The very first Monday (08 January) after the holiday season was officially over, I was determined to get a hold of my life and start losing
some a lot of unwanted pounds. I stopped eating sweets and rice. And for three weeks, I’m proud to say, I was able to really keep at it. That was until the despedida get-togethers for Dondi.
The past week alone, Dondi and I, including Abby, stuffed ourselves silly by indulging ourselves in dinner buffets 3 times in a span of 6 days. Call it intimate despedida dinners, if you will, what with only the three of us. Suffice it to say that we had a very good excuse to pig out again and again and again. Let’s face it, in spite of our “third-worldness”, we have buffets, in and out of hotels, which are at par, if not better, than those in most parts of the “first-world”. And at way less than USD50 per head!
There are two buffet experiences I wish to share. For this post, I will talk about our first gastronomic adventure. This is somewhat connected to one of my previous posts, Blessings in Disguise. Since we were not able to use our “Member for a Day” certificate at the Phil. Plaza on February 3, which should have entitled us to a 50% discount at Spiral, we decided to postpone our planned dinner at Spiral for another night (our 2nd gastronomic adventure), when I get a hold of my Mom’s “Advantage Plus” card, the Philippine Plaza’s privelege card.
An article about one of the newly renovated hotel restaurants in Manila came to my mind, Seasons of the Manila Pavilion. After checking the price of the dinner buffet with the hotel, which was Php 1100 nett per person, we were very pleased and decided to give it a go. We took a cab from Traders Hotel to the Manila Pavilion in time for our 8pm reservation. This being our first time at the hotel, we didn’t quite know what to expect.
We were greeted by the Seasons’ cozy and bright ambiance. Seasons used to be Cafe Coquilla until the Manila Pavilion decided to join the bandwagon and renovate the restaurant to feature live cooking stations. Compared to the Hyatt Hotel and Casino’s Market Cafe, The Makati Shangri-la’s Circles, The Crowne Plaza’s Seven Corners and the Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Spiral, Seasons is easily the underdog in terms of size. But don’t let this teeny weeny detail fool you. It may be small scale in size but definitely not in taste. It also has a little bit of everything that the other hotels have to offer.
Because of its “intimate” size, Seasons doesn’t come off as overwhelming as the others, which I think is a good thing. It’s not at all intimidating. I read that in keeping with its theme, food stations represent the four seasons as follows: the hot station with its soup and dimsum is summer, the cold station with sushi and fresh shrimps and mussels is winter, the rotisserie and grilling station is autumn and the dessert station, spring.
Service is excellent. The chef behind the cold station offerred to have the shrimps I was piling on my plate and which I intended to eat as is, cooked in garlic and butter. I agreed and I was glad that I did! Abby loved the shrimps with a capital L, not to mention the freshly cooked tempura, of which she ate 4 to 5 pieces! What can I say, my daughter has turned out to be a seafood monster, no thanks to my Mom! :)
I so so love the freshly and thinly sliced parma ham! I also got the ones that were made to look like flowerettes on top of sweet melon slices. I dare say that from that alone, I already got half our money’s worth! I always say that I was probably Japanese in one of my past lives because of my sheer love for Japanese food. I had several pieces of tempura in addition to my appetizers of assorted sushi.
The assorted meat skewers on display was just a sight to behold. I requested for grilled beef, which got lost somewhere along the way and never got to our table. I think they mistakenly gave it to Dondi. I didn’t mind at all though because I don’t know how else I could have possibly eaten it had it gotten to our table. ;)
I did have a few other hot items, which I assure you I loved, but all I could think about now is the dessert station. :) Sure, they didn’t have a chocolate fountain, but I didn’t care one bit! Seasons has a halo-halo station, a crepe station, fresh fruits, ice cream, and a wide assortment of cakes and pastries. I didn’t have halo-halo but it was a hit because all the people who went to the dessert station, save for Dondi and me, had a glass of halo-halo in hand. What I had is my customary hotel buffet dessert of banana caramel crepe topped with vanila ice cream and chocolate syrup. It was just heavenly! Just thinking about it makes my dessert-loving heart beat so much faster. :) A lot of the cakes are beautifully served in little cutesy cutesy plates of different shapes and sizes. I especially love the presentation of their leche flan which was as big as a single-serve jellyace. Much as I wanted to savor each and every dessert available, in addition to my leche flan and crepe, I only had sansrival, chocolate panna cotta and strawberry mousse.
Seasons also didn’t forget to put up something that was sure to tickle the minds and tummies of their younger patrons. They had a small section for the kids which had marshmallows and chocoflakes and other kiddie treats.
I am all praises for this restaurant from the ambiance, to the food to the impeccable service. With the price proving to be more affordable than its 5-star counterparts, there need not be an occassion to celebrate for couples and families to dine at Seasons.
Here are pictures from that wonderful dinner. ;)