Eat, drink, but know when to stop | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Almon Marina

AT THE SM Mall of Asia (MOA) branch of the buffet restaurant Vikings, there are blood pressure monitors and other medical equipment on standby for customers who tend to overeat and suffer the consequences this holiday season.


Vikings has become the hottest dining destination along the row of buffet restaurants behind MOA called SM By the Bay. The reason is that Vikings—which describes itself as a “luxury buffet for every Juan”—offers one of the widest selections of buffet dishes for a reasonable price— something that at least two restaurants nearby have been unable to match.


We first dined in Vikings two years ago when a cousin who’s a sea captain arrived for a vacation and invited a few relatives to dinner. The place was packed, and the food we sampled—tuna and salmon sashimi, vegetable salad, and assorted grilled meats—all tasted fresh and yummy.


A few weeks ago we tried going back as a walk-in customer but had to change plans due to the long waiting line. Last Monday we finally got in; the place was still packed even on a weekday.


But what’s different this time was that we managed to try more dishes—seafood pasta which had an abundant sahog of shrimps and mussels, steak with good marbling, oysters with creamy cheese, and Chinese ham that wasn’t too salty. It was filling but not too much as to cause discomfort.


We also learned that there’s a new place called Vikings Venue that has opened right beside the MOA branch. Vikings Venue is recommended for groups, like 50 persons who want the buffet without the crowd.


Vikings MOA, Building B, SM By the Bay, Seaside Blvd., Mall of Asia complex, Pasay City; tel. 8463888, 0917-5653888, 0923-7303888.


Almon Marina sandwiches


Another restaurant in MOA that we like going back to, especially before watching a concert at MOA Arena, is Almon Marina—the deli-type eatery that serves gourmet salads and sandwiches.


It has lots of choices for sandwiches, but the ones we always order are the Almon Marina Special (tuna chunks with onion slices, tomatoes, sliced eggs) and Pink Salmon (garnished with sliced eggs, onions, tomatoes and gherkins)—both on French bread, but the staff accommodates requests if we like to have them on wheat bread.


There are several imported brands of beer, as well as San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Light and Premium All-Malt.


Almon Marina MOA, G/F, North Wing, Mall of Asia complex, Pasay City; tel. 5560343, 2121212.


Whisky, cognac, beer


Our nightlife this year has been very enjoyable with the variety of libations that we were privileged to try. A few brands that have become our favorites:


Chivas Regal 18 years old Blended Scotch Whiskey, which we first sampled at a mentoring and tasting session in Makati Shangri-La. A few weeks later, we appreciated it even more at home with a good friend; it still amazes us that we finished the whole bottle without getting drunk—well, there was a buzz in the head, but definitely we were not woozy. The thing is, we noticed a distinct, fruity taste not found in other brands.


For an idea of this taste, the panel of judges’ comments when Chivas 18 won the Blended Scotch Whisky award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London went like this: “Stone fruits lead in a very attractive nose with peach being most dominant. Nutmeg, cinnamon and sherry follow. Wonderfully warming in the mouth. Rich in sherry characters with raisins and plum. Vanilla is prominent in long, well-sustained finish. Delightful.”


Hennessy, the French cognac brand, which we had at the “Hennessy 250 Tour,” an exhibit and exclusive tasting of the drink’s special 250th-year blend in Guangzhou’s Zaha Hadid Opera House in China. Hennessy XO (extra old) was served at the after-party, and from then on we make it a point to have a few shots whenever possible.


The thing about cognac, when taken neat, is its warm, calming effect, its aged fruit flavors settling on the tongue before the alcohol kicks into the throat.


Remy Martin fine champagne cognac, which we tasted at the French brand’s “One Life/Live Them” global campaign, whose Manila event was held at the Bank Bar in Bonifacio Global City.


While our women friends find its aroma too strong to enjoy the cognac itself, we believe it’s an acquired taste. After a long night in the office, we find Remy Martin relaxing.


But of course, it’s always good to have ice-cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen especially since it costs way cheaper than hard drinks.


To toast the New Year, eat well, drink heartily, but know when to stop.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.