An abundant buffet spread with a wide selection is one of the best things that man has ever created. However, if there are only, say, 5 delicious dishes out of the 45 selections, I feel somewhat cheated. I go for the-fewer-but-better type of buffets these days. Case in point: Marco Polo's Cucina.
Marco Polo's Cucina follows the proper meal sequence. The dessert station is properly tucked at the back of Cucina, and not at the forefront of the binge arena.
Have you noticed how some buffet spots place the dessert station as soon as you enter? Most of us are too weak to fight the call of the sweets. There's a big chance we would attack that first. Bad idea. Dessert will make us feel full fast therefore making us eat less than we have originally planned to.
Right in front of the Japanese Station is a table with one-bite appetizers. I started with a couple of those first before I moved to the makimono rolls and nigiris. Both are delicious, by the way.
You can ask the friendly chefs to cook the crustaceans and bivalves according to your preference. There's also a grilling station a couple of steps after this. I abused the salmon and tandoori chicken skewers. They were fantastic!
Unlimited iced tea for just PhP 180? Yes, please! Marco Polo's Iced Tea is a must-try! I'm a huge iced tea freak, and their version is one of my favorites in the city. I first had one at Lung Hin, and got hooked ever since.
I completely ignored the Bread Station to fill half of the space I have in my tummy with Cucina's Paella! It's a deliciously colorful paellera filled with squid, pork, mussels, shrimp, delicate chunks of fish, and of course, arroz redondo that soaked in all the fine juices right though its core. Love me some soccarat!
Another highlight of Cucina is the 3-week old Cochinillo. That glistening roasted porcine was a fine treat. The crispy skin gives way to a meat with flavor and juices that were perfectly locked in.
Variations of the Filipino classics are part of the spread. Thank God for that! This should be a mandatory inclusion in all buffet joints. It should be a law.
The slow-cooked adobo with boosted flavor is a treat as well as the kare-kare. Give importance to the create-your-own salted egg ensalada. That hodgepodge of a meal enhancer is perfect with a grilled fish and about a kilo of steamed white rice.
The Prime Rib, crowned with charred bits was flavorful and yes, tender! You can forgo the usual au jus for this one. It's already good even without.
I only had a small serving of the carbonara because I was hell-bent on creating havoc at the paella station. It was tasty though.
Another one of my favorites at Cucina is the Grilling Station. Thankfully, the salmon came in thick cuts, and if you ask nicely and say please, they will give you the belly. Fresh-caught sustainable tuna and Vietnamese prawns are part of the said section as well. Go crazy!
Make sure to save a good room for dessert. The dessert shooters are great as well as the bread pudding. I think I had more than what my pancreas could handle. My liver's happy though.
Weekday Craze: Monday to Thursday at Php 1,100 for lunch and Php 1,500 for dinner. Not bad. Not bad at all.
24th Floor Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s
Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street,Ortigas Centre, Pasig City,1600
Contact No.: (+632) 720.77.77
Facebook: Marco Polo Ortigas Manila