A few months ago, I was invited by my friends Kurt and Stacy of Tsinoy Foodies to check out a Filipino eat-all-you-can restaurant as they have a voucher good enough for four. So with the beau in tow, I didn't only get to eat out but also had my very first double date.
Located in Quezon City, we visited Carinderia Buffet which offers one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, Filipino buffet rate. Since we had a voucher, we only paid less than a hundred per person. But even without a coupon, their P149 per person fee is already a steal. No wonder the restaurant's famous among the employees and locals in the area.
I honestly wasn't too excited going in to Carinderia Buffet as the facade is simple and the building looked quite old and forgotten. However, it was the total opposite when we went inside. The dining area looked bright, clean, well-ventilated and very spacious.
We checked out every corner of the buffet area and I can't believe at the number of dishes Carinderia Buffet got to prepare. There were a variety of both meat and vegetable dishes -- Lechon Paksiw, Kare-Kare, Chicken Afritada, Menudo, Bopis, Lumpiang Shanghai, Adobong Kangkong and Ginisang Petchay.
There was also a Mixed Vegetable Salad, as well as Ginger and Clam Soup, Tinolang Manok and Sinigang na Bangus as both viands and proper meal starters.
And of course, how can I ignore these enticing selection of hearty Pinoy entrées? At P149 regular rate, I think I can already make my stay "sulit" with all these dishes.
|Fried Chicken, Tortang Talong and Fried Galunggong|
There are also a few dessert items for those like me who don't find a meal complete without some sweet endings. I just wish there was a halo-halo station though.
|Minatamis na Saging|
After checking out all the items on Carinderia Buffet's tables, I still can't believe that I'll be devouring all these for under a hundred pesos! Actually, even at their regular rate of P149, a selection like this is already a big bang for the buck.
What I Got
Of course I wouldn't put my money to waste even if I only paid a little. So to start off my lunch, I got myself a bowl of Ginger and Clam Soup.
This bowl of goodness is as hearty as my mom makes it at home. The ginger flavor takes out the fishy quality of the clams, and gives the soup a nice savory heat. I was also lucky to get a lot of clam meat unlike Kurt who got a lot of clam shells without the meat.
My first plate for the afternoon had some Ginataang Kuhol, Lechon Paksiw, Dinuguan and Adobong Kangkong with a serving of plain rice. Although every viand is tasty and of good quality, my favorite would probably be the kuhol dish as it was just so flavorful.
I then got some Bangus, Ginataang Langka, Bopis, Lumpiang Shanghai and Fried Chicken for my next plate. While I was so excited to try the bopis, it left me disappointed. It was spicy as expected, but the meat had a strong unwanted bitter taste. The other dishes were better though. Even the lumpia which looked so thin was surprisingly meaty.
While our lunch was almost at an end, we saw a new dish on the buffet table. They replenished one item with Nilagang Bulalo ng Baka, and of course what better way to make our stay more "sulit" than to hoard all the bulalo for ourselves. I don't regret it though as the beef shank, despite being a little small, tasted so meaty and so buttery.
|Cleaned-out plates definitely spell sulit!|
Although I forgot to take photos, I also got to try the 3 dessert items they had. The Ginataang Bilo-Bilo wasn't as flavorful as I wanted so it was quite forgettable. However, the Minatamis na Saging as well as the Gulaman Salad were sweet, tasty and the perfect ending to hearty meal. As for the drinks, they weren't included in the buffet, but the resto had a limited selection anyway -- Soda in Can (P35), Bottomless Mango Juice (P45) and Bottomless Pineapple Juice (P50).
Although months have already passed since our trip to Carinderia Buffet, I can still remember everything very clearly as nothing beats their food and service quality for how little they charge. I left the restaurant very satisfied for an amount I can never maximize in a fast food chain. Ambiance may not be the best, but the fresh and tasty food, clean restrooms, and friendly and prompt service can definitely make up for it.
Ambiance - 3.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Regular Buffet Rate - P149
(Drinks not included.)
Carinderia Buffet, Quezon City
31 V. Luna Avenue cor. Mabilis Street,
Quezon City, Metro Manila