Hey guys, welcome back to The Pinoy Wanderer. I’m here to review another restaurant in Legazpi City that offers a fulfilling buffet experience. This next destination is a cool addition to a list I’m creating which will feature top “Buffet Destinations in Albay.” Let me introduce you folks to -- (drum roll please) -- “Cosina de’ Marina.”
Cosina de’ Marina is located in Brgy. Cruzada, Legazpi City and owned by the incumbent Punong Barangay of Cruzada, Mr. Edsil N. Llaguno. The restaurant took the name “Marina” from the owner’s mother-in-law and is also a playful derivative of the bicol phrase “mari na” which means to invite others to join and partake. Of course “Cosina” means kitchen, so yeah, come and join the feast in Marina’s kitchen. Anyway, the restaurant started its operation just last March 2014 and offers lunch and dinner buffets all days of the week for only P180.00 per head. Lunch buffet is from 10am to 2pm while dinner buffet starts at 5pm to 10pm, Mondays to Sundays. Below is its location on Google Map so you won’t get lost.
Unlike what happened on my previous review, this time, my brother and I arrived at the restaurant on time. How unbelievable for me, haha! And so we had a feast on all of their home-made cuisines. Check out the photos below to have an idea what to expect in case you try Cosina de’ Marina’s buffet:
Let’s start with some appetizer. That day, they served mushroom soup --
-- and vegetable salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, and cabbage) with dressing of either vinaigrette or mayonnaise.
Aside from plain white rice, they also served java rice.
First on their buffet is labelled Picadilyo. I thought Picadillo is supposed to be made of ground beef or pork? Here in the Philippines, the dry version of Picadillo is called “giniling” and has potatoes, raisins, and tomato sauce. This one’s made of vegetables, maybe vegetable picadillo? But even that is made not of the veggies found on this dish. Anyway, I love vegetables, so this one worked for me. Let’s figure out the name later, LOL! ☺
Marina’s Fried Chicken – must be a pride of Cosina de’ Marina since it carries the name of the restaurant. Though the chicken was a bit dry and tough, it was deliciously marinated and undeniably tasteful to the bite. I came back for my second helping to confirm this observation. I wish they’ll be more careful with the quality of this dish because it has so much potential. My first favorite from this restaurant, so far. ☺
Afritada – a version of pork stew that’s cooked in tomato sauce and usually made out of chicken or pork, potato, and carrots. Their version was OK.
Steamed Okra – my mother hates okra but I don’t, LOL! I ate two okra and dipped them in soy sauce.
Ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd) – they served two ampalaya dishes that day. First one was ampalaya with other veggies (eggplant, sitaw) and pork strips then cooked in coconut milk (I think this dish is called Pinakbet); the other was ampalaya sautéed in eggs. Ampalaya tasted great on both dishes, with just a subtle hint of bitterness to remind you that the dish is still ampalaya. Cosina de Marina knows how to cook their veggies. Good job guys!
Laing – a favorite among locals and visitors, made from gabi (taro) leaves cooked in coco milk with some pork bits and whole chilli for added flavor. Cosina de’ Marina did not disappoint with their version of this dish. It was so creamy and delicious. Laing is my other favorite from this restaurant. ☺
Caldereta – is the hot and spicy variation of afritada. The dish was no standout. We were looking for the caldereta that we were accustomed to. Their version of this dish lacked the kick of liver spread, the creamy depth of cheese and the indulgence of butter. To each his own, right?
Pork Humba – this is actually a personal favorite. Their version was also good . I like that the meat (and the yummy fat around the bones) was all tender and juicy. Mmm!
Mixed seafood – we skipped this one out, we didn’t feel like having seafood that day.
Crispy Baluko – some 30 minutes after buffet started, they added this crisp-looking Baluko on the table. Baluko is a sort of giant shellfish, somewhat related to but is much larger than scallops, and are abundant in the seas of Sorsogon. They've marinated the de-shelled Baluko, rolled in batter, and then deep fried. My brother ate some and he said that it was good.
What I like about Cosina de’ Marina is the extensive selection on their cuisines and the affordability of it all. Aside from the different dishes, they’ve also managed to reward their diners with some desserts. Here’s what they served that day:
Bottomless iced tea was also part of their buffet meal. What a great deal! I just hope that they would add a bucket of ice near the serving area because I really want my drink to be ice cold. We just asked for some ice and they gave us some right away.
Other Points of Interest:
The place – Apart from the noticeable dried water stains on the glass top of our table (check photo below, click to enlarge), the buffet hall was clean and organized. The restaurant was just a few months old, so there’s still lots of room for improvement. Cosina de Marina is perfect for people who are huge eaters. It lacks the warmth and hospitality of other restaurants (because they don’t have staff to welcome you or usher you to your seat) but it’s all good because you can just be yourself and feel right at home. Maybe they didn't just have enough manpower that day but they more than made up for it by satisfying our craving for home-made comfort foods. The place will not intimidate so after paying for the buffet, you can go fill your plate with delicious food and eat to your heart’s content. The rest of the place (Cosina de' Marina and the adjacent Balay Anton hall) gives off an old Spanish atmosphere mixed with Asian interior. It’s an open-air restaurant with glass wall up front, and on that sunny day, it’s a bit hot from where we were seated.
The people – I was able to talk for a bit with Mr. Llaguno and he was very accommodating. He explained that the reason why they charge less is because they own the building, saves a lot on the rent, thus, they have more food on the table compared to other buffet restaurants in the area. The rest of Cosina de’ Marina staff who attended to us that day were also very friendly. Thank you guys!
Your money’s worth – if you are frugal with your money and wants to really indulge, this is the place to be. With their wide array of food selections, you will definitely get your money’s worth. Plus, the place is really young, they will sure to improve in the coming days. I’m not surprised if they already have their regular patrons because no-one can ignore that the restaurant is a good destination for food trippers. All in all, I can say that Cosine de’ Marina is a satisfying addition to your dining options whenever you visit the province of Albay. I am sure to come back to this place.
And yeah, aside from the restaurant, they also have a hall that one can rent for hosting special events, as well as an air-conditioned closed hall on the second floor. You can contact them on this number: 0929 298 7458 ☺
|The Pinoy Wanderer (that's me on the left) and my brother Jeb (with Gray shirt on the right).|
That's all for the now, thanks for reading! Leave your thoughts on the comments' section below.
Until my next wandering everybody, ehrr, until my next buffet. *Burp!*
Check out my other reviews featuring "BUFFET DESTINATIONS IN ALBAY"
Tags: Buffet Destinations in Albay, Cosina de’ Marina buffet price, menu, and schedule, restaurants in Legazpi City Albay