Market Cafe: Buffet Dining at Hyatt Hotel

After a series of buffet dining last year, my date and I went on a short hiatus with scouring eat-all-you-can destinations. But being foodies and groupon addicts, we just can't let Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila's Market Café deal from Deal Grocer pass. So although I still have a buffet hangover because of Buffet 101, we gladly dined at Market Café using our vouchers one weeknight.
Market Café

Located at Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila's 3rd floor, a lovely corridor with posh decors and lighting will greet diners and hotel guests. With a hallway this nice, my date and I can't help but have a high expectation on Market Café's offerings. The excitement even grew larger when we got to Market Café itself. The place had a simple yet very elegant interior complemented by a soft yellow lighting. Seating was mostly by fours, but it seemed very comfortable with plush suede covers.

Hyatt Hotel Lobby 01 Hyatt Hotel Lobby 01

Dinner will start by 6PM, but we already confirmed our reservation at the restaurant's receptionist even before 5:30PM. (We over estimated the time so we came in really early.) Although the reception lady was very friendly and courteous, we were given an isolated table for 2 near the desserts station. I'm not sure if this is a sign of voucher discrimination, but I didn't request for a change of seat anymore since I want to sit near the buffet.

Market Café Interior

Since we still had to wait, my date asked the receptionist if coffee is free since the voucher is for unlimited food and drinks anyway. But since dinner was meant to start by 6PM, he was told that he'll have to pay for an order of brewed coffee. Being the impractical and I-want-it-now-so-I-won't-wait-till-later guy, my date ordered for a brewed coffee which we didn't expect to be priced at P167 plus service charge, VAT and Local Food Tax. So although we should've paid nothing for the evening (just tip, of course), my date ended up paying P206.25 for a cup of brewed coffee.

Having some time to go shutter clicking, I asked the reception lady if it's okay to take photos of the buffet items. To my dismay though, it's not allowed unless you're taking a photo of your companion in the same frame. But being the daredevil that I am, I still took photos of the buffet items. The cooks, waiters and even the chefs didn't mind it anyway. One chef even gave me tips on how to maximize my slr. So I guess that was a go signal.

Here are some of the items at Market Café. I was not able to take photos of everything though since I tried to stay away from the reception lady's sight. For starters, Market Café has a selection of cheeses, breads, tapas and hors d'oeuvre. They also have a salad station for salad lovers.

Cheeses
Salads

There were also a selection of my favorite Japanese foods -- sashimi, sushi and maki rolls, as well as other cooked Japanese items like tempura and miso soup at the Japanese live station. Another great feat here is the teppanyaki where you can ask the cooks to whip you up your teppanyaki of choice. If you love Korean dishes, you can find some at the Japanese station too.

Makimono
Teppanyaki Section

Just behind the Japanese section is an Indian food station which I wasn't able to take photos of. I was also unfamiliar with Indian dishes, so I thought of just postponing my Indian food trip for an Indian ala carte dining some time in the future.

At the Chinese live station on the other hand, there were dimsum items, cold cuts, roastings, as well as customizable noodles and cooked Chinese food. I was not able to take tons of photos for this, but believe me, they had quite a nice variety of Chinese dishes.

Chinese Section

Being a seafood lover, we also didn't miss checking out the cold seafood section where there were tons of oysters, prawns, crabs, mussels and clams.

Cold Seafood

Just beside the cold seafood section are selections of Market Café's pizzas, pastas, as well as skewers for grilling.

Pizzas
Lamb Skewers

Of course, we also didn't miss the chance to check out the offerings at the carving station. They had grilled prime rib, lamb chops, a whole roasted suckling pig and more meaty treats for grilling.

Carving Station
Prime Rib
Meat for Grilling

And for desserts, Market Café has aplenty. For the night, they had a selection of their home-made ice cream, fresh fruits, a chocolate fondue, favorite local delicacies, halo-halo, cakes, mousse and a whole lot more of sweet treats.

Desserts Station
Ice Cream
Jarred Desserts
Local Favorites
Halo-halo Station

For beverages, you can ask the waiters for coffee or tea, or get yourself some free-flowing sodas and beer from this fridge.

Drinks

I usually take tons of photos from the buffet area, but please bear with me since I had to evade the receptionist's sight for this dinner.

WHAT WE GOT

I know that I've always mentioned Japanese items to be my ultimate comfort food, but for this buffet dinner, I took a plate of a seemingly Western breakfast ensemble -- brie cheese, jamón serrano, cherry tomatoes, grilled pumpkin and crispy breads.

Plate - Cheeses and Grilled Pumpkin

I love how this plate of goodness was just the right meal starter, light yet a mix of harmonious flavors. If I have to choose a favorite from this plate though, I'd have to go with the grilled pumpkin as it had a lovely smokey flavor to it.

Plate - Cold Cuts and Jelly Fish
Plate - Pizza and Pastas

While I was off to a light start, my date on the other hand had a plate of quite oily meat pieces and some sweet and spicy jelly fish. He also had a slice of pizza and a small portion each of the fettuccine carbonara, and penne arrabiatta. Although he seemed to like the food, he said they were nothing out of the ordinary.

Plate - Miso Soup

To kick off a Japanese start, I got a hot serving of miso soup. The seaweeds came in a separate bowl, and interestingly, they were not big pieces, but shreds. I got a lot of seaweed shreds for my miso soup and it was so good! The blend of the miso paste and dashi was just right. You can also taste the mild flavor of the tofu.

Plate - Sashimi, Sushi and Maki

I also got a plate of my favorite Japanese items -- salmon and tuna sashimi, sushi and maki which all tasted great as you really can't go wrong with these if they're fresh. To deviate from my usual Japanese plate though, I got a small portion of kimchi. But unfortunately, I still don't like it.

Plate - Tempura

And of course, one can't simply ignore this buffet favorite. Yes, it's the prawn tempura! Market Café may have not used really big catches from the sea, but these babies tasted good, especially with the tempura sauce.

Plate - Baked Oyster with Cheese
Plate - Grilled Oysters

My date and I also shared pieces of baked oysters with cheese which we loved to bits! We also got these sea dwellers grilled, and they also tasted really good. Personally though, I like the grilled oysters better as I really love the raw yet smokey flavor they had.

Plate - Baked Mussels with Cheese

Since my date still wanted some more seafood, we asked the cook to bake us some oysters, mussels and clams. It was funny though 'cause these were baked with cheese. Yes, even the small clams! It was quite hard to take off the cheesy clam meat from its shell, but it still tasted good.

Plate - Prime Rib (Rib Part)
Plate - Prime Rib

To satisfy our carnivorous cravings, we had some prime rib. We were first given the rib part, and a more meaty portion for our second helping. Although it was easier to slice and eat the meaty cut, I personally prefer the rib part because of how succulent and tender its meat was. Call me a heartless PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) member, but I'll still not give up on my meat especially if it's beef!

Plate - Lamb Skewer

Speaking of tasty animals, I also had some grilled lamb skewers which were tender and very savory. The meat was succulent and had a lovely smokey flavor that I really like.

Plate - Lechon

After some beef and lamb, of course we got to devour a portion of the roasted suckling pig next. The meat was very juicy and very tender and the skin was quite crunchy and chewy at the same time. Even without a sauce, this roasted suckling pig deserves a nod of approval.

With all the meat we had, I just wanted to start my desserts with a platter of fruits to cleanse my palate. Good thing Market Café has a nice selection of fresh fruits.

Plate - Dragon fruit, melon and mango

I had some dragon fruit slices, melons and ripe mango. I haven't eaten a lot of dragon fruit in my life so I really enjoyed it. It's like kiwi but a lot milder. And of course, everyone know how refreshing melons and ripe mangoes are.

Plate - Biscuits and Macarons

After the plate of fruits, my date and I shared this plate of sweet goodies. We had some macarons, a layered chocolate cake and a mini chiffon cake with berry filling. The cakes were just okay and nothing spectacular, but the macarons were quite big! It was my first time seeing big macarons, and personally, I find them too sweet. (Maybe because of the size?) Both my date and I loved the vanilla macaron though as it had just the right amount of sweetness.

Plate - Cashew Nut Brownie Plate - Dessert

I also had a cashew nut brownie and a creamy liquor-infused dessert with chocolates. Although both of these desserts look yummy, they were just alright for me. The cashew nut brownie came in the fridge so it was quite hard and lacked the chewiness I was looking for.

Plate - Creme Brulee

We also sampled Market Café's version of Crème Brûlée and it definitely passed with flying colors. The custard base was rich and the burnt caramel on top was done perfectly to a crisp. Among all the buffets I've tried which offered Crème Brûlée, Market Café's is one of the best.

Plate - Gianduja and Dulce de Leche Plate - Strawberry and Cheese

We were already full, but the chef said their ice cream is a must-try. So although our bellies were already bulging, we sampled Market Café's signature homemade ice cream flavors. My date got a scoop each of the Gianduja (Hazelnut) and Dulce de Leche, while I had a combo of Strawberry and Cheese. And true to the chef's every word, their ice cream was really good, very creamy and flavorful.

Jasmine Tea Brewed Coffee

And after a nice buffet dinner at Market Café, nothing beats a hot cup of free Jasmine tea or a cup of free brewed coffee to help with digestion.

THE VERDICT

I personally find Market Café's buffet spread quite limited compared to what Vikings has to offer. However, most of the food items we got to try were of okay, if not, of good quality. Ambiance is very relaxed and laid back, and service is impeccable. I find the original price quite steep for the food selection though, but if Market Café will sell vouchers again or have discount promos, we'll definitely grab the chance!

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4.5/5
Promo Price - 5/5
Original Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5

(Note: Overall Value rating is for the discounted voucher amount we paid.)

Buffet Rates:
Lunch

Voucher Amount - P995
Daily Rate - P1,650
Dinner
Monday to Thursday - P1,650
Friday to Sunday (Seafood Weekend Dinner) - P1,850


Market Café, Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila
3rd Lvl., 1588 Pedro Gil cor. M.H. Del Pilar, Malate
Manila, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 245-1234
Official Website

61 comments:

  1. OMG!!! Another buffet with tons of really good food!!!! Again, I don't know where to start commenting! hahahaha

    First, I think it would be such a missed opportunity for the hotel if they don't allow you to take photos. You're giving them free PR through your blog no!!! But I understand the rule if other guests are around. They might not want to risk you snapping photos of some important personality or another.

    Secondly, I'm drooling at all that sashimi! How can you not like kimchi? Hahhaaha

    Thirdly, clams and oysters are a favorite of mine. I'm drooling while looking at the photos!!!

    Fourthly(?), that prime rib looks so juicy and succulent. I can imagine how good it must taste! Yummmm!!!!! I love beef too! hahaha :D

    Lastly, the price is not bad at all for a buffet like that in a hotel. :) I want to go!!!

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  2. Wait.. what?!?! 206.25 for a cup of brewed coffee?? Wala.. napanganga lang ako kasi nasanay ako sa 5pesos 3-in-1 coffee. Haha! Pero ganun talaga siguro.. kasi it's brewed.

    Awts.. hindi talaga ako mahilig sa Korean at Japanese cuisine. I'm weird.. But dang, that pizza looks yummy! Tsaka yung prime rib.. yum!

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  3. The place looks very clean...and the food so inviting.
    On the other hand, I don't like Kimchi too.

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  4. I'll start with dim lighted place. Wow. It's cool and just perfect for a romantic date.

    Then the food. They all look sumptuous. If I am to plan a dine in there I should have to starve myself for two or three meals so I could eat them all. lol.

    Korean and Japanese Cuisines? I have tried them and I love them too. But of course, our own palatable dishes will still be a priority if ever.

    I heard lamb meat is really delicious. Is it?

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  5. @Mich of Mich Eats and Shops: I dunno sis, I just can't force myself to like Kimchi.. :( But I'll try Kimchi from Korean restos next time, maybe I just haven't tasted good Kimchi.

    @Leah.: Don't worry sis, I actually felt the same! Even for brewed coffee, it was just so expensive! Nainis nga ako di kasi siya makapag-antay.. haha.. But anyway, siya naman nagbayad for his coffee so it's good :D

    @enzo: I can't describe how lamb really tastes like, but I think it's similar to beef, mas juicy lang.. :)

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  6. Wow!! This is new na naman. Ikaw na tlg!! Sana may promo pa. Hahabol ako for sure. haha!

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  7. This is super OMG. I love the crabs, PIZZA!!!!! ice crea,... shoot!!! i wanna try this.... thanks sumi

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  8. Marcket Cafe is now on my list..tempting photos make me hungry, awesome pics..

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  9. The foods looks all yummy... so i guess its worth paying that price... and the gelato my god...nice post--'

    Eigroj Stain

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  10. 295 for a coffee.All the food are worth it for a discounted price but since you paid for a cup .it's like you did not get a discount Anymore.

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  11. Wow this resto is very classy! Love their food also.

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  12. Waahhh.. you got me craving for some creme brulee! So far, the best I got is from Tides in Shangri-La's Mactan but I think I have to try this one from Market Cafe!!

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  13. The thing I like about hotel buffets is they usually include drinks in the price, which IMO should really be included in the first place. =)

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  14. love love love the area and presentation of the foods...

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  15. Kurt and I love market cafe. Been there many times. But, before hindi pa sila open to cameras.

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  16. i really don't understand why drinks are so expensive when you're in a hotel or resort. shock din ko sa price ng coke in can ng shangri-la. =)

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  17. I want those sushi and sahimi! And the baked oysters! Arrrghh.. Gusto ko na rin bumili sa mga group buying site. Haven't tried pa eh...

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  18. Wow, that was quite a buffet! If I'm goin to eat there, maybe I'll fast for two days. Sa dami ba naman ng pagpipilian, hehe. Thanks for this mam Sumi, ginutom mo na naman ang katawang lupa ko :D

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  19. That receptionist is too strict! Glad you took a lot of photos even though it's prohibited. Hahaha! The baked oysters look yummy!!! But my gosh, I don't agree with the price, even with the group on price! It must be the stingy in me...

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  20. Wow! They all look delicious!!! :D
    But the price is crazy. I dunno, maybe it's just me tho. Hihi.

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  21. oi sumi! kay aga2x pinagugutom mo ako!!!...

    OMG ang ice cream.. OMG ang dessert!

    ang expensive dito noh? magkano!? pero ang fooooooooooodddddd.. tataba ako sa blog mo... ai mataba na pala ako, tataba ako ng lalo pala.

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  22. Wow delicious, yummy foods all over! The price is reasonable as I see it in your rating it is 5/5. It is worth the food to eat and the price to pay.

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  23. so yummy foods! elegant ang lugar,,, expensive??? ganda ng mga photos specially the colors:)

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  24. That's one hell of a brewed coffee! haha. Love your photos as usual :)

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  25. Everything looks very appetizing. Almost all the food that I want are there. The place looks really nice, too. But it is indeed very expensive.

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  26. very pricey..hehehhe..but the food looks great.

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  27. Another set of nom nom nom! Haha and now sa Hyatt Hotel nmn! I heard the hotel before. It looks sosyal and pricey. The place itself palang nice na! But for sure it's worth it nmn. I love the pizza and many to mention! In other words, EVERYTHING <3

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  28. makes me sooooo hungry!! the food looks great with your photography and must be tasty as well. i love hotel buffets and Hyatt is a good addition to my list!

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  29. gee! if all groupons have to have this kind of treat, surely must i need to start looking for "real deal". looks like u were given the perfect spot which is the dessert area.

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  30. Their food stations remind me so much of the food setup at the ITC hotels in New Delhi and Bangalore. Too bad you weren't able to get shots of the Indian food. I miss Indian food na talaga. :-(

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  31. Market Cafe is indeed a great place. The ambiance and very welcoming people are excellent!

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  32. wow as in like everyone who comment here...as in OMG!!!!!!
    at mas napa OMG ako sa kape! sabi nga ni Lea were use sa 5php na 3n1 hahaha..
    wow as in you ate all of them na kinuha mo?.. hehehe..love the prime rib din..
    and yung mga sweets na kinuha mo..yummy in my eyes!

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  33. GUtom galore!Sana kaya ko kumain ng madami para hindi sayang yung binayad ko

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  34. I hate you Sumi I love Prawn Tempura hu hu hu! You make me hungry all the time with your beautiful pictures:-(

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  35. My family and I love hotel buffets but because of the steep price, we limit ourselves to enjoying buffets during very special occasions. We have not had the chance to visit Hyatt, maybe we should look into this when a family celebration comes around.

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  36. Too bad I didn't get the voucher. :( Everything looks good! :)

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  37. lots of food but quite pricey...well you get to pay for the fine dining ambiance too so i guess it's worth it...

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  38. omg. this place is heaven!!!
    i love buffet. you can never run out of something to eat. hahaha

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  39. OMG ang mahal!!! (sensya na medyo kuripot ako e.. haha) pero ganda ng ambiance I love it!! and of course dapat lang na masarap and malinis to make it worth the price.. naku sana may mablibre sa akin dyan soon.. :)

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  40. that's a lot of food t choose from! but a bit expensive for an ordinary Juan like me.

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  41. Whoa ... expensive nga ... Buffet 101 na lang ako kung ganon ...

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  42. Hi sis I actually can't see the images maybe I am having a bad connection but base on your rate I think the place are superb

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  43. Pricey but looks terrific and yummy!

    As always, you captured everything the professional way!

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  44. Wow lang. Pangmayaman ang datingan hahaha
    Pano kayo nagkakaron ng free access sa mga ganyan buffet? kainggit hehe

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  45. @Mei: Hi sis Mei, we didn't have free access po. We paid po for the dinner.. ^^

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  46. AYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Ang sarap2x ng mga food sa photos mo Sumi! It reminds me of Davao's Marco Polo Hotel's Cafe Marco, very similar but I dont think its as good as this! Yung presyo is too dear but worth spending na man! Bonggang-bongga!!

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  47. wow the place looks so clean.
    amazed ako.

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  48. Waaa. Hindi pa ba marami photos mo dito sis? I also avoid the receptionist's sight kapag kumukuha ako ng pics :)

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  49. love the prawn tempura
    of course the baked oysters!
    hahaha! seafood!
    and as usual, I expect nothing less than your great photography here!

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  50. Wow.. I love almost all the food posted here! haha but it's kinda expensive if you don't have the voucher.. I love the seaweed soup! :)

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  51. OMG! I'm getting hungry just by looking at the pictures.

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  52. Gianduja (Hazelnut), Dulce de Leche, Strawberry and Cheese woooooooooooooot I want to try them all! :-( sad that I can't it pork they look so delicious!

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  53. I like how you captured the ambiance of Market Cafe but the 200++ for coffee? That's even more expensive than Starbucks?!?

    I still don't get it why they prohibit taking pictures of the buffet if its for personal use? Unless they are cautious with DSLR users, I think P&S would get away with it perhaps.

    As for the food. Grabe andami mong food shots. If only my wife loves buffet like I do, we could have visited every buffet at hotels by now. ^_^

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  54. Everything looks delicious but those baked oysters and desserts are making me drool!! :)

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  55. ice cream catches my attention. hehe sana may baked scallops ang mga buffet no?

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  56. that dim light place is just perfect for a romantic date. I like the idea of being classy, but wait, P206.25 for just a cup of coffee? Why not buy Kopiko na lang haha Kidding :)

    The place and foods are quite inviting. Everything looks delicious. yum yum yum

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  57. Wow, such a variety. You made me visit my memory lane when we dined in at Sheraton Hotel-Dammam at a classy Lebanese Resto.

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  58. We had a nice time with our Market Cafe buffet experience too, and we used vouchers as well. Maybe because there weren't too many people when we went for a weekday lunch date, but I liked that we didn't have to wait for the tempura station to be refilled - the cook was constantly frying those shrimp babies :) oh and I love those cherry tomatoes, too - sarap with the crispy, thin bread slices! Sashimi selection was super fresh, and I liked the pastries as well. =)

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  59. I hpe they have a promo for a lower price of the buffet per head!

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