Monday, December 27, 2010

cattle call

The hotel buffet. I don't know why I keep doing it to myself. It's like banging my head against the wall. Over and over, I herd my family members to a hotel buffet, and nobody ends up satisfied.

It's really very tempting. Everything you can possibly think of to eat is under one roof, and it's usually cheaper than ordering ala carte. And due to the recent groupon craze, where they slash the usual price by 50%, it's almost impossible to resist.

Afterwards, you realise that: You ate too much. You spent most of your time standing in line. Stand up - get food - eat fast - stand up - get food - eat fast is not your idea of a good time. You felt pressured to eat even more because your server called "last 15 minutes". You ate too much. And the food wasn't even that good. Plus, you just drank the most expensive can of Coca Cola in your entire life. And you really ate WAY too much.

Take for example the buffet at Spiral in the Sofitel Manila. I can't remember the last time I went to Sofitel. It's still a very lovely place. Too bad the food was... Oh, well.

Still one of the most beautiful spaces inside a hotel in Manila.

First plate:

As usual, I enjoyed the edamame. The sukiyaki beef was rubbery. The octopus thing was rubbery. The uni thing was OK.

Second plate:

The roast was like cardboard. The mashed potatoes were like baby food. The asparagus was just depressing.

Third plate:

The lamb chops were terribly overcooked and dry. The tempura was greasy. The paella and har kaw were not too bad. 

My brother got some other things for everyone to share (and suffer equally):

I'm scured to eat oysters in Manila.

The crab looked interesting, but I was too lazy to wrestle with it.

Unfortunately, the wrappers were completely inedible. We just ate the slivers of Peking duck inside them.

My father forced himself to eat this bread. I don't know why.

The bread was so hard that it made a knocking sound when I dropped it on the table.

At last, we gave up and decided to just go for the dessert selections.

The gummy candies were the only things I liked on this plate.

The single worst thing in this buffet? The ice cream. All the flavors were indescribably bad.

Am I just unlucky? Is it the Curse of the Cattle Call? Why do all of my friends seem to have a good time at hotel buffets? Especially this one at Spiral, which is consistently touted as one of the very best.

To be fair, I happen to like breakfast and brunch buffets, like the one at Shangri-la Boracay which I blogged about here and here. And I enjoyed Escolta's buffet at the Peninsula Manila very much. Although I'm not sure if it was the food or the company.

Probably the company.


  1. Delightful post. I hate it when I pay too much and don't get my money's worth. Hope you had a great Christmas!

  2. thanks! merry christmas and happy new year!

  3. paseo uno the only buffet worth going to now. esp. if you like raw fish or grilled seafood. all else, pass na ako.

  4. I still have coupons for Shang-la Makati's buffet which I bought months ago... Fingers crossed!