Checking out Marriott Cafe, Manila

My friend B is celebrating her birthday tomorrow! As a pre-celebration, she invited us, her former colleagues, to lunch at the Marriott Cafe. From the moment I received her text invite, I was very excited and told her I will not miss her lunch party no matter what happens.

It was an intimate gathering among us, B's friends with Marriott Manila's Sous Chef Raffy. Chef invited us to try their buffet and of course we gladly accepted his invitation. My friend K, who was the first to arrive, was even able to do a short round and has her buffet strategy down pat.

Marriott Cafe's buffet spread has a wide mix of dishes from the East and the West. As always, I began with the cold cuts and salad station. The selections for the cold cuts where a bit limited as compared to other hotel buffets -- they had the smoked salmon, salami and two more cold cuts. Salad afficionados will be happy though as you can choose from three different lettuce types and a lot of toppings and dressings to pile on your salad place. I asked Chef Raffy though how come they do not have arugula and in an instant he requested one of his server to bring over a place of arugula for yours truly. Yay!

I was happy with my first set of choices. I love the smoked salmon with dill sauce, my DIY salad, the Thai sotanghon cold salad and a refreshing macaroni fruit salad. Not bad despite the limited offering.

While enjoying the buffet spread, Chef Raffy also served us with Sauteed Lobster which was not part of the line-up. I enjoyed this very much and as the serving platter was conveniently parked in front of me, I think I got the most number of servings for this dish. It seems to be sauteed in oyster sauce and green bell pepper. Something my mom would prepare using prawns or squid.

I rarely get noodles, pasta or rice when dining in buffets as I really want to maximize on the meaty dishes. For the first time though, I went straight to the Chinese station where I filled my plate with dimsum and requested for a small serving of Hong Kong-style Noodles topped with bean sprout and shrimp. I obviously still miss Hong Kong and having this noodle soup reminded me of the four wonderful days spent in our favorite Asian city.

Next, I headed straight to the carving station where I handed my plate out to the server for a thin slice of Roast Beef. I noticed that the meat was a bit too red for me that I requested that my meat be grilled further to get a medium well doneness.  You can also choose from a couple of grilled veggies to go with your meat.

Paul will surely love the seafood section. I had to skip this one as I was feeling very full already after enjoying my Roast Beef. My friends enjoyed the chilled seafoods though -- lobster, shrimps, clams and mussels all with your choice of dips and sauces.

Lastly, no matter how stuffed we all felt at this point, no one wants to pass up the chance to try Marriott Cafe's dessert. I headed straight to the Ice Cream station and requested for a scoop for the Maple Walnut. I was told that all ice cream are homemade. I love the smooth texture and the slight crunch I get from the caramel and walnut mix into the ice cream. Delicious way to end my meal!

It was a fun afternoon spent with my dear friends. I love the cozy, quiet ambiance of Marriott Cafe. While the choices may be a bit more limited compared to its counterparts, the flavor and the quality of the ingredients used truly made our dining experience memorable.

Buffet rate:
Lunch (Monday - Saturday) : Php 1350 nett
Dinner : Php. 1350 nett
Sunday Lunch  : Php. 1850 nett

Marriott Cafe is located at Marriott Hotel Manila,  Newport City Complex, Pasay City. Call them at 988-9999.

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