With May touted as national heritage month and Philippine culinary being one of its rich examples, Marriott Café offers some of the most sought after Filipino dishes and desserts on its buffet stations.

“What is Filipino food?”

Ask this question to a Filipino and the response is a gamut of answers. Let the Filipino explain the answer and the discussion will change from confusing to interesting. The diversity―from ingredients, preparations, cooking techniques, flavors, and presentations―is exactly what makes Filipino food distinctly remarkable!

Eating Filipino Food? Use Your Senses!

When was the last time your feet led you straight to the kitchen because the food smelled so good (even the neighbors were intrigued and paid a visit)? It’s a common scenario in Filipino homes where heirloom recipes are savored and shared. Likewise, diners who are seated near the main Filipino station will have the same happy problem. Fortunately, the food is offered in not just one but several stations. Wafting through the air is the inviting aroma of the piping hot Sinigang, Bulalo, and Sopas at the Soup Station.

Look at the different colors of different ingredients used. These reflect the bounty of the land―whether vegetables, herbs, or fruits. At the Filipino Salad Bar, for example, there’s Davao Pomelo and Shrimp Salad with Honey Tamarind dressing, Pako and Lato Salad with Calamansi Vinaigrette, Ensaladang Mangga with Crispy Bagnet, and Tuna Kinilaw.

Fresh greens at the Salad Station - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Fresh greens at the Salad Station

With more than 7,000 islands of lush greens surrounded by the deep blue sea, expect to find buckets of fresh and sustainable seafood harvest at the Seafood in Ice Station like crabs, shrimps, shellfish, and fishes. Simply grab a plate, put as many as your tummy can take, give it to any of the Marriott chefs, and tell them how you would like it to be cooked.

Sustainable seafood catch - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Sustainable seafood catch

Listen to the shucking of seashells and hear it sizzle. If it’s music to your ears, soon, it will be a fiesta in your taste buds!

A few steps on your right are Filipino Appetizers such as Crispy Kangkong, Chicharon Bulaklak, Kwek Kwek, Lumpiang Shanghai, Atchara, and Tokwa’t Baboy. Check out the Local Favorites which include Beef Kaldereta, Adobong Manok sa Gata, Relyenong Bangus, and Chopsuey. These viands are perfectly paired with Pinasingaw na Kanin or Kanin sa Ginisang Bagoong. For Chicken Inasal and Lechon Pork Belly, go to the Roasting Station. At the Grill Station, you will find Pork Gizzard Skewers, Chicken Gizzard Skewers, and Pork Belly Skewers.

Street food staples such as Chicharon Bulaklak, grilled pork and chicken gizzards, and Tokwa’t Baboy

Street food staples such as Chicharon Bulaklak, grilled pork and chicken gizzards, and Tokwa’t Baboy

To add to the heady flavors of Filipino food, Marriott Café also has a Live Okoy Station and a Kare-Kare Station.

Okoy (shrimp fritters) made on the spot - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott ManilaOkoy (shrimp fritters) made on the spot

Dip your crispy baby shrimp fritters in spiced vinegar, garlic soy sauce, and sweet chilli,

Okoy (shrimp fritters) - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott ManilaOkoy (shrimp fritters)

or have the liberty to choose which ingredients and how many of these you want to add in your Kare-Kare.

Choice of Pork Knuckles and Oxtail are offered in Kare Kare Station - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott ManilaChoice of Pork Knuckles and Oxtail are offered in Kare Kare Station

The Kare Kare station offers 2(two) options for the sauce, peanut and coconut

The Kare Kare station offers 2(two) options for the sauce, peanut and coconut

At the Dessert Station, Philippine fruits in season are served alongside Buko Pandan, Leche Flan, Cassava Cake, Sapin-Sapin, Suman Cassava, Brazo de Mercedes, Ube Halaya, Binignit, Halo-Halo and other signature sweet endings. Even the server dressed as ‘Mamang Sorbetero’ is all smiles serving the gelato in halo-halo flavor, ube pastillas, buko pandan and other refreshing ice cream flavors.

Filipino dessert, Majablanca - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Filipino dessert, Majablanca – A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Thirsty for more at Marriott?

Marriott Café’s ‘Samalamig Station’ serves Melon, Gulaman, and Buko Pandan “at the corner of Kalaw Avenue and UN Avenue” where heaps of fresh buko are also on display.

Sama-lamig station serves Melon, Gulaman, and Buko Pandan - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Sama-lamig station serves Melon, Gulaman, and Buko Pandan – A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Fresh Buko Station - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott ManilaFresh Buko Station – A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

What is Filipino Food?

It can be a regional specialty, tweaked to suite the taste of one town to the other, part of an indigenous celebration, influenced by a fellow Asian or a conqueror, then passed from one generation to another. It’s crispy, salty, sweet, bitter, sour, or savory. At Marriott Café’s Art-Taste-Tic, feel free to grab your plates and utensils, and be mesmerized by the taste of the Philippine islands!

Team Marriott Café

Executive Chef Meik Brammer - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Executive Chef Meik Brammer – A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Marriott Café Sous Chef Bryan Salarzon - A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Marriott Café Sous Chef Bryan Salarzon – A Buffet of Philippine Culinary Heritage at Marriott Manila

Indulge on this delightful dinner feast available until June 12, 2016. Buffet starts at 6PM and ends at 10PM. To know more about the Philippine Heritage Month celebrations at Marriott Hotel Manila, call (02) 9889999 or visit manilamarriott.com. To keep up on their latest offerings, follow @marriottmanila on Facebook and Twitter and @manilamarirott on Instagram and Snapchat.