On uneventful mornings when I give myself a pep talk to finish a bowl of oatmeal, I also remind myself that I do this to prepare for the glorious meals that are to come. Such as this one: The Festive Offerings at Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
The art of conquering a buffet the Filipino way is firmly anchored in the premise of getting your money’s worth. Therefore, skipping rice is essential, and hanging out by the Japanese station waiting for tuna and salmon sashimi is your worst-kept secret.
However, this third unwritten rule is not as common just because it doesn’t apply to many buffets in the city: Check out the carving station and have your fill of beef, pork, chicken and whatnot. Some places are lucky to showcase carving stations, and lucky for diners at Cafe Marco, it has upped its ante for the holidays by adding turkey, lamb and the classic Christmas ham.
One bowl of oatmeal for six servings of meat dishes sounds like a great trade. I pulled the trigger and returned to my seat with my plate full of Cafe Marco Slow Roast Turkey, USDA Roast Beef, Christmas Ham, Herb Roast Chicken, Barbecue Pork Ribs and Beef Asador.
I sat down and took my time, navigating through a delightful arrangement that would put other Meat-Lovers pizzas to shame. I asked a chef what she’d recommend for dessert. She suggested I get the humble molten lava cake, which, by the looks of it, seemed like your usual dessert. However, I’m glad I’ve learned to trust the experts. Paired with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, this is probably one of the best desserts I’ve had at Marco Polo, along with the German Cheesecake it served some years back and the SunStar Best of Cebu-winning Malicious Cookies I’ve had from time to time. Should one prefer the classics, quintessential holiday delicacies like bibingka and puto bumbong are also available.
Arranged slices of meat. Gooey chocolate. My plates looked nothing like the stuff you would see on Instagram. But boy, these were absolute winners. This exact meal is a sure hit for the holidays, one that I aim to redo soon after my next 12 breakfast bowls of oatmeal.
Reservations are now being accepted for the hotel’s special dinners for Christmas Eve and the Marco Polo New Year Countdown for 2023, “Revelry.”