CONSIDERING how similar yet how different Thai and Filipino food is, it’s easy for Cebuanos to love Thai cuisine. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu celebrated Thai cuisine through the Thai Sojourn culinary journey last month. Guest chef Nontra-Udon Buapha is usually in the kitchens of the Marco Polo Prince Hotel in Hong Kong, where I had the pleasure of staying earlier this year. The cheerful, smiling Chef Buapha brought with him his 38 years of kitchen experience to the guests of Marco Polo Cebu.
For the Thai Sojourn here, Chef Buapha displayed his love of using natural spices to enhance his colorful, aromatic dishes. The Thai tongue is more used to fire, so Chef adjusted the heat level to keep the spice still nice for the Filipino palate. We had the privilege of sampling different dishes, including freshly-made pad thai and tom yum goong. Large servings of both were specially prepared for our table and quickly disappeared. I appreciated that Chef’s creations were not too sour nor too oily, which are both common if someone less experienced had prepared those dishes.
Alas, as the nature of sojourns dictates, Chef Buapha and the Thai culinary journey were in the hotel only for a few days. However, Café Marco’s extensive buffet lunch and dinner continues to be available daily. Make sure you keep an eye out for when the chefs at the dessert station are baking the signature Malicious Cookies. Their chocolatey, gooey, melt-y goodness is that much more delightful straight out of the oven!
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