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 Vikings buffet and the one at Buffet 101 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.

Dining tables at Escolta Restaurant

Of course there's also price. 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.  Also 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.

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