The Philippine Master Chefs at the Marco Polo

                September flew by so fast and now it’s time for the next theme of Marco Polo Plaza’s Culinary Journeys at Café Marco. I am proud to say this is my most awaited event of the year at the Marco Polo. This is because my local culinary icons, celebrity chefs father and son tandem, Chefs Gene and Gino Gonzalez are back! They are the guest chefs I look forward to most every year because I’ve personally watched them live in action in the kitchen when I was an intern. They are the heavyweights in the culinary industry, having several awards as individuals and with their restaurants. Not surprisingly enough, they never fail to pull out some magic from their sleeves every time they’re here.

(from left) Chef Red, Chef Gino and Gene Gonzalez, Chef Toto Erfe 

                This year’s theme is Culinary Impressions of China. Common as it (Chinese cuisine) sounds, don’t be prematurely disinterested just yet. It’s not traditional Chinese cuisine (not that it’s bad) but an adventurous contemporary take, making you feel like you’re dining with an emperor. With the Philippine Master Chefs Gene and Gino Gonzalez, anything they get their hands on is a spectacular show for the eyes and a party in the mouth. It’s their 6th visit but their tricks never get old! :D

                I’ve never had a complete and perfectly satisfied culinary journey at the Café Marco as this. And by that, I mean smooth sailing from appetizers to dessert! Here are some of the gems I had a taste of in the buffet:


Chilled Tofu with Century Egg

                   Slices of soft silk tofu swimming in a broth with century egg and topped with a beautiful medley of pork floss, chopped cilantro and an edible orchid, "Dancing Lady". This melted in my mouth and slid down my throat like I had a spoonful of fairy dust. And what's more awesome is, it's low in calories! Oh yesss. :D  

Seaweed Salad with Century Egg 

                       Three kinds of seaweed of which I could only identify guso (that thick branched seaweed), with slivers of jellyfish -- my favorite Chinese cold appetizer. The textures were playful, having smoothness, crispness and chewy.   

Cold Spicy Noodles

                      Probably the only cold "palabok-like" noodles I ever enjoyed, with strips of pork belly. It was a substantial and creamy noodle dish.  

Lechon with Chive Cake

Ox Tripe Salad


Red Curry Dumpling and Pork & Lemongrass Dumpling

                 Both dumplings were heaven in the mouth and matched perfectly with their dipping sauces. The pork and lemongrass dumpling went with the sweet and sour Vietnamese vinegar dip (right side on the sauce plate) and the red curry dumpling which was soupy like xiao long bao went with the raspberry soy dip. I wouldn't stop popping these in my mouth if I had a bottomless stomach.          


Wok Fried Beef with Wolf Berries

                  Tender slices of quality beef with a rich, savory sauce. Again, if I had a bigger appetite, I'd have more. 

Boat People Noodle

                    I don't have much clue about the name but this was also really good. The shrimps were fresh, sweet and easy to eat. 


Asian Marshmallows (Coconut and Green Tea)

Asian Crème Brulees (Coconut, Green Tea, Ube, Muscovado)

Mandarin Orange Roll

                 Would be interesting to throw some of those marshmallows into a cup of hot chocolate to jazz it up. And the orange cake, oh wow, it looks so luscious yet it isn't an irritable sweetness at all. It's a light chiffon cake with a balanced flavor and aroma from the oranges; a must have! 

                  I've said it already and I'll say it again -- I enjoyed every single dish of Chef Gene and Gino's creations. Even if I was quite late for the buffet, with only a few minutes left til the closing time, none of the dishes seemed to be degraded with exposure time. 

            That's not even the complete menu. There will be a variety of dishes from Chef Gene's menu as the promo runs along the week. You don't wanna miss this. Culinary Impressions of China will leave a lasting impression of invigorated palates on anyone who gets a taste. Catch this from Sept 28-Oct 7

the babe with (from left) Chefs Gino and Gene Gonzalez and Toto Erfe

Café Marco
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills,
Apas, Cebu City 6000

For reservations:     (032) 253 1111 loc 8353

Follow them on:
Twitter -- @5StarInCebu

You can also visit their website for ongoing promos: www.marcopoloplazacebu.com

“To know Cebu, eat Cebu!” :D

oink oink,

Babe for Food
 your BFF in Cebu dining! :)


  1. Thank you very much for writing about our Culinary Journeys: Culinary Impressions of China Babeforfood! We see you're a big fan and good friends with our Guest Chef Gene & Gino Gonzalez.
    Until the next culinary journeys at Cafe Marco!

    Cheers to great dining!
    Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

  2. Aww. Can't wait to go back to Cafe Marco! :)

  3. Wow! Everything looks really delicious! Cool blog!

    1. Thanks! Everything at Marco is always delicious! :)