>> Monday, January 09, 2012
Eat-all-you-can buffets are sprouting left and right in Manila. There are still the good old restaurants we grew up with such as Kamay-Kainan, Tong Yang and the trio of Dad's-Kamayan-Saisaki. Just recently, in fact, C and I had a feast at Tong Yang along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, which I'll blog about soon. And do you remember Brazil! Brazil!, which opened Manila folk to serious meats? But aside from them, so many others are joining the fun. These new players run the gamut from Japanese cuisine to Filipino food. They may seem pricey, but the trick is to get your money's worth. These simple tips work for me every time.
1. Start early
Know what time the lunch or dinner buffet opens. Normally, these eat-all-you-can fares don't run the whole day. For lunch, it usually starts at around 10:30am, while dinner buffets begin around 5:30pm. Make sure to call the restaurant you are going to ahead and ask. Be there as soon as the buffet starts so you will have the whole four hours to eat, rest, eat, rest and eat again.
2. Don't eat before going
This may seem like a no-brainer, but some people just can't help it. If you're going to a lunch buffet and you get out of bed late, skip breakfast. Lunch buffets start earlier than noon, anyway, covering your usual brunch hour. If you're an early riser, be an early breakfast eater as well. That way, whatever you ate will be digested by 10am. For dinner buffets, skip on snacks. If you must, have a biscuit.
3. Go easy on the rice
Filipinos find it difficult to eat riceless meals. Understandably so at buffets because a lot of the food choices go well with rice, which also helps neutralize the taste buds. If you really have to eat rice, get half a cup at most. If you want a refill, only do so on your third plate of viands.
4. Be brave & be French
Don't be scared to try and taste. You should take advantage of the wide variety of choices at your disposal. This is a great opportunity to try out food you don't know or have always been scared of since you wouldn't waste money ordering them. It's already been paid for. Also, make sure to only get small amounts of everything. That way, you wouldn't end up with a plateful of food you don't want to eat and get fined for having leftovers. If you like something, get more.
5. Hydrate later
Of course you would have to drink water every now and then, but not too much. That goes for your iced tea, juice and soda as well. If you quench your thirst, you'll also quench your appetite and lose room for the amazing food in front of you. At the end of your meal, however, see to it that you have a sweet drink to seal the deal. This is where your iced tea, juice and soda will come in handy. A glass of one of these sugar-rich drinks will help your digestion.
6. Be with family & friends
Having great people to eat with always excites the stomach. All the laughter, stories, banter and camaraderie will make you eat more than usual. Your family and friends are your ticket to getting the most out of your buffet.
That's it! Try these tips on your next eat-all-you-can lunch or dinner and tell me about it.