I’m a very bad buffet eater because I usually eat the cheap stuff and I get full fast. My dad insisted I try the buffet at the new Marco Polo Hotel along Meralco Avenue in Ortigas Center. He’s the one who discovered it and he’s eaten there several times already. In short he loves it.
This isn’t the hotel’s lobby. The lobby is at the 24th floor.
This is the 24th floor where Cucina and the reception desk is located.
Impressive entrance to Cucina.
The buffet isn’t the kind where you have to walk a long way to get to the end. I find their buffet to be the right size with just enough selections that will please a wide range of picky eaters.
The first thing that greets you as you enter the restaurant is this display of fresh seafood. I went straight for the lobster.
At the sushi counter is where they kept another kind of lobster which I suggest you get a LOT of. Trust me on this.
There was also a salad bar and Caesar salad but I skipped those.
I hate heat lamps because they distort the color of the food but I loved this area which had a selection of breakfast items like bacon, sausage, bangus and tapa. I actually looked for garlic rice and fried eggs.
The cheese and charcuterie was in a special area of its own.
The chef told me they rotate the cheeses. Sometimes they have manchego (my favorite) and a host of others. Yesterday they had roquefort, Stilton, Brie and a few others.
The British chef (I wasn’t able to get his name) has been working around Southeast Asia for 30 years until he moved to Manila with his Thai wife. He’s asked me why I was taking pictures and I explained I had a blog. After that he asked me for my comments on the food and made sure I try certain dishes which he prepared for me himself.
I don’t have a picture but this chocolate cake was super moist, soft and chocolatey without being too sweet.
So these are what I ate. The best thing I ate was the rock lobster which was perfectly cooked. The slipper lobster (back) was tougher so I didn’t eat it. I wanted to eat 3-4 more pieces of rock lobster but then I wouldn’t have room for anything else. Both smoked salmon and marinated salmon were pretty good too. Even the duck salad was delicious.
I’m a sucker for breakfast food so I couldn’t resist trying a little of each. The beef tapa was the best, sweet and tender. The baked potato wedge was also amazingly crisp and well seasoned. The sausages were ok too. I wanted garlic rice but they only had white rice and biryani rice with raisins which I tried but it was hard and dry.
On this plate my favorites were the roast duck (sans the super sour plum sauce) and fried pork cutlet which was really tasty and could compete with the numerous tonkatsu around town.
We all loved the thick, cold sweet tapioca, coconut, kaong in a coconut soup base. I was surprised to like the creamy green tea ice cream with enough flavor to satisfy me (the hardest to please when it comes to anything green tea or matcha).
My dessert was interrupted when the chef came over and insisted I try the cheese and Swiss dried beef with a complete garnish of cornichons, onion chutney, dried fig, dried pineapple, pistachio, walnuts and some passionfruit liquid. I managed to eat two crackers with the Roquefort and Stilton cheeses and all the dried fig and pistachios. Yum!!! The chef prepared this and the next plate just for me.
The chef couldn’t believe I didn’t try his Prime Rib so he cut me a thin slice of perfectly medium beef with stoneground mustard, horseradish and Dijon mustard. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so full.
Tea for one came in a ginormous tea pot which yielded at least 3 cups of tea. They use German Ronnefeldt tea bags.
The coffee was perfect after I added another shot of espresso. Of the three cookies I only liked the chewy espresso cookie on the right. Unfortunately they ran out of that pretty fast.
The bill with senior citizen discount was separated. 😀
The chef told me they will have something special everyday. One day it could be pan seared foie gras, beef Wellington and oysters from France on Seafood Night on Fridays. I’m most excited about their upcoming Afternoon Tea on May 12 which will have authentic British scones and clotted cream with dessert buffet (hope I got that right).
Cucina has a 3 + 1 buffet promo until May 31, 2014. For a group of 4 you pay for 3 people only.
Breakfast – P1,225.71 net
Monday to Friday 6:30 to 10:00 am
Saturday and Sunday 6:30 to 10:30 am
Lunch – P1,448.57 net
Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 2:30 pm
Brunch – 1,728.86 net
Sunday 11;30 am – 2:30 pm
Sunday to Thursday 6:30 – 10:30 pm P1,749.43 net
Friday to Saturday 6:30 – !0:30 pm P1,972.29 net
Kids 6 yrs. and below eat for free while those from 7-12 yrs. pay half the price.
Sky High Tea at Cucina
Spend a fancy tea afternoon overlooking the cityscape at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s, all-day dining restaurant – Cucina located at the 24th floor of the hotel tower. Perfect for intimate meetings and gatherings, Cucina’s Semi-High Tea offers the best selection of classic items presented in a modish High Tea Stand such as freshly-baked English Raisin Scones, imported Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam, and delectable finger sandwiches to consist of egg and mayonnaise, bone ham, smoked salmon on whole wheat and cucumber and mint.
A variety of Cucina’s famous signature desserts will also be inclusive of this regal afternoon dining offering in special buffet set-up namely the French Macarons, Chocolate Éclairs, Royal English Fruit Cake, Strawberry Tarts, Sherry Trifle and Baked Cheesecake to name a few.
The “Sky High Tea” afternoons at Cucina is available at Php 1,980 net good for two persons from Monday to Friday at 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
For more information contact (632) 720 7777 or book online via www.marcopolohotels.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit facebook.com/MarcoPoloOrtigasManila or follow @MarcoPoloManila on Twitter or Instagram or experience MPMDining.com.