapestry of food around the world with our guests, our friends, and our customers,” he said.
Connelly said he grew up in a part of the United States that was colonized by Spain and thus was heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine.
Cutting of jamon serrano
He ended his speech with a recommendation for the guests to try Marco Polo’s sangria saying their culinary team did a great job in preparing them. He particularly recommended the white sangria.
To officially mark the opening of Sabores de España, Marco Polo held a ceremonial cutting of the jamon serrano. Connelly led the cutting along with longtime Spanish food consultant Gema Pido, Amigos de España en Cebu President Myra Gonzalez, and Honorary Consul to Spain Anton Perdices.
After the ceremony, Gonzalez gave a short speech wishing the festivities success.
Sabores de España will run until Sunday, September 16. On these dates, Spanish dishes such as the mainstay paella, jamon serrano, fabadas, lengua estofado, and assorted tapa will be made available along with the international lunch and dinner buffet spread in Cafe Marco.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year is tradition in Cebu, and no one does it better than Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
The hotel welcomed CNY 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog, with lion and dragon dances, eye dotting ceremony, Yee Sang Ceremony, firecrackers to ward off evil, coin toss, and a culinary celebration at Cafe Marco.
Cafe Marco serves up Chinese dishes in the food fest Culinary Impressions of China where diners can indulge in delectable creations for the Lunar New Year up until February 18.
Former Philippine Ambassador to China Francisco L. Benedicto, Cathay Pacific Marketing and Communications Supervisor Connie Cimafranca, and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Melanie Ng were among the guests of honor.
They joined Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Brian Connelly in the eye dotting ceremony and the Prosperity Toss. It is said that the higher the toss, the better the luck.
On occasion of the Chinese New Year 2018 celebration, the hotel is giving away freebies for those who book a stay by February 28, 2018. They get to enjoy extra benefits, including breakfast for two plus early check in and late check out subject to availability, 30 percent discount on second room booking, and complimentary room upgrade for those staying for three consecutive nights or more.
Amid joyful songs and graceful dances, Marco Polo Plaza lights up one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Cebu to mark the beginning of the festive season.
But this isn’t just any ordinary holiday decoration; it is the Christmas Tree of Hope.
During this season of giving, the Tree of Hope accepts donations for underprivileged Filipinos through hotel partner GMA Kapuso Foundation.
Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly said during the lighting of the Christmas Tree of Hope last November 25, 2017 that it has given more than a million pesos to aid in such projects as Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan, Give a Gift Project, and Operation Bayanihan.
Christmas Tree of Hope donations
Becoming part of this exemplary enterprise is easy. All you need to do is buy a Christmas ball for 200 pesos each and you get to hang it on the Tree of Hope with your good wishes, said Marco Polo Plaza Communications Manager Manna Alcazar.
The hotel has partnered with one of the world’s top airlines, Cathay Pacific, for Christmas 2017 so donors get a chance to win something for themselves when they donate to the Christmas Tree of Hope.
Those who buy two or more Christmas balls get a raffle ticket and a chance at the round trip flight to Hong Kong prize care of Cathay Pacific.
Performances by the Children’s Paradise Montessori Choir, Cebu Centre for Dance, Dreamcatchers, and GMA’s Migo Adecer entertained guests during the tree-lighting ceremony.
Seafood on ice, it said on the menu. It doesn’t quite describe the delight of an appetizer that formally started our Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
Smoke enveloped the dish as it was brought to the table over exclamations of amazement, a pair each of fresh shrimps, mussels, scallops served atop a block of ice shaped like a bowl.
It came with the perfect complements: half a slice of lemon wrapped in a dainty net to trap the seeds when squeezed, spicy tomato-based dip, and a glass of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Chardonnay from Chile.
Our wine-pairing dinner just started, but it was easy to see we were in for a treat.
We savored the foie gras paté with a glass of carmenere in between conversations that hopped from good food to family and reminisces of travel, in particular Taiwan, because we happened to be seated near a Taiwanese working for a Japanese IT company in Cebu.
The main course was Churrasco, and it included freshly roasted tenderloin slices and lamb cubes, sausages, pork belly, and fish fillets. We enjoyed the meat selections from both land and sea with another glass of red wine, this time poured from a bottle of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo.
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Moonlit Wine Dinner combined creations by the culinary geniuses of the Blu Bar and Grill and wines from Chile distributed by Titania Wine Cellar, Inc., said General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly.
“It’s not just the fact that the food and wine are both great, but the way we put them together to complement each other,” Mr. Connelly told dinner guests shortly before the start of the dinner.
Dinner with moonshine
Manna Alcaraz, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Communications Manager, said the wine-pairing dinner was intentionally scheduled last October 27, 2017 when it was waxing towards a full moon.
She added that the initial plan is to hold it one night every month when there is a lot of moonshine but they would probably start with quarterly Moonlit Wine Dinner events for now.
The first Moonlit dinner introduced wines manufactured under the Baron de Philippe de Rothschild brand and distributed in the Philippines by Titania Wines.
Fine wine selections
Mr. Connelly said the wines that accompanied the food, from the chardonnay and escudo rojo to cabernet sauvignon, include some very fine selections from Chile.
From a full main course, we feasted on a selection of cheeses washed down with the Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dinner ended on a sweet note with pistachio ice cream on warm choco lava topped with vanilla sauce, made all the sweeter by a glass of merlot.
Interested in this incredible extravaganza of food and wine? Call Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at +6332 253 1111 for the next wine pairing dinner schedule.
Pad thai, tom yum goong, pineapple fried rice, and other delectable dishes are highlighted in the Cafe Marco buffet as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu celebrates the vibrant flavors of Thailand in Thai Sojourn.
Thai Chef Nontra-Udon Buapha came all the way to Cebu from the Marco Polo Prince Hotel in Hong Kong and is currently at the helm of Cafe Marco’s kitchens churning out top-notch Thai delicacies.
Up until June 27, Cebuanos will get to enjoy the best of Thai cuisine on top of the regular buffet spread at Cafe Marco.
At the opening of Thai Sojourn last June 23, restaurant staff in delicate and colorful chut thai welcomed diners.
Media guests invited to the opening were served Thai Chef Buapha’s selection, which highlighted stir fried squid, steamed fish, pad thai, chicken satay and pork, pineapple fried rice, and mango sticky rice.
Thai Chef Buapha, who has over 38 years of experience in the kitchen, was also present to explain the intricacies of Thai cuisine.
For drinks, Cafe Marco served a refreshing cold milk tea with a hint of ginger that perfectly complemented the spicy dishes and the delightfully sweet and fruity “Summer Forever.”
Thai Chef Buapha said Thai food is made of the freshest ingredients. In the same way, the Thai cuisine served at Cafe Marco made use of natural local produce.
Take advantage of Café Marco’s on-going special lunch buffet promo at Php 880 net from Monday to Friday until July 31, 2017.