Located right in the heart of the city, Manila Hotel is known to be the oldest premiere hotel in the country. Since it opened in 1912, the hotel has also served as the home to a great number of notable figures in history like General Douglas MacArthur, Michael Jackson, and even the Beatles!
However, aside from its history and its classic interiors, another thing that gets people to keep coming back and visiting this hotel is Cafe Ilang Ilang, their buffet restaurant which brings together the cuisines from all over the world. The restaurant has 8 live cooking stations – Asian, Mediterranean, European, Western, Pan-Asian, Italian, Churrasco, and Desserts – all of which features a wide selection of delectable dishes to try.
Curious to know all the dishes to try before you visit Cafe Ilang Ilang? Here's your quick guide to the buffet's stations:
Kick off your Cafe Ilang Ilang experience by checking out their Appetizers Section. Here, you get to pick from all the different kinds of salads, breads, and cheese that they have available. Looking for something to pair your cheese with? Check out the Italian section, where you can indulge in their high-quality cold cuts, risotto, and other Italian favorites. You can even have their chefs cook whatever kind of pasta and pizza you're craving for here!
When you're ready for something heavier, head over to the Seafood Section, pick from the crabs, mussels, shrimps, and oysters on display, and have the chefs cook them just the way you like it. There's the Pan-Asian Section, divided into different "sub-sections", so you have a choice between different cuisines.
Of course, these stations don't lack the number of good dishes to try and love. But if there's something you shouldn't miss, it's definitely these: the Chinese station's Roasted Peking Duck, Korea's Galbi, and the classic Lechon from the Philippines.
The Japanese section is separated from the rest of the Asian section, and that's because it's larger than the others. Aside from sushi and sashimi which are staples in every buffet, Cafe Ilang Ilang also has an area for a variety of hot Japanese dishes and a teppanyaki area where you can ask the chefs to cook your choice of meat or seafood however you want.
Another area unique to the buffet is their Halal Section, whose kitchen is separate from the others'. In fact, Cafe Ilang Ilang is known to be the first hotel dining that has received a halal certification. So whether or not you're Muslim and/or Middle Eastern, you can always try out the dishes here and be assured of healthy and delicious dishes. Some of the popular dishes you can find here are the Beef Rendang, Kambing Caldereta, and Beef Rogan Josh.
At the Churrasco Section, you get to pick from the meat they have available, from Hungarian Sausage and Back Ribs to the more premium US Churrasco Beef. Like your beef well-done? You could even ask the chefs here to cook the meat again to make sure it fits perfectly to your taste. Afterwards, you can choose from the variety of sauces they have! (The chef recommends having your beef with chimichuri and gravy.)
No matter how full you already are, make sure you won't be missing on Cafe Ilang Ilang's decadent dessert section which features a decadent selection of gelato, cakes, Filipino kakanin, and even fruits. Available here are different flavors of gelato – from strawberry and mango to ube and buko pandan – but if there's something you must try, it's definitely their Ferrero-flavored one.
For the kakanin, you may find here freshly-cooked bibingka and puto bumbong, so you get to have a taste of these favorites even if it's not Christmas yet. They also have a variety of cakes to choose from; so even if you're watching your weight and are looking for a sugar-free alternative, you're sure to find something to indulge in here.
Here's a virtual tour around Cafe Ilang Ilang, so you can slay the buffet the next time you visit:
- Breakfast: 6:00AM to 10:30AM
- Lunch: 11:30AM to 2:30 PM
- Dinner: 6:00PM to 10:30PM
- Breakfast Buffet (Mondays to Saturdays): P1500
- Brunch (Sundays only): P2625 (with bottomless chilled juices)
- Lunch (Mondays to Saturdays): P2375
- Dinner (Themed Nights)
- Mondays – INternational Buffet: P2675
- Tuesdays – Mediterranean Night: P2675
- Wednesdays – Asian NIght: P2675
- Thursdays: Surf and Turf Night: P3270
- Fridays – Seafood Night: P3270
- Saturdays – American Night: P3270
- Sundays – International Buffet: P2675