This year, I have heard that they have refurbished the hotel and an invitation by my friend for lunch gave me an opportunity to see for myself.
The hotel itself still had the same facade and I was wondering how radical the change could be. One thing tI noticed when I entered the hotel was that is had an X-RAY machine after the metal detector.....it reminded me of hotels in the middle east. I was going to lunch.... not getting on an airplane!
I love the ice cream trolley with the "Manila Hotel "pictured above. It's very Filipino~ (this the local ice cream you can see on street corners)
Finally finding our way to CAFE ILANG ILANG, I was surprised by the well lit interiors. (You have to walk the old hallway first). You wouldn't think you were in the Manila Hotel. It felt more like Makati Shangrila interiors. Gone were the rundown walls and chairs.
So, we chose to sit near the food ( wonder why?? hahaha) and I walked around looking at what food stations they had to offer. From what I saw, they had a Italian station --- I loved that they have a pizza oven right on the floor (fresh baked pizza!) and they even have a pasta sculpture of a Roman building. (they used cannelonni) as the columns. On the side, they have a selection of pasta and sauces and you can ask them to make you a pasta dish (tomato or cream sauce?)
They have a appetizer station- (some fresh oysters were available but I did not care to try them), cheese selection (I tried to avoid eating too much although I really love cheese)....middle east section (they had shawarma and hummus), Asian section (peking duck, noodle station) and a continental section. The only thing missing was the japanese section (where is the sushi??)
The paella (top left) was nice visually but was not that good. (a bit fishy), the pork spare ribs (lower left) was better. The peking duck was passable- the skin was not crunchy and the wrapper was over steamed.
I liked the soup though
Another nice station was the carving station where you can have roast beef, sausages and ham. they would cook the beef a little more for you if you prefer it more well done. The slices were small enough to satisfy and not overwhelm my plate. the roast beef also comes with various sidings and sauces - guacamole, chipolante, gravy and some other items I could not remember.
The best part? I think was the coffee..........
|I already added the milk + froth|
The buffet selection was ok. I am still a fan of Spirals in Sofitel. But if you want to see what they have done to the Old Manila Hotel, it is now worth a visit and make sure you have a hotel card to get a discount!