Could street food ever find its way in a hotel? And not just any hotel -- a FIVE STAR hotel. No way, you say? Well, the adventurous Marco Polo Plaza Cebu never fails to amaze. To kick off the year and to commemorate with the most festive time of the year in Cebu (Sinulog!), Cafe Marco's Culinary Journeys aptly brings you Sugbusog 2013: Street Food Classics, a walk through street food right in the hotel's buffet!
I excitedly anticipated this event when I was invited because I was so curious how it would look like in the hotel. Ms. Jessica Avila, an icon of native/Cebuano cuisine who has been the food consultant of Marco Polo for four years now, was the genius behind this promo among the many things she has contributed to the hotel's gastronomic triumphs.
|THE Ms. Jessica Avila, culinary icon in Cebu|
A regal welcome to our street food feast.
The street food display is located at the El Viento poolside restobar; it is an extension of the Cafe Marco buffet. Guests are welcome to take their pick (WARNING: Once you pop, you can't stop.) among the tantalizing spread and dine at the poolside to have the outdoor vibe of eating on the streets. It may not be as rugged but you're sure to get yourself perfumed by the grill and a little sweaty from the absence of air conditioning.
My, the spread was grand! It had all the works -- popcorn, "dirty" ice cream, kwek-kwek, tempura, squid balls, balbacua, bbq, hotcake, balut, peanuts and more! You name it, they have it! Such nostalgic classics that bring to mind those days when we would spend loose change on these irresistible legends. You almost wouldn't believe you were dining in a five star hotel. I got so excited I couldn't wait to take my plate. I had to have everything.
I most definitely had a taste of everything and it was impeccable, even guilt-free, because you know it's squeaky clean with five star sanitation. And believe it or not, everything was made from scratch -- even the balot (that notorious boiled duck egg, a favorite in the Fear Factor show)! :D
Excuse my orange tinted photos from my poor 10-yr-old camera but here are a few snips from the lavish spread:
|balut and mani (peanuts)|
|our national flower, chicharon bulaklak|
|puso (hanging rice)|
Ah yes, the queen of all street food -- chicharon bulaklak, known to Cebuanos as ginabot. This is pork intestine deep-fried to perfection and forbids you the consumption of just one puso.
|mais na kan-on (corn grits)|
The adobo corn grits or mais was stunning. It was a perfect match to the bulad (dried fish). I wish I could have had more but I got so full from tasting everything.
|The grill station: isaw, pork bbq, chicken, squid, fish, and saang|
Pinoy barbecue is among my favorite food! I especially loved the grilled saang (a seashell) and chicken gizzard that night. :D
|The ever present trio: tempura, squid balls and kwek-kwek!|
This station was just irresistible! I loved the pancake and biko! :D
|masi, budbud kabog, banana que, biko, caramelized banan chips, bibingka, torta|
|another one of my faves: Camote cue! :D|
|gotta have 'em all: chocolate, ube and mango!|
The Christmas ensaymada was selling like hotcakes last season and now, they have another version for this season -- a specially-made Fiesta Ensaymada for Sinulog! Bite into it and be surprised as you get a mouthful of halo-halo filling. This is something you might want to bring around the streets as snack or share with friends during Sinulog.
Now, you don't have to go running around the streets looking for these. They got it all here! This is seriously one of the best spreads of the year by the Marco Polo! What a great way to start the year. Imagine high class people eating this kind of food. What an amusing sight that would be. You shouldn't miss this either. Of course, I don't have to tell you that. I'm sure you're drooling by now. Sugbusog 2013: Street Food Classics promo is from Jan 11-20; only comes one week in a year!
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills
Lahug, Cebu City 6000
Contact: (032) 253 1111
"To know Cebu, eat Cebu! :D"
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- your BFF in Cebu dining! :)