Champagne buffet, tapas, and other good eats at Alfred (GMA News Online)

Raclette and champagne will please your palates

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last February 9, 2016)

All-you-can-eat restaurants have become a trend these past couple of years. It’s now a dime a dozen—you’d see them in high-end hotels and in commercial malls, too.

But not all buffet spreads are created equal. Some have mundane munchies that would fill your belly but not necessarily make for a happy tummy. Others would surpass your gastronomic expectations with its gourmet offerings.

One such place where I would happily not count calories is Alfred, the 24-hour restaurant of Makati Diamond Residences.

Champagne every day, why not?

I immediately liked the simple yet sophisticated vibe of the restaurant when I walked in for lunch the first time I went there. It felt open and spacious because of its high ceiling. It had floor to ceiling neutral drapes with natural sunlight coming in from one side. There were U-shaped upholstered seats for the round tables, stylish lighting fixtures, and an elegant orchid centerpiece in the middle.

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8 ways to enjoy new buffet place The Pantry (GMA News Online)

Sinfully sweet treats at the dessert station

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last October 5, 2015)

Buffets offer diverse food options ranging from hearty meat dishes to healthy greens. The Pantry at Dusit Thani is the newest one I have visited, and it is not your run-of-the-mill buffet.

I confess, I sometimes feel overwhelmed at buffets simply because of the abundance of food. I feel paralyzed and don’t know where to start. So if you’re like me, it’s best to have a game plan to have a good buffet experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind to enjoy The Pantry.

1. Bring a big appetite

Skip breakfast if you know you’re going to have buffet for lunch. Maybe have some coffee and toast, but make sure to leave space for the delicious food you’ll soon have in your belly.

The Pantry has nine global stations: the Chinese bao bar, the Indian Tandoor oven, the brick oven pizza area, the salad station, the seafood station, the carving station, the dessert station, the beverage studio, and a takeaway counter called Grab & Go.

The Pantry observes three to four cycle changes in its menu. “That means, if you come for lunch today, tomorrow and the next day, it would be a different lunch every day,” said Chef Nicolas Issel. “What people really love, obviously we’re going to keep. We’re going to interchange and switch up as I feel is necessary. I always like to change up the technique or the presentation. The change will be a natural progression as we go along.” – See more at:

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