Comida de independencia

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Friday, July 4, 2014

N HONOR of the Philippine’s 116th Day of Independence, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu (MPPC) once again enthralled guests with a sumptuous feast that could make you turn back the hands of time as if you were dining with Emilio Aguinaldo himself.

Food was generally left out by most historians, but essentially no Filipino then and now would ever celebrate Independence Day without a banquet. With the tutelage of Jessica Avila, MPPC’s culinary consultant on heritage cuisine, and her team recreated the “Malolos Banquet.” Guests who entered the ballroom were transported back to olden times, with women wearing their best Filipiniana gowns and men wore barong Tagalog tops.

The place looked beautiful with candelabras, fresh white roses and sampaguitas, with lace table cloths and mother of pearl plate chargers, not to mention their finest china and silverware. And the food was definitely to die for.


For starters guest feasted on oyster Rockefeller. which was sinfully divine, gratinated with a creamy spinach and cheese ensemble. Next was the crab relleno, golden brown and cooked to perfection. For soup, the table had native chicken tinola with coconut and kamunggay. Diners could really tell that coconut juice was used to make the soup and there were bits of coconut meat in the soup. The chicken was  tender. Aside from the kamunggay leaves, the chef added in some sili leaves to give the soup a hint of spiciness.

The main course was composed of ham in pineapple sa cerveza. The ham was cooked and glazed with San Miguel cerveza negra. The herb and honey roasted turkey with cranberry sauce was absolutely tender and moist (usually turkey meat is dry). The hamonadong sugpo was also very delicious. Then the table had bringhe, which is said to have originated from the northern province of Pampanga. It is the Filipino’s indigenization of the Spanish paella. This dish is typically served during town fiestas. It’s flavored with fresh coconut milk and turmeric, then cooked in banana leaves for added aroma. The salmon with hollandaise sauce arrived next. The salmon was not overcooked and the hollandaise was perfectly drizzled over the fish.

The feast ended with a medley of desserts like the langka strudel with vanilla sauce, casava cake, churros with chocolate sauce, buko with grated cheddar cheese and sampaguita ice cream. The dessert was a dream; definitely heaven, but what caught everyone’s attention was the sampaguita Ice cream. It was smooth, velvety and creamy with an essence of sampaguita at the end of each taste. This should be MPPCs signature ice cream. Definitely a must try. The menu is a culmination, like Malolos itself, and should stand side by side with the Malolos Constitution. (Katrina Avila)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2014.


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