Saturday, July 12, 2014

Buffet Promos and Dining Deals in Manila

Eat-All-You-Can Restaurant Deals, Buffet Promos, and Dining Discounts 

Some of the significant advertised promotions such as credit card offers, birthday promos and daily deals at buffet restaurants as well as 50% off discount offers, equivalents or better at other eateries. Deal details may vary or may not be offered at certain branches. Restrictions apply. For promos backed by credit card providers standard cardholders may be provided less benefits than premium cardholders or be excluded from an offer altogether. The following are provided to give possible leads and ideas. Accuracy of this list cannot be assured so make sure to check with the restaurant and sales agent for the particular promotion one is interested in ahead of time to confirm the details. 


Credit Card Offers


BDO Credit Cards


50% off at New World Makati Hotel's Cafe 1228
July 12  to September 30, 2014

50% Off on Lunch Buffet and 2 + 1 FREE on Dinner at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria's Seven Corners
August 15 to October 30, 2014

50% Off on Lunch and Dinner at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria's Xin Tian Di
August 15 to October 30, 2014

1+1 Mondays and Birthday Promo at Diamond Hotel's Corniche and Yurakuen
March 6, 2014 to March 4, 2015

20% off at Marriott
March 1 to December 31, 2014

30% off F Cafe buffet at F1 Hotel Manila
(Call to verify details)

2+1 dinner or 2+2 midnight buffet at Movie Stars Cafe
May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015

20% off lunch buffet at Annabel's from Friday to Monday
May 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014


BPI Credit Cards

50% off on Spectrum buffet every Monday (Lunch and Dinner) and Sunday (Dinner)
August 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014
 
25% off on weekday daily lunch buffet at Oakwood
May 19, 2014 to December 31, 2014


Citibank Credit Cards

50% off Spectrum Lunch and Dinner on Wednesdays
August 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014


EastWest Bank Credit Cards

30% off lunch and dinner buffets at the F1 Hotel Manila
February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015


HSBC Credit Cards

50% off buffet at The Peninsula Manila's Escolta
February 15, 2014 to September 30, 2014

20%-30% off on buffets at F1 Hotel's F Restaurant
March 15, 2014 to December 31, 2014


Visa Credit Cards

3+1 (buy 3 get 1 free) offer on all buffet lunch at Spiral Sofitel Philippine Plaza
June 15 to September 30, 2014


Restaurant Promos


Acacia Hotel

3+1 at Acaci


Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria

Vouchers for 1188 net buffet at Seven Corners or 688 net unlimited dimsum at Xin Tian Di
August 30, 2014 - September 8, 2014  (selling period)
(Call to verify details)


F1 Manila Hotel

30% off with BDO, EastWest, HSBC, Maybank, PNB, RCBC Cards
(Call to verify details)


Manila Hotel

3+1 for Php 19.12 with Manila Bulletin coupon at Café Ilang-Ilang
(Call to verify details)


Dimsum Discounts


50% Off Dim Sum Afternoon and/or  Late Night

Causeway
Golden Bay
Golden Fortune
King Chef 
Tao Yuan


Birthday Promos


Banzai
The Buffet
Buffet 101
Dads
La Fiesta
The Food Club
Sambo Kojin
Vikings
Yakimix


Daily Deals


Cash Cash Pinoy

Romulo Lounge - July 28, 2014 to October 28, 2014
Sodam - July 29, 2014 to October 29, 2014


Ensogo

Barbara's - July 12, 2014 to October 12, 2014
Cafe in the Park - June 20, 2014 to September 20, 2014
The Food Club - August 4, 2014 to November 4, 2014 

Sodam - August 4, 2014 to November 4, 2014
Wan Chai Tea House - July 31, 2014 to October 30, 2014


Groupon

Zong - June 30 – September 30, 2014


MetroDeal

The Blackboard - July 7 until October 7, 2014
Buffet 101 (Robinsons Magnolia) - June 23 until September 23, 2014
Café Arquiza - July 30 until December 30, 2014
La Fiesta - July 8 until October 8, 2014
The Marina Seafood Oyster and Grill - June 25 until September 25, 2014
Primero Casa Filipino - September 2 until October 15, 2014
Riviera Cafe - June 1 until October 15, 2014
Sodam - June 25 until September 25, 2014
Tong Yang - September 3 until October 11, 2014
Yakimix - July 15, 2014 until October 15, 2014
Yakimix Prime - September 1 until December 1, 2014


Notes

Many of the popular buffet restaurants also have additional promos that are too numerous and change too frequently to list here. Check out the respective websites of buffet restaurants you are interested in and contact them directly to find out more. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

All-You-Can-Eat Buffets in Manila

Where's the best eat-all-you-can buffet in Metro Manila?  There are many Metro Manila buffet restaurants to consider.  Many will say go to a hotel buffet and you won't be disappointed. Indeed the buffets Manila hotels offer are generally very good with some providing a spread that is likely to be more than one can comfortably sample entirely and expect to stay healthy.  Still speculating if the buffet at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza's Spiral is tops in this department or if there is another that is even better can be fun.  Among the non-hotel options the choices offered by the buffets at Vikings, Buffet 101, The Food Club, and La Fiesta can be a bit overwhelming too.

Chandeliers above the buffet at Buffet 101

But spread isn't the only consideration.  Taste, consistency, ambiance, and intangibles that are weighed uniquely by each individual are factors too. It can be disappointing for example that hotel buffets tend to focus on international, not local, cuisine.  One might need to order á la carte if one wants to sample local fare and the one or two offered by the buffet are not enough. Then there are those places that do not layout all their food out as a proper buffet at all but serve their food a la minute, a practice that has both its advantages and disadvantages.  One might also prefer to seek out a more intimate less busy atmosphere, especially if one finds the din of "Happy Birthday" sung for the umpteenth time,  the crush of people storming the buffet area, or simply the long line to get in the door of the restaurant in the first place too much to endure.

Dining tables at Escolta Restaurant

Of course there's also price to consider. Non-hotel restaurants usually cost less with the best of them making a stronger showing in terms of value.  But while there may be exceptions—both positive and negative—the general expectation that you get what you pay for usually holds.  Certain theme-oriented buffets or formats because of their focus tend to be more affordable. Popular eat-all-you-can themes include the smokeless grill, the Mongolian buffet, the dim sum buffet, the sushi buffet, the breakfast buffet and the merienda buffet. Ultra-inexpensive buffets that impose time limits on seating on top of the almost standard no-leftover restriction for non-hotel buffets may cost less but will be a no-no for the more leisurely inclined.

Native Filipino theme on display at Cabalen buffet restaurant

It helps if the buffet is located nearby and not over an hour's drive away through traffic. The Mall of Asia area, Roxas Boulevard from Malate to Ermita, the Makati central business district, the Ortigas CBD, and areas surrounding the Quezon Memorial Circle seem to be buffet restaurant hotspots in Metro Manila.

Some buffets or eat-all-you-can places to consider:

Hotel Restaurant Buffets in Manila

Restaurant Buffets in Manila

Notes:

This list was composed to give a brief overview and some ideas.  The dining scene in the city is dynamic and changes occur frequently. Check with the restaurant itself ahead of time before going to make sure a buffet is still being served and when it is available.  Many offer buffets only at selected times or days of the week or at particular branches. Some of the places listed above do not have a buffet per se but an all-you-can-eat offer.

Although placing a reservation is usually unnecessary for most places, a reservation is a very good idea for some of the very popular ones to ensure being seated—especially on a weekend or holiday when prices are higher.  In regards to price, breakfast buffets cost less than lunch buffets and lunch buffets usually cost less than dinner buffets.

One may wish to look up special promotions with daily deal sites like Cash Cash Pinoy, Ensogo, Groupon, and MetroDeal, or inquire about credit card discounts. Birthday buffet promos are sometimes offered and something to look for.  But as with all promos pay attention to the restrictions.


Related:

Do you know of other buffets in Metro Manila that are not yet listed?  Have you learned that a listed buffet or all-you-can-eat offer is no longer available?  Post a comment below.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Piattos



    Piattos cheese flavored potato crisps.  Piattos chips also comes in other flavors: sour cream and onion, roadhouse barbecue, nacho pizza, and roast beef. 






    Piattos chips are cut into distinctive small bite-size hexagonal potato wafers.


    They are sold under the Jack 'n Jill brand by Universal Robina Corporation.

    Notes

    Prior to Piattos chips coming on the Philippine market one would have trouble recalling even a somewhat decent locally made potato chip.  Predecessors like V-Cut were very uneven products often with overcooked burnt chips filling half the bag .  To get edible potato chips one had to rely on imports—and shoestring potato snacks like Pik-Nik seemed to make up most of those.   Piattos was a distinct improvement and became a less expensive alternative to imported Frito-Lay or Pringles chips, although probably still not a satisfying substitute for those who like larger or rippled potato chips.  For them the newer potato chips from Oishi might be a better alternative.  Actually Spuds, which like Piattos are manufactured by Universal Robina, would be my first recommendation, but that line seems to have been phased out since I don't see them in supermarkets anymore.  It seems the premium potato chip market in the Philippines still isn't that large.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    MAXIMS TOWER - Hotel at Resorts World Manila

    Maxims Tower Hotel in Manila

    Maxims Tower hotel in Manila is a new all suite luxury hotel that opened in late 2010 in the Newport City development next to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. Maxims Manila is integrated into the Resorts World Manila (RWManila) complex which has a popular casino and shopping arcades and is connected to the Manila Marriott Hotel.  (Update: The Remington Hotel has also opened next door.)  RWManila is a joint venture between Alliance Global a listed conglomerate associated with Andrew Tan probably known more for Megaworld and Genting Hong Kong (formerly Star Cruises).  RWManila was conceived as an integrated entertainment resort similar to Resorts World Genting in Malaysia and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.

    Hotel Rates
    Restaurants
    Contact Information
    Other Hotels

    Boutiques at Maxims Tower ground floor
    The Marriott hotel is connected to Maxims

    Maxims Tower Hotel Rates

    A Maxims Suite has a listed rack rate of $300 per night not including 12% VAT and 10% service charge but a discount of up to 40% might be availed of for elite Resorts World members, a designation determined by previous play at Resorts World casinos.  A discounted listing for as low as $170 has also been observed on a hotel travel site.  A tax exemption is granted to foreign guests upon presentation of a foreign passport on check in.  It might be worthwhile to call and check the rate at the neighboring Marriott for a comparison to make sure one is getting a reasonable rate.  If money is not a consideration, one also has a choice of DeLuxe, Corner, Executive, Signature, Ambassador, and Presidential suites or Royal Villa. Complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are included for all rooms.

    Restaurants and Food Outlets


    Common area
    Impressions
    Passion Restaurant

    Casino area

    Cameras are not allowed in the casino area.  More restaurants can be found in the integrated Newport Mall, Marriott hotel, and other nearby Newport City buildings.

    Contact Information


    Telephone: (+632) 908-8888 or (+632) 908-8000 loc. 8220
    Website: http://www.rwmanila.com/hotels-at-resorts-world-manila/maxims-tower
    Email: maximshotel@rwmanila.com

    Notes

    Is Maxims Tower one of the best hotels in Manila? The Department of Tourism hasn't given it yet an official hotel rating, but the facilities for the most part raise it to the level of a top class hotel.  On the other hand one gets the impression the Maxims hotel plays a largely complementary or secondary role in the Resorts World complex which mainly revolves around its casino. Indeed the Maxims Tower does not have much of a hotel lobby or reception area to speak of.  Rather the foyer doubles as an entrance for the mall.  A small desk on the side, manned by a kind but also very busy individual who is constantly on the phone, serves as reception (Update: replaced recently by a larger more formal and better staffed reception desk).  For a self-proclaimed six-star luxury hotel this is likely to make for a disappointing first impression.  Early hotel reviews also seem to indicate the staff aren't as polished as they could be.  Still the slightly larger rooms, new facilities, and touted butler service might go some way to make up for it.

    Casino at Maxims Tower Resorts World Manila

    The casino is reputed to be the largest casino in the country and hosts a leg of the Asian Poker Tour.  It's a lively venue with a live band or show of some sort usually performing at Bar 360 in the middle of the casino area with gaming tables to one end, slot machines on the other, and restaurants tucked away on one side.  People are encouraged to become members.  Upon membership they are given membership cards which allow them to earn points by gambling at the casino, the points can then be redeemed for rewards and discounts.  With such perks RWManila has become a popular gaming destination but it is likely to face stiff competition in the future when a planned casino development hub along Roxas Boulevard is completed. 



    Related:

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Kanin Club

    Kanin Club photo
    Earlier Kanin Club Alabang location.  It has since moved to another building very close by.

    Kanin Club is a restaurant serving Filipino cuisine.  It was founded in 2005 by two couples, Anthony and Emely Mendoza, and Tony Cancio and Mariela Luna who are also the owners of Cafe Breton.  The story goes that Anthony and his friends after cycling around Laguna would regularly stop by the café owned by Tony, a fellow biking enthusiast, to rest and replenish but felt that the crepes on offer weren't enough to satisfy them.  Instead they wanted something heartier—rice.  Thus Kanin Club the Filipino restaurant was born.    

    For impressions and a restaurant review Kanin Club's branch at Westgate Alabang Muntinlupa was visited. Its other branch locations are its original branch in Santa Rosa, Laguna, UP-Technohub in Quezon City, F7 Building Scout Rallos Quezon City, Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati and The Hub Greenfield District in Mandaluyong.

    Contact Info and Schedule
    • Kanin Club Paseo de Sta. Rosa - Tel: (049) 544-0332 Weekdays: 11am-2:30pm 5-10pm Weekends, Holidays: 11am-10pm 
    • Kanin Club Westgate, Alabang - Tel: (02) 771-1400 Weekdays: 11am-2:30pm 5:30-10:30pm Weekends, Holidays: 11am-10:30pm 
    • Kanin Club UP-Technohub, QC - Tel: (02) 332-5978 Daily: 11am-10pm
    • Kanin Club Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati - Tel.: (02) 621-6109 Daily: 11am-10pm
    • Kanin Club The Hub Greenfield, Mandaluyong - Tel.: (02) 631-0081
    Notes

    Ambiance
    The Kanin Club Alabang branch is relatively small—cozy or cramped depending on one's mood and the number of other patrons.  Its interior evokes something between an Old Manila and a 70s retro chic with the capiz panels under the glass tabletops, wood tables and benches, colored stained glass windows, bright Filipino food-related expressionist paintings, and prominent wooden counter.

    Food
    Kanin Club's menu is composed mainly of Filipino food with a smattering of foreign inspired dishes that have become popular locally.  The food was good and a distinct interpretation usually with a twist on standard Filipino recipes was noticeable.  We ordered the crispy dinuguan, seafood kare-kare, tinapa rice, and a sago't gulaman shake.  The crispy dinuguan seems to be a popular choice, but while agreeable enough, I must confess a little disappointment with it.  The crispiness of the pork bits of dinuguan is novel but it brought to mind a comparison with chicharon, making me think of the dish as more appetizer than main course.  The mildness of the dark blood sauce was also perhaps too innocuous.  Dinuguan while standard Filipino fare could be seen as a little more on the daring side for those new to Filipino cuisine and I found myself missing the stronger sour and spicy taste of a standard interpretation of the dish.

    Kanin Club Kare-Kare
    Seafood Kare-Kare
    Kanin Club Dinuguan
    Dinuguan

    The seafood kare-kare was more impressive with a bolder flavor than what one often finds; the distinct taste of what seemed like coconut came off well.  I do wonder though if the rich sauce will stand up well to repeated tastings or become cloying if eaten too much too soon.  The tinapa rice was fine with the smoked flavor of the fish being delicately balanced with the aromatics in the fried rice.

    Kanin Club Tinapa Rice
    Tinapa Fried Rice

    Service and Value
    Service could have been more attentive but was otherwise okay.  The price of the meal was within a reasonable range.

    Other Filipino casual dining restaurants similar to Kanin Club in serving slightly more sophisticated Filipino dishes would be Abe, Crisostomo, and Serye.

    More Information:

      Friday, August 19, 2011

      List of Food Kiosks in Metro Manila

      Monday, August 15, 2011

      Philippine Vinegar

      Vinegar is called suka in Filipino.  Philippine vinegar is usually derived from sugar cane, coconut, or nipa.  Vinegar made from coconut sap or nectar from a coconut palm's inflorescence is called sukang tuba.  Vinegar made from nipa sap is called sukang sasa and has become closely related to the town of Paombong, Bulacan, which claims to be the vinegar capital of the Philippines, hence the term sukang paombong being adopted by some products.

      Vinegar is a common ingredient in Filipino cuisine being a fundamental ingredient in many basic Philippine preparations.  The defining characteristic of paksiw dishes is their use of vinegar.  Adobo and kinilaw use vinegar as well. Vinegar is also a common condiment at the Filipino dining table where it is commonly mixed with crushed garlic, soy sauce, siling labuyo, or some combination thereof as a dipping sauce to accompany a meal of fried fish, steamed shrimps or crabs, grilled liempo or crispy pata.  Such flavored or spiced vinegar (sinamak) is also sold pre-prepared in supermarkets.  Local brands include Datu Puti, Amihan, Silver Swan, Marca Piña, Lorins, Supremo, Tentay, Mother's Best, and Del Monte.




      More information:
      • Fresco, Mary Charlotte O. (July-September 2001). Making vinegar a business venture. BAR Research and Development Digest 3(3). Bureau of Agricultural Research, Philippines.