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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Corniche: Buffet & View at Diamond Hotel

After my date and I started our November with a buffet dinner at Manila Pavilion's Seasons, I saw an announcement by Diamond Hotel that they'll be offering 50% off from their lunch buffet rate from November 22 to 30, to celebrate Corniche's first year anniversary. Even if our bellies are already bulging because of indulging in too much food these past few weeks, who are we to not be attracted by this gracious offer?

Diamond Hotel is not a stranger to us anyway as my date have visited this 5-star hotel a couple of times already, while I on the other hand, have spearheaded our high school graduation ball held in Diamond Hotel's luxurious 27th floor function room. So to end our November, we graced Diamond Hotel's lovely buffet dining area that is Corniche.


We arrived a little late for lunch, about 12:40PM already. But upon entering Corniche, we were greeted by very courteous and pretty attendants who led us to our seats. This was the first time that we'll be dining here, and although the wide space of the dining area is a little too overwhelming, we were excited to try out the food offerings while indulging in the sophisticated and refreshing ambiance of the hotel restaurant.

"Migrating Birds" chandelier suspended over the central area of Corniche
If I counted it right, there were 5 live stations in Corniche -- an appetizers and seafood station, a Japanese station, a Chinese cuisine section, a carving and grilling station, and a separate station for desserts.

At the appetizers area which is at the center part of Corniche, were a selection of cold cuts, hors d'oeuvre, breads, cheeses, salads and other lovely meal starters.




Sharing with the appetizers' buffet station is the restaurant's cold seafood selection -- crabs, oysters, mussels and prawns.




Of course I wouldn't skip on checking out my favorite Japanese offerings, despite its station being placed at the far upper-right corner of Corniche. There were different kinds of sashimi (I didn't see some octopus though), assorted maki and rolls, tofu appetizers, cha soba, some kimchi and other salads (Korean invasion!), tempura, and a selection of different Japanese noodles.






Although I am a little tired of eating Chinese foods, I still checked the Chinese station. It has assorted dimsum offerings, customizable noodles, a selection of cooked viands, and some fried rice.



Just beside the Chinese station is the grilling and carving station which offers assorted beef, pork, poultry and seafood for grilling. They also have lamb chops, roasted Peking duck and US Striploin beef.



Last and definitely not the least is Corniche's dessert station. It has fresh fruits, ice cream, cakes, gourmet-looking desserts, a crepe section, a halo-halo station, and the great chocolate fondue. And just across the desserts' table is a shelf with candies and chocolates in jars.









There are more food offerings in Corniche. However since we came in a little late, I didn't take photos anymore of more-than-half-empty food selections. (They don't look quite good on camera anyway.) We also started to dig in since they'll be clearing the buffet tables after 2PM.

WHAT WE GOT

Since I was busy taking photos of the buffet tables, my date was kind enough to grab a plate of my favorites -- Japanese food. He got us some Salmon and Tuna sashimi, and assorted rolls.


The sashimi tasted fresh, although I still prefer Salmon over Tuna. The assorted maki rolls on the other hand, were nothing extraordinary.

My date grabbed some dimsum -- siomai, hakaw, and other assorted dumplings (which I didn't care to take photos of since his plating is bad), but he said they taste just normal. My next plate on the other hand, consisted mostly of appetizers. I got some Seafood Penne, Four Cheese Pizza, a slice of bacon bread, cheeses -- blue cheese, sage, Parmesan and goat cheese, some dried nuts, and a Salmon appetizer.


I totally love everything I got for this plate. Although the penne was a little hard, the sauce and seafood toppings were tasty. The cheeses and bread were lovely, the pizza was thin and delicious, and the Salmon appetizer was a great meal starter.

We also got some cold seafood -- mussels and oysters, with some vinegar sauce.


I'm not a big mussel eater so it was quite a surprise to find two different colored mussel meat on this plate. The orange meat is what I'm used to, and it was chewy, fresh and a little salty. The white-meated mussels on the other hand, didn't taste as fishy as the orange-fleshed mussels, so I liked it better. Somehow, it tasted a little similar to scallops. The oysters we got weren't baked, but it was really good! I'm not too fond of raw oysters, but Corniche made me a fan. This plate of raw oysters proves that fresh oysters taste good -- sweet, salty and silky.

But of course, we still asked for a plate of baked seashells. We got some orange and white-fleshed mussels again, and some oysters.. But this time, baked with a creamy cheese.


I'm not sure what cheese they used for baking these, but somehow it tasted similar to pimiento. It's not that I don't like it, but it made the mussels and oysters taste almost the same. The cheese was overpowering and both my date I preferred the un-baked and un-cheesed version of these seashells.

My date went back to the seafood station and got some crabs. He didn't share me some though since he believes I should stop eating a lot of seafoods already. (Curse you, seafood allergies!)

I have my ways though. I went to the Japanese station and grabbed another plate of Salmon sashimi and some maki. I also grabbed a plate of assorted tempura -- prawn, eggplant and sweet potato. (Seems like my date forgot that tempura and sashimi are also seafood so he didn't reprimand me.. *evil grin*) I also got a Cha Soba or cold green tea soba.



Both the tempura moriawase and cha soba I got were good. Nothing extraordinary though, and quality is almost the same as those from Japanese casual dining restaurants.

After Japanese, my date got us a plate from the grilling and carving station -- pork chops, roasted duck, lamb chop and US striploin beef.


The fried pork chops were good, while the sweetened pork cutlets were a little dry. The roasted duck on the other hand, tasted lovely -- tender and juicy duck meat, with slightly crispy roasted skin. The lamb chops and US striploin beef also tasted phenomenal -- juicy and moist meat, with a nice charred taste. I would've loved my beef to be less done though, so I got a separate plate.

I got my own thin slab of US striploin beef in medium rare, a piece of well-done lamb chop, some salad and a crispy flat bread.


My beef was super juicy and tasty even without any sauce. The salad complemented the beef and lamb with some acidity, and I just love how the crispy flat bread balanced everything on the plate. And I swear that when I return to Corniche, this plate will be my buffet starter.

After plates of carbs, protein, fats and cholesterol, we didn't stop our indulgent attempt of suicide. We still went to the desserts station and enjoyed the decadent treats Corniche has to offer.

My date only got a scoop of Ube ice cream with tons of chocolate bits and candies for topping. I on the other hand, got a scoop each of Ube ice cream and Yuzu or Japanese lime ice cream with chocolate rock candies on the side.


Both my date and I found the Ube ice cream delicious. It has a strong and clear ube flavor with small bits of nuts and macapuno, if I'm not mistaken. It has just the right amount of sweetness, while being creamy and tasty at the same time. My Yuzu ice cream on the other hand, was too sour for my taste. It has a very strong tangy citrus punch that left my face crumpled for a few seconds after my first spoonful. Good thing though, I have some more Ube ice cream and chocolate rock candies to help balance the tang.

Even after eating a plate of ice cream, I still went ahead and tried their Chocolate Mousse Cake and Brazo de Mercedes. Both cakes were good, but I prefer the Chocolate Mousse Cake since it uses dark chocolate. Yum!

I also tried their crème brûlée with sliced apples for topping. The custard could have been creamier and smoother, but taste-wise it's good.


Corniche will be a memorable lunch for us not just because of the food, but because of the ambiance and another important lesson I learned.

We made a reservation a couple of days prior to this lunch date, and we were very delighted that they reserved us a seat for 2 by the windows which have a magnificent view of their man-made cascading waterfalls with a picturesque rock formation and lush garden. It was so refreshing to look at despite the overly hot Monday noon.


And speaking of a totally hot weather that noon, I ordered a Watermelon Shake just to quench my thirst. I knew that Corniche's buffet only includes coffee and tea, and that I'll be paying separately for this beverage order. I was expecting the drink to be around P150 to P200+ at most, but after receiving the tab, it was such a surprise that this tall glass of Watermelon Shake which didn't taste any different from other restaurants' is priced at P340! And with this, I learned that I should always ask how much a drink cost, especially if it's in a hotel restaurant.

THE VERDICT

After the indulgent lunch buffet at the lovely hotel restaurant of Diamond Hotel, I can say that I am glad we availed their 50% off promo. The food offerings and the magnificent ambiance of Corniche is just so worth its price. Yes, the original price.

Everything we've tasted was good, if not, excellent. The service is also noteworthy as the attendants and servers were all very courteous and friendly. Of course, there were a few minor slip-ups on the waiters' part since the place was almost full with diners. But nonetheless, our experience was a memorable one. Not only because of the overpriced Watermelon Shake, but because of our good overall experience at Corniche -- good food and great place at the best price.

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 4.5/5
Promo Price - 5/5
Original Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4.5/5

(Note: Overall Value rating is for the discounted amount we paid.)

Buffet Rates:
Lunch
Promo Mon.-Sat. Lunch - P710
Promo Sunday Lunch - P775
Mon.-Sat. Lunch - P1,420
Sunday Lunch - P1,550
Dinner
Spanish Night Tuesday - P1,880
Steak Night Thursday - P2,285
Seafood Night Friday - P1,800


Corniche, Diamond Hotel
Hotel's Lobby, Diamond Hotel
Roxas Blvd. cor. Dr. J. Quintos St.
Manila, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 528-3000

27 comments:

  1. My family dined their too at around 12:30 pm today. They were very satisfied with the food and service. The almond ice cream was very delicious =)

    There was also free coffee and tea. The ginseng green tea and the mint one is a must-try. The cappuccino is also pretty good. We didn't order any drinks because we know its expensive and some of the juice drinks are not freshly made.

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  2. @Tsinoy Foodies: Sayang there weren't any other ice cream flavors except for Passion fruit, Yuzu and Ube when we dined at Corniche last Monday.. >.< And yeah, I knew drinks would be expensive. I didn't expect it to be unreasonably expensive though.. hahaha.. XD

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  3. Busog sarap! Sana maka tyempo din kami ng promo!

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  4. @Sumi Go

    Yes expensive cause its around half of the buffet promo price already =)

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  5. I haven't been there sis. I wanna experience that too with my hubby and family. :)I've known Diamond hotel for so long. And it's known for being a luxury type of hotel. :) Thanks for sharing that wonderful experience of yours Sumi. :)

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  6. Btw sis. I don't have button link yet. :( i'll update you when I already have one. :)

    Nice to be your online friend Sumi. :) You're so nice. Thanks a lot. ^^

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  7. Aww. too bad the promo just ended. the food looks good! Sayang lang at tapos na yung promo. :(

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  8. sabi ko na, after breakfast ko na basahin post mo, nagutom lalo ako. hehe! your shake is really expensive, if i remember it right our coke in can in shangrila- mactan cost almost P300.

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  9. @KC: Give it a try soon, or wait for another promo/groupon deal.. I'm sure they'll be offering one soon.. :) Btw, don't worry about the button link. I made you one! ;)

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  10. @Jen:Aww.. If only we went earlier, I could've posted this before the promo ended.. >.< Di bale sis, I'll try to catch a promo on its first few days para maabutan niyo rin.. :)

    A tip too, try to subscribe to restaurants' and hotels' Facebook pages to get their latest promos! ;)

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  11. @michi: OMG! Parang medyo mas sulit pa ng konti ang fresh watermelon shake ko than a coke in can priced at P300.. >.< I won't order drinks na talaga from hotel restaurants. I should just be contented with the complimentary coffee and tea.. :)

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  12. Lots of yummy food and lovely restaurant. But oh no! I can go for a buffet food. Lagi akong lugi dyan cos I can't eat a lot in one sitting. Nai-empacho ako. Haha!

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  13. Hi Sumi thanks for the visits I am thinking to switch my themes into violet as yours I am loving this purple theme you have. I have to stand up rather sitting on my chair I can't resist while watching all this pics you that have posted really I am craving for oysters and crabs need to wipe my saliva. Oh girl the chocolate cake "kalami jud mukaun ani dai"

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  14. Sayang was not able to try their promo! Dami pa kasi namin vouchers na need magamit nung nov so halos everywkend may nkaplan na..oh well..may nxt tym pa :) Everything looks delicious! :)

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  15. Hay! It really is the start of the season of endless holiday munchies. Hhehe! =)

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  16. Ginutom ako. I want those kiwi shots!

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  17. very good review. i was convinced. inferness ang galing nyo magbuffet ni date mo ha, strategic. i would love to avail this promo kaso lang ive got no time. tapos lunch lang. sayang... i think nga it's sulit. except for the watermelon shake. hehe

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  18. busog sarap..thanks for such informative and convincing words...ang sarap pumunta..na gutom ako!

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  19. we've never tried buffets in hotels before. we will definitely include it in our goals for next year. hope we could find discount coupons as well. awesome food shots as always! :)

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  20. OMG parang ang sarap sarap dyan! Saka parang sulit yung lunch

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  21. Looks delicious! Out of curiosity, how do you think it compares to Spirals, Circles, etc? :)

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  22. @Mary de Guzman: I haven't been to Spiral and Circles yet (planning to do so though), but based on what I've read, Spiral still has the widest variety. Circles is better when it comes to quality. But Corniche is not left too far behind naman, especially at 50% off.. :)

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  23. that was really expensive watermelon ... scary price ... the buffet didn't look too appealing to me ... maybe because i've seen so many before

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  24. diamond hotel is having a 999 promo til august 31, 2012 which includes drinks..xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Wow, thanks for sharing about this promo! :)

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