Experience an exquisite five-star meal like no other at Marco Polo Ortigas

The title of my post pretty much summed up my recent visit to Marco Polo Ortigas, an exquisite experience featuring Executive Chef Alisdair Bletcher's bestselling dishes from their À la carte menu which was launched a few months ago, specifically at the 24th level of the hotel where their all day-dining restaurant, Cucina, is situated. I went there a few days ago along with my favorite foodies this side of Manila.

But first, let's try to stare at this lovely rooftop view for a moment.

I don't need to emphasize it enough, but Marco Polo's views are nothing short of amazing. No wonder this hotel became the winner of a prestigious Five-Star Award from Forbes Travel Guide this year.

Before our meal even started, I had to try (it's a must, they say) one of Cucina's crowd favorites, their Spanish Paella. You'll easily know that this dish is made with only the freshest ingredients once you take that first spoonful of saffron-infused rice with a burst of seafood goodness in your mouth.

I always get my mandatory Marco Polo's Signature Earl Grey Iced Tea as well. A drink with slightly complex elements but best served after a few minutes, when you can see as the flavored ice mixes naturally with the sweet tea that's being poured from an elegant decanter.

We officially started with our appetizer - a plate of Parma Ham with Grilled Marinated Asparagus Spears, Shimeji Mushrooms and Porcini Vinaigrette. The salted cured ham cuts perfectly with the porcini vinaigrette, and the shimeji mushrooms and asparagus only adds to more interesting textures.

From the impressive, we move on with a clean White Onion Soup with Seared Scallops, Thyme Leaves and Truffle Oil. This is elegantly prepared, creamy and rich instead of sipping on a runny stock with bite sized onion pieces. Who would've thought this is made with white onions?

The next course is impeccable - a Gratinated Fillet of Chilean Sea Bass with Lemon Parsley Crust on Wilted Spinach Leaves, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Pommery Mustard Cream. The layers start with an intense burst of flavor thanks to the lemon parsley crust; followed by that distinctive flavor of tender and moist sea bass; a healthy dose of spinach, mushroom and tomatoes; and that mustard cream, which I consider as the secret that holds everything together.

Our meal ends with the most exquisite dessert - a Chocolate Grand Marnier Slice with Candied Orange Peel and Vanilla Creme Brulee. To enjoy this dish the best way I know is to get a bit of that chocolate grand marnier with a small piece of orange peel, and a little bit of that creme brulee.

You're welcome.

To know more about Cucina and Marco Polo's other signature dining outlets, you may visit www.marcopolohotels.com, visit Marco Polo Ortigas Manila on Facebook and follow @marcopolomanila on Twitter and Instagram.


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