I've had my fair share of ALL YOU CAN eat treats in the Philippines. For a minor expense of at least $10 to $35 (which was the most costly I had in Crowne Plaza's Seven Corners), Filipinos enjoy a massive calorie intake for 2 to 3 hours.
My recent visit to ALL YOU CAN EAT treats in the Philippines were at DADs Buffet, Manila and VIKINGS Buffet Restaurant, Manila.
As a background, without calling to make reservations, we planned to try Vikings Buffet Restaurant in Manila due to its raving reviews from relatives. We had a feeling we were unlikely to get in when we saw the ant-army-like crowd who just discovered a pot of honey. We were told that we should have made reservations because their current system of having a long queue of guests wait outside is apparently a 'good problem to have'.
The food looked glorious on the tables and the place was impeccably cleaner compared to many Filipino restaurants I have seen. The young dining manager seemed very accommodating, apologetic in stark contrast with the older lady manager who seemed to listen in pretense while pushing that the current system *works*. She seemed to be a very detail-oriented woman, to her credit, making sure all food scattered on the floor were promptly cleaned up.
I personally would love to some time dine in Vikings but not in any urgency and not in great desire... more for reasons I will explain later.
Since our Vikings visit was thwarted, we decided to try Dads... our old favorite as it was closer to the place we intended to visit in Manila.
My anticipation was quickly shrouded with disappointment as I saw a throng of people eating... voraciously... devouring... grabbing food while chewing. No this is no longer enjoyable eating. This is disturbing!
Vikings, I was told, is owned by a Chinese group, tied with Tom Yum. This group has done a lot of things right. Surely the photos above appeal to all my senses! I know I will certainly enjoy the taste and variety and I am happy to pay the price of Php 1088 per person. The issue is my preparedness to absorb the unforgiving 3500 calories (at least). Even before the 3500 calories is completely burned, I have to contend with real threats to my health.
26.6% of Filipino adults are overweight. Source.
1 in three Filipinos has high cholesterol. 1 in 4 Filipinos has high blood pressure.
"The data, presented by the International Diabetes Federation in their Diabetes Atlas for 2009, put the number of Filipino adults with Type 2 or acquired diabetes at 3.4 million out of a 51-million adult population, with 4.9 million more on the brink of developing diabetes." Source.
I propose a completely un-Filipino way of eating. I propose a culture of enjoyment of food as an art, an effort by careful thoughts of a chef or the cook, a high quality conversation time with friends and family.
The Vikings ALL YOU CAN EAT restaurant buffet or Dad's Buffet need not be another venue of uncontrolled, whimsical indulgence.
Restaurant and Food Reviews
Travel in the Philippines
Living in New Zealand