Originally posted on March 11, 2013
SEAFOOD lovers like me, rejoice! Over at Marriott Hotel Manila in Newport City, a special treat awaits you at the Marriott Café. It’s Ocean’s Harvest at the Café every Friday and Saturday night, dinner only. So it’s seafood galore!
The different active stations already offer a good number of seafood dishes, particularly at the Japanese station, where the sushi, sashimi and maki selections are teeming with seafood, such as ebi (shrimp), kani (crabstick) and unagi (eel), and fish and shrimp tempura are freshly cooked a la minute. There’s also a good variety of cooked seafood on ice, including crabs, blue crabs, mussels and prawns. The hot dishes in the chafing dishes also carry a lot of seafood concoctions prepared by Marriott Hotel’s team of chefs. During Ocean’s Harvest dinner last Friday (March 8, 2013), which my husband Raff and I shared with marketing communications director Michelle ‘Mitch’ Garcia, Lualhati Fausto, Fernan Nebres and Gillian Gacuma of Philippine Star, and Marvin Nisperos, Cez Cabiles and his team from Philippine Graphic, the hot dishes included a special Fisherman’s Special Paella and Seafood Lasagna.
The icing on the seafood cake, though, is the Fresh Catch of the Day section, which Marriott Café puts up especially for Ocean’s Harvest dinner every Friday and Saturday night. It’s like a huge aquarium of all things seafood – scallops, shrimps, prawns, tuna, salmon, lapu-lapu, squid. You just pick what you like and tell the server or chef how you want it prepared. You can have your prawns simply grilled or friend into camaron rebosado, or you can have them cooked with sweet chili sauce, Thai style, or sautéed with lemon and butter.
The idea of Ocean’s Harvest’s Fresh Catch of the Day is the dampa and paluto concept in fresh seafood markets but elevated to Marriott level. You simply choose what you want to eat and have it prepared the way you want them. As much as you want. As many different ways as you want. And if you run out of ideas on how best to have your seafood prepared, you can ask the chefs for suggestions and they’d gladly give you some.
After telling the chefs how you want your seafood, you are given a number, and you hang it in a fishbone hook on your table, and in no time at all the servers are going to bring your food over.
Last Friday, which was the media launch of Ocean’s Harvest at Marriott Café, I first went for sushi, sashimi and maki with ebi tempura for starters, then proceeded to the Fresh Catch of the Day and had my lapu-lapu grilled, my scallops baked and my salmon prepared into delicious Salmon Teriyaki. The table was teeming with prawns and crabs prepared in different ways, and Mitch had her lapu-lapu steamed, which was another way I liked my lapu-lapu.
After the group had ‘demolished’ the seafood on the table, we all capped the satisfying dinner with a dessert of ice cream, pastries and fresh fruits. I stuck to fresh fruits – but I don’t always do.
It was one dinner that I truly enjoyed from start to finish. No red meats to avoid, no set menus to waste… Just plain, savory seafood to keep me extremely satisfied.