THINKING of where to treat your dad on Father’s Day tomorrow, June 15, 2014? Of course it has to be lunch – or dinner – and it should be a buffet so that whatever your dad craves for, he will surely get to taste. Even unlimited Boston lobsters, Fine de Claire oysters, roast beef, foie gras, sparkling wine and all the freshest seafood in town?
If you ask Marriott Hotel Manila’s executive chef, Meik Brammer, his answer will be a big and unblinkingly confident ‘Yes.’ He has just recently added Boston lobsters and Fine de Claire oysters to the already extensive menu of Marriott Café’s Sunday Brunch.
Marriott Café’s Sunday Brunch, priced at Php2,500 nett per person, is one of the most impressive Sunday brunch buffets put together by hotels and restaurants. One of the things that makes it different is that it has been designed to be a crossover buffet brunch involving Marriott Café and Cru Steakhouse. This means that diners get to enjoy not just the usual fares that you find in the buffet setup of a hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, in this case Marriott Café, but also the premium items that diners go for in a sit-down dinner at Cru Steakhouse, including foie gras, served with various jams and compotes, and the signature succulent steaks that has made Cru famous. Cru’s grills are also all fired up for Sunday brunch with a medley of meats and seafood, such as rib eye, crabs, shrimps and the freshest fish in the market, to choose from.
The new station for the Boston lobsters and Fine de Claire oysters has been set up at Cru. These lovely and brilliantly hued lobsters and exquisite oysters are flown in fresh from the United States weekly, just in time for Sunday brunch. A whole range of condiments are also set up at the station so diners can choose which ones they want to enjoy with their lobsters and oysters – Soy and Sesame, Mango Salsa, Tomato Basil Salsa, Cocktail Sauce, Lemon Shallot Vineigrette, Mignonette, Lemon Wedges and Lime Wedges. The chef will even ask you what, between Lemon Butter Sauce and Orange Beurre Blanc, you want to be brushed onto your Boston lobster halves. When it comes to the Fine de Claire oysters, the chefs will shuck them for you upon order, so all you have to do is spoon your favorite condiments on them and enjoy them fresh or, if you prefer your oysters cooked, you can have them grilled or baked.
Over at Marriott Café, many stations have been set up for Sunday brunch diners to enjoy. There’s a salad bar, an appetizer area complete with assorted cheeses, cold cuts and freshly baked breads, seafood — prawns, crabs, mussels, etc. — on ice, a Western food section with a good selection of hot dishes, a pasta station for a la minute pasta, a Chinese station steaming with dim sums, roast duck, chicken and pork, and carvings like Roast U.S. Rib Eye, Australian Leg of Lamb, Honey Glazed Roast Turkey, Lechon Kawali and Lechon. The carving station always features at least two of these for Sunday brunch.
You can also find a Japanese station, which serves a variety of sashimis, sushis, makis, tempura, teppanyaki, noodles and soups. Plus, Marriott Café now offers Thai Red Curry, one of Thailand’s most popular dishes worldwide, so diners can have the chef manning the station assemble a bowl for them with their preferred amounts of red chili, cilantro, cumin, garlic, shallots, Kaffir lime, galangal and lemongrass.
For Sunday brunch diners, the dessert spread is a big favorite. Assembled at Marriott
Café’s Chocolate Room are individual desserts served in shooter glasses, cakes and pies, local desserts, chocolate truffles and pralines. There’s a chocolate fountain with all the stuff that you can dip in flowing chocolate, such as marshmallows, brownie and pound cake bars, and fresh fruit slices. Dessert choices also include fresh fruits and assorted gelatos.
What’s more: Marriott’s Sunday Brunch also features a Martini Bar, where diners can have their favorite Martini cocktails whipped up by the bartenders; and a balloon twisting artist goes around blowing colorful balloons and twisting them to make balloon swords, flower bouquets and even crowns for diners, both young and old.
Marriott Hotel Manila’s Bigger and Better Sunday Brunch is available every Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
(Marriott Hotel Manila is located in Newport City, Pasay City.)