Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Blu Bar & Grill brings choco­holic fan­tasies to re­al­ity

Philippine Tatler Homes - - VOLUME 12 - By MARITESS GAR­CIA-REYES

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Blu Bar & Grill brings choco­holic fan­tasies to life

Have you ever dreamt of a meal in which ev­ery sin­gle course served is in­fused with choco­late? For choco­holics, it’s a re­sound­ing yes! Tout Choco­lat, a gourmet din­ner cre­atively crafted by Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s ( mmpc) culi­nary team led by the ex­ec­u­tive chef Ste­fano Ver­rillo is served ev­ery Fri­day un­til the end of the year at the ho­tel’s pent­house restau­rant, Blu Bar & Grill. This unique ex­pe­ri­ence is sure to win your heart and ful­fill your choco­late crav­ings. The deca­dent menu fea­tures choco­late-in­spired dishes—from amuse-bouche down to dessert. At 1,000 feet high and with a breath­tak­ing view of the cityscape, mppc‘ s Blu Bar & Grill makes your choco­late dreams be­come re­al­ity.

“Whilst choco­late is com­monly used in desserts, it is also a vi­able el­e­ment that can be in­cor­po­rated in savoury dishes. With Tout Choco­lat, we use a sig­nif­i­cant amount of choco­late in ev­ery sin­gle course,” says Ver­illo.

The six-course menu starts with a beau­ti­fully plated amuse-bouche enough to tease your taste buds and pre­pare your senses for the feast ahead. De­lec­ta­ble ap­pe­tis­ers are on of­fer such as the duck leg con­fit with choco­late vanilla but­ter and orange com­pote; ta­ble-smoked seafood with bal­samic choco­late dress­ing; beef and tuna tataki with pick­led greens and choco­late soil; and foie gras, ba­nana chut­ney, cas­sis brioche and choco­late sauce. Add to that, a choice of three rich soups, all cre­ated to whet your ap­petite: the truf­fle-in­fused porcini crema with co­coa nibs and pra­line, beef and choco­late con­sommé with fruit pearls, or tomato essence with white choco­late grissini.

A lus­cious in­ter­mezzo of choco­late sor­bet and rasp­berry es­puma is served on a carved cube of ice. The pre­sen­ta­tion it­self is eye candy!

For the main course, the suc­cu­lent smoth­ered beef short ribs with mole, squash mousseline, gin­ger and potato straw is stel­lar, whilst the pan-fried grouper fil­let served with an­tipasti veg­eta­bles, sweet potato, and driz­zled with co­coa hol­landaise is per­fect for those who pre­fer a lighter op­tion.

Cap­ping the choco­late-themed din­ner are sin­ful desserts: choco­late cal­zone with goat cheese ice cream, mango proof and tablea soil; or the in­trigu­ing ice par­fait with cracked choco­late crisp aptly called “Rocks at the Blu.” “Nor­mally when you eat, you don’t eat with your eyes but you’re look­ing for the el­e­ment of sur­prise. Rocks at the Blu is a dessert full of mys­tery. It took us two months to per­fect it...the shape, the con­sis­tency, the el­e­ment of sur­prise in­side,” shares Ver­illo.

Each dish is also served with a choco­late cock­tail or wine par­tic­u­larly se­lected to com­ple­ment the flavours of the dishes. The cock­tail se­lec­tion in­cludes Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s sig­na­ture tsoko­late martini, vanilla es­puma de ca­cao cock­tail, flambé choco­lat chaud. Com­ple­ment­ing the scrump­tious smoth­ered beef short ribs is a glass of Greg Nor­man Shi­raz, Paso Robles Cal­i­for­nia, whilst the pan-fried grouper fil­let is best paired with Alexan­der’s Field Semil­lon- Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Mar­garet River.

The dishes in Tout Choco­lat are cre­ated with premium tablea from The Choco­late Cham­ber—a lo­cal café known for its rich heir­loom choco­late-mak­ing tra­di­tion and founded by Cebu’s iconic choco­latier, Raquel Choa.

“Pre­par­ing choco­late-in­spired fare like this may sound com­pli­cated, but here, we share some easy-to-fol­low recipes for you to try at home,” Ver­illo con­cludes. You, too, can make your choco­late dreams come true.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: Choco­late pasta dough 100g plain flour (save 50g for han­dling the dough) 1 egg 1 egg yolk 1 pinch salt 2 pinch sugar 20g choco­late pow­der 10ml milk 3 drops olive oil Choco­late cal­zone (ganache fill­ing) 100g 100ml fresh cream A splash of...

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