Monday, October 21, 2013

Buffet 101

I pretty much love going to buffets. Being surrounded by unlimited food and drinks makes me feel like I’m in some sort of a Fantasy Island. The word buffet is music to my ears, a happy news to my belly, but… a pain to my wallet.  If I could just go to a buffet every day of my entire life, I would, but my wallet would definitely not allow it.  Did I say every day? That would be exaggerating, of course. So one weekend, my wallet, as generous as she is, allowed me and some members of the family to experience being in Fantasy Island, if only for just a once-in-a-blue-moon affair.

After completing all my chores and errands one Saturday afternoon, I wanted to treat myself and the family to a sumptuous, unlimited-food-and-drinks kind of thing. Buffet 101 was suggested by my mother, as she had already been there with her friends. I asked her if the place was good enough for the price they commanded, she said yes, and so off we went.
I purposely skipped my afternoon snack in preparation for our buffet dinner. I wanted to be really starving so that I would be able to eat as plenty as my belly could handle :D . We made our way to the usual (translation: bad) Saturday traffic and arrived at Buffet 101 (Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City) at half past six. 
Buffet 101 at MOA. Parking is available in front of the restaurant (though we had to
park along the street as the restaurant's parking area  was already full that time)

Because my last meal was more than 7 hours ago, I was already so famished I felt like a starved caveman in search of food. We went straight to the entrance but were stopped by receptionists because there were no available seats and so we had to wait. The hungry caveman in me wanted to pull out my club, bang it against the wall and demand that we be seated at once (hahaha)!  I asked one of the receptionists if she knew how long we were going to wait before we get a table, and she said that she didn't know for sure but that we were number two in the waiting list.  Ahhh... The civilized creature in me relented and patiently waited :) .  After some 30 minutes, a table had been vacated and we were finally called inside.
Buffet 101 published rates as of October 19, 2013.
Inside Buffet 101. That's how chairs and tables are arranged,  except in the area where we sat,  as  longer tables were set for larger groups. Notice the beautiful crystal curtains that separate the food area from the dining area.
After being seated, I hurriedly went to where the food were. I was in a state of confusion as I couldn't decide what to put on my plate from the many choices available. That, plus my famished state have rendered me quite shocked initially. It took a while for me to get back to my senses (hahaha!).
Food/serving area of Buffet 101. 
When the state of confusion had finally subsided, I went back to my table bringing JUST this. I forgot the names of the dishes but it went something like broccoli in cream sauce and prime beef ribs.
This wasn't my plate, but the crabs looked really enticing.
It was hard to take pictures of the food in the serving area because I had in my one hand my big plate, and in the other, my heavy camera. Taking good shots was nearly impossible. But just to give you an idea of what they have to offer in Buffet 101, here are the pictures I took:
Part of the Japanese Cuisine at Buffet 101
Pork Belly at Buffet 101
Rows of food with one plate missing a dish at Buffet 101
Buffet 101 also grills raw seafood. Simply take your pick from among those available, and it will be delivered to you at your table after grilling.

And after a short while, a Buffet 101 staff served my grilled seafood (shrimps, squids, fish) straight to my waiting arms and hungry stomach! :D

My second plate of freshly grilled seafood (scallops, squids, tuna)

After being quite satisfied (just quite!), I was able to think straight again (hahaha!). I saw this delicious-looking steamed fish (Lapu-lapu, if I'm not mistaken) but had to wait in line to get a portion of it. Unfortunately, I wasn't lucky enough and all that's left of the fish when it was already my turn was its skeleton. I asked a staff if they were going to replenish the dish, and I was told that it would take another 30 minutes before they do. What?! In some restaurant buffets, they fill up a dish as soon as it is almost nearly gone, and here I have to wait for 30 minutes?! Oh well... but I wasn't even thinking of leaving the buffet yet, so perhaps I will be luckier after 30 minutes.  After a while, I forgot about the delicious looking fish, and went back to the food area to try the other dishes I haven't tasted yet. But when I passed by the same area where the delicious-looking fish was, I saw that they had already replenished it, but all that's left were some fishy skeleton submerged in sauce. Oh, not again!

I continued to roam around the food area, and it suddenly hit me that I didn't find any lechon (roasted whole pork)! A feast without a lechon is incomplete and just not right! Good thing I was already way past my starvation stage and my mood was better than it was when we had to wait to be seated.

The thing that saved my night was dessert. The feeling of excitement just came back to me and I couldn't wait to fill my plates with these goodies:

Mouth-watering cupcakes at Buffet 101
Cakes at Buffet 101
 I forgot what  it's called, but I remember that it was yummy :D
Strawberry and balsamic cheese cake at Buffet 101
A chocolate fountain!
Crepe making at Buffet 101. I asked for a strawberry/blueberry crepe.

The finished product, My blueberry strawberry crepe at Buffet 101

Ice cream, just like everything else, was unlimited at Buffet 101

Meet my gummy, at Buffet 101

Buffet 101 stops refilling food and drinks by 10:15 PM. Before calling it a night, I wanted to have a warm cup of brewed coffee to sort of drown all the food that I have consumed.  Oh by the way, aside from brewed coffee, soda, mango juice, iced tea, beer and even red wine were unlimited and overflowing during the buffet.

My final treat for the evening, brewed coffee (with a small piece of a blueberry-topped cake) at Buffet 101

It was one full (literally!) night for me and the family. Though I must admit that I can't say the same thing about my wallet (hahahah!).  However, we all left  Buffet 101 with a big smile on our faces.  Moments just like this are nothing but priceless. And yes, my wallet surely agrees. :D

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