December 27, 2009 (Makati City, Philippines) --
Seriously taking our plan, which is to relax the entire weekend, seriously; we woke up just in time for brunch today. After hearing raves from colleagues and friends who frequently visit Dusit Thani Manila on a Sunday, we were so excited to try out their Sunday Family Crossover Buffet ourselves.
Following the brief instructions of the front desk officer, we visited the four participating restaurants to choose and reserve our table. After visiting Basix, Umu, Benjarong and Tosca, we both agreed to stay at the latter simply because of its cozy ambiance complete with a pianist happily playing Christmas tunes.
Contrary to other buffets and restaurants in town, here you have to pay first. After leading you to your table, the server will hand you the bill. The charge per head is very reasonable. Pay only P1450 net for adults, P725 for children between 6-12 years old while tiny tots below 5 years old can dine for FREE!
After settling your bill, you will be given a paper wristband that will serve as your golden ticket to the four enticing restaurants of Dusit Thani Manila.
To fully enjoy the buffet, we devised a simple plan, we will start from the closest and will work our way down.
First stop was at Tosca -- Dusit Thani Manila's Italian restaurant. I love the interiors and ambiance of Tosca as it gives a very elegant and relaxing feel. We began with a bowl of pumpkin soup to warm up our tummies. Paul even added some garlic croutons and bacon bits to add more flavor to this creamy, delicious soup.
Afterwards, I went straight to the appetizer table where I filled my plate with cold cuts, some fresh greens and lots of smoked salmon! What a light and perfect way to start our brunch!
We also got a plate of steaming seafood and mushroom risotto that's cooked upon order. I requested the chef to add in more shrimps to which he happily obliged. While enjoying our risotto, we were also served with a glass of Italian sparkling wine called Prosecco. Yum!
Moving on from our Italian appetizer, we walked over to the other side of the hallway towards Dusit Thani's very own Thai restaurant -- Benjarong. Upon reaching the restaurant, we were surprise to see a line building upon particularly by the center of the buffet area. Taking a peep, we saw a lady who's busy cooking Pad Thai and serving these off to hungry buffet diners right away. We agreed to just come back for the Pad Thai and start off with a plate of Pomelo Salad, Spring Rolls, and some Satay.
I also saw an aluminum container that has some Thai Popsicles for dessert! Boy, oh boy! I've been wanting to try this since our visit to the Chatuchak Market!
Heading down to the ground floor, we noticed how festive everything was! There was a happy man on stilts as well as a pretty lady playing a traditional Thai string instrument. Children were busy lining up to have their face colorfully painted. There's a play area at the side which I think is a really good way to keep the young ones preoccupied while their parents enjoy the buffet.
Watching the happy diners passing by, my mouth started to water at the sight of fresh sashimi and hot-off-the-teppanyaki-grill shrimps, we quickened our pace towards Dusit Thani Manila's Japanese restaurant called Umu.
Paul and I are huge fans of Japanese food and we can never say no to yakitori, sushi, sashimi and of course teppanyaki! Trying to balance the plates on our hands, we carefully carried all these back up to our restaurant on the second floor. We made it back without any spills and happily began to dig into our plate of crispy grilled shrimps and juicy steak! I also enjoyed our plate of tuna and salmon sashimi. We were, once again, in gastronomic heaven!
Taking a break from all those yummy dishes, we sat back and took more sips of our wine. Now we both understand why our friends have been raving about Dusit Thani Manila's Crossover Buffet! We were both having a blast and we're not done yet! There's still Basix to visit and I was told that they have really yummy tempura and Peking duck!
Finally, ready to hit the buffet table again, we walked down to the ground floor towards Basix. Inside, we saw big groups of families enjoying an array of fresh seafood, crispy Peking duck, some Asian dishes and a lot more. I got some grilled lamb and a few slices of the Peking duck while Paul tried the king prawns and some more grilled meats. We also filled up our glasses with sweet Dalandan juice to refresh our palate.
For those who would like to go for another round and would rather just stay near a specific restaurant, you may also eat on one of the many cocktail tables set-up around the hotel. This makes visiting the four different restaurants so convenient.
We were so full but we made sure to leave some space for dessert! Paul and I both love Strawberries and Chocolates thus the reason why we chose this to be our Big Day motif. Take a look at the four different dessert items that we got at Tosca! My personal favorite was the Molten Chocolate Cake with two scoops of Strawberry Ice Cream. The sweet ice cream complemented the bitter dark chocolate making it a very indulgent dessert. Paul, on the other hand, liked the Strawberry Cream Mousse with Chocolate and Fresh Strawberry Topper. He loved the creamy sweet texture of the mousse together with the fresh strawberry slices and dark chocolate candy.
It was already 230PM and we have been eating for 3 hours! In between bites, we watched fellow diners pass by, talked about our respective buffet choices and simply just relaxed and had a marvelous time.
This was surely a great way to end our relaxing weekend at Dusit Thani Manila. It's amazing that all our worries and holiday stress can go away in just two days and that's because of the wonderful food, beautiful amenities and excellent service that we have received during our stay.
It felt like a dream and just like a beautiful dream, we had to bid Dusit Thani Manila goodbye as we return to our daily busy lives. However, we both know that we will soon be back whenever we both need to unwind and take a break from it all. At least we found a place like heaven that's just a short drive across the metro.
Dusit Thani Manila is located at the Ayala Center corner EDSA in Makati City. Call 8673333 for reservations.
photo credit: Paul Ang