Go on a Buffet Binge with 10 of Manila’s Finest Offerings

Feel like eating more than an entrée and a salad? When the mood to feast on sumptuous servings strikes, the best way to go is to hit up the buffet. In no particular order, here are ten of the best, tried and tested, value for money buffets that will leave you with a satisfied tummy and two thumbs up:

1.     The Hotel Experience: Spiral at Sofitel


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Spiral reopened two years ago to bring a bigger and better continental buffet selection. Apart from the usual must-reach-out-for goodies like their famous chocolate chip cookies and mouthwatering grilled meats, one shouldn’t miss checking out the Cheese Room. Imagine being surrounded by Brie, Camembert and other cheeses, replete with a variety of crackers, grapes and other cheese-loving accouterments. As the price is definitely on the steep side, it is a must to come on an empty stomach and the determination to try as many cuisines as possible.

Budget: Allocate P3,000 per head.
Website: http://spiralmanila.com

2.     Rethinking Filipino Cuisine: Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico


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Located in the heart of San Juan, the vintage vibe given by the charmingly restored old house is the venue for artfully re-mastered Filipino dishes. Do a double take on old favorites with a twist such as sisig cups, Kare-kareng bagnet and more. The carving station itself is worth hanging out in front of. Call to ask about the day’s selection as some dishes only come out during the dinner fare or weekends.

Budget: Allocate P500 per head.
Website: http://site.cheflaudico.com

3.     Cook-It-Yourselfers: Sambokojin


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We’re certainly hit hard by the Korean craze, and the same can be said about their food. If you’d like to bring the fun of buffets one notch higher, check out Sambokojin Korean BBQ buffet. Their salmon and tuna selection is guaranteed to be fresh (meaning no funny tummies for you in the morning) and their meats have good marbling, which translates to fatty and juicy grilling all the way! Balance it off with a vegetable selection that’s also ideal for grilling (grilled corn, anyone?) and cap the meal off with a selection of local ice cream, fruits and sweet treats for dessert.

Budget: Allocate P700-800 per head.
Website: http://sambokojin.com/

4.     Alba Spanish Restaurant


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Oh, Alba. When were you not a favorite all these years? This Spanish gem usually does not make it to the popular lists of buffets, making it a secret go-to place for those who are in the know. Must try dishes: sautéed mushrooms, cochinillo and black (seafood) paella. It’s also considered a sin to leave without trying the panna cotta over at the dessert station, so make sure you leave room for it.

Budget: Allocate P700 per head.
Website: http://alba.com.ph/

5.     A Collegiate Favorite: Café Sweet Inspirations


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Café Sweet Inspirations is a popular choice for college sweethearts studying or living in the Katipunan or nearby UP area. While the restaurant is known for their pastries and cakes, the Mongolian-style buffet offering is also worth checking out. An assortment of meats, veggies and seafood await stir-fry enthusiasts, complete with savory sauces to pick at your creative side with an opportunity to mix and match ingredients and sauces. Tip: go heavy on the sauce for a thicker stir-fry and don’t hesitate to ask for your bowl to have another whirl at frying for a smokier taste.

Budget: Allocate P350-400 per head.
Website: http://sweetinspirations.com.ph/

6.     The Barangay Buffet: Cabalen Filipino Buffet


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When the intention is to feed your entire angkan (clan), nothing beats value-for-money Filipino buffet like that of Cabalen’s. With old time favorites like kilawin, piniritong hito, lechon, calamares, and sinangag, the food choices are sure to be a hit with everyone aged two to one hundred. A halo-halo set-up (among other Filipino dessert treats) is something to look forward to after your meal.

Budget: Allocate P400 per head.
Website: http://www.cabalen.ph/


7.     Non-Hotel Luxury Fave: Vikings Buffet


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If you are a sucker for extensive variety with a more casual ambience, Vikings Buffet is your best bet. This non-hotel venue offers both classic and creative buffet fare with an atmosphere that is nothing short of merry and bustling in a surprisingly lavish environment. This joint has got everything for everyone, from sushi to steak to tapas. We suggest making a beeline for the Asian Section to grab a helping of Kalbi Jjim and Chapchae, two crowd favorites.

Budget: Allocate P900-1000 per head.
Website: http://vikings.ph

8.     For the Breakfast and Brunch Folk: BFast by Chef Laudico


Chef Laudico makes it to the list again with BFast, a popular all-day breakfast and brunch buffet place in Makati. Worth gorging on is the Lechon Kawali with Bagoong Sauce, Angucino (angus tocino) and Angus Tapa, a decadent take on the usual Filipino breakfast favorite. This buffet place is known for changing their menu every now and then, so each visit always yields a new, delicious surprise.

Budget: Allocate P300 per head.

9.     Fancy Does It: High Tea at the Manila Peninsula


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Fancy afternoons call for a trip to the Manila Peninsula for their high tea buffet, with more than just the usual teas and scones. What to expect: canapés, cheeses, pies, other delicate pica-pica. Other comfort food includes pancit luglog, macaroni and cheese, lumpiang ubod and assorted sandwiches, but you get your money’s worth with the first dishes mentioned. It’s a pretty penny you’re going to spend snacking at the Pen, so eat slowly and enjoy the plush surroundings of The Lobby. After all, you’re at The Pen!

Budget: Allocate P1000+ per head.
Website: http://manila.peninsula.com/en/special-offers/Afternoon-Tea

10.  Chic and Modern: The Food Club Lifestyle Buffet


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The Food Club offers buffet no-fail offerings in a tastefully modern set-up that reminds one of being at an upscale club. Crowd favorites include crispy tempura with a surprisingly flavorful batter, the cheese selection, pasta offerings and the sugar high-inducing sweets buffet. While the selection isn’t as extensive as other buffet places, what’s nice about The Food Club is there isn’t one bland dish in their food choices.

Budget: Allocate P800-1000 per head.
Website: http://www.thefoodclub.com.ph/

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