Friday, December 11, 2015

A Fine German Feast at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Cucina

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila brings the best of global flavors to the metro...

Starting December 8 to December 13, 2015, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's all-day dining restaurant, Cucina, celebrates authentic German flavors with its week-long festival, A Fine German Feast. Guest chefs Christian Scheler and Mario Paecke from Germany's iconic luxe hotel, the Schloss Elmau, present a pre-holiday feast with traditional German dishes at Cucina.

Mirko De Giorgi (center), Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Director of Food & Beverage, is flanked by guest chefs Mario Paecke (L) and Christian Scheler (R), as they welcomed guests to Cucina's German food festival, A Fine German Feast, the first in a series of global culinary exchanges allowing diners to savor and experience the best of global flavors. The guest chefs bring with them years of experience as they recreate their own take on classic and traditional German cuisine with a modern and contemporary spin. 

And Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Cucina will be their stage for the week-long German food festival showcasing a variety of dishes daily (for more on Marco Polo's Cucina, see my earlier posts on the extensive buffet spread here and the previous La Catalana festival here). 

A center station at Cucina will highlight the dishes prepared by guest chefs Christian Scheler and Mario Paecke during the week-long festival, right beside the Carving Station. That day, German appetizers like Fish Patty with Cucumber and Dill were featured...

...along with Fried Veal Shank with Beetroot, perfect starters to your culinary journey with authentic German flavors.

For the mains, you'll be glad to know that Germans love their pork as much as we do, with this impressive Crispy Pork Belly with Dark Beer Jus, Caramelized White Cabbage and Potato Dumplings.

Guest Chef Christian Scheler then goes behind the station to prepare the traditional Wiener Schnitzel, a thin, breaded and pan-fried veal cutlet. Fried in rich butter and best served fresh off the pan, Chef Christian Scheler prepares the Wiener Schnitzel ala minute for you to enjoy the flavors and fresh crispness at its peak. 

Start with some fresh salads at the Salad Station, or better yet, go for the German Potato Salad to get you in the groove for authentic German flavors. Follow it up with a hearty bowl of Potato and Leek Soup with Croutons and Chives, with its thick and creamy broth. 

Wiener Schnitzel with Cucumber Salad, freshly prepared just minutes earlier, with its mild notes contrasting with the richly seasoned notes of the crisp layer of breading. Pair it with a refreshing Cucumber Salad, some German Potato Salad, or the bold flavors of the sweet and tart Red Cabbage to complete the flavors. And you'll probably want to go back for seconds...

Then, go for the next round of appetizers, like the Fish Patty with Cucumber and Dill, with the Cucumber Salad pairing well with all the appetizers, balancing the richness of the crisp appetizers.

Contrasting notes are highlighted once more with the Fried Veal Shank with Beetroot, with juicy slow-braised veal shank draped in a crunchy breading, capped by the mildly sweet and tart beetroot.

End your round of appetizers with the fresh and clean flavors of the Grilled Salmon in Lemon Butter Sauce with Spaetzle.

For the mains, start with the comforting flavors of Beef Goulash, with tender chunks of beef simmered for hours with a side of Red Cabbage (L), or have it plated with the traditional Spaetzle (R), a soft egg noodle and a favorite German staple. The fork-tender beef almost melts in your mouth, releasing its rich and savory notes.

Then, it's time for a few thick slices of the Crispy Pork Belly with Dark Beer Jus laid on caramelized white cabbage with soft potato dumplings. The delicate flavors of the juicy pork pair well with the mild sour hint of the caramelized white cabbage, blending seamlessly for balanced flavors. The juicy pork, and a layer of crisp crackling, makes this a must-try dish. Unlike the usual pork belly dish, with its pronounced salty notes, this one is a lot more subtle, allowing you to taste more of the juicy pork's delicate flavors. The pairing of each dish with a salad really completes the flavors, and you can create your own salad pairing with the appetizers and main dishes. 

Cap your German feast with indulgent desserts, like the Bavarian Cream of Milk Chocolate with Raspberries...

...and the rustic Semolina Pancakes with Cherry Ragout. Now it's your turn. You too can experience the best of Germany with Cucina's A Fine German Feast in a sumptuous buffet, starting at P 1,850 net per person, while children aged 7-12 are charged half the price (kids aged 6 and below eat for free). But better hurry. Cucina's A Fine German Feast runs only until December 13, 2015.

Cucina is located at the 24th Floor of the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila hotel tower,  Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City. To reserve or inquire, you can call (+632) 720-7720 or email

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