It’s been awhile since I last visited Manila Hotel. I heard they renovated everything, the rooms and restaurants, etc. Then a friend gave us coupons which she got from Manila Bulletin last Sunday (23 January 2011). It was a discount voucher which entitles the bearer 50% discount when two people dine at Café Ilang Ilang. It is the hotel’s version of a buffet restaurant. I was hesitant at first because I knew they only served Filipino food. But when I saw Shoot First Eat Later’s post on this, I found out they had so much to offer.
I’d like to show you my favorite picks first, the rest continues. Peking Duck, the quality is like ordering ala carte from Peking Garden. Rack of Lamb, one of the most tender-succulent lambchops I’ve ever eaten. I can even compare the tenderness to Antonio’s. Lamb Ribs, juicy and mouth-watering, very tender and flavorful like the rack of lamb. Make sure to grill the lamb meats for a few seconds to add more flavor. And for the best dessert: Croissant Bread Pudding! Soaked croissant with Leche Flan and burnt syrup underneath -- I super duper over love this!! (But I first removed each and every raisin in the bread pudding)
|My favorite picks CW: Lamb Ribs & Salmon. Peking Duck.|
Croissant Bread Pudding. Rack of Lamb
|Peking Duck I had.|
Their Japanese picks are also good, sashimi’s were very fresh. Tempura had the right amount of batter, not too thick -- which is typical in buffets.
|CW: Futomaki. Sashimi Boat. Tempura. Assorted Sushi|
When we got to the restaurant, the first thing I did was check out all the food counters they had. After a couple of shots, the first plate I actually got was roast prime rib! Yes, I’m a carnivore. It was okay, not bad. And of course I wanted to try all the sauces: gravy, peppercorn and mushroom.
|Prime Rib. Prime Rib Station|
The salad station had fresh ingredients. I was so happy to see the mountain of fresh oysters, which you can eat raw, have it grilled or baked with cheese. There was a wide variety of breads to choose from, I really like their bread station. They also had a huge platter of cheese, huge blocks of cheese -- YUM! And the scallop appetizer was very good.
|CW: Fresh & Baked Oysters. Salad Bar. Seafood Station|
|CW: Grill Station. Bread, Cheese & Pate Sampler.|
Bread Station. Scallop Appetizer w/ Mango Salsa
The Italian station had pastas, pizzas and risotto. I like it how you can customize your dish, especially on the risotto part because this is not common in other hotel buffets.
|CW: Air-dried Meats. Mozzarella Sticks.|
Pizza Bread Pudding. Pasta & Risotto Ingredients. Pizzas
Aside from Peking Duck, they also had the typical Chinese dimsum spread and stir-fried dishes. There was a Shabu-Shabu station which I also tried. The soup stock they used was very flavorful, didn’t taste like MSG soup at all.
It’s really like going around the world, tasting different cuisines. The restaurant also offers Middle Eastern dishes, Terrines from the West and Regional Filipino dishes as well. Lamb Fajitas had too much cumin in it but the Chicken Shawarma was tender and moist.
|Middle Eastern appetizers & dishes. Terrines.|
Regional Filipino Dishes
Other plates I got were these: round 2 from the Churrasco Station; Korean Chap Chae & Pajeon; Middle Eastern Sampler; Salads.
I have to commend the quality of their desserts. Normally, hotel buffets have a wide spread of desserts which looks good but doesn’t really satisfy my taste buds. In Café Ilang Ilang, there were a couple of sweets I really enjoyed. My Sampler Plate had Buchi, cookie, pistachio cake, mocha praline (I liked this), mango mousse, blueberry mousse and of course, the croissant bread pudding.
There was a crepe station and I wanted one, which I filled with fresh mangoes and vanilla sauce topped with caramal and vanilla sauce again (the crepe was pretty good, texture was springy yet soft).We ended our meal with a Double Shot of Espresso each, their espresso was of good quality.
|CW: Crepe Station. Double Shot Espresso.|
Mango Crepe w/ Caramel & Vanilla Sauce. Ube Ice Cream
Btw, hurry because the promo lasts only for one week (until the 31st of January).
Rates for February:
Weekly Lunch Php1,372.77 net
Japanese Night, Mondays Php1,647.32 net
Chinese Night, Wednesdays Php1,647.32 net
Seafood Night, Fridays Php 1,976.79 net
Weekend Dinner Php1,482.59 net
Café Ilang Ilang
Contact: +63 2 5270011
One Rizal Park, Manila