Mario's: The Great Sunday Lunch Buffet at Tomas Morato

As much as I dread blogging about my buffet experiences, I feel the opposite when I'm actually dining in them. And since it's been quite a while since I've last treated my palate and my tummy to a smorgasbord of good eats, I made sure to say yes when I was invited to try out the Sunday Lunch Buffet of the classic Mario's along Tomas Morato.
Mario's Tomas Morato

Long before I was born, Mario's has already made a name for itself. Its Baguio restaurant built back in 1971 has been a famous dining destination for locals and vacationers alike. The Tomas Morato branch built 3 years after, on the other hand, is as popular here in the big city with many families and couples celebrating special occasions and creating memories. As unbelievable as it seems, Mario's has been serving time-tested Spanish dishes and its signature Caesar salad for the past 4 decades.

Mario's Tomas Morato Dining Area
Mario's Tomas Morato Dining

While Mario's regularly serves dishes a la carte and even does catering, it has also been known for its Sunday Lunch Buffet. I for one have been wanting to try their buffet for a while now as I've read countless raves for their Sunday lunch spread.

The Buffet Spread

Mario's Sunday Lunch Buffet is unlike most buffets nowadays which offer quantity over quality. They may have limited selection, but I definitely saw a good number of promising dishes. Here, let me take you on a quick tour.

Cucumber & Dill, Chicken Pineapple Macaroni Salad, and Mixed Greens with Dressings
Cucumber & Dill, Chicken Pineapple & Macaroni Salad,
and Mixed Greens with dressings
Assorted Sushi
More sushi at Mario's
Assorted sushi
Cochinillo Blooming Onion, Croquettas de Atun, and Oysters Rockefeller
Cochinillo, and Roast Beef (not in the photo)
Blooming Onion, Croquettas de Atun, and Oysters Rockefeller
Honey and Lemon Glazed Roast Chicken
Honey and Lemon Glazed Roast Chicken
Tomato and Saffron Fish
Tomato and Saffron Fish
Cheesy Baked Eggplant
Cheesy Baked Eggplant
Beef Penang
Beef Penang
Deviled Potatoes
Deviled Potatoes
Creamy Tuna Pasta
Creamy Tuna Pasta
Balsamic Tomato Chorizo Fettuccine
Balsamic Tomato Chorizo Fettuccine
Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz Con Pollo
Ham and Egg Fried Rice
Ham and Egg Fried Rice
Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding
Chocolate Fondue Crème Brûlée
Chocolate Fondue and Crème Brûlée
Carrot Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes
Carrot Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes
Choco Mousse
Choco Mousse
If you've been a reader long enough, you probably already know that I usually prefer buffets with limited selection. Well, realistically speaking, it's not practical to have tons of choices since you probably can't try everything anyway.

My Plates (What I Got)

I got to sample almost everything from Mario's spread, with the exception of some items I didn't care for that much. Umm.. Steamed rice, anyone?

Plate #1 Assorted sushi, oyster rockefeller, croquette and blooming onion
Plate #1: Assorted sushi, oyster rockefeller, croquette and blooming onion
This is a pretty good plate to start off my Sunday lunch buffet experience. (Yes, I ALWAYS start with sushi.) While none of these items really stood out, they were okay and quite satisfying of an appetizer, especially the addicting blooming onion.

Plate #2 Mario's Ceasar Salad
Plate #2: ✓ Caesar Salad
It's not readily available on the salad section of the buffet spread, but just tell the staff you want a serving of the Caesar Salad and they'll bring you one, freshly mixed and tossed. Now, to be honest, I'm usually not a big fan of this salad variant. However, Mario's version got me hooked! It was so flavorful and addicting! No wonder it's famous!

Plate #3 Roast beef with gravy and Cochinillo
Plate #3: ✓ Roast Beef and ✓ Cochinillo
This plate may not look as good, but it's definitely one of my favorites. Served at the carving station, the Roast Beef was so tender and so succulent cooked to a perfect medium doneness. The Cochinillo was another winner. So soft, so juicy and very guilt-inducing with a delicately crisp skin. Definitely worth the cholesterol. Yum!

Plate #4 Creamy tuna pasta, tomato & saffron fish, cheesy baked eggplant, beef penang, and roast chicken
Plate #4: Creamy tuna pasta, ✓ tomato & saffron fish,
cheesy baked eggplant, ✓ beef penang, and ✓ roast chicken
These dishes weren't as memorable as the previous 2, but I still enjoyed sampling them. The tuna pasta and eggplant items were okay (although not extraordinary), but it was the exotic and spiced Beef Penang, the soft and tasty Honey and Lemon Glazed Roast Chicken and the savory and tangy Tomato & Saffron Fish that left an impression.

Plate #5 Balsamic tomato chorizo fettuccine, deviled potato, and arroz con pollo Plate #6 Choco mousse, carrot cake and red velvet cupcake
Plate #5: Balsamic tomato chorizo fettuccine, deviled potato, and ✓ arroz con pollo
Plate #6: Choco mousse, carrot cake and red velvet cupcake
Next, I had another round of mains before moving on to desserts. The Deviled Potato wasn't anything special, but I have to admit, I enjoyed it. Big potato lover here! The Balsamic Tomato & Chorizo Fettuccine on the other hand, was quite good. It can still be tangier, but I love the al dente-cooked pasta. And of course, how can I not mention the Arroz Con Pollo? It's a Valenciana rice dish, a little sticky but oozing with lots of flavor!

From the desserts section, I managed to get the Choco Mousse, Carrot Cake and Red Velvet Cupcake which are all enjoyable. The other desserts already ran out (and I wasn't willing to wait for refills), but my dining companions sure loved the Crème Brûlée which they said was sweet, rich and enjoyable. (Yup, I deliberately skipped the choco fondue.)

Mario's Key Lime Pie Slice of Key Lime Pie (P150)
✓ Mario's Key Lime Pie (P150 per slice)
Aside from the desserts on the buffet spread, Mario's also carries other cakes and goodies available for a la carte. One of which is their Key Lime Pie which I really, really enjoyed. It's light and creamy with a firm buttery crust and a sweet and tangy curd in between -- the perfect sweet (and citrusy) ending to a wonderful Sunday lunch.

THE VERDICT

Mario's has been in the business for so long, and I now know why. Although I haven't tried dining a la carte yet, their Sunday Lunch Buffet has already given me a very good impression on Mario's. Selection might not be extensive, but this restaurant sure embodies quality over quantity. Everything from their buffet spread was enjoyable, and there are even a good number of dishes that successfully hit the right spot. For the quality of food, a cozy dining ambiance, and courteous and prompt service, I think their buffet rate is very reasonable. So for friends and families looking to bond over an eat-all-you-can Sunday lunch without breaking the bank too hard, I recommend Mario's.

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

Sunday Lunch Buffet
11:00AM to 2:30PM
Adult Rate - P750++
Kid Rate - P580++


Mario's Restaurant, Tomas Morato
191 Tomas Morato Ave. Cor. Scout Gandia,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 372-0360; 415-3887; 376-6210
Official Website
Facebook Page

Mario's Restaurant, Baguio
16 Upper Session Road Extension
(Near Nevada and the road going to North Dr.)
Baguio City, Benguet
(074) 442-4241

66 comments:

  1. I've been to Baguio several times already but never get to try Mario's, and I am not really familiar where Tomas Morato is hehe but I'm hoping me and my family would be able to try it out :)

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  2. Mario's is my mom and lola's favorite resto!! They really love the dishes they serve plus the homey ambiance that they have

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  3. It has been a long time since I last tried their buffet here. :) It was still with my ex then LOL but I remember it having good food though! :) Great review as always, Sumi! <3 I admire you for still being able to carry out food blogging XD

    Lately, I'm just trying to concentrate on something else XD

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  4. Why haven't I seen this around Tomas Morato?! I'd have to drag my date on a cheat day here. You got me at the sushi and creme brulee! :D


    xoxo,
    Gelleesh.com

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  5. Everything looks appetizing, especially the pasta dishes and dessert choices. I think that this deserves attention over the more popular buffets. Looking forward to trying it out for myself!

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  6. Wow, they all look so appetizing! :-D Haven't dined at Mario's for a long while. It's time to go back!

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  7. I haven't been to Mario. Seeing your ratings and descriptions of the food, I think this place is a good recommendation of venue to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. :)

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  8. I tried this Sunday buffet once. Now, I really miss it.

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  9. OMG! I miss Mario's Sunday Buffet! I want to try that Key Lime Pie.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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  10. They didn't have the key lime pie the day I went there. I love love love their Caesar Salad! :) Truly the best salad ever!

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  11. OMG! SUMIIIIII!!! Nakakagutom netooo!! I wanna try everything <3 <3 <3

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  12. I haven't seen this at tomas, it looks really enticing! I love buffet

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  13. Whoah! Not bad for P750 even if I've never heard of them yet not until this post. Cheesy Baked Eggplant.. hmmmm must try!

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  14. I love having buffets on a Sunday and that tuna pasta looks like it wants to get in my belly

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  15. They have a lot of food choices today comparing to about 3 or 4 years ago. I'm definitely going back.

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    Replies
    1. Do you think we need to call for reservation or we can just go there during the alloted time?

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  16. The pie loooks YUMYUM!! :D :D :D

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  17. One of my dreams is to travel all over the country and dine in all the best places. Mario's is on my list. ;)

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  18. we have never tried to eat there yet but i've been hearing a lot of good reviews about their delicious food. i hope we could dine in the near future lol.

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  19. I will always choose quality over quantity! Php750 is not bad for a delicious lunch buffet!

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  20. just by looking at the food makes me hungry,looking forward to visit this place this coming dec :)

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  21. i love the food because of that i want to try it with my mom

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  22. Another buffet restaurant review! it makes me hungry! he he!

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  23. How about the drinks?ist included?

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