Had been hearing about this "Eat-All-You-Can" Establishment for quite some time already ...... back then, their only branch is situated near the Mall of Asia in Pasay, and with me coming from the Malabon area, that distance was the deterrent in me giving the place a try. (besides I'm not always a fan of Buffet style food)
Fast forward to the present and a friend (as well as my sister) told me of the same establishment that just recently opened a branch in the new Robinsons Mall along Aurora Boulevard in New Manila. And with both mom and dad interested in trying out the place, I guess there isn't much excuses left.
Please pardon me if I didn't take pictures of every station as I personally am not comfortable doing so with sooo many people getting their food and drinks...... Anyway, aside from the Long buffet spread (situated in the center) which has most of the assorted ala carte and salads. The stations at the wall houses most of the specific food groups like Chinese Food (peking duck, dimsum steamed chicken, shabu-shabu), Meat (roast beef, roast lamb and bbq), Japanese cuisine (mostly sashimi and sushi), desserts and drinks. (juices, sodas, fruit shakes and draft beer).
Since I definitly cannot feature every food item in the spread, here are the ones that I tried. (in no particular order) ....... By da way, whatever food I had that particular night may be the same as the other nights.
Beef Bulalo Soup. I only partook of the broth and it had a very beefy flavor. Soup is still piping hot.
Pomelo Salad. A simple mixture which included a slice of mandarin orange and some coriander at the bottom. I like the combination of the acidity from the citrus and the strong pungent kick from the coriander.
Assorted Sashimi. Tuna was good as it had a firm bite to it. Salmon is so-so as some batches are a bit too soft. The kani (crabsticks) were too dry....... (I'll get to the sushi in a short while)
Assorted Sushi. They did a decent job with the rice. At least its sticky enough that it won't easily crumble when you pick it up with your fingers or chopsticks but not overly sticky that it gets stuck in your teeth everytime you chew on it. (rice however could use a little more vinegar)
Seafoods were quite fresh. Very minor issue would be the octopus which was slightly rubbery.
Assorted Dimsum. Pork Siumai is good, especially that each piece has a small shrimp on top.Size is just right for a single bite. The dumpling with the thicker wrap is not going to get much praise from me.Tthe dumpling wrap is too thick so thats pretty much what I tasted. The beef ball is definitly undercooked, its still reddish inside.
Scallops in Tausi. Nice flavor as it reminds me of the Steamed eel with tausi from Ying Ying teahouse. Too bad the scallops were just a little over. (but overall still a nice dish)
Baked Oysters and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. Too much cream cheese for such a very small piece of oyster (shell not included). Spaghetti is not bad as its not prepared the traditional "Filipino" way. Pasta are firm enough.
Italian Pumpkin Rissotto with Seafood. Its too one dimensional ....... all I taste is pumpkin. (guess the seafood flavor got left out)
Barbeque Pork Ribs and Roast Beef. I asked the cook manning the meat station if the pork ribs had been sitting there for a long time already and his reply was that its a new batch. Going back to my table, I took a bite and its dry and tough. (too bad the sauce had a nice flavor). The Roast Beef too was dry and tough to the bite. And the meat was totally bland. (some gravy did help a little)
Grilled Sausages and New Zealand Lamb. Sausages were of the regular kind (and not the hungarian type) so there is no spicy kick. Also noticed the absence of any dipping sauce for it. The Lamb was totally bland and a little tough to the bite ..... mint jelly did not even taste like mint. Actually I felt the so-called mint jelly is a little on the spoiled side.
Oh speaking of spoiled ...... Mom had a small cup of Kani (crabstick) Salad and had to spit it out because it was already spoiled. Of course Mom told me about it as we were already on our way home. (she knows I would have said something to the manager of the resto if I knew about it.... And mom is not the confrontational type thats why she just shrugged it off)
Drink-All-You Can Draft Beer. For the most part, all I had was sodas (they'reserving Pepsi products) ....... But I did try a glass of the beer (would have drank more, but I had no drinking compansions at that time ). Anyway, beer is beer. And the good part about is is that its served very cold.
On a personal sidenote:
Overall, food is definitly a "Hit and Miss" experience ...... some are good, some are so-so and some are not so good.
What I'm not really happy about is the use of "seats" most commonly used in fastfood establishments.
I guess the management of the establishment wanted to maximize every available space so they can accomodate as many diners as possible. But in the end, it became a bit too cramped. Going back to the seats, this is definitly too small for a group of 6 people and there is always the hassle of having to stand up if the diner in the inside wants to get up and go for more food in the buffet spread.
Sure there are tables with individual chairs but they reserved that for a bigger party (8 pax or more)
Buffet 101 is located at Level 2 of Robinsons Magnolia, Aurora Boulevard (between Dona Hemady and Balete Drive), New Manila, Quezon City.