Marriott Cafe is often touted as one of the best buffets in Manila. It’s popular not just among Filipinos but foreign travelers as well, since it’s conveniently located across NAIA airport. Here’s our review of Marriot Cafe at Manila Marriott Hotel!
Our buffet experience at Marriott Cafe
Hali and I went here this November 2021. At this time, the hotel is holding a 50% off promo during Mondays for lunch and dinner buffet. So for lunch, we only get to pay P1250 per person (including tax) instead of the usual P2500.
It’s my first time here in Marriot Cafe, so I can’t really compare it how it was pre-pandemic. My first impression is that the dining area is smaller compared to others like Okada’s Medley Buffet. By the way, a few months ago, we went to Niu Vikings in SM Aura and it was just so-so, with limited food options that I couldn’t say it’s worth the full price. I have reasonable expectations coming here.
At the entrance, the staff checked our reservation and vaccination cards then led us to our seat. It was still possible to roam at the food stations, but ordering is done via an online menu. The staff also provided us a physical copy of their lunch menu.
It was actually short and there were items I read about that weren’t there, including the Indian Station and Halal Station. We ordered a lot of items since we read from reviews that there were waiting times in between food servings.
The food came mostly in twos. And it was real good. We liked almost everything that we’ve tried from the menu, from the salmon gravlax to the slow-roasted pork leg and the desserts. In fact, this is probably the best buffet I’ve tried so far.
Hali and I enjoyed the food a lot that we didn’t mind the waiting time. Plus we were able to pace out our eating. The serving of the dishes was also just right — not too small, not too large either in that you can enjoy it but it won’t make you full. When we ordered the pasta, I was afraid they would serve it in a big plate because it’s easily filling, but it wasn’t the case.
Here are the dishes that we tried.
For appetizers, we had Caesar salad and salmon gravlax. The salmon gravlax was served in a tiny portion, but it was delicious.
Marriott Cafe is famous for their fresh and high-quality seafood selection. Moreover, they support sustainable practices. So we were excited to try the seafood. We ordered tiger prawns in Singaporean chili sauce from the Dampa Station. This is so good and a plate is easily good for 2. I wish I had a bigger appetite because I also wanted to try the chili garlic sauce.
I also ordered seafood in ice. It’s my first time trying it and it did not disappoint. The mussels and shrimps tasted delicious with the cocktail sauce. I wasn’t able to enjoy the curacha properly because it was hard to shred the meat, and with that effort I would’ve preferred it cooked with sauce instead.
The Singaporean-style laksa is also a must try. This is another first for me, since I’m only familiar with Malaysian laksa. The taste is milder but good, and the portion and amount of ingredients are just right. I actually finished the whole bowl.
For the meat, we tried the Australian beef rump (medium rare). It was perfect and the cherry tomatoes were sweet and juicy. The slow-roasted pork leg was also good.
Hali ordered spaghetti with parmesan cream, topped with bacon. For me this one was just okay. I guess you can only do so much with cream sauce because the flavor is usually more monotone than other sauces.
For the last ones, we had sushi and sashimi! This order actually came in last and the attending staff had to re-order it twice for us before it was served. I ordered lots of salmon sashimi, but the plate served to us had more tuna and salmon sushi than sashimi. Oh well. The sashimi was so fresh and yummy. I was too full to eat all the sushi, so I just ate the topping and left the rice.
The attending staff also ordered a plate of shrimp tempura for us so we could taste it. I’m not a fan of tempura, but Marriott’s shrimp tempura was done well. It wasn’t soggy or bland tasting as in other restaurants.
For the dessert, Hali got us small plates of cakes. The best one is the carrot cake — it was divine. Hali says it’s the best carrot cake he’s had and I have to agree.
Overall, we had a great time at Marriott Cafe for our lunch buffet. To summarize, here are the things that I liked:
- Reservation is a breeze.
- There is limited food selection, but the food is superb. The flavors are great, and the seafood in particular was fresh. Portion sizes of each dish are just right. We liked almost everything served to us.
- Exemplary customer service. Even though some of the orders were delayed, the staff would always check up on us and follow-up on our pending orders. We felt well taken care of and accommodated.
So far, with the quality of each dish, I can say that this is the best buffet I’d been to. If you’re looking for a great buffet in Manila, I recommend Marriott Cafe. The discounted rate we paid was very sulit, and I feel that we’d be hard-pressed similar-quality buffets with this price.
About Marriot Cafe
Marriott Cafe is located at Manila Marriott Hotel in Resort Drive, Pasay. It’s across NAIA 3 and is accessible via Runway Manila.
- Lunch: 12PM to 3PM
- Dinner: 6PM to 9PM
The restaurant is also open for all-day dining for its ala carte items.
Rate (Updated as of 2021): Buffet price is about P2500 per person.
A few things to note:
- Reservation is required.
- Attire is smart casual. In our visit though, they seem relaxed about this requirement.
For reservations, you can contact Marriott Cafe in their Facebook page.
Have you tried the Marriott Cafe buffet in Manila Marriott Hotel? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!
What to read next:
You might also be interested in these:
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).