Marco Polo Plaza Cebu‘s popular culinary event “Sabores de España, Viva Madrid!” returns with a smorgasbord of Spanish flavors that Cebuanos have come to love.

Spanish tapas or appetizers like the croquetas de bacalao, croquetas de jamon, almendras picantes or spicy almonds, soups like sopa de mariscos and sopa gallega, main dishes like robo de toro, bakareta, lengua estofada, callos and paella, and desserts like meringue and torta de melocoton are available until April 10 at Cafe Marco on top of the buffet restaurant’s regular international spread.

Sabores de España tapas
TAPAS. Spanish tapas are back on the menu in Cafe Marco as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu celebrates its annual “Sabores de España, Viva Madrid!” culinary event.

“Cebuanos love Spanish food because it is a part of our heritage. We are used to marinated food like adobo and caldereta. We’d rather have chorizo than bacon,” said Ms. Gema Pido, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s longtime consultant for the culinary event.

A Calle Tapas set up for Friday night’s launch of the 2016 Sabores de España provided a preview of the Spanish dishes on the Cafe Marco menu served with flowing Spanish drinks like cerveza rojo, cerveza de toro, and sangria.

“We chopped up our main dishes into small parts, placed these in savory pastries, and served them here together with appetizers like the queso manchego or your typical Spanish cheese served with olives in vinaigrette,” she added shortly before the start of the launching ceremony.

Paella Sabores de Espana
PAELLA. “Cebuanos love Spanish food because it is a part of our heritage,” says culinary consultant Gema Pido.

Sabores de España menu

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu executive chef Stefano Verillo said they’ve retained many of the Spanish dishes that have become favorites through nine years of Sabores de España and added a few more in the tapas, salad, and dessert sections.

“People look forward to the jamon serrano, which is our centerpiece dish. The tapas section in the buffet is everybody’s favorite as well. Our reputation and the way we ensure freshness in our food are also what attract diners to Cafe Marco,” he added.

Meringue Sabores de Espana Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

According to him, the Spanish tapas are available as well to guests who opt to dine at the hotel’s Lobby Lounge.

Chef Stefano, who is Italian, said Ms. Gema brings her own touch to the Spanish dishes and he always looks forward to this yearly collaboration with her for Sabores de España.

Flaming Spanish coffee

Sabores de España launch guests were treated to a demonstration of Spanish coffee preparation, which involves flaming the concoction before it is poured into the glass. The mix included, of course, brewed coffee with a little bit of orange, and anise liqueurs added in and lighted before it was poured into a glass and topped with cream.

The cutting and partaking of the jamon serrano, dry-cured Spanish ham, was an anticipated portion and a sultry Spanish dance performed by a dance sports team served as another highlight of the evening.

Sabores de Espana Robo de Toro
ROBO DE TORO. Bull tail stew in savory tartlets.

Julie Najar, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager, said Sabores de España, which is on its ninth year, has become one of the hotel’s significant culinary events.

In celebration of Spanish cuisine and its influence on Cebu dishes, several Spanish dishes are available at the Cafe Marco buffet up to April 10 at the same regular net price of P1,099 for lunch and P1,395 for dinner.

Make your reservations by calling Call Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at (+6332) 253-1111 (tap to call on your phone).

More photos

Sabores de Espana jamon serrano
CENTERPIECE. The jamon serrano is the centerpiece dish of the annual culinary event.




Sabores de Espana Spanish coffee
SPANISH COFFEE. The drink is a delightful mix of brewed coffee with a little bit of orange, and anise liqueurs added in and lighted before it was poured into a glass and topped with cream.


Marinated olives with Manchego cheese.
Marinated olives with Manchego cheese.


Sabores de Espana Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
SPANISH DANCE. This performance was one of the highlights of the Sabores de España opening in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Marlen is the editor of and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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