Deliziosa Italia at Marco Polo Manila's Cucina

What's your top ten favorite cuisines? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I bet most of you will include Italian cuisine to that list. Carbs are, for one, really delicious, and Italians really know how to make those carbs extra good. Italian dishes are savory all right, but the best thing about Italian food is that it is always a good bet. Even a simple rendition of a standard Spaghetti Bolognese in the boondocks would most likely be decent, at the very least. 

I'm a sucker for Italian food - and the country itself! If you are too, you'll be happy to know that it's all about the taste of Italy for the month of August at Marco Polo Manila's Cucina! 

Let it be known by everyone that the photos I have here are the Italian dishes that are being highlighted for the Deliziosa Italia. Since these are just a small part of the entire Cucina spread, you'll be able to enjoy the Italian treats along with the usual favorites such as the paella. I have to say, Cucina makes a mean paella.


What I like about Cucina is their limited yet well-curated spread; plus the good price point despite the high-quality dishes. Lean buffets such as this one might be a turn-off to some. After all, when the word "buffet" is mentioned, the first thing that pops into our minds is abundance. But personally, I'd rather order a single killer dish if half of an overflowing buffet is so-so. 

Let's start with an antipasto. Prosciutto is one of the greatest inventions of all time. That's just my humble opinion. Its buttery texture with just a hint of saltiness is really addicting. Prosciutto is just one of the cured meats that you can abuse in this Italian feast. There's Mortadella, Salami, and Bresaola, too.

One of the ready-made dishes that I couldn't get enough of was the Marinated Grilled Artichoke Hearts with Borlotti Beans and Anchovies in Olive Dressing. Even if you're not a big artichoke fan, you'll take a liking to this one. I like that there's no dressing overkill. The marinade did its job well already. It's an overall deliciously briny mixture with some anchovies tempering it out.

Another sublime starter is the Seafood Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing. The citrusy dressing complemented the seafood and brought out their natural flavors. Very good!

No antipasti section would be complete without one of its mainstays: the bruschetta. This one is made with Buffalo Mozzarella and Roma Tomato. Simple. Straightforward. Delicious.

There's usually two kinds of pizzas being served in Cucina. They switch things up every now and again. When we were there, the pizzas being served were Margherita and a vegetarian one with zucchini. And if you're wondering, the latter was surprisingly delicious. 

Create-you-own pasta is another big hit. The Carbonara was particularly popular with the guests. I prefer the Seafood Alfredo, though.

As for the mains, the two that I liked best were the Salmon with Olives and Basil, and the Gratinated Meatballs with Barolo Wine, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms. 

The Salmon with Olives and Basil lets the quality of the fish speak for itself along with the pool of tomato-based sauce. 

The Gratinated Meatballs with Barolo Wine, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms is an updated classic that didn't look good, but tasted like a real champ. Huge balls of meat hugged by lots of cheese? It's hard to say no to that!

The Piccata of Pork Tenderloin is not something I'm too fond of. I think it was a little underseasoned when we went. 

Other meat attractions includes a Slow-Braised Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary, and Roasted Pork Loin. 

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote,
Chocolate Mousse with Amaretti Biscotti, Tiramisu, Banana and Mango Zabaglione

For me, one of the biggest strengths of Cucina is the dessert. I think it's one of the most underrated dessert spreads in Manila. The desserts really aims to please and not just mandatory additions to complete the buffet list. 

Everything you see here were well-made. Everything. But if I had to choose a favorite, that would definitely be the dome-shaped Tiramisu. The crusty exterior gives way to a pillowy rum-soaked trifle plus cream entwined with coffee. I've been ignoring sweets for quite some time, but this thing just pulled me right back in. Couldn't resist doing that reference.

Deliziosa Italia is available until the 27th of August 2018 only. 

Buffet price: Lunch and Dinner - PhP 1,399/person

24th Floor Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s 
Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street,
Ortigas Centre, Pasig City,1600
Contact No.: (+632) 720.77.77 
Twitter: @marcopolomanila
Instagram: @marcopolomanila

Onward and Upward!


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