Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Mariott Cafe's Ocean's Surf Buffet

To the uninitiated, hotel buffets are all alike. A nice upscale hotel means a good buffet, right? While this seems reasonable, you 'd be surprised that this line of thinking isn’t always true. Perhaps, one of these days we’ll write about those buffets you’re better off avoiding. This post however is about one that is every bit as spectacular as the hotel that it’s in.

Last Friday, The Sexynomad and I were extremely fortunate to have been invited to The Mariott Hotel’s Oceans Surf Buffet. It was a payday weekend and I got stuck in unusually heavy traffic on Ayala, en route to pick up my lovely wife. We almost decided to skip the dinner and head straight home. I for one am extremely happy that we didn’t.

Although it isn’t the biggest or longest buffet out there, the Mariott Hotel’s Ocean Surf buffet serves up a combination of the best seafood and meat dishes in their menu and believe me, it’s quite a delectable selection. The steaks from the carving station we’re of prime quality and were grilled exceptionally well, not an easy thing to do outside of a proper kitchen. However, there is no doubt that the star in this buffet is the seafood selection.

You might be tempted to go for the main courses first but please don’t. I suggest you start your meal at the appetizers section. I skipped the salad but I did get myself a big helping of rock lobsters, shrimp and clams. After which, I moved on to their Japanese station. The maki selection was good but the real treat here is the salmon sashimi. They have a chef at the station all the time so you get your sashimi freshly cut. It's some of the best sashimi I've ever had, creamy and packed with flavor. Each slice was heavenly.

To change up my flavor pattern, I moved over to the Chinese station that serves up mouthwatering dim sum made fresh right in front of your eyes. To clear my palate I had some of their amazing lobster bisque and then moved on to the carving station. Then I got to my favorite station that evening, the pasta station. Here, you can create your own dish from a wide selection of different ingredients. You just ask the chef what you want and he’ll whip it up right in front of you. I made myself a light creamy pesto sauce with mushrooms and seafood to go with the shrimp stuffed ravioli. It turned out absolutely scrumptious! I was pretty much stuffed after that but I manned up and hit the dessert station next. Aside from the ice cream and sorbets, I tried everything they had. The carrot cake wasn’t that great but everything else was sinfully delicious!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have eaten in some of the best buffets in the metro and I’m going to have to say that the Marriot Café’s Ocean’s Surf is easily one of the best I’ve ever experienced. The Ocean’s Surf is available for dinner every Friday and Saturday. At PHP1,750 for adults and PHP875 for children, it’s actually very, very reasonable. You can get it at the Mariott Café, right smack in the lobby of the absolutely gorgeous Mariott Hotel Manila. For more information and for reservations, you can call (632)988-9999 or visit

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