While the biggest chunk of my budget goes to food, I don't have THAT much to indulge myself in the newly-renovated and re-conceptualized Spiral three times. However, I'll definitely say I got lucky as my first visit was courtesy of my Cash Cash Pinoy voucher which was supposedly for the old Spiral. I bought it last 2011 to celebrate the beau's and my graduation. But as luck was (un)fortunately on my side, the typhoon Pedring hit hard and pushed Sofitel Manila to temporarily close Spiral. Like many say, patience is a virtue, so although the 13-month wait was quite grueling, I say it was definitely worth it.
My second Spiral visit on the other hand, was courtesy of a gift certificate for 2 I won from When in Manila on the date of my birthday. I consider my luck almost non-existent as I don't always win in online contests and giveaways. However, I am extremely thankful since I again got to go back to Spiral, and for free. This also opened up an opportunity to go back as I met Ms. Jane of Sofitel Manila's Sales and Marketing whom invited me over earlier this month to tour and feast yet again in the foodie's haven known as Spiral.
Although I wasn't able to try the old Spiral buffet, one thing I know is that the new Spiral has been made not just bigger, but even better. It promises to provide guests the "Ultimate-Buffet Experience in Manila" while also boasting to be the "Most Dynamic Interactive-Dining Experience in Asia" with a whopping set of 21 Ateliers (workshop for artisans) combining both the authenticity and warmth of traditional French markets and Asian hawker stalls into a five-star hotel setting. And let me tell you, there were just so many food items that my three visits to Spiral were not enough to sample everything!
Dining at Spiral is not just a simple grab and eat experience. Each atelier has a chef, an artisan, whom guests can chat and interact with. So if you want to maximize your Spiral dining experience, better talk with the chef a little. You'd not just learn more about the cuisine and dishes they're serving, but you can also request them to whip up a different dish if ingredients are available. And yes, I hear you. I'll stop babbling now.
|La Veranda, a bar and an extension to Spiral with a view of the pool and the beautiful sunset|
Let the virtual food tour at Spiral begin...
1. Salad and Appetizer
For a light start, the Salad and Appetizer atelier offers organic and locally-grown greens, as well as other fruits and veggies. There are also cold soups included in Sofitel's new De-Light menu concept which offers fresh, low calorie and well-balanced food options for guests who prefer to eat healthy without sacrificing taste.
To make your salad, just choose which items you want from their colorful shelf.
Then, you can ask the chef to have your salad tossed with your choice of salad dressing. You can also opt to add some bacon bits, cheese, nuts, dried fruits or croutons.
|My plate of Assorted Greens with Potatoes, Bacon and Parmesan in Vinaigrette Dressing|
As a big cold seafood lover, the L'Eccalier atelier satisfies. Just look at this beautiful selection of fresh mussels, spiny lobsters (banagan), crabs and prawns.
|✓ My plate of Spiny Lobster, Mussels and Prawns|
Oysters are only available during dinner service. But since the beau and I dined during the Christmas season on our first Spiral visit, oysters were also offered for lunch. You can have these babies fresh and raw, or have them baked with cheese like what we did.
|✓ My plate of Baked Oysters with Cheese|
3. Sushi and Sashimi
I love sushi and sashimi as much as I love my life, so you can just imagine how many times I came back to the Sushi and Sashimi atelier to satisfy my undying craving.
I have even more plates of sushi and sashimi than shown here! Every piece of the raw goodies was so fresh and scrumptious. I heard you can also ask for uni (sea urchin). The sushi offerings were good too, and you can even have some custom-made to your liking if ingredients are available. See the perks of interacting with the chefs?
|✓ My plate of Tuna and Salmon Sashimi with Inarizushi (Sushi rice in Aburaage tofu pouches)|
|✓ Another round of Assorted Sashimi and Sushi|
You're already lucky to spot more than 5 different kinds of cheeses at other hotel buffets. However, in Spiral, there is a whole room dedicated to it!
This glorious and epic L'Epicerie atelier is a cheese and meat paradise, and Spiral's most-raved feat. And although I love cheeses, there are a lot of which I barely heard of. The deli meats are also aplenty, from premium-aged hams, charcuterie, smoked fish... All these, paired with olives, herbs, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, sauces and other condiments, is seventh heaven!
By the way, you can even buy cheeses and deli meats from the L'Epicerie.
These cheeses and delis are heavenly. But please, don't do what the beau did. Don't overload because of takaw mata. We seriously spent a long time just trying to finish off his loaded platter. Not that I'm really complaining though. Haha!
|✓ My plate of various cheeses and cold cuts|
|✓ The beau's fully-loaded plate of deli meats|
5. Hot Japanese
I like the flavors of Japanese cuisine, and it was refreshing to see that the Hot Japanese atelier even has a teppanyaki station. Here, you can ask the chef to cook meats, seafood and vegetables right in front of you. But for my teppanyaki of choice that day, I had fish which was cooked and seasoned perfectly. Yum!
|✓ My Cod Teppanyaki with Carrot, Zucchini and Onions|
There's a selection of yakitori (grilled skewers), as well as buffet staple tempura items. There are also more hot Japanese food items that I sadly missed, including sukiyaki.
|✓ My plate of Assorted Yakitori and Tempura|
6. French Oven
This side of the French Oven atelier is where you can have your pasta cooked to your liking. At night, this is also the area where you can get unlimited foie gras.
|The beau's plate of Pesto and Roasted Chicken|
|✓ My plate of Truffle Oil Pasta with Mushrooms and Bacon|
The main part of this atelier centers at this ten million peso-Bonnet French stove which Michelin Star Chefs around the world use. With such a marvelous piece of equipment, the French Oven churns out scrumptious French dishes one shouldn't miss.
The Rotisserie carries whole chickens slow-cooked to perfection. It's located within the French Oven area and also has roasted lamb and pork dishes. The beau got to try the chicken, and says it was definitely moist, juicy and tasty!
8. Wood Fired Oven
I love having pizza, especially with pasta (Saw my plate of pasta above?), so I just had to check out the Wood Fired Oven section which makes thin and crisp Italian pizzas and calzones. Oh, you can also ask the chef to make you customized pizzas! *wink*
Forgive me if my shot of the Churrasco atelier doesn't give this section justice. As much as I want to snap photos of the succulent meats offered here, they were very much in demand with the diners. But nevertheless, this is a carnivore's paradise especially with all the beef prime rib, leg of lamb and pork shoulders you can have that come with different kinds of sauces, a selection of assorted salts and other condiments.
|✓ My plate of Prime Rib, Lamb, Pork Shoulder and Other Meaty Treats|
10. North Indian
I've recently found myself interested in Indian cuisine, so it was nice that Spiral has a good North Indian atelier inspired by maharajah of Northern India, carrying an array of authentic Indian dishes -- North (naan and tandoori) and South (dosa and chutneys). They also have tandoori meats cooked in authentic tandoori ovens imported from India.
Although I can barely remember the names of the Indian dishes I got to try, I can definitely say that they were good. They were flavorful and herb-y, while some are even spicy.
|✓ My plate of Indian Goodies with Some Chinese Food|
|Trying out the different dal, paneers and chutney|
11. Asian Noodles
There's also an Asian Noodles atelier where they cook fresh hand-pulled noodles with your choice of broth, sauce, toppings and condiments. You can ask what noodle soups are available for the day, or you can even ask the chef to make your own noodle recipe! As for me, I had laksa which was so comforting and just perfect for that rainy afternoon.
|✓ Laksa I ordered from the Asian Noodles section|
12. Peking Duck Oven
I love Peking duck pancakes so I just had to visit the Peking Duck Oven to get my fix. This atelier is also the home of other sinful treats like pork belly and pork asado.
|✓ The beau's plate of Pork Belly, Peking Duck and Other Chinese Items|
13. Chinese Wok
The Chinese Wok atelier is the home of tasty and sumptuous Cantonese, Hunan, Sichuan and other regional Chinese dishes. I didn't get to try a lot of the offerings, but I saw the beau return here more than twice, so these Chinese items may be really good.
14. Steam Baskets
I have to admit, the real reason why I didn't pay much mind to the Chinese Wok section is because I found the Steam Baskets atelier more interesting. Blame the dimsum lover in me, but I'd still head straight to this section more than its Chinese food sibling.
I found myself returning back to the Steam Baskets atelier over and over again. Although the dimsum selection isn't the best I've had, quality is good. I liked all the dumplings I've had, as well as the Chinese desserts. However, I got a little frustrated with the xiao long bao. The bottom kept ripping off as it sticks too hard on the wax paper. *sigh*
|✓ My plate of Chicken Feet, Hakaw and Veggie Dumpling|
|More dimsum with Chines desserts and ✓ Peking duck pancakes|
Although I always skip the Filipino section in hotel buffets, I'm sure Filipino food lovers and tourists will enjoy the selection of tasty Filipino dishes in this atelier. Dishes change everyday, but I've always spotted bulalo, kare-kare and adobo in my 3 Spiral visits. While this section has a good lineup, I think adding lechon will make it even more enticing.
Most hotel buffets don't have a Thai section, but I'm glad Spiral has one. I've been in love with Thai cuisine since last year so I just had to get my fix of lime, kaffir and basil-infused Thai dishes from this atelier. Too bad pad thai isn't included on the spread though.
Korean cuisine has been close to my heart too, so I didn't pass up the chance to get me some Korean goodies from this atelier's nice selection, which included samgyupsal (pork belly), chadolbaegi (beef brisket), spicy squid, pajeon (Korean pancake), japchae, etc.
|✓ My plate of japchae and kimchi with along with some Thai and Chinese items|
18. La Boulangerie
Bread lovers are in luck as the La Boulangerie carries a wide variety of freshly baked breads from baguettes, pain au chocolat, croissants, ciabatta, foccacia and more. There are also rye and gluten-free breads. And although I didn't stock up from this atelier, every diner at Spiral is served with a basket of Olive Bread which has a beautiful crunchy outside and a light and soft inside. Ahh... If only I can have this bread everyday!
19. La Patisserie
What's a hotel buffet experience without desserts? So to finish off on a sweet note, La Patisserie carries a wide array of French pastries of all shapes, fillings, textures and sizes chilled in pull-out drawers. There are also jelly beans, gummy bears, sour strings, chocolate candies and more sweets for the kids and kids at heart.
Unlike in other buffets, Spiral has not just one, not two, but three chocolate fountains! During our first visit, there was a Strawberry fountain that I oh-so-love. For our next two visits though, the lineup was Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.
This atelier also carries the freshest fruit slices, as well as some of the most-loved Filipino local delicacies including bibingka and puto bumbong. Yes, they have puto bumbong not just during the Christmas season but all-year round!
Chocoholics are in for a treat at the Chocolaterie where the magic of chocolate is created. I took a peek at the special room and found these beautiful pieces of heaven. I believe these aren't really part of the buffet spread.
|Intricate chocolate artwork by the award-winning Chef Tweet Obsequio|
No worries though as there are pralines and truffles to keep your chocoholic palate satisfied. I sampled all the flavors and they were seriously so good! I especially love the dark chocolate rum truffles. They were rich, bittersweet and simply foodgasmic!
I'd usually be so full when I reach this part of dessert, but there was no way I'd skip the Creamery which houses a selection of different ice cream flavors that you can eat on its own or top with fruits, candies or chocolates. There's also a halo-halo and a crepe station which I made sure to visit. Walang busog busog 'pag desserts!
No Spiral buffet experience is complete without desserts, so better pace yourself and make room for these sweet treats. You can also ask for your complimentary hot tea or coffee to help with digestion, so you can attack the dessert spread afterwards.
|✓ Yummy crepe, cakes, chocolates, panna cotta, creme brulee, fruits and halo-halo|
Spiral 2 Go
If you can't get enough of Spiral, you can check out their display of goodies for sale. Take home cakes and pralines straight from the chocolaterie, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, macarons, Spiral's signature olive bread, strawberry jam and premium marzipans from Germany. You can even take home your favorite premium cheese and charcuterie straight from L’Epicerie! Oh, this is also where you can buy Spiral GCs.
The Private Rooms
If you'll be coming in a group of 8 or more, I suggest you get a private room reserved.
|Indulgence, Epicure and Decadence|
Can sit 12 people per room; Can be joined together to fit 24 to 36 people.
Semi-private room perfect for intimate family celebrations; Can fit up to 8 people.
The first four private rooms are best for more informal meetings or celebrations. If you have VIP guests though, there are also more premier private rooms available which don't only have dinning areas but also come with a lounge.
A cozy private room where part of the kitchen can be seen; Can fit up to 12 people.
An elegant private room hidden at the back of the wine shelves; Can fit up to 10 people.
Buffet rate at Spiral as of June 2013:
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!! That's how I would describe our experience at the new Spiral. While hotel buffets aren't new to me, our visits to Spiral always leave me overwhelmed. With the amount of food and variety available, I always get frustrated that I can't try every dish I've been meaning to have. And with most of the hot dishes changing every single day, it makes conquering the whole Spiral even more difficult. However, I'm glad to say that Spiral indeed lived up to its promise. The only downside is the price.
My favorite ateliers: L’Epicerie, French Stove, Steam Baskets and Chocolaterie.
Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 5/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 5/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Spiral, Sofitel Manila
Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Spiral Manila's Website
Sofitel Manila's Facebook Page
Spiral's Facebook Page
Posted in: buffet, eat-all-you-can, food, hotel eat-all-you-can, hotel restaurant, international, pasay city, sofitel manila