Thursday, May 7, 2009

My dining experience in Sofitel's (Philippine Plaza) Spiral Restaurant

I have been in many buffets in the past, in restaurants, in hotels but what I loved about this buffet is its vast array of food choices. It really is multi-cuisine.
One of their buffets is the Japanese buffet which contained different kinds of sushi like my favorite California maki and other Japanese specialties like the miso soup, ramen, tempura. I kept going back for the sushi because I also wanted to try the different varieties like the kani and the tamago.
Aside from the Japanese buffet, they also had the Mediterrean one and this included different salads and dips like the tabbouleh, baba ghanoush and the tzatziki. And since I love to sample something unfamiliar, I sampled the stuffed grape leaves and the stuffed olives. The grape leaves were crunchy and for me, lacked flavor while the stuffed olives were a little salty.

In addition to the salads, this Mediterranean buffet also served assorted cheeses like provolone and different types of bread. Some of the cheeses were good and the others, I guess you need an acquired taste. They also had a pizza station where you can sample some hand tossed pizza. I only sampled one, the salmon pizza. I didn't particularly like it. But maybe its just me, my husband loved all the flavors.
For their Spanish buffet, I particularly liked their paella because it was really tasty. Honestly, when I saw the cauldron of this rice dish, I thought it would taste like a futile attempt in Spanish cooking since it was, well, hotel food but I was pleasantly surprised that it almost tasted like something you'd have in a Spanish restaurant. There were other Spanish dishes too but I thought their heavy sauces could fill me up earlier before I could even try the other dishes.
I was also glad that there was a buffet for the Indian cuisine. Here, I was able to sample their curried lamb, green curried tofu and their chicken tikka masala. It was fun trying food you've only heard before and read in books. But part of me felt that its flavors were restrained a bit, making it “friendlier” to other palates. The spiciness was not as I expected, it was a little milder considering Indian food is known for its bold and interesting flavors.

I’m not a fan of Chinese food. But I was glad they had a wide dimsum selection because my husband would surely love these. And so I just tasted the Peking Duck and it wasn't bad. Meanwhile, for the Korean buffet, I chose to eat the broiled eel, a first for me. It had good flavor, almost tasted like barbecued fish but it was a little spiny so you had to be careful. And speaking of seafood, Spiral's huge buffet also includes fresh oysters, shellfish (tahong) and shrimps. They can even bake it for you and bring it to your table.
Aside from the huge array of cuisine, I also love Spiral's dessert spread. It has a wide variety of tiny cakes and pastries and a crepe station. I love crepes. And so I ordered a mango crepe that was skillfully prepared by a pastry chef in front of me. I can feel my mouth watering as she she drizzled it with chocolate syrup. Aside from the crepe station, Spiral also have a halo-halo and an ice cream station plus a chocolate fountain where you can dip fruits, biscuits and marshmallows.

I really enjoyed the Spiral buffet. Tasting the different cuisines is like traveling to faraway lands too. And even if it's a little pricey, I think it is still worth it. I would come back again if I had the chance (and the money) so I can sample all the other food I missed. If you want more variety in your buffet experience, Spiral's buffet is a must-try.

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