I’ve tried almost all of the hotel buffets in Metro Manila and I was glad I finally got to sample the one at New World (now Renaissance Makati City Hotel) over a business meeting last week. Renaissance is a five-star hotel strategically located in front of the swanky Greenbelt Mall. It has also established quite a reputation with me as the hotel with “the most paranoid security check” this side of the city. But that’s another story.
What am mentioning here is the coffeeshop food, which turned out to be quite a revelation. My favorite buffets are found in Hyatt Manila, Philippine Plaza & the Mandarin Oriental but at P875+++, the one in New World is priced cheaper than its five-star counterparts. The counters have a good selection of seafood, breads and cheeses. However, the one that stood out with me was their Mongolian BBQ grill. Mmm, ’twas definitely yummy and will definitely be going there again for this.
I guess it need not be said that Filipinos like buffets a lot. Back when I was younger, I remember the eat-all-you-can salad bar at Wendy’s where people balanced those salad ingredients in one plate like they were trying to duplicate the height of the Petronas Towers. Amazing! Having seen people in buffets all these years, allow me to put forward some comments and observations:
1. Oh yeah, buffets are good when it’s free or someone else/your company is paying. Otherwise, people can really turn into complete gluttons because they would always try to get their money’s worth.
2. If you’re not a hearty eater, don’t try any of those hotel buffets because it will just be a waste of money. $20 for a meal is no joke (unless, again, it’s on an expense account)
3. Heaping all that food on one plate tells so much about you. Really. (As in, hey, it’s not the end of the world!) Better to get a little bit of everything you like and just go for seconds.
4. There are other more important things than the buffet in front of you. When you’re dining with other people, savor the conversation. Enjoy the food, instead of simply attacking them. Chew slowly.
5. Go slow on the rice and the drinks. Or else you will be full in a jiffy.
5. More than gorging on all the food, I treat buffets as an educational experience. It’s where I learn about new dishes , a country’s cuisine and various ways of presenting food. And this is why I’ll never say no to a buffet (just treat me!)