Posts tagged ‘Buffet’

EDSA Shangri-La Manila: HEAT

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If there is a place that my family loves to go to for a heartfelt meal, it would be EDSA Shangri-la Manila‘s HEAT, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. With my family, food is always the thing that bonds us whether on a Sunday lunch at home or dining out. If I’m not mistaken it has been my fourth time to have dinner with my family there so we do have a pretty good idea on what they are offering.

The food selection is endless and you’ll sure to find something that you will enjoy. There were occasion that we would request something from the attendant, which is not part of the buffet, and they were able to do something about it. Now that is very good customer service. The reason why we do that is because my family have some favorites that were not part of the buffet since it’s expected that the food offerings changes from time to time plus we feel comfortable doing this since we’re secluded in one of the function rooms of the restaurant (so we can afford to be thick-faced with our requests). The service is extra-ordinary and commendable, a true quality service.


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The food choices are exquisite and one of the things I like is that the area is sectioned according to cuisines so appetizers and soups are placed based on cuisine so it compliments the sections. The buffet set-up is spacious so you can roam around and explore. What I tend to do is to first go around and check first what are the offerings then afterwards select them. As far as cuisines are concerned, they have Italian, Japanese, Filipino, Mediterranean, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and others. So you can just imagine the overwhelming choices whatever your heart and tummy desires. About the desserts, it’s obvious that they will never run our of choices so if you have a sweet tooth, enjoy the bliss.

The price may be considered one of the highest compared to the other hotel buffets but here you will see and experience the value for money. I so highly recommend this for those who want to splurge and have a great experience with someone or group of people. Do note though that if you are going there as a group and wants to stay in one of the function rooms, it’s advisable to make a reservations to secure the area.

The Bellevue Manila: Cafe d’Asie

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This would be my 3rd time to visit Cafe d’Asie of The Bellevue Manila in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. The cafe looks stylish for a hotel and very updated, classic french art neuvo. Spacious and comfortable seating whether you are alone dining or with friends or family. The food attendants are friendly and attentive.

The distance and location is a very far from where I live but there is a reason why me and partner frequent the place. The Alabang area is a bit confusing for me despite it’s our second time there. What we base our direction is the site of the hotel, regardless of street names.

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As far as the food offerings are concerned, it’s very limited so if you are looking for more variety it might leave you a little disappointed. Though the food is nicely placed, some entrees are too simple considering there are very few selections. Also one thing I noticed is that despite the presence of chefs within the area, no one seems to monitor the replenishment of the entrees. We had to call their attention before something is done.

The appetizers and salads are sufficient with the choices. Though I have to comment that the cold cuts are a bit dry. The buffet doesn’t have offerings of sushis – only sashimis and there’s only two choices. They only have one choice of soup. The main courses is limited and as mentioned earlier too simple. I liked the sections of the noodle soup, dim sum, kebab, and grilled seafood. The tempura section lacks taste and the pizza section is not appetizing. They do have a wider range of desserts.

The buffet offers complimentary coffee or tea and I must say that they have good coffee there. One good thing about the buffet experience here is that you leave not as stuffed as expected from other hotel buffets – and that is a good thing coming from someone who is trying to watch his weight and health.

The experience itself is satisfactory. Despite the distance, it’s like going out of town (with the travel time and traffic) so it’s a good short escape from the my place of residence or where I frequent  during weekends. I do recommend this place but in the parameters of simple buffet set-up, good ambiance, good service, and a distance away from your usual hangout area.

Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila: Market Cafe

My siblings and I were privilege enough to be treat by our parents for dinner at the Market Cafe of Hyatt Hotel in Malate, Manila.  Though this is our second time, I must admit that I didn’t pay much attention the last time to the details (ambiance, food offerings, and services) so I am treating this like it was my first – a trying hard virgin.

picture courtesy of Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila

My first impression of the hotel’s lobby was very chic and clean but it does lack a bit of luster.  It would have been better if there’s more lighting inside.  This way they can further highlight the features of the lobby.  It was a bit too gloomy for me.  We decided to take the lifts to go to the restaurant despite it was located on the second floor (an escalator would suffice).  Upon entering the lifts, though my whole family could fit in one, again the lifts fell short of my expectations.  It’s lacks brightness and pizzazz.  You feel that you’re in a normal elevator when you’re going to your office.

picture courtesy of Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila

On our way to the Market Cafe, prior to seeing the interior of the restaurant, a smoke of cooked food greeted us and admittedly it’s a bit overwhelming (and it’s not in a good way).  The smell is a bit overbearing that you couldn’t figure out i it’s grilled meat or seafood, baked bread, baked pizza or cooked pasta, steaming dim-sum, or friend tempura – very confusing I tell you.  The saying, “aroma entices the appetite” is an overstatement.  You feel a full prior to taking a seat.

Our family was seating in a convenient place.  It’s spacious enough from the nearby tables but then again our family requires a very long table.  I just noticed that over us is a dome shape ceiling with a chandelier in the center.  I am not technically knowledgeable of architectural design and aesthetics but the experience game me the right to say this.  We could actually hear the conversations from the nearby tables.  I think the sound bounces off the ceiling and lands on our table.  I find it so annoying because it interferes with our family conversations.  And I’ll bet the other patrons would feel the same about us, considering we’re more than them – imagine that?  There were even some foreigners and the noise adds more to the confusion.

The food offerings were well positioned in the buffet area.   I did noticed that the offerings were limited considering that the buffet costs Php1,600++  The sushi area offers the basic sushis and nothing special and spectacular, though the quality of the raw fishes are very fresh, I must admit.  The dim-sum is ok but also limited variants.  The tempura is a disappointment despite they used full shrimps.  It was the batter and sauce that killed it.  The secret to a good tempura is the quality of the batter.  It was too thick and tough, and the sauce was tasteless.  My dad was the most disappointed among us and he gave his score on this.  The grill is a so-so for me since it does not require special skills but just to grill raw meat and seafood plus did I mention about this strong smell of the place?  I was surprised with the dessert offerings because there are more selections than the other sections.  My sister and in-laws were having a blast with this.

In fairness to the Market Cafe, what makes them different from other hotel buffets is the bottomless canned sodas and bottled local beers.  But then again, this special feature does not contribute to the total dining experience.

One of the things that stands our from our experience is the slow service from the food attendants.  Though it’s not expected from the attendants to be assisting us during our food selection but then it’s dishing out once we;re done with the plates, it’s a no brainer, right?  I’d like to think with the price of the buffet, certain expectations are evident and one of them is ensuring that dishing out is regularly done.  Well apparently NOT!!!  We literally had to call their attention regularly.  So service really fell so low on this one, sad to say.

Despite what we experienced, my family did make the most out of it.  We all got up really stuffed and had our share of a hearty meal.  More than the experience, we all had fun because we were all together and the never-ending stories we all share.

One of the things I like is the smoking area.  This is not located on an outdoor setting.  This is the section inside of the restaurant dedicated to smoking patrons.  There are sufficient ventilations that you cannot smell smoke in that area.  You will be seated temporarily in one of the tables and you can smoke without bothering anyone and vice versa.  It’s such a delight especially being and feeling so stuffed.

If given the chance, will I go back to the Market Place?  Most likely not or if ever it will be for a very very long time.  The distance of the hotel with the traffic that you have to endure only to find these offerings and experience may not be worth the time, money, and inconvenience.  But it’s a place that I would recommend to visit once and will let you decide and answer the very same question.

Do visit Hyatt Hotel & Casino for more information and details.

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