A bit of a warning that this is a really picture-heavy post. My camera is da shit1, so do NOT look at these pictures when you’re hungry.
Like most hotel buffets, Spiral offers a myriad of cuisine that ranges from our French and Italian favorites to the more familiar Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. A number of people have been saying that Spiral offers the best one out there, so let’s find out.
The European stations have Spanish cuisine, a selection of awesome cured meat, some fresh shellfish, and a salad station for pussies.
If you’re into Asian, some sushi, Indian, tempura, noodles, Thai, and other familiar Asian delights.
You must not skip the grilling station with sausages, lamb, chicken, Chinese roastings, and the prime rib.
And of course, the dessert station.
Let me qualify at this point: You cannot try every single thing. It’s almost impossible. For me, I wanted to try as much as I could, but it’s not really about quantity, it’s about quality.
I start with the Cured Meat station. They have the most variety, by far. Air Dried Beef, Black Forest, Salami, Coppa, and Parma Ham — just made my day. Looks really simple, but these bad boys can cost you 150-200 bucks / 100 grams.
If you prefer sushi, you really can’t go wrong. They’re pretty fresh and delicately made. And speaking of fresh, go for the oysters. Fresh if you’re me, baked if you’re a pussy like Marc2.
Make sure to go for the crustaceans. They’re pretty good and gets you your money’s worth.
If you’re feeling Japanese, munch on the tempura or go for the sukiyaki. They don’t use too much batter with the shrimp and they have thinly sliced not-too-fatty beef for the sukiyaki.
The smart buffet eater would tell you to stay away from carbs. I’ll probably tell you to stay away from rice, but try to get one small plate of pasta to try things out. I did 3 and I’ll tell you that you can probably skip Spiral’s pastas. Not bad, but don’t waste your space for them. 7 Corners is a lot better for pasta.
But if you’re really going for rice, go for the paella. They have some prawns to help flavor the rice, but I’d skip this. Looks really really nice, but a bit bland.
I’d skip the Indian station as well. Not very good without even the slightest hint of spiciness.
If you’re like Marc, you just dig into the roast and grilling stations. The Peking Duck is pretty good, but I was a bit disappointed with the Prime Rib. It’s usually the thing I dig into the most, but I found it a bit dry and tough. I guess they need to be a bit more consistent because Marc loved it when he visited.
Instead, the 2 things I absolutely loved about Spiral’s buffet are their lamb and the foie gras. The lamb was superb. They use the rack, which is one of the more expensive cuts and unlike most lambs here, theirs was pretty tender.
The foie is the thing that’ll probably get me to come back. It’s pretty rare to have foie in hotel buffets. They serve it really simple here — just a seared in a pan with your choice of sauces and some Himalayan salt. Single best thing in their selection and I think I almost wet my pants after the first bite.
At this point, I usually don’t do dessert much, but I have to tell you they’re dessert’s not bad. OK, pretty damn good is more accurate. There were assorted fruits, which I have to admit that I didn’t even bother. Skip the souffle, which had absolutely no filling inside, and the creme brulee.
Go for the tiramisu, the coffee-flavored eclair, the strawberry panacota-like dessert, their teppanyaki ice cream, and the candies. These are the ones you usually find inside the malls being sold for a few hundred bucks.
I’m a sucker for the waffles and crepe, though.
I know. Carbs, right, dumbass? Sorry, just too good.
Overall, great selection. The foie alone sold me towards Spiral. They say that the appetizers and desserts are the true measure of a good buffet spread. If that’s the case, then I can see why people say Spiral is the best buffet in Manila. Great value if you can really much on the foie, the steaks, and the seafood.