The success of a restaurant depends on three things: a great location, good, tasty food, and reasonable prices. But when you discover a deal to break all deals, you shout it out.
Buffets have become commonplace after Vicvic Villavicencio opened Dads and countless others followed, many achieving success while the rest faltered.
I used to frequent Yakimix along Morato Avenue, Quezon City, where I would zero in on shrimp tempura, an item not always found in Japanese buffets. For about P500 per person, I thought it was a great deal.
Other buffets in a league of their own are Spectrum at Raffles Makati and Spiral at Sofitel Manila.
The spread at Spectrum is not as varied, but almost everything on display is delicious.
Spiral has one of the best buffets, known for having the widest range of dishes. I stay in the cheese room and feast on different kinds of pâté and olive bread. In any buffet, I scan and “attack” only a few items.
Recently, I discovered a buffet that you should try at once. When I told my badminton group at Valle Verde Country Club about it, some of them wanted to leave the game and rush to the buffet.
This was a brunch buffet with pinakbet rice; strips of lechon kawali or bagnet; a raclette station; four kinds of Spanish jamon with a Spanish carving master; salad station; grilled rib eye steak; rack of lamb; prawns; sea bass; and a few others.
The place has an authentic Swiss raclette machine. The cheese is melted right before your eyes; as soon as it’s done it is spread on your plate with the potatoes, pickled onions, cornichons and toasted bread. Saraaap!
The four kinds of jamon are distinct from one another, and you can have a tasting session to appreciate the differences.
I learned in Spain that you put a thin slice in your mouth, wait a few seconds for the natural warmth to melt the fat of the jamon, and then chew it. You will be able to taste
the nutty flavor of this Spanish specialty.
Fed with acorns
I saw a Jamon Iberico de Belloto. These are from black pigs that are fed with acorns.
The growers say the unhealthy saturated fat of the pig is transformed into healthy nut oil. That removes the guilt of eating a lot of it. This is Spain’s best jamon.
It doesn’t stop there. With the brunch comes champagne, red wine, white wine and rose. Champagne and jamon are such a great combination.
My jaw dropped when I found out the price. This buffet costs only P1,100—an offer good until
the end of March and valid only on weekends. Reservations are a must.
On weekends, this buffet is P850 net with unlimited champagne, tapas and all types of jamon iberico.
The lounge is open 24 hours. Like the lobby of Peninsula Manila, this could be a new hangout, after enjoying the buffet.
The hotel itself is new and extremely elegant.
Alfred at Makati Diamond Residences, 118 Legazpi St., Makati City; tel. 3170999
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