Posted by: hoz49 | March 3, 2008

The Marco Polo Buffet

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is a 4 star luxury hotel located in the Nevil Hills overlooking the city of Cebu. It used to be known as Cebu Plaza but after going bankrupt and sitting mothballed for several years it was acquired by the Marco Polo Group of Hong Kong. A complete renovation followed at the new hotel was opened in 2005.

The Cafe Marco has been recommended as the best “all you can eat” buffet in Cebu. Fe and I were lucky to be invited there to attend a birthday lunch for “Baby” Roldan, a friend of her sister Lisa. I was advised no shorts were allowed. (Hey, I can clean up when necessary.)

We arrived around 11am and the staff were busy setting the stations for lunch. At first I was amazed by the number of selections but after a couple trips up I became quite at home. I decided this one meal was to be my last for the day!

Maybe it isn’t so much the food as the presentation. Each station or
” presentation kitchen” is artfully displayed and the entire restaurant is well lighted and done in beige marble tile and stone. Large windows overlook Cebu City and a tropical garden. The friendly, attendant staff are quick to bring special orders or fill your glass.

Food glorious food!

Food or infestation?

Fe and I started by building a western style salad. Being the orient, this may be the only time I could eat fresh, leaf lettuce. Since Marco Polo caters to an international clientèle I decided their hygienic standards would be high. I choose Iceberg, Red Leaf and Romaine with alfalfa sprouts and a vinaigrette dressing. I also added a few pieces of cheese from their extensive selection and a fresh baked baguette. Some of our group went to the Sushi Bar instead, but being a transplant survivor raw fish is off my menu.

Sushi bar Cafe Marco Polo


After salad I made way to the meat kitchen for a Cebu specialty, lechon or roasted suckling pig. Golden brown with crispy skin, lechon is a heavenly delight with rice. Cholesterol be dammed, I had two helpings!

I went to the Dim Sum counter for those delicious “little eats” to fill the corners of my stomach. Did you know the direct translation of dim sum is “touch the heart” or “fill the heart”? Those tasty little steamed morsels of wrapped sausage with soy sauce are addicting. I could make a meal out of Dim Sum alone.


Delicious Peking Duck

Crispy lechon



A short rest to let everything settle and we decided to hit the desert bar. I choose 3 dips of ice cream, mango, ubi and vanilla. Fe built her own “halo halo” which is mixed chopped fruits with ice and milk. About this time the staff arrived with a small cake and candle for the celebrant and we all sang the birthday song for her.


Two of the guests were Loloy and Angie Unchuan. Loloy has a shrimp farm on Mactan Island and several years ago we were invited to one of the harvests. It was an interesting experience as they are always held at night, under a full moon and as an added attraction all you can eat shrimp was served from the grill. BTW, these are Tiger Prawns, 4-6 inches long and meaty as a chicken leg. Mick Dundee doesn’t have anything on this guy! Loloy, Angie and their family once toured the US and also visited our home. He confided they aren’t raising shrimp right now as the quality of fry has deteriorated to where it is hard or impossible to make a profit. He has become the “Water Tycoon” of Mactan, as his property has a year around spring from which he supplies surrounding luxury resorts with fresh water.

Though I haven’t ate at all the buffets, I definitely recommend Marco Cafe as the best in Cebu.

I thought, “how could it be otherwise?” As I waddled out to the car.



  1. Looks like a beautiful area! I am a water lover too. I have been working to keep rivers clean in Indiana…uphill battle. Please check out my work so everyone will have cleaner water ways for water fun of all types.

  2. I read about Mr. and Mrs. Unchuan’s shrimp farm in this blog, and my company has an interest to lease unused shrimp farms. Any chance I can contact them for this purpose? – Philippines

  3. To Len, I would be happy to forward your information to Loloy. Pls send your contact info to me at (substitute an “@” for the “2”.
    include your e-mail, cell and landline numbers

  4. Aww Dad you look so handsome in the last picture =)

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