Market Cafe: Rizal Favorites at Hyatt Hotel Manila

Buffets will always have a special place in my tummy. So after a highly-satisfying eat-all-you-can experience at Market Café earlier this year, I found myself in the sleek and elegant space of Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila once again. This time though, it's for a Filipino feast as Market Café joins Kulinarya Kalayaan to highlight our national hero's favorite Filipino dishes.
Kulinarya Kalayaan at Market Cafe

Just like other hotel and restaurant participants for this food festival, Market Café will also be offering its take on Jose Rizal's faves from June 10 to 20. Within this period, diners get to enjoy classic and authentic Filipino cuisine along with the generous spread of enticing and highly-irrestible international cuisine regularly offered at Market Café's buffet tables.

Kulinarya Kalayaan Dishes

Although I was truly impressed with my first Market Café dining experience, I was surprised at how Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila was able to make me appreciate Filipino cuisine more. Just look at all these food! Somehow it makes me wonder if people in Rizal's time enjoyed Pinoy dishes as good-looking and as good-tasting as these.

Laguna Cheese
Laguna Cheese with Anchovies
Green Mango Salad Sinigang na Baboy
Green Mango Salad and Sinigang na Ulang (Lobster-Tamarind Soup)
Tinolang Manok
Tinolang Manok (Chicken-Ginger Stew)
Tokwa't Baboy
Tokwa't Baboy (Bean Curd and Pork)
Inihaw na Baboy
Inihaw na Baboy (Grilled Pork)
Pinaputok na Tilapia
Pinaputok na Tilapia (Pan-fried Stuffed Tilapia)
Escabeche
Escabeche
Pancit Bihon
Pancit Bihon
Ube Kakanin
Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Dessert)
Turon
Turon (Banana Spring Rolls)

Along with these Filipino food offerings for Kulinarya Kalayaan are Puto (rice cakes), Tablea de Cacao and some of Rizal's favorite fruits -- mango, atis, pineapple and melon. (I was meaning to take a few photos, but my camera's battery was already low so I had to save it. I know, I know.. Lame excuses.)

What We Got

I first got a plateful of Filipino dishes to start my Market Café meal -- salted egg with some Green Mango Salad, Pancit, Tokwa't Baboy, Inihaw na Baboy, Pinaputok na Tilapia, Laguna Cheese and a piece of Pandesal.

My Plate of Green Mango Salad, Pancit, Tokwa't Baboy, Inihaw na Baboy, Pinaputok na Tilapia and Laguna Cheese

Seriously, everything on this plate tasted amazing! The green mango salad was a great appetite whetter, especially with a dollop of special bagoong (fish paste). The Laguna cheese with anchovies was also a revelation with its blend of creamy, salty and crunchy feats. Each one of the entrées on the other hand, was exceptionally-delicious too. Even with the pancit bihon which I generally don't like, Market Café got me digging in.

Bowl of Sinigang na Ulang

My friend Stacy and I also enjoyed this hot bowl of Sinigang na Ulang which was an explosion of savory and tangy flavors. Extra points too since Market Café served the soup and veggies on their buffet table separately, preserving the freshness and crunchiness of the vegetables.

Halayang Ube, Turon and Mango Slice

All of the Filipino food offerings at Market Café were of impressive quality. Even the array of desserts I got to try -- the smooth, firm and thick slice of flavorful Ube Halaya and crispy caramel-coated Turon with a sweet slice of fresh ripe mango, exceeded my expectations.

Tablea de Cacao

But among the selection of gustatory delights, the drink-all-you-can Tablea de Cacao was the item that completed my day. The deep and rich chocolate flavor blended with a smooth peanut butter mixture plus fine peanut bits, was too good to not take advantage of.

Salmon Sashimi

Of course, I would not be me if not for my love of Japanese cuisine. So after the delectable Pinoy start, I followed suit with a plate of my favorite Salmon Sashimi with soy sauce, wasabi and beni shoga (pickled ginger).

Singapore-Style Chili Lobsters

If you visit Market Café on a weekend, you can also enjoy a smorgasbord of the freshest catch from the sea just like this Singapore-Style Chili Lobster. Truly flavorful and oh-so-succulent lobster meat with a sweet, spicy and savory chili sauce. This is just too good, I tell you!

Strawberry Ice Cream and Mango Sorbet Dalandan and Guyabano Iced Tea

To perfectly end the feast, it would be a sin to miss Market Café's home-made ice cream and sorbets. So for this trip, I had a scoop each of Strawberry and Mango which are both sweet, tangy and refreshing treats. For drinks, diners can treat themselves to a free-flowing supply of sodas and beer from Market Café's fridge. Or, you can opt to order some special beverages like the Dalandan, Guyabano and Pandan Iced Teas.

THE VERDICT

I was already impressed with Market Café on my previous trip. But with this session to sample Hyatt Hotel's dishes for Kulinarya Kalayaan, I can't help but admit that I was even more delighted. In fact, I felt as if I enjoyed the food more this time. Quite surprising to come from someone who isn't much of a Filipino cuisine fan. I guess everyone reaches a turning point, and Market Café had just successfully converted me.

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


Buffet Rates:
Daily Lunch - P1,600++
Monday to Thursday Dinner - P1,800++
Friday to Sunday (Seafood Weekend) Dinner - P1,950++
Father's Day Rate - P1,950++


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
Facebook Page

50 comments:

  1. The buffet rates are a bit expensive parang not worth it based on your rating altho the food looks delish!:)

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  2. It is never a good idea to read your food posts in the morning - it's hours till lunch and you have given me such cravings! :D

    The tinola, anchovies on cheese, and chili lobster all have my mouth watering. I will have to drag other foodie friends to visit that place with me someday soon. Thanks!

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  3. Hey Sumi! What's the Sinigang na Ulang made out of? :)

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  4. I'll take Filipino desserts anytime! :)

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  5. Your shots are amazing. Makes me hungry everytime I visit here!

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  6. wow!!! you had me at Market Café's home-made ice cream and sorbets..can't wait to visit.

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  7. i just wo0ke up! and reading this made me a lot hungry! lovely food shots and you are really a good food critic! :D

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  8. I love Filipino foods and the photos are really enticing. But the prices are a little too expensive don't you think? Well, if it is wroth it then why not try it out? :)

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  9. @Blanca and @Grysh: Yes, it's pricey for a regular meal but it's worth a try especially when there's an occasion to celebrate.. :) Food quality is excellent naman, so sulit din especially if you can eat a lot ;)

    @Mai Flores: The Sinigang na Ulang had the usual sinigang veggies -- tomatoes, okra, string beans, onions, horse radish, tamarind and of course, the ulang which is a lobster or a giant freshwater prawn.. :)

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  10. nakakalaway naman lahat .i really miss Filipino food.. kahit man lang dried anchovy sawsaw sa vinegar

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  11. It's expensive, as all the hotel buffets in the metro. But like you said, it's worthy if you're celebrating something. I miss the inihaw na baboy and the kakanins!

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  12. Tokwa't baboy + ube for me! Haha, what a combination! :)

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  13. Wow, Tinolang manok, I really love it. Super Delicious talaga ang Filipino foods. :)

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  14. i have tried the buffet in hyatt.buti na lang may 40% discount sa company namin. hehehe. a lot of hotels offering buffets are also in cashcashpinoy and ensogo where you can get 50-70% discount. next week we will go again to heritage hotel 50% off the regular price. :)

    ~Corbylove

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  15. you always find the best food in manila! hahaha im loving the lobster it looks sooo delish!

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  16. the chili lobster is making me drool! :9

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  17. everything looks so delicious! i'm definitely a huge fan of buffets!

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  18. Made me drool over those anchovies with cheese and that lobster..yum!

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  19. yay! another foodie galore here. though, i'm not fond of smorgasboard, lugi ako because i only go for desserts :)

    i'm missing the purple yam. wished it's christmas na :)
    and, the laguna cheese sounds interesting.

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  20. OMG I really really want the inihaw na baboy... reminds me of my favorite liempo. :( Your blog really makes me hungry every time I visit. Sometimes I want to avoid it or I'll end up over eating. :P At the same time though you have inspired me to start my food blog but I need to take more time to take pictures. :P

    Keep it up Sumi and more power to your blog. xox

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  21. i love eating lovesters with bare hands, it been quite sometime since i last eaten one, mouth watering!

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  22. Mukhang masarap ang food kaya lang medyo mahal. Kailangan damihan ang kain. hehehe!

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  23. OMG, I love Filipino dishes! Kakagutom ang pictures! Kaya lang i'm not willing to spend that much on food kasi di ako ganun ka-bongga kumain. Hindi sulit. Hehe.

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  24. I was trying to go out and buy food for snacks, but I've decided to just comment here before I go. And look what I've found here? Oh my gosh! It makes me more hungry and craving a one big meal, instead of a snack. :D

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  25. Kesong puti with dilis!!! YUMMY~~~~ waaaaaa, im suddenly craving na! :D I love how you seem to have been to all hotels already and have tested all their buffets. :D

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  26. hay ito na naman...remind me sis not to come here! LOL nagugutom lang ako!

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  27. ang sasarap nmn nito makakatulong to sa pag Yoga madami benefits at sa Food maganda nmn ito Healty

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  28. parang ang mahal naman pero kung ganun naman kasasarap ang mga pagkain worth it na rin...

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  29. Grabe!! Super sarap! The chicken tinola caught my attention! nakakagutom!

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  30. Such luscious-looking food! Would want to visit this place soon!

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  31. I love Filipino cuisine! Kaso ang mahal naman!

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  32. This post makes me hungry! Your food photography is superb, Sumi!

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  33. This post just made me hungry. Now, I'm craving to taste that Laguna Cheese with Anchovies!

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  34. Aren't the prices a bit high for the offering? Nevertheless, these made me drool.

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  35. Grabe.. overloaded! Sarap.. proudly Pinoy! Medyo mataas yung for Father's day eh.. any suggestion yung mura lang. Thanks. luv ur food blog, anyway, Wud u mind if I ask ur lens? cam?

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  36. too expensive haha .. so for sure masarap ang foods dito ..

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  37. i'll take your word for it and hope to have a chance to try it. i miss the dilis and the turon made me crave for one. hay...
    and you really have great shots! galing!
    Pinay Mom in Germany

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  38. The dilis looks awesome :)... I wonder how much does it cost :/

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  39. Arrggg! You made me missed the Filipino foods! :)

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  40. @Herbert: This is a buffet po sir.. Rates are posted at the bottom of the post.

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  41. As always, great photos! Looking through the post made me really proud of the very nice fusion in Filipino cuisine.

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  42. GRABE!
    So many choices.
    I like to try everything
    but my stomach seems
    to be aching already just looking at
    those dishes. I feel overloaded.

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  43. all the food looks amazing! great pictures too!

    http://sindy-ng.blogspot.co.uk/

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  44. all the food looks delicious and I would love to try laguna cheese with anchovies ahaha

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  45. Nagugutom ako dito sa mga shots mo sis!!! Time to eat na for me..hahah!!

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  46. Nothing beats the Filipino dishes! :D

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  47. Nice review for this Ms.sumi,wla ng mas sasarap pa sa Pinoy dishes!yummy!

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