If you happen to be in Cebu City this weekend for Sinulog, I envy you. I wanted to go, but with all the cancelled flights due to the Papal Visit, I decided it would be wise not to. Besides, I guess I’m holding out hope I’ll have the chance to see Pope Francis while he’s in transit somewhere, somehow. At least I’m already in Manila.
But, if you’re in Cebu this weekend or will be flying there anytime between now and March 31, 2015, check out these three restaurants: The Suite Room, known for their luxurious dishes; Circa 1900, which is well-loved by Cebuanos for serving quality comfort food in a cozy, homey ambiance; and Anzani Mediterranean Cuisine, which would satisfy your Mediterranean cravings. When you do, try their special menu consisting of special potato-inspired dishes created by their chefs and presented to us, members of the media, and which we got to try during the US Potato Board’s US Potato Safari late last year. They’re only available until March 31, so make sure to try them when you visit Cebu anytime soon.
While it isn’t part of the menu at Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Hotel Cebu, I also wanted to share with you the dishes prepared by their Executive Chef, Stefano Verillo, just to give you more ideas on other things you can do with the humble spud. (And because, personally, among the menus we tried, this was one of my favorites. It’s too bad it’s just an exhibition lunch and not on the menu.) You can preview the potato dishes when you click through the photos in the gallery bellow, but allow me to explain just what the US Potato Safari is about.
Basically it’s an avenue for chefs to create dishes using US frozen potatoes as the key ingredient that they can add to their existing menus for a limited time. At the end of the three-day gastronomic journey, we, the members of the media, were even challenged to a special cook-off, where we had to create one special dish using as many frozen potato variants as we can. I’m proud to say that the judges (made up of Chef Stafano, Chef Dennis Uy of Bluewater Maribago, USPB International Marketing Manager Susan Weller, and US potato grower Carl Hoverson) decided that our dish, made up of tiger prawns cooked in coconut milk with potato mash and served on potato skin, with fries, dried mango, and asparagus sticks on the side, is the winner!
I absolutely adore potatoes, and I’m grateful the UPSB invited me to their US Potato Safari again. Filipino that I am, I honestly do not like eating rice, and I prefer to get my carbs from potatoes. And it’s a good thing, too, because aside from carbs, they’re also a great source of potassium, which I need, considering I don’t like bananas—and you get more potassium from potatoes! Trivia: They’re really good for your muscles and your brain, and they fill you up, not out.
Click on each photo below for a closer look at the potato dishes available in these top Cebu City restaurants. Their addresses are at the bottom of this post.
Circa 1900 Cebu is located at Sanjercasvil Road, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City (032-2396265). Anzani New Mediterranean Cuisine is located at Panorama Heights, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City (032-2327375). The Suite Room is located at the 4th Level of Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu Business Park, Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City (032-2540508).
All photos by Trixie Reyna