The First Time I Left a Buffet On a Not-So-Full StomachJust this week, for a writing class, each of us were assigned to visit a buffet restaurant and write about it. I was assigned to a buffet that offers Filipino dishes, and since Kamay Kainan (Trinoma Branch) was nearest, I immediately went there after class.
The restaurant was quite big, in terms of seating capacity (could probably seat around 200-250 customers). For Php 289 + VAT, you could enjoy its wide array of Filipino delicacies. You just need to add Php 50 for bottomless iced tea.There was no service charge, or any other charges aside from VAT.
When my companion and I got there, there were few people around, even if it was around peak time for buffets. We arrived at around 5:30 in the afternoon. The first thing that we noticed when we got inside was that it was sooobrang init, as in. There were no AC units, but they do have ginormous fans (though they weren't enough to hide the init). I immediately thought of leaving the place but decided not to, since this would be the first time rin that I would dine in Kamay Kainan.
Once seated, we were immediately given a plate of lechon. Now, I'm not a big fan of lechon, but I do eat and enjoy lechon. When I tried the skin, it was not crispy, and was very makunat that I was not able to finish that one cut. I tried the meat, it was bland and cold, and dipping it in their sauce didn't help much.
When we went to the buffet area, I noticed that most of the dishes were cold :( I don't like eating cold food because it pretty much affects the taste, and I am no picky eater since I am a self-confessed big food lover. So medyo turn-off when I saw that they do not have uhm, not sure what they're called, but yung parang mga candles or mini-stove that keep the food hot. Although the dishes were in a kawali that was on top of what looked like mini-stoves, the dished weren't hot. Except for the soup.
For the main dishes, they had kare-kare, sugpo, lumpia, tokwa't baboy, fried porkchop, pinakbet, binagoongang baboy, sinigang, nilaga, diniguan, soup, sinangag na kanin, chopsuey, tinola, bopis, plain rice, pansit, fried lechon manok, adobo and pipinong may suka (hahaha not sure what to call this dish).
The dessert section looked quite forlorn, and er, deserted (if you know what I mean). I am a HUGE fan of desserts, I instantly get kilig when eating desserts so imagine my dismay when I saw the dessert section. Ito pa man din yung una kong hinahanap when going to any buffet resto. They had what looked like puddings, Japanese cake, pineapple cuts (and a whole pineapple na pang-display lang ata), cucumber+carrot slices, saging con yelo (na walang yelo), some dark bread (don't know what it is) and pandan salad that is not cold. They also have avocado-flavored home-made sorbetes (ice cream). I tried a few scoops of sorbetes and a piece of the Japanese cake. The avocado flavored sorbetes tasted okay, but I only had one cup, eh normally I could go for as many as 10 cups of ice cream, that's how big of a dessert lover I am. The Japanese cake.... tasted uhm, "meh". Mas masarap pa yung tig-limang piso na binebenta malapit sa elementary public school near where I live. And may cheese pa yun. Haha.
For the main dishes, I always go for my all time favorites first: adobo and kare-kare. I got a cup of kare-kare and two chunks of adobo. The adobo tasted okay, but nothing special to it. The kare-kare, however, tasted really bad. The sauce was not thick, it didn't have a hint of peanut in it and it was so bland (I know that kare-kare really is supposed to be bland pero iba yung pagka-bland eh huhu). The alamang didn't help much to improve the flavor. I was very disappointed because these two dishes are my favorites, I could live for a whole month eating nothing else but these two + some rice of course (100% Pinay yata 'to teh, haha).
|My plate. Ang lungkot tignan, huhuhu.|
I also tried their fried porkchop, and uhm, by this time, I pretty much know na what to expect - and I was right. The porkchop's breading tasted like it was doused with a lot of flour and egg, and that's it. Parang walang asin or paminta man lang huhu. My friend said na the bopis was too oily, he tried pressing it with a fork - pwede na magprito sa dami ng mantikang lumabas huhuhu.
|My friend's plate.|
Their fried lumpia and soup was by far the best among all the other food that I've tasted. Their lumpia was partnered with a sweet-tasting vinegar dip, and it was really good. The soup was also good - it was hot and thick, although it sort of tasted like the powdered soups by Knorr.
For the resto's ambience, aside from it being not well ventilated, I didn't like the music they were playing - which was rap. Parang it felt like it was not appropriate, haha or I don't know. All in all, I honestly wouldn't recommend this buffet, most specially to foreigners wanting to eat in a restaurant offering Pinoy dishes. It would undoubtedly misrepresent our beautiful and delicious array of world-class cuisine.
Any thoughts, comments? They would be very much welcome in this blog :)