And now, to continue with my sharing of our gastronomic adventures last week….
Last Wednesday, 07 February, we were back at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, this time to avail of our free night. Another blessing came our way by way of a room upgrade…from superior to deluxe. ;) For this stay, we were determined to have dinner at Spiral, discount or no discount!
The hotel dining trend these days is providing diners with an interactive dining experience, hence, the advent of open kitchens and live cooking stations. I read that it was supposed to be the Mandarin Oriental’s Paseo Uno which was the first to undergo massive renovations, and the other hotels followed suit.
I’ve been dying to try out Spiral ever since it opened its doors in March 2006. Spiral now occupies the space where 3 restaurants used to be: Cafe Plaza, Alfiere and China Sea. So you can just imagine how big it is! I personally went to the restaurant to make our reservations and so I can personally choose where we should sit. :) (Super OC!)
We were down at the restaurant at exactly 7:30pm. I came as E.C., with my Mom’s privelege card tucked safely in my bag . ;) This translates to a 50% discount on food bill! We realized that making a reservation is truly a must because for a weeknight, the place is packed! We got a nice booth by the window and our sofa seats were nice and comfy and made even comfier by lots of pillows. Had it been the daytime, we’ll have a perfectly nice view of the poolside and the bay, what with the floor to ceiling picture windows! But since it’s the night time, we had a clear view of our reflections instead. ;) I’m impressed and utterly delighted that they thought of their kiddie diners as well, for they have special colorful utensils and cups for the little ones. And I can tell that Abby appreciated it very much!
I can’t even begin to describe what Spiral had to offer. I instantly forgot about Seasons! The buffet with its open kitchens practically run from one end of the restaurant to another end. We took our deep breaths, shhhhhd our palpitating hearts, and got ready to attack. Haha!
The cold station is a seafood lover’s oasis. There, laid out ever so nicely on tons and tons of ice were the biggest prawns and oysters this side of Manila. There were crabs as well. Diners also had a variety of dips and sauces to choose from: ketchup, thousand island, and vinegar.
I’m a very predictable eater. If it’s a buffet, I’ll mechanically proceed to the fresh shrimps and oysters, then the sushi, and then the cold cuts, which I did. :) Their parma ham and its sister, jamon serrano (or was it prosciutto?) was served with sweet watermelon. I also had ementhal cheese with a piece of roll and curry dipping (I don’t know what it’s called exactly…basta Indian something!) with my roti.
We served Abby her favorites, tempura shrimps (again, she ate four pieces!), and squid balls from her noodle soup and 2 pieces of fresh shrimps. She was constantly pointing at the variety of food on our plates asking what they were and asking to taste. Soon, sushi will have to be introduced to her and the wonder that is wasabi. Haha. To keep her busy while Dondi and I stuffed our faces with food, we gave Abby some kropek on the side. ;)
There was a long line at the grilling station. I got a few pieces of Dondi’s lamb chops which went so well with the sweet minty dip. I didn’t quite make the right beef choices because the ones I got were a little too tough and hard to swallow.
Much as I wanted to avoid the Chinese station, because as Filipinos, we are always eating Chinese food, the selection was just too hard to resist. The dumplings were yummy and so were the roast pork and the pecking duck.
There was a pasta station, which we skipped as well as a shawarma corner, which we also skipped. We knew very well that it was just impossible to taste everything. I wish I had some more room for the Indian fare. I’ve somehow developed a special liking for Indian food simply because Dondi and I love spicy food. Maybe next time? ;)
If you are diabetic, avoid the dessert station at all costs! Just a peek at what it has to offer will make one’s blood sugar shoot up. There were not one but two chocolate fountains: white and, well, brown. There was a halo-halo corner, which I skipped. My first stop, you may have already guessed, was the crepe station for my banana caramel crepe. What can I do? I’m addicted to the stuff! The chef offered to put chocolate from the chocolate fountain but I politely declined. I said I’d have to get my scoop of vanilla ice cream first. ;) Every bite I took off that crepe, I either closed my eyes or went wide-eyed! Hmmmm.
Abby had strawberry ice cream as well as a bowl of assorted goodies: gummy bears, marshmallows, gummy fish, and other gummy stuff. (Please don’t report us to the candy police!). She got to dip some of the mallows on sticks in the chocolate fountain and she loved the experience.
The tiny plates and cups the desserts were served in made them even more attractive. In addition to my crepe, I had flourless chocolate cake, melt-in-your-mouth blueberry cheesecake and one type of mousse. I seldom eat cookies for dessert but I’m glad Dondi discovered that one of their cookies is the chewy kind. The chocolate practically drips after you take a bite! And for the
sissies health conscious, there’s always assorted fresh fruits (Blah!).
The restaurant’s service crew is always on their toes. Once you’re done with your plates, they’re whisked away from the table, pronto! They are very attentive and prompt. Just excellent!
The dinner buffet price from Sundays to Thursday is a little over Php 1400.00 net and on weekends, Fridays and Saturdays, the price is, hold your breath, a little over Php 1700.00. So come on a weeknight and come early! To enjoy a buffet of this magnitude, you have to make sure that you have no other appointments after dinner. :) It is best to eat at a leisurely pace so you can taste as much of the food they offer as you can. Do not rush into the meal. Lunch is cheaper by a few hundred pesos. We don’t order drinks when we eat buffet because one, the price of drinks is a sure hold-up and two, we don’t want air to occupy very important tummy space. ;)
I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary bank to describe the experience, save for yummy! You’ll just have to try it out for yourself. ;)
I was too shy to take pictures of the different food stations because there was just too many people. However, I found some professionally taken photos which are enough to back up my amateurish post.
Just the same, here are pictures of ourselves pigging out …and then some. ;)