Food and Leisure

Buwan ng Wika: Filipino delicacies with twists, sky-high dining in Ortigas

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Buwan ng Wika: Filipino delicacies with twists, sky-high dining in Ortigas
Filipino Afternoon Tea; Ube Leche Flan Cake
Marco Polo Ortigas/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino flavors take the spotlight in Marco Polo Ortigas this Buwan ng Wika.

Ube and leche flan are incorporated as the Ube Leche Flan Cake available in the hotel's Cafe Pronto until September. Familiar "merienda" (mid-afternoon treat) are given a twist with Malunggay Kesong Puti Sandwiches, Tinapa Balls, and Barako Tsokolate Cake for the Filipino Afternoon Tea in The Connect Lounge. 

Business may have slowed down a bit during the pandemic for the hotel but food will always remain popular. The treats above are welcome additions to the popular staples at the Ortigas hotel. Favorite fares such as the baked barbecue pork buns remained popular. In fact, this was a favorite pick-up and delivery option for those who missed its combination sweet and tasty flavor encased in a golden brown bun. 

Food has always been a universally liked treat but good food, admittedly, takes a lot of effort and care to prepare. In the hotel's award-winning Cantonese restaurant, Lung Hin, quality is key to its winning dishes. After all, it has to live up to its citation as one of the Most Outstanding Chinese Restaurants Outside of China at the 16th China Hotel Industry Golden Horse Awards Gala held in March 2016 in Guangzhou, China. 

Aptly named that translates into "dragon's pavilion," Lung Hin serves dishes that feel like a royal banquet. Dragons, after all, are revered deities in Chinese mythology. Lung Hin's location at the 44th floor also adds to the experience of dining with a view of the Ortigas skyline. 

The restaurant's dishes come in popping colors, like the classic battered prawns reinterpreted into a medley of three flavors, namely, salted egg, ginger mayo, and blueberry. Nobody would have initially thought that blueberry would work but, it balances a plate that is generally leaning toward the salty/savory taste profile. The Blueberry Coated Prawn achieves that Filipino penchant for contrasting sweet with savory.

Those who love their barbecue or meat platters can feast on Lung Hin's selection that includes the crunchy Lechon Macau which is similar to the Filipino fried liempo, Peking Duck, and century egg. A separate plate of the favorite Peking Duck can be had with a serving of a flatbread for those who want to have their crispy duck meat to go as a sandwich.  

Its dim sum offerings are fancy with the hakaw topped with gold leaf while the siomai is served with truffle sauce. These dimsums are only not offered in Lung Hin, but also at the hotel's all-day dining buffet, Cucina, for its dimsum highlight every Friday and Saturday from this month until September. 

Digital marketing manager Simona Lopez told Philstar.com that they are set to launch the Chinese restaurant's returning executive chef at the later part of August. 


Lunch at Lung Hin in Marco Polo Hotel.

? Art - Blake Rules & Netherfriends


Business with a twist

The hotel prides itself as a sky hotel given its grand view of the Ortigas skyline. While all other floors, especially as one goes up, provide that spectacular view, Vu Sky Bar is the place to be for that night view of the Ortigas area. It is noticeably more family-friendly these days with guests that include a brood of children and their parents having their meal or bonding at the hotel's heated indoor pool. 

Director for Sales and Marketing Cristina Ong-Cruz told Philstar.com that the hotel remains a business hotel, but it has decided to tap into local tourists, especially families. 

Domestic travel is leaning more toward family getaways or those who want to indulge in their own "revenge travel." The latter became popular two years after the pandemic struck where travelers seek to go out and experience new and usual places after being stuck at home for a long time. 

At the helm is general manager Colin Healy, who has been a hotelier for most of his life. He spent 26 years in the hotel business, including posts as a food and beverage director of a Makati hotel and as an executive chef. He was the general manager of Marco Polo Davao prior to its closure in June 2020. The Davao property has been confirmed for reopening. 

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