IF you love Turkish cuisine or have absolutely no idea what it is all about and are dying to try it, now is your chance to do so. A Taste of Istanbul is ongoing at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Cucina until October 15 (201.
Savor the true flavors of Istanbul at Cucina with a spread of authentic Turkish dishes prepared by guest Turkish chef Gürsel Keles alongside Cucina’s expert culinary team. Born and raised in Turkey and a staunch advocate of his hometown’s cuisine, Chef Gürsel is backed by more than 30 years of experience working in world-class hotels and restaurants, such as Sheraton and The Grand Blue Sky Hotel. In 2005, he opened Fish of North, which showcases the finest catch from the sea, and he now serves as the chairman of the Eurasian Chefs Association.
Chef Gürsel’s menu, which transports foodies to the heart of Istanbul through its food, includes Circassian Chicken Salad (Cerkez Tavugu), Stuffed Pumpkin Flowers (Kabak Cicegi Dolmansi), Roast Eggplant with Olive Oil (Imam Bayildi), Steamed Sea Bass in Paper with Vegetables and Herbs (Kagritta Levrek), Pan-roasted Lamb with Smoked Eggplant Puree (Hunkar Begendi), as well as hot-off-the-grill skewers such as Red Snapper Skewer (Izgara Dil Sis), Lamb and Eggplant Skewer (Patlican Kebabi) and Chicken Skewer (Shish Taouk).
Dessert comes in the form of Pistachio Baklava (Ore Baklava), Candied Pumpkin with Walnuts (Kabak Tatlisi) and Fried Dough Balls in Rose Scented Syrup (Lokma).
Taste of Istanbul buffet is available for lunch at Php1,500 per person and for dinner at Php1,800, Mondays through Thursdays; and for lunch at Php2,300 per person and for dinner at Php2,650, Fridays to Sundays.
(Cucina is located at the 24th level of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. The hotel can be found at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number 720-7777.)