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Monday, December 26, 2011

Buffet 101: Eat-All-You-Can at the Other End of the Bay

Everyone is already familiar with Vikings, the luxury eat-all-you-can buffet at San Miguel by the Bay. However, it has been overly crowded and reserving for a table has started to be a problem. And with the continuous rise of the buffet trend in the food industry, another eat-all-you can player enters the buffet arena just at the other end of the bay, aiming to get a share from the Vikings goers. Yes, it's the newly opened Buffet 101 (from the owners of Yakimix) just near Microtel.


Buffet 101 is also branded as a luxury buffet. It has an interior almost at par with 5-star hotel restaurants -- with lavishly decorated space, posh ambiance and elegant decors.


A few days before Christmas eve, my date and I went to the eat-all-you-can restaurant as early as 2:30PM to reserve for a 5:30PM dinner for two. Yes, we're too excited to dine at Buffet 101. Who wouldn't be anyway as this sophisticated luxury buffet has already been creating a buzz on the internet even if it only started serving customers last November 29.

Fast-forward to our Buffet 101 dinner, it was a nice thing we were already waiting for its posh entrance to open even before 5:30PM. We were able to grace the lovely-decorated space before hungry diners started to flock. (Good for me, I got to take tons of shots before plates were half empty!)


Although there were less food stations unlike its rival, Buffet 101 also offers a lot of gustatory delights. There were a variety of meal starters, a fair share of Japanese cuisine, an array of Chinese foods and dim sum, a set of cooked dishes, some cold seafoods, a grilling and carving station and of course, the desserts section.

They had different kinds of breads, cheeses, soup with puff pastry, salads and other hors d'oeuvre. They even had fries and nachos, as well as other international finger food favorites.





I also checked their humble Japanese station. It had some sashimi, assorted maki, ebi and kani tempura, cold soba and miso soup.






Although their Japanese section only had a few items, their Chinese station on the other hand, was pretty interesting. They had different dim sum items, a live suahe station and even Peking duck.










I'm not really fond of cooked dishes in eat-all-you-can buffets, but my date found interest in Buffet 101's cooked foods.




I, on the other hand, found myself staring and drooling over their seafood delights. They had shrimps, fishes, crabs, mussels, oysters and other yummy sea creatures.






For barbecue lovers, they have a selection of grilled items -- beef, chicken and pork barbecue, as well as grilled liempo (pork belly). They also have some striploin and ribeye beef, as well as lamb chops by order.




And for the perfect meal enders, they have fresh fruits, pastries, a chocolate fondue and other yummy-looking desserts








Like its rival, Buffet 101 also prides itself by offering unlimited drinks from coffee, tea, fresh fruit juices, smoothies, sodas and even draft beer.

WHAT WE GOT

It's been several weeks since our last buffet adventure, so we let our hearts out and got everything we fancied. Of course, I started my buffet dinner with generous servings of my Japanese favorites -- salmon, tuna and tako sashimi, unagi nigiri, California temaki, some ebi tempura, and a hot bowl of miso soup.


My date also went crazy on the Japanese offerings and got each of every maki, along with some sashimi. And while all the sashimi looked and tasted fresh, the makimono on the other hand, tasted ordinary.


Even though I already filled my tummy with tuna and salmon sashimis, I still grabbed a small serving each of the tuna and salmon appetizers.




Both appetizers didn't only look enticing, but tasted good. The tuna was soft and a little tangy. The salmon with dressing on the other hand, tasted savory and was even nicely complemented by the veggies.

Being a shrimp lover, despite and in spite of hypersensitivity, I got myself a small bowl of freshly steamed suahe from Buffet 101's live suahe tank.


The cooked suahe had a beautiful orange-salmon color, and they tasted amazing! They were a little salty and sweet. Even without any sauce, their natural flavors can already stand out on their own.

My date and I both got some Chinese food fare too -- some Asian cold cuts, spareribs, siomai, chicken feet, wrapped Peking duck and other dim sum items.


Buffet 101's Chinese offerings are quite abundant both in quantity and in taste. They were good for being an eat-all-you-can buffet selection.

Since my date is a big eater of cooked foods in buffets, he didn't miss the cooked dishes in Buffet 101 and got himself a generous plate of various items which he willingly shared with me.


And while I check the smoothies section afterwards to get some watermelon and mango shakes, I didn't know that my date was already doing a major food hoarding that will jeopardize our buffet eating strategy. Yes people, he went around, got everything he liked and dumped them on our table. First, we savored some baked mussels and baked oysters with cheese.


While I am a fan of baked seashells with cheese, the cheese pimiento-ish taste of the mussels and oysters threw me off. It was good, but it was tiring on the taste buds. My date also got us a plate of grilled meat, one with barbecue sauce and one with garlic mushroom gravy.


Both were quite good, except that I was already becoming too full. We also got to sample the striploin beef, ribeye beef and lambchop. All cooked to medium doneness.


Everything on this plate tasted great. All three kinds of meat were tender, moist and flavorful even without the sauce. However, parts of the meat were too charred. Although I love grilled items, the charring was just too bitter for me.

We also have more plates of Japanese and Chinese food items that I wasn't able to take photos of. Since the night passed by so quickly, we forced ourselves to just finish everything my date grabbed. So unfortunately, after a few hours of pigging out, we were too full to try out any from the desserts selection. We promise to go back to Buffet 101 really soon though to sample the food items we missed, especially the delicious-looking desserts.

THE VERDICT

Although I love eating at buffets, I understand that offering so much food is equated to a mediocre-tasting selection. However even though everything was quite ordinary, I enjoyed the eat-all-you-can dining experience at Buffet 101 especially because of the freshly-cooked suahe and for the affordability.

The food selection at Buffet 101 is less when compared head to head against Vikings. But if you know you can't eat a lot anyway, and wouldn't mind missing out on frozen yogurts, then Buffet 101 can be a really good choice.

Taste - 3.5/5
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Buffet Rates as of 2013:
Monday to Friday Lunch - P6990
Saturday Lunch - P799

Sundays and Holidays Lunch - P1,050
Monday to Friday Dinner - P950
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays Dinner - P1,050

Children Fixed Rates
Kids below 4.5ft - P499
Kids below 3.5ft - Free
Vat inclusive and no service charge.
Buffet is inclusive of drinks.



Buffet 101
Bldg K, Seaside Blvd. (near Microtel)
San Miguel by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia Complex
1300 Pasay City
Philippines
(02)556-2888; 556-3888
Facebook Page


48 comments :

  1. seafooooood~ this look really good!

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  2. January 4 ko pa matatry yan ;)

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  3. the place looks very classy ha....and seafood galore *drools*

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  4. Aww, this is a bit pricey..and a bit far from my place. :\

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  5. May kalaban na pala ang Vikings! hehehe! I wanted to try sa Vikings kaya nga lang dami nga nagpapa reserve dun. Hope ma try ko sila pareho one of this days.

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    1. ate anney shoul be one of these days not this days.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this.. I love buffets, will try this Buffet 101 one of this day, but Viking first. lol :)

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  7. Oooo I wanna try this. Thanks for sharing :)

    http://wonderwomanrises.blogspot.com

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  8. Hopefully, someday I'll visit those yummy restaurants.. :P

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  9. thanks fr this, at least i know what to expect. =)
    pag-isipan ko pa kung i-try ko to.. hehe

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  10. interesting post...

    "mediocre-tasting selection" got me thinking.

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  11. I think I've seen this! Yakimix is a good eat all you can place, so sana this builds up to be just as good. Thanks for posting about this, I'm definitely making a mental note of it. :) Also, thanks for being so informative!

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  12. I wanna try this sana, maybe next year :) But I think hindi ka na satisfy sa taste kasi 3.5 lang rate mo...mukhang pag-iisipan ko muna kung i-try ko comment/sabi nga ni Ms. Chyng :)

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  13. I haven't tried this or Viking's yet. I'm a loser, I know.. sniff..

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  14. Yummy looking dishes but no. Talo ako lagi sa buffet eh. Hihi.

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  15. from what i've read, mukhang yummy nga. bad connection, di ko makita picture. hehe!

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  16. @Yedy Calaguas and @Glenn Encinares: I guess I'm really hard to please.. XD But I think this is often the case in buffets, a lot of food but only a few items stand out. My date thought the food we got were yummy though :)

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  17. Sodium Erythorbate *nom nom nom nom*December 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    PRIME RIIIIBBBBBBBB....mmmmmmm...... LAMB CHOOOPPPSSS.......mmMMmmmMMMmmmMMMm....

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  18. getting really hungry with your blog entries. will try this soon!

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  19. Just dined there last night! I was so full and satisfied. it was so crowded though. Couldn't even take a decent pic haha.

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  20. Daming food! ;) hopefully D and I will like it here:)

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  21. OMG! Lavish!

    Dear, I want to refrain from indulging too much on buffets.. :D decided not to start/separate a food blog Hehe. Nakakataba. But will sure try the place! :)

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  22. how about 75 years old and above, do you company have Discount?

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  23. @Anonymous: Hi, you may call Buffet 101 directly to ask them about their senior's rate. Here are their numbers: (02)556-2888; 556-3888. Also, I am in no way connected to Buffet 101 nor the other restaurants I feature on my blog. I'm just a mere foodie trying out restaurants and sharing my experiences online.. :) Thanks and happy new year!

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  24. Sodium Erythorbate *nom nom nom nom*January 2, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    @Sumi Go LOL

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  25. hi, do they accept rservations or first come first serve? thanks!

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  26. @Anonymous: I think they accept reservations.. :)

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  27. My family has been planning to go to Buffet 101 to celebrate Valentine's day. I didn't know you have a post about this. The place looks so nice! I love your pictures. I'm not sure though if I would enjoy the food. Mahina ako sa buffet. Maybe I'll just concentrate eating lots of suahe LOL.

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  28. Sumi, you are killing me here with these delicious looking images, and no way to order for delivery here in a small village of the Netherlands! lol

    I've been to my share of good restaurants abroad, after reading your blogs for quiet a period of time now, I must say the Philippines can compete with the quality of what is offered abroad if not even surpass some of them. Including this restaurant, which you are not completely impressed by! :)

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  29. havent tried vikings yet cause its too far from home.. a branch at north soon maybe ":)

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  30. wow.... hope to dine there or sa vikings. Never tried both.

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  31. I've tried Vikings already and it's overwhelming! This is what we're going to try next! Thanks for the post!

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  32. Niegel Ann R. TeodoroFebruary 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Super wide selection of food. I havent tasted anything na hindi ko nagustuhan :)

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  34. wow, i miss to eat on buffets..i hope i can get to eat soon..=)

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  35. Nice, I wish Im there... foods are so delicious and mouth-watering.

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  36. wow,the ambience looks classy and looks good for a dinner date <3

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  37. Sadly, the food quality of this place has deteriorated from the time it has opened. But I guess it has its good days and bad. It's still value for money for me and hope you'll be there on a good day but I'll stay away from seafood hehe.

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  39. nice place, cool ambieance, quite expensive compared to others but SULIT!!

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  40. My friend told me about buffet 101 and the problem is that we will go an a diet but we just can't because of time :p Good thing there are reviews like thins :D thanks!

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  41. tried this at Robinsons Magnolia branch, live shrimps that you can order to be cooked tastes so good!!

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  42. wow.. i love seafoods... Nice ambiance.Peaceful and romantic

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  43. My mom preferred Buffet 101 over vikings! A little affordable and the dishes are really mouth watering!

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