Lessons Learned from Buffet 101

There are days when you can’t decide on one type of cuisine. You’re not in the mood for Chinese food (and for the MSG-induced headache); Italian repels you (too oily); Filipino food doesn’t look enticing at the moment (booooring); and you don’t like Japanese food (wait, who doesn’t like Japanese food?). For cases like this, the obvious choice would be a buffet.

Thursday night was such a night so we headed over to Buffet 101 in SM Mall of Asia—located at the left end of the bay area, facing Manila Bay (Vikings, their archrival, is at the other end). The restaurant incorporates mainly Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and American food, and although Vikings offers the same cuisines with a bigger selection of appetizers, salads, and mains, Buffet 101 boasts a huge Dessert Section that easily beats that of Vikings. In addition, while both restaurants serve unlimited draft beer, Buffet 101 serves fruit juices, shakes, and free-flowing wine.

It took me a while to start eating. But unlike in Vikings where I was overwhelmed with the choices, here in Buffet 101 I immediately went to the Italian and sushi sections—loading my plate with pizzas, pasta, and a variety of maki. I sampled the Italian and the Sisig Pizza, which both seemed undercooked as the crust tasted like pancakes. Anything with salmon, as usual, did not disappoint: the smoked salmon and penne with salmon were incredibly good. In the Japanese section however, I spotted a fly perched comfortably on one of the rolls!

Fortunately, the Carving Section saved the day. I devoured a plateful of tender, flavorful roast beef and several servings of their juicy Wagyu steaks. Perhaps this was what I especially liked about our buffet dinner. You can request which meat you want, tell them how to cook it, and the waiters will deliver it to your table.

Overall, I am not sure why I did not enjoy Buffet 101 that much—the food was good, it’s just that I have tasted better. Or perhaps it was because we had movie reservations after, so we had limited time to eat (PLUS I was working while eating, don’t ask why). Or maybe I was disappointed with the selections— for an Unlimited Food and Drink price tag of PhP950, I was expecting something as huge as Vikings’. I guess I’ll be coming back to Buffet 101 for the steaks, and just eat steaks all day long just to maximize what I paid. Or if I want to engorge myself with fruit shakes all night long, but unfortunately, I don’t. Going there for the unlimited wine? There are other better restaurant options for wine—though the idea of limitless steak and wine sounds good, if not deadly. I’m not that much of a dessert aficionado as well, so I guess for variety and quality, I would choose Vikings any day.

Nonetheless, even though it wasn’t such a pleasant experience, I am still willing to give Buffet 101 a second try. Strategic eating might be the key to maximize it—which I forgot to apply this time.

(Special thanks to James Valeriano for his awesome photos.)

Buffet 101
Building K, SM By the Bay, Sunset Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
(02) 566-2888

Buffet Rates:

Lunch: Mon-Fri (PhP699), Sat (PhP799)
Dinner: Mon-Fri (PhP950), Sat (PhP1050)
pepe samson

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  1. Nice photos! Yeah, it wasn't that much a hit.



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