family collage

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Sunday is sacred for family days and I could not imagine spending the last day of the weekend without them. It is also on this day that the Yub and I usually plan something special with the little guys (we have always stressed the importance of Sundays for family and made sure to always reserve the day only for them). That's why when MARCO POLO MANILA invited ERICJAZ FOODIES and the boys for the LA VITA ITALIA buffet in CUCINA, we were excited that we will enjoy it as a family. The great thing too is that besides being back again in the "hands" of Forbes Travel Guide's 5-Star Awardee, MARCO POLO MANILA, we will also get to meet world champion of pizza acrobatics Chef Pasqualino Barbasso and taste his creations.

Of course, THE YAPPY BUNCH is fine anywhere as long as we're together. But if you add to the mix authentic Italian pizza, pizza making lessons for the kiddies, and pizza acrobatics by a world champion, (not to mention CUCINA'S popular buffet serving fresh and mouth watering dishes), THEN, WE. ARE. SO. SOLD.

Heck, I'll even desert the kids for that! He he he he! Family Shmamily.

That's a 180-degree turn for you.


See what delicious food does to us?

Check out our buon appetito Sunday lunch in CUCINA, MARCO POLO HOTEL, and see how you too could have the same authentic Italian experience!!!

THE YAPPY BUNCH spent the first day of the Ber months in CUCINA!!!

CUCINA, MARCO POLO MANILA had many diners that day. Most were also families like us.

We were there to meet World Champion Pizza Acrobat, Chef Pasqualino Barbasso, and to enjoy his dishes.

Chef Barbasso is from Palermo, Sicily and it is where he honed his talent in being a "pizzaiolo", a tradition that runs in his family. He is a two-time World Champion of Pizza Acrobatics and recently toured in Marco Polo Hong Kong, Niccolo Chongqing, and Niccolo Changsha, to share his talent on an eager audience. 

Chef Barbasso has over 25 years of pizza-making experience and heads a pizza school in Italy where he strongly advocates the creation of his country's specialty. 

Now we're MORE excited to be here and taste Authentic Italian pizza from one of its "champions."



Let's EAT!

Oh wait... Roll call muna!

The Yub and the baby bunsoy...

Master Mati, MEEEEH, and my eyebrows. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

And now it's time to try out the pizzas!!!!!

These are all Chef Barbossa's original creations and were inspired with his love for his Italian heritage. All ingredients (cheese, meats, flour, sauces, etc) are imported from Italy (except the vegetables) so you know that you are really enjoying the same kind of pizza that the Italians do.

We first got to try the CUCINA Pizza Mediterranea (P750.00) because Chef Barbasso pointed it out as his favorite since it reminded him of his beloved Palermo, Sicily.

You might initially think the pizza as plain with the minimal toppings of eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, and mozzarella. But what actually makes every bite more fresh and appetizing is because of how they all go together -- the soft but charred flavor of the woodsy eggplant was complemented by the intense, sweet, and tangy pieces of sun dried tomatoes. Great too that it is all on a perfectly baked crust that's crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Up next is MY favorite, the CUCINA Pizza Piemontese (P750.00)!

I'm starting to fancy the pungent and salty taste of Anchovies on my pizza. Personally, pizza could be cloying with the cheesiness of each slice, I find that Anchovies faces that head on (pun intended). I liked how in this Chef Barbasso creation, he made a surf and turf of my favorite meat and pizza topping!

Up next is the mucho recommended CUCINA Pizza Arrotolata (P950.00)!

This is more like a rolled pizza with mozzarella and parmesan cheese inside. It is then eaten with crisp Arugula leaves and salty Parma ham. For that extra added zest, this is drizzled with Balsamic syrup.

The last is another favorite, the CUCINA Pizza Grand Fume (P950.00)!

This one has milder flavors starting with the Smoked Salmon side by side with the Burrata cheese. Again, it is eaten with the woodsy Arugula leaves and sweet Cherry Tomatoes. This fresh and eye pleasing creation is drizzled with balsamic syrup again!



These special pizzas by Chef Barbasso will be available for ordering from 10:30am to 11:30pm up to September 15, 2019!

Of course, we also checked out the other Italian specialties cooked up by Chef Barbasso and his CUCINA team!

CUCINA Italian station!

You could order your pasta of choice to be cooked up. Just get a number and wait for it to be delivered to your table. 

Filipino Spaghetti!

I think it's very nice that Chef Barbasso respected how pinoys ate their pasta too.

CUCINA Dessert section!

Vanilla Panna cotta with Strawberry compote!


After having your fill from the Italian stations, don't forget to make room for other CUCINA favorites!

Appetizer station!

Artichoke Dip with Baguette.

My favorite would have to be this seafood ceviche in cream served in a martini glass.

I had 2 servings of it! SARAPPP!


Seafood for baking or frying!

Crisp Adobo from the Filipino Station!

Meats for Grilling!

CUCINA Paellaaaaaaaaaa!

This runs out SO fast I swear. Ha ha ha ha ha!

I don't blame the appetites though. This is REAL good!

And of course, last but not the least.... CUCINA Prime Rib!

Yehesss.... Me likey!!!!

ERICJAZ FOODIES with the little lords...


My salad plate!

My sushi plate!

I KNOW! I KNOW! I'm here for the Italian food but MARCO POLO always had a fresh selection that I can't help it! Sarap talaga!


My main plate!

Grilled meats!

I had a bit of Indian grub as well.

For "dessert", Master Mati and I pounced on the pizzas!!!!!!!!!!

Yehess! These were still hot!! Yummms!!!!

We were also in for a special treat because on September 1, 2019 (then 2 Sundays after), Chef Barbasso will share his pizza making and tossing skills to little kiddies (P1,000.00 nett per student). 

Students will get to wear special hats and aprons that they could take home after!

My bunsoy got suited up and so ready!!!

He was beyond excited. He loved pizzas!

Chef was also very good with the kiddies and was able to address all questions. 

It would be nice though if parents were asked to stay on the side so that there would be a more private session with the chef. He he he he he!

I don't blame them though for their enthusiasm in taking pictures -- the kids all look soooo cute!!

Especially my Andrei of course! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Go Androse!!!!

Chef went around each student to give them more tips and techniques!

Syempre I went to my bunsoy na. Ha ha ha!

Chef taught him how to properly put the sauce.

Chef Andrei needed no teaching though with putting the cheese. 

Ha ha ha ha! He'll just put the whole bowl if he can!

Cheese bae!!! He he he he!


My Chef bunsoy's pizza will be cooked in an oven to be served later. 

While the kiddies were working on their pizzas, Chef Barbasso suddenly felt like doing some pizza tossing!


He juggled and tossed 3 pizza doughs to the kiddies' excitement!

He also flipped and twisted!

He made the pizza dough go around his neck!

Later on he went to Andrei and tossed his pizza dough on top of his head.

Chef went to Andrei's side...

Then he whizzed the pizza dough on Andrei's cheek. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Look at Andrei's laugh!

Afterwards, they had a mini-ceremony to hand out the certificates of all attendees. 

Chef is so kind and funny to the kiddies!

This was a fun experience for Andrei. We're lucky to have Chef Barbasso to be his instructor for this session. On the following Sundays (September 8 and 15, 2019), his apprentices will take over in giving out lessons (P1,000.00 nett/kid).


YAY Andrei!

Now it's time to devour his cheesy creation!

Nom... nom...nom...

He offered to give us a small slice of his pizza.

Afterwards, it's every bunsoy for himself. Ha ha ha ha!

After eating, it's time to go home in Andrei's new Vespa scooter!

Ha ha ha ha! Kidding!

Enjoyed our Italian Sunday and meeting awesome Chef Barbasso!

You have until September 5, 2019 to catch him in CUCINA!

LA VITA ITALIA will run until September 15, 2019 while the kiddie pizza making lessons will go for Sundays (September 8, and 15, 20190 at P1,000.00 nett.

Chef Barbasso's Pizzas could be ordered by hotel guests from 10:30am to 11:00pm. 

Call (02)720 7777 or email for more information.

If you're thinking of something special for the family, call MARCO POLO for reservations.


Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street Ortigas Centre, 
San Antonio, Pasig, 1600 Metro Manila
 (02) 720 7777 




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