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Friday, October 5, 2018


ERICJAZ FOODIES was recently invited by MARCO POLO ORTIGAS to try out their latest featured cuisine, A TASTE OF ISTANBUL.

To be honest, the Yub and I were not really familiar with the dishes from Turkey. We were fans of Shawarma and I loved Indian food but we're not so sure how those fared up to what we will be having later on. I was extra worried too that the Yub was a bit picky with his food (he's got a very sensitive taste AND tummy... he he he he he). But of course, we were still curious with what MARCO POLO ORTIGAS has cooked up for us.

One thing we were sure of however was that since A TASTE OF ISTANBUL will be in the award winning CUCINA restaurant and cooked by a master chef flown in from Turkey just for this event, we know that we will be savoring every morsel and bite of this exotic cuisine. So we didn't hesitate to give our confirmation "A" to the "S-A-P"... ASAP!

Check out our wonderful dinner at CUCINA in MARCO POLO ORTIGAS where we savored the delicious delicacies from Istanbul!

The Chinese Dimpol and I will enjoy Istanbul tonight!!!!!

It was a Thursday and the Yub and were happy that we're right on time!!!!

We settled onto our favorite area in CUCINA because it was quiet and away from the crowds.

Oooooh.... Now we feel so ISPEYSYAL!!!!! 

He he he he he he he!

I actually had a heavy lunch that day but seeing (AND smelling) all that exotic food made my cute mouth water.


My ugly boyfriend for 19 years....

AND his Ogre of 19 years too! Tee Hee!

I checked out the appetizer corner of A TASTE OF ISTANBUL...

Kidney Bean Pilaki!

Stuffed Pumpkin Flower!

Circassian Chicken Salad!

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas City anymore!!!!

MARCO POLO ORTIGAS sought the services of guest Chef Gürsel Keleş to prepare their menu for A TOAST OF ISTANBUL!!!

Chef Keles has worked in different world-class hotels and restaurants such as Sheraton and The Grand Blue Sky Hotel. Right now, he is  the chairman of Eurasian Chefs Association, and has organized multiple cuisine festivals across Turkey, Germany, Lebanon, and Belgium.

I've seen him in action and saw his commanding presence in the kitchens to ensure that his dishes were done right. Sorry I wasn't able to take a picture... I got shy. HI hi hi hi!

CUCINA Main Entrees Station!

Ezogelin Soup!

This is pureed pumpkin but with definitely more spices into it as it had a delicious kick. So perfect with the Turkish Flatbread served with it.

Steamed Sea Bass in Paper with Vegetables and Herbs!

The paper casing helped infuse all the herbs and vegetable seasoning into the moist fish!

Spiced Chicken!

This was the Yubhub's favorite! It may look like Adobo but it is NOT adobo!!! He almost licked the drumstick bones clean.

Of course, you cannot go to Istanbul without trying out the Grilled Meats!!! I'm so excited for this later.

The various dips/sauces for the meats....

Red Pepper and Walnut Dip, Hummus, and Yoghurt Dip!

Pan Roasted Lamb with Eggplant Puree!

You may find it hard to believe but you will find mind-blowing desserts in A TASTE OF ISTANBUL!

Obvious ba? Look how in a short minute, their plates were empty agad!

Fried Dough Balls in Rose Scented Syrup!

Candied Pumpkin with Walnuts!

Of course, my most favorite (which I didn't expect to like) was ubos at the time of my picture taking. Augh.... I will have to wait for the hot goodies then!

Of course, when in CUCINA, though shalt not forget their other specialties (which became our favorites as well....)

Cold Seafood Station!

Salad Station!

Hot Noodles Station!!!

Sushi Station!

Take a look at THAT!

Pasta Station!

CUCINA's ginormous Paella!


It's time to eat!!!!

BY THE WAY, tonight was also our 19 year of being MAG-UN... Yep! It was this day that I started my endless suffering by agreeing to be his GF.... EEEEWWWWWWY... He he he he he he he!!!!!

 Yeah. It's the start of something big.... in his pants?? Bwa ha ha ha!!!!


I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect. I'm not really a fan of vegetables that are stewed with beans and strange spices.

But I was so pleased to discover that everything on this plate tasted quite good and familiar. It's like the pickled veggie sidings I enjoyed in fiestas or Sunday lunches but with a hint of an alluring foreign taste to them. 

According to MARCO POLO ORTIGAS, they used all local ingredients for this Istanbul spread that it would somehow give you that feeling of home.

BUT of course, with the addition of Chef Keles' expertise, you'll enjoy these dishes just how the Turkish like it!!!!!

I think we're off to a good start! 

Up next is the Soup!!!

Like I said, this was SO YUM!!!!!

Imagine a heartier version of pumpkin soup but with that hot kick to make it more exciting?

And like I said above (because I won't get tired of repeating it) this creamy and hot soup were SOOOOOO DELISHES with their warm Turkish Flatbread!

I swear, I scraped my bowl clean while the Yub had 4 huge servings of the Flat Bread!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Here's hoping our old tummies would still be able to shove more food later.

Besides the soup, the Roasted Lamb with Eggplant Puree went so well with the Turkish Flatbread. I took a generous spoonful of it and slathered it over my warm and crusty bread!!! 


And then it's time for the Skewers!!!!

We were served with Red Snapper, Lamb, and Chicken!!!

The Skewers went so well with the sauces and bread!

Oh yummmm... Come to mama!

My favorite, and I'm sorry to be politically incorrect here, was the lamb!!! According to MARCO POLO ORTIGAS, it was the only ingredient sourced internationally. It was mighty good and moist too! I didn't expect to like it as much but I did!

Seabass in Paper!!!!!

Spiced Chicken!

We were also given plates of Buttered Rice with Almonds and woah.... I can't think of a better side dish than this!

The rice had that buttery flavor to it plus the nice crunch from the almonds! I swear, this is just made everything perfect!!!!!





Now it's time for dessert...

Oven Baked Rice Pudding....

Check out the innards!

Fried Dough Balls in Rose Scented Syrup!

Pumpkin in Walnuts!

My favorites would have to be the Pistachio and Walnut Baklava!!!

AS IN OMIGERRRRRRRRD to the highest levels!!!

I mean, for desserts, I'm always the chocolate cake or ice cream kind of girl. The flaky crusted pastries were not really my thing.

But these Baklava were out of this world! Inangku! I had an AHA moment that yes, Turkey could give the French a run for their money on desserts. BAKLAVA pa lang panalo na!!!

That's why it always run out! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! People just flock over it!

MORE BAKLAVA PLEEEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Turkish Coffee!

I also had an FOB moment with regards to Turkish coffee because I didn't know how to fully appreciate it. Good thing the dear ladies of MARCO POLO ORTIGAS helped me out.

(So. Embarassing).

Thank you so much MARCO POLO ORTIGAS for inviting us!

We certainly had a grand time tasting the specialties of ISTANBUL!

What a way to celebrate our 19 years of MAG-UN Anniversary! He he he he eh he!

Acckkkk! The blouse added 10lbs!!!!


Take note that A TASTE OF ISTANBUL would only run up to October 15, 2018!!! So if you want something different from your usual blah meals, make your reservations now!!!!

Great thing too is that since MARCO POLO ORTIGAS MANILA is having a promo for the Ber months, that they have discounted buffet rates:

P1,399.00 nett (lunch)
1,599.00 nett (dinner)

Now THAT is a seriously great deal!!!!!!

REMEMBER... A TASTE OF ISTANBUL is only up to October 15, 2018



1600 Meralco Ave, San Antonio, Pasig, 
1600 Metro Manila
(02) 720 7777



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