Seven Reasons for Diners to Visit
Marco Polo Ortigas’ Cucina Restaurant

Seafood Thermidore

Seafood Thermidore

MARCO Polo Ortigas Manila is giving diners seven good reasons to visit its all-day dining restaurant, Cucina, with its 7 Days, 7 Reasons offering. A grand showcase of diverse gourmet fares, it offers a different buffet theme every day of the week, and these are the seven good reasons why Marco Polo is encouraging diners to visit the restaurant more often.

Executive chef Luis Pesaradonna, director of sales and marketing Pearl Peralta-Maclang, marketing communications and PR manager Beth Gokauchi, and F&B director Mirko de Giorgi

Executive chef Luis Pesaradonna, director of sales and marketing Pearl Peralta-Maclang, marketing communications and PR manager Beth Gokauchi, and F&B director Mirko de Giorgi

1. Enjoy Paella and Spanish Desserts on Mondays.

The buffet spread lays out delicious Paella variants, such as Paella Valenciana, Paella Negra, Mixta Paella, Paella de Mariscos and Paella Filipina, on Mondays. They’re featured in an interactive station, so that freshly cooked paella is always available. Diners can even see the chef preparing paella on an authentic paellera.

Paella Negra (Mondays)

Paella Negra (Mondays)

Mixta Paella (Mondays)

Mixta Paella (Mondays)

Churros (Mondays)

Churros (Mondays)

The Monday Spanish fiesta also extends to Spanish desserts. Heading the list is Churros con Chocolate. Others include Coca de San Juan, Torta de Nata, Brazo de Gitano, Crema Catalana, and Ensaymada Rellena de Nata.

There’s also fresh homemade Sangria to enjoy.

2. It’s all about Shell Delicacies on Tuesdays.

For seafood lovers, especially those who enjoy shellfish, Tuesdays are heaven on earth at Marco Polo Ortigas. Indulge in King Crab, Spider Crab, Blue Crab, Prawns, New Zealand Mussels, Clams, Slipper Tail and Oysters.

Mussels Marinierre (Tuesdays)

Mussels Marinierre (Tuesdays)

Pick what you like and have the chef prepare it the way you want—steamed, baked, sautéed, grilled, wok-fried or deep-fried—and enjoy them with a number of available condiments.

3. Wednesdays put the spotlight on the Fish Corner.

Fish is the star of the buffet on Wednesdays, so diners can have their fill of fish even from the carving station, where people usually go for Roast Prime Rib, Rack of Lamb or Turkey. Well, on Wednesdays, there will be Salmon en Papillote and Salt Crusted Snapper!

Salmon en Papillote (Wesnesdays)

Salmon en Papillote (Wesnesdays)

Salt-crusted Snapper (Wednesdays)

Salt-crusted Snapper (Wednesdays)

You can also have your fish spiced and served Indian style, if you like.

4. Feast on hometown favorites with the Filipino Corner on Thursdays.

What’s a Filipino celebration without the quintessential celebration dish, Lechon? Marco Polo Ortigas’ Cucina makes it even more juicy, flavorful and tender by featuring Lechon de Leche on Thursdays.

Complementing it are other Filipino food treats and desserts, plus refreshing Coconut Juice mocktails and a selection of fine local beers.

5. Go Thai on Fridays.

Now, this is truly unique! Most buffets do not have a Thai corner. They usually just feature a Thai dish or two among the hot dishes or in the Asian corner, but at Marco Polo Ortigas’ Cucina, the buffet offers a good selection of Thai dishes on Fridays. Have your Pad Thai assembled and cooked a la minute at the interactive station. Tell the chef what you want to go into your stir-fried noodles and he “custom-cooks” it for you.

Pad Thai (Fridays)

Pad Thai (Fridays)

Lamb Massaman (Fridays)

Lamb Massaman (Fridays)

An assortment of Satays

An assortment of Satays

Other Thai specialties to try on Fridays: Green Curry with Pork, Lamb Massaman, Thai Beef Salad, Glass Noodle Salad with Seafood, a selection of Satays, and crowd-drawing Tom Yum Goong soup.

6. Have your fill of Tex-Mex cuisine on Saturdays.

Diners who love delicious American and Mexican fusion dishes are in for a treat on Saturdays, as colorful Tex-Mex dishes take center stage. There’s the all-time favorite, Chili con Carne, accompanied by Enchiladas, Burritos, Tacos, Quesadillas and Chimichanga.

Burritos (Saturdays)

Burritos (Saturdays)

Tacos (Saturdays)

Tacos (Saturdays)

You get to choose your meat among chicken, pork and beef, and enjoy them with lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum, onion, marinated barbecued chili, cilantro and semi-sundried tomatoes, as well as a variety of condiments consisting of guacamole, sour cream, tomato salsa, Tabasco and cheese sauce.

Enjoy all of these with artisan Mexican beers and, yes, Tequila!

7. There’s a fine selection of Charcuterie on Sundays.

End the week with a gourmet treat, as Charcuterie takes the spotlight at Marco Polo Ortigas on Sundays. Fine Iberico Ham can be enjoyed along with Chorizo, Mortadella, Salchichon, Coppa, Pepper Beef, Catalan Fuet and a selection of other cold cuts and imported cheeses.

Executive Chef Luis Pesaradonna beside the Iberico ham and other Charcuterie delights

Executive Chef Luis Pesaradonna beside the Iberico ham and other Charcuterie delights

Assorted hams and cold cuts (Sundays)

Assorted hams and cold cuts (Sundays)

On the side, there will be olives, onion in vinegar, cornichons, marinated cherry tomatoes, stuffed bell peppers, and marinated mushrooms to make the Charcuterie experience more well-rounded and satisfying.

Buffet price at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Cucina restaurant starts at Php1,500++ per person. Children aged 7 to 12 get to eat at half the price, while children aged 6 and below get to eat for free. Cucina is open daily for lunch from 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m.

For inquiries and reservations, call 720-7777.

 

(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City.)

 

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Greenwich Opens Hip New Store,
Features Ultimate Overload Pizza

Greenwich's Ultimate Overload Pizza

Greenwich’s Ultimate Overload Pizza

GREENWICH hit two birds with one stone last July 23, 2015, when it opened its first pizzeria store in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig, and featured its Ultimate Overload Pizza on opening night.

It was party time at the new Greenwich branch, which carries the same new Greenwich store concept as its recently opened branches in SM Megamall, Glorietta and Kanlaon St. in Quezon City. The new pizzeria store is specifically designed to fit into the upscale environment and party mode of BGC and give the hip and young crowd a place to gather, hang out and share an Ultimate Overload Pizza with fries, pasta and other signature Greenwich treats.

The pizzeria showcases actual pizza making, which diners can watch through a show window

The pizzeria showcases actual pizza making, which diners can watch through a show window

Greenwich GM Albert Cuadrante offering a toast on Greenwich-BGC Stopover Pavilion's opening night

Greenwich GM Albert Cuadrante offering a toast on Greenwich-BGC Stopover Pavilion’s opening night

The young, modern, mid-century industrial neighborhood pizzeria comes complete with a show window, where diners can catch as Greenwich’s expert pizza makers knead doughs, throw them up in the air to stretch them, roll them out, and top them with sauce and toppings before crunching them up in the oven. As for the dining area, it features a lounge, a main dining area, a balcony, a banquet place and an enclosed dining space, so it offers different types of seating, such as bar stools for elevated tables, couches, booths and tables. Creating ambiance for the store are brick walls, colorful wall art, digital menu boards, colorful graphics and warm lighting. This was what guests enjoyed on Greenwich’s pizzeria store opening in BGC last week.

The Ultimate Overload Pizza being enjoyed by everyone

The Ultimate Overload Pizza being enjoyed by everyone

New members of the Greenwich barkada--Robi Domingo, Yassi Pressman, JM De Guzman and Andre Paras

New members of the Greenwich barkada–Robi Domingo, Yassi Pressman, JM De Guzman and Andre Paras

Everyone also had their fill of Greenwich’s Ultimate Overload Pizza as they enjoyed the live upbeat music provided by the guest DJs. Topped with two kinds of cheeses, four kinds of meats and a variety of other toppings to bring the total to 13, the Ultimate Overload Pizza lets all these toppings sit on a freshly made, thick and crunchy crust. It makes for the Ultimate Barkada Experience, as seen in the new Greenwich commercial featuring the new members of the Greenwich barkada—Robi Domingo, Andre Paras, JM De Guzman and Yassi Pressman.

 

(The new Greenwich pizzeria store is located at the First Level of Bonifacio Stopover Pavilion, 31st St. corner 2nd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.)

 

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Organico Gourmet Serves Up
Healthy and Delicious Food

Bulalo Steak is Organico Gourmet's signature dish

Bulalo Steak is Organico Gourmet’s signature dish

IT’S a common dilemma of busy working professionals. You don’t have time to prepare food at home since you lead a very busy life at work, so you have to eat out most of the time. You want to eat healthy, but the options that present themselves before you are fast-foods and casual dining restaurants that basically serve American style food.

Now, if you’re in the Mandaluyong-San Juan area, you have an option: Organico Gourmet. It’s a restaurant that serves healthy but delicious food in a comfy casual setting at affordable prices. Located right along Luna Mencias St., near the corner of Shaw Blvd., in Mandaluyong City, it makes use of organic ingredients—from the vegetables to the eggs, poultry and meat to the milk and fruits—so you can sit back and feel assured that you’re eating something good. And since the place used to be a house, you are able to enjoy your food as if you’re in the comforts of your own home.

The Executive Chef of Organico Gourmet is Gloria de Vera, who is totally committed to serve only healthy and organic food that is at the same time delicious and fully satisfying. Her commitment comes from a very personal experience. Her youngest daughter battled with weight problems back when she was 12. She loved to eat, and steak was her favorite food in the world. She would eat it so often she ballooned to 170 lbs. Chef Gloria was naturally alarmed. She felt in a way guilty because she was then in culinary school and was cooking a lot at home, so she knew she had to do something to help her daughter win the battle against the bulge. She researched on proper nutrition, read up on diets, and came up with a menu plan that centered around healthy, organic food. In two weeks’ time, her daughter successfully lost 10 lbs., which motivated the 12-year-old to continue eating healthy and light. Now, at 16, she weighs a light and healthy 115 lbs.

A cozy nook in the restaurant

A cozy nook in the restaurant

Executive Chef Gloria de Vera and Sous Chef Mark Bernardino

Executive Chef Gloria de Vera and Sous Chef Mark Bernardino

So, now, Chef Gloria wants to share her success story and help others who have a similar problem to find the right solution to their problem. She put up Organico Gourmet, which is mainly a restaurant that serves organic and all-natural food, including a whole range of cold-pressed juice made from 80% vegetables and 20% fruits. The juices, processed through a slow juicer that keeps enzymes alive, can be enjoyed with the food at the restaurant or bought in bottled form to take home.

The restaurant’s menu, which Chef Gloria drew up with Sous Chef Mark Bernardino, makes full use of organic, all-natural, pesticide-free, hand-grown and non-GMO ingredients. Chef Gloria makes sure that even the meats they use come from animals that have been grass-fed and not treated with any form of chemicals.

The menu is as extensive as the menus of regular restaurants, with appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, chicken, pork, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, yes, steaks, rice bowls and desserts. Organico Gourmet is a place where you can have brown rice, red rice or black rice, which go very well with must-try dishes such as Bellychon (pork belly stuffed with garlic and leeks, prepared into a roulade, and slow-cooked in the oven until finger-licking tender), Grilled Prawns with Passionfruit Butter Sauce (fresh prawns butterflied, seasoned with herbs and grilled and served with a unique sweet-and-sour blend of passionfruit butter sauce), and Tamarind & Honey-glazed Chicken (soft and juicy chicken inasal marinated overnight and served piping hot with brown rice and toasted garlic).

Bellychon

Bellychon

Grilled Prawns with Pasionfruit Butter Sauce

Grilled Prawns with Pasionfruit Butter Sauce

Tinapa Mousse on Mini Pancakes

Tinapa Mousse on Mini Pancakes

Three-Mushroom Truffled Cream Pasta

Three-Mushroom Truffled Cream Pasta

Not to be missed is the restaurant’s signature dish, Bulalo Steak, which is an heirloom recipe of Chef Gloria’s family, the Reyeses, which has been passed on from generation to generation. For Organico Gourmet, Chef Gloria uses Australian beef that is guaranteed to be grass-fed, antibiotic-free and non-GMO.

The sandwiches on the menu are pretty interesting. Aside from the Organico Gourmet Burger (made with ground grass-fed Angus Rib Eye, layered with freshly sliced organic salad tomatoes, crisp organic lettuce and aged cheese), the restaurant offers Banhmi (Vietnamese style sandwich of grilled organic chicken, liver pate, pickled organic vegetables and various Asian herbs in a freshly baked French baguette), Oyster Po ‘boy (a New Orleans classic of oysters coated with organic beer batter and deep-fried, then served in a homemade baguette with creamy garlic kefir sauce), and Mushroom Burger (special organic mushroom-filled burger).

Kapeng Organiko Panna Cotta

Kapeng Organiko Panna Cotta

Leave room for dessert, as it, too, offers a few surprises. There’s Mango Pudding with Chia Seeds, Sweet Potato S-mores, Coconut Panna Cotta and Kapeng Organiko Panna Cotta.

Cold-pressed juices, from right: Red Beet Fusion, Carrot Fusion, Mango Fusion and Energy

Cold-pressed juices, from right: Red Beet Fusion, Carrot Fusion, Mango Fusion and Energy

As for the cold-pressed juices, it comes initially in five variants—Mango Fusion (mango, yellow watermelon and lemon), Pineapple Mint (pineapple, cucumber and mint), Red Beet Fusion (red beets, red capsicum and lime), Carrot Fusion (carrots, orange and apple), and Energy (kale or Chinese broccoli, and cucumber).

True to its healthy nature, Organico Gourmet devotes a portion of the place to a market area of super grocer, where healthy, organic and all-natural food and beverage products sourced from all over the country and even abroad are available for sale.

What’s more: the restaurant has an in-house nutritionist who can design a diet program for customers based on their personal needs; and complete breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner fares can be delivered straight to their homes to make sure they comply with their diet program. Personalized meal programs cost Php1,500 per day.

What Organico Gourmet hopes to do is ignite a healthy dining revolution in the country. “Our tagline is ‘Deliciously Organic’ because we want to show people that organic food can be delicious as much as it is healthy,” says Chef Gloria.

 

(Organico Gourmet is located at 916 Luna Mencias St., Mandaluyong City. For inquiries, reservations and meal plan deliveries, call 0917-3790888.)

 

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Stars Share Their Best Kept Recipes
in U.P Town Center’s ‘Open Kitchen’

Celebrity couple Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos cook up and serve Dirty Breakfast in their booth at U.P. Town Center's 'Open Kitchen' event

Celebrity couple Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos cook up and serve Dirty Breakfast in their booth at U.P. Town Center’s ‘Open Kitchen’ event

EVERYBODY knows that Judy Ann Santos cooks like a pro. She even went to culinary school to hone her cooking skills. She’s also quite known for her ‘Dirty Breakfast,’ which are delicious breakfast fares that she whips up for husband Ryan Agoncillo that are so good he eats them even before he washes up after early morning workout. And this is what Judy Ann shared in her and Ryan’s Dirty Breakfast booth at U.P. Town Center’s Open Kitchen: Best Kept Recipes of the Stars held at the Amphitheater of the neighborhood mall recently.

The gastronomic event filled U.P. Town Center's Amphitheater with people

The gastronomic event filled U.P. Town Center’s Amphitheater with people

At the launch of 'Open Kitchen,' from left: The Clean Plate owner Deo Endrinal, PJ Endrinal, Richard Yap, JC De Vera, Aiza Seguerra, Cherry Pie Picache, Angeline Quinto, Ayala Malls' VP and head of operations and support services Rowena Tomeldan, senior division manager Mark Sablan, Sherilyn Reyes and Dimples Romana

At the launch of ‘Open Kitchen,’ from left: The Clean Plate owner Deo Endrinal, PJ Endrinal, Richard Yap, JC De Vera, Aiza Seguerra, Cherry Pie Picache, Angeline Quinto, Ayala Malls’ VP and head of operations and support services Rowena Tomeldan, senior division manager Mark Sablan, Sherilyn Reyes and Dimples Romana

IMG_0091

Gourmet sandwich from one of the booths

Gourmet sandwich from one of the booths

Homemade cookies being sold in one of the booths

Homemade cookies being sold in one of the booths

Other stars who shared their best kept recipe secrets by making them available at very affordable prices during the three-day event were Aiza Seguerra (Adobo in a Jar), Lovi Poe (EATcetera and its scrumptious Cheesy Lasagna, Ravioli, Pork Buns and Tacos), Ava Daza (Baguettini Gourmet Sandwiches), Mel Martinez (Cucina ni Bunso), Sam Milby (Third District Café and its coffee concoctions), Vice Ganda (Rice Ganda), JC De Vera (The Burgery), Priscilla Mereilles (Brazilian Bakery), Maricar Reyes (Kalookies), and Pokwang (Mamang Pokie’s). Most of the stars personally manned their booths and served customers, a lot of whom were star-struck and asked to have pictures taken with the celebrities they bought food from.

Aiza Seguerra preparing an order of adobo with rice at the Adobo in a Jar booth

Aiza Seguerra preparing an order of adobo with rice at the Adobo in a Jar booth

Clean Plate owner Deo Endrinal with Lovi Poe and Rocco Nacino

Clean Plate owner Deo Endrinal with Lovi Poe and Rocco Nacino

Mel Martinez in front of his Cucina ni Bunso booth

Mel Martinez in front of his Cucina ni Bunso booth

Who else but Priscilla Meirelles can be behind the Brazilian Bakery?

Who else but Priscilla Meirelles can be behind the Brazilian Bakery?

Pokwang and Chokoleit

Pokwang and Chokoleit

Angeline Quinto belting out beautiful songs to serenade the crowd

Angeline Quinto belting out beautiful songs to serenade the crowd

KZ Tandingan

KZ Tandingan

Kyla's voice is as smooth and soothing as ever

Kyla’s voice is as smooth and soothing as ever

'Ser Chief' Richard Yap doing a duet with real-life daughter Ashley

‘Ser Chief’ Richard Yap doing a duet with real-life daughter Ashley

Gerald Anderson and Rayver Cruz in an upbeat dance number

Gerald Anderson and Rayver Cruz in an upbeat dance number

A one-of-a-kind affair, Open Kitchen: Best Kept Recipes of the Stars was like a star-studded weekend market of delicious eats and drinks, which had the celebrity-owned booths selling their specialties. Since it was hosted by The Clean Plate, which is owned by showbiz’s Deo Endrinal, the event turned out to be also star-studded in terms of entertainment. Providing live musical entertainment during the three-day affair were Angeline Quinto, KZ Tandingan, Erik Santos, Kyla, Markki Stroem, and The Voice stars Bradley Holmes and Daryl Ong. ‘Ser Chief’ Richard Yap did a duet with his daughter Ashley, while Gerald Anderson and Rayver Cruz hammed it up with audience participants in dance numbers. More than personally cooking in her Dirty Breakfast booth, Judy Ann Santos also put a limited number of her newly launched cookbook, Judy Ann’s Kitchen, on sale and took the time to sign them with personal messages as well.

Maja Salvador visits 'Open Kitchen' to support showbiz friends

Maja Salvador visits ‘Open Kitchen’ to support showbiz friends

Marvin Agustin and his kids

Marvin Agustin and his kids

A lot of other celebrities dropped by the U.P. Town Center to check out the food and drinks and support their friends in showbiz. Among those spotted were Maja Salvador, Marvin Agustin and his kids, Julia Montes, Paulo Avelino, Coco Martin, Shaina Magdayao, Bea Alonzo, Nadine Lustre and James Reid, Cherry Pie Picache and Dimples Romana. The latter hosted the formal opening rites and ceremonial toast, which also saw the presence of Ayala Malls’ top executives, including Rowena Tomeldan, vice president and head of operations and support services; and Mark Sablan, senior division manager.

Open Kitchen: Best Kept Recipes of the Stars brought together celebrities, shoppers and diners who all love good food shared with family and friends in a cozy and comfy setting with good music and entertainment.

 

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Lifestyle Network’s “Chef Next Door”
Premieres on Monday, July 20

Chef Jonas Ng is the star of the new Lifestyle Network show 'Chef Next Door,' which premieres on Monday, July 20, 2015

Chef Jonas Ng is the star of the new Lifestyle Network show ‘Chef Next Door,’ which premieres on Monday, July 20, 2015

THERE’S a new face to love in the world of cooking shows on TV. His name is Chef Jonas Ng, and he’s the star of the new Lifestyle Network show, Chef Next Door, which premieres on Monday, July 20, 2015, at 10:00 p.m.

While he may be new on TV, Chef Jonas Ng is actually not new to the culinary world. A 10-year veteran in the restaurant industry, he is head chef and owner of Huat Pot Hotpot Restaurant and Le Jardin in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Prior to opening his own restaurants, Chef Jonas worked at the highly regarded Mango Tree restaurant as executive chef. He was recently named as one of Spot.ph’s Top 10 Hottest Chefs in Manila, and he takes this “hot” image to the screen via Chef Next Door.

Answering questions during the formal launch of the show held at Le Jardin

Answering questions during the formal launch of the show held at Le Jardin

Chef Jonas Ng being interviewed by event host Spanky Enriquez

Chef Jonas Ng being interviewed by event host Spanky Enriquez

Smiling for digital cameras...

Smiling for digital cameras…

His first cooking show, Chef Next Door, combines wit, science, humor and sexiness in a show that tackles real-life situations in the kitchen, including cooking obstacles and challenges, and shows how chefs actually deal with such situations with a healthy dose of science and the right thought processes.

“It will show realistic situations. It’s gonna be fun and relaxed to show viewers that working in the kitchen can be fun. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because cooking is about learning and tasting and working with your senses. The important thing is to try to cook. The show actually encourages viewers to go ahead and make mistakes because you learn from mistakes,” explains Chef Jonas, during the formal launch of the show held last Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at Le Jardin.

Chef Next Door also aims to show that restaurant-quality food can be produced at home with foolproof recipes and proper techniques. The new show will be packed with information and recipes mixed with the right amount of humor and banter.

A joint production venture by The Group Entertainment, Outpost Visual Frontier and iSnap Creatives Inc., Chef Next Door airs on Lifestyle Network every Monday at 10:00 p.m., Tuesday at 5:30 a.m., Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and Friday at 12:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

 

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