ONE of the newest dining destinations in Metro Manila, Cucina at the soft-launched Marco Polo Ortigas, is fast becoming a favorite fine dining restaurant along the business district of Meralco Avenue.
Its buffet of Continental and Asian cuisines can ably satisfy gustatory cravings, what with its revolving seven-day specialty offerings all selected and prepared by the hotel’s executive chef Benjamin Roy Rendell and his staff.
An award-winning chef, Rendel’s menu is based on his culinary principle of highlighting “the purity of ingredients” through simply prepared classic dishes, presented with a modern-day approach.
To date, he brings to Cucina an impressive experience from kitchens abroad, which had won him recog–nitions from The Salon Culinary Bahrain, Bangkok Best Brunch, and Best Buffet and Grill in Thailand in the last five years.
Here’s what Executive Chef Rendel has in his seven-day menu:
Mondays serve a rich, delicate and classic French classic, the Pan-fried Duck Liver with Spring Salad. The prized ingredient is sautéed in an apple cider dressing and glazed with calvados.
Tuesdays bring a healthier main dish with the Warm Thai Beef Salad. This is a generous plate of greens, topped with Grilled Tender filets of US beef, cucumber, basil, cilantro and onion mixed with traditional Thai dressing and chili.
Wednesdays serve a Filipino-inspired Barbecue Pork and Chicken marinated with lemon, garlic and soy sauce with delectable atchara on the side.
Come Thursdays, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Hong Kong chefs take over to whip up their specialty Chili Crabs Cantonese Style, with artfully handcrafted dim sums.
The French rule again on Friday with Mussels and French Fries. The imported catch is braised in Chablis wine, with a spattering of herbs, garlic, dairy butter and beer.
Saturdays bring to the table Warm Rock Lobster Thermidor, half rock lobsters sautéed with shallots, brandy, white wine and tarragon, with a mustard flavored cheese sauce for dipping.
Finally, Sunday family days offer a filling meal of Filet of Beef Wellington, prime US beef tenderloin coated with pâté and duxelles, wrapped in puff pastry and baked to perfection.
Cucina is located at the 24th floor of Marco Polo Ortigas along Meralco Avenue, corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For information, call 720-7777.