Sunday, October 30, 2016

# Cucina # food

A Fusion of Philippine Island Flavors at Cucina

If you've been following my blog, you'll see that Cucina offers sumptuous buffet (my previous blogs: 5 Stops at Cucina's Weekend Fiesta and "All Things Swiss" Food Festival at Marco Polo Ortigas) that will make anyone go to food coma heaven.

A few months ago, I was quite surprised to experience Cucina's new menu launch which unified the flavors of Manila, Cebu and Davao in its restaurant's four walls. I've always thought this restaurant only offers buffet and was so happy that I get to try its ala carte offerings which sort of unified the 3 major cities of the Philippines which coincidentally are where Marco Polo Hotels in the Philippines are.

The following signature set menu are based on each island's special fruits - pineapple for Manila, mango for Cebu and pomelo for Davao. These 3 sets are also composed of 3-course menu which will introduce the flavors of the island one chooses.

PiƱa Mania is composed of courses that are infused with the flavors of pineapples that will give you a taste of Manila - sweet with a little tang.

Grilled Tiger Prawns with Pineapple-Mango Salad
The smoky taste of the grilled tiger prawns is complemented by the pineapple-mango salad which gives it a sweet aftertaste. The fresh crisp vegetables on the side washes the palate after.

Crispy Pata stuffed with Foie Gras and topped with Pineapple Salsa
This salty and sweet treat is just an epitome of the flavor every Filipino love! I like how the crispiness of the crispy pata blends with the pineapple salsa then paired with rice that makes it absolutely heavenly!

Pineapple Tamale
It's a pastry crust with pineapple filling topped with minted coconut jelly (AKA macapuno) and mango custard on a side. This is actually my favorite dish out of all! It reminds me of turon (a crunchy spring roll filled with banana and jackfruit and its skin crystallized by brown sugar). Since I love crunchy food and I love custard, this dish just made me fall in love with it instantly!

Mango Bango is made of classic favorites infused with the sweetness of mango best represented by the delicious mangos of Cebu.

Pasta Ravioli with Crabmeat and Mango
I find this dish very innovative. Who would've thought crabmeat with mango will taste good together in other form that is not the famous Japanese kani salad? The sweetness of the mango together with the saltiness of the crabmeat gives the dish a sweeter note. The tomato sauce and shavings of parmesan cheese gives the dish a whole new level of yumminess!

Mango Surf and Turf
Medium well flavorful beef tenderloin and melt in your mouth grilled grouper with adobong kang kong (a classic Filipino vegetable dish cooked in soy sauce and vinegar), sake-induced beef jus topped with mango slices. One can choose to eat it with either mashed potato or rice.

Cheesecake and Mango Jam Creme Brulee
The cheesecake is very smooth and heavenly with the mango. The creme brulee is also a wonderful delight to eat together with the sweet mango.

Oh! Pomelo is of course dishes with the goodness of pomelo which is the superstar fruit in Davao. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try this during the launch but with all the other dishes above, I bet it's going to be wonderful. According to the menu, Oh! Pomelo will be composed of Ceviche of Prawn with Grilled Calamari & Pomelo, Slow baked Salmon Fillet with Pomelo and Chilled Pomelo Cheesecake & Vodka Pomelo Jelly. Doesn't those dishes sound tempting to you?

Last but not the least, do not forget to try Marco Polo's Signature Earl Grape Iced Tea!
Earl Grape Iced Tea
A very extravagant iced tea with extraordinary taste which is refreshingly light and washes away all flavors of what you've eaten cleanly! It's like a reset button. The Earl Grape Iced Tea is composed of cold earl gray tea which is the beverage's base then poured over frozen seedless grapes and elder-flower infused ice cubes. Press the grapes a bit before drinking it to get the complex flavor of grapes, earl tea and elder-flower blending in together then put the syrup in to get the sweetness level of your choice. I actually prefer to put a few drops (yes drops!) only because I don't want to overpower the natural sweetness of the grapes in the drink. Also, I'd like to leave all sweetness in the dessert part of the meal.

Every order of Earl Grape Iced Tea comes with freshly baked lokum or Turkish delight to accentuate the flavors of the drink.

Based on Marco Polo Ortigas's website, this offering is available until December 31, 2016. For reservations or dining inquiries, you may call Cucina at (+632)720-7720 or email

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