I’m the last person who will go to a buffet since the choices always overwhelm me and I don’t eat enough to merit the cost. But since I was invited by Sofitel to check out what’s new at Spiral I decided to go.
Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza is the largest buffet in the Manila. The restaurant occupies 2, 921 sq. meters or 31, 441 sq. feet. Boggles your mind right? Despite the huge size the seating capacity is only 452. Most of the space is occupied by 21 dining ateliers made up of : Salad and Appetizer, L’Écailler, Sushi Sashimi, L’Epicerie, Hot Japanese, French Stove, Rotisserie, Wood fired Oven, Churrasco, North Indian, Asian Noodles, Peking Duck Oven, Steam Baskets, Chinese Wok, Filipino, Thai, Korean, La Boulangerie, La Patisserie, Chocolaterie and Creamery.
The last time I ate at Spiral was in November 2012 when they just reopened after a US$11M renovation. Back then I wasn’t too impressed with their desserts but this time I was simply floored. I had the good fortune of sitting a table away from this really gorgeous chocolate and candy table.
Not only do these chocolates look good they taste heavenly too! I could have stayed at this area for the duration of my entire meal.
Tucked inside each drawer is a different candy that will thrill kids of all ages. I was too preoccupied with the chocolates that I neglected these goodies.
Before the cheese room was my favorite. Now the Chocolatier is where I want to live.
I want Chef Tweet Obsequio to be my new best friend. Her chocolates are really world class and I’m not exaggerating.
One of the changes in Spiral is you can now buy some of the food that you tasted and liked. No more regrets of not bring a Ziploc bag.
You can buy the chocolates per piece or in a box. Isn’t that a great thing? You can try first at the buffet before you buy. Each piece of chocolate cost P40.
There were only 4 whole cakes when I was there on a Wednesday.
Too bad the cakes didn’t have names but this chocolate dream was my ultimate favorite. More on this later.
Here’s the lay-out to the buffet to help you strategize on your next visit. You can use this guide to decide where you would like to sit. I will always sit near the chocolates.
I was planning to go back for this sukiyaki but I got distracted with all the food!
This time they had Malagos cheese from Davao.
The centerpiece of this atelier is the Bonnet French stove, a customized oven used by Michelin Star Chefs around the world, which weighs one ton of steel and costs P10M. The countertop of the stove served as a warmer for the cast iron enamel and copper pots filled with French food.
Just like last year I ate the most from this section. You may notice that the food aren’t labeled anymore. You are supposed to ask any one of the chefs what the food are and hopefully have a quick repartee. I was told mostly foreigners do this while most locals don’t mind not knowing what they are getting.
I was looking for the 3 day braised short ribs made by the female French chef but she’s gone now. This 24 hr version wasn’t as good and the red wine in the sauce was overwhelming and drowned out all other flavors.
WOOD FIRED OVEN
Want to buy steak, sausages and duck?
I want one of those super thick Boos Blocks butcher blocks all over the restaurant.
SALAD AND APPETIZER
New is this Shake and Go salad in jars. Grab a jar and add salad dressing of your choice and shake and eat.
This is their signature olive bread which they put on each table. I loved this warm crusty yet soft bread so much. I wish they sold this too. I wanted to eat more bread with cheese and cured meats but it was going to make me full fast.
At the entrance to the buffet is a counter with even more Filipino and imported delicacies as well as Spiral brand food items. I’m sure this is very popular with their foreign guests looking for pasalubongs.
I spotted some NBA players a day before their pre-season game in Manila.
This is just one of the 6 beautiful private dining rooms in Spiral.
The blueberry cooler was a nice refreshing drink but I would ask for the syrup on the side next time.
These are what I ate. You may notice that there’s almost an equal amount of food and dessert.
They make a mean mushroom soup. You can taste all the fresh mushroom used.
The uni, sea urchin, wasn’t on display at the sushi atelier but I asked for it and I was given two generous portions. One was for me to eat while the other one I took to the pasta bar to experiment on pasta. That’s another innovation with Spiral. You can take any ingredient from anywhere in the buffet and do whatever your imagination wants. I wish I thought of getting fresh lobster to the pasta bar for a scrumptious seafood pasta. You can also get whatever cheese you want from the L’Epecerie to add to your pasta or to top raw oysters and baked. The ideas are endless.
I wanted to recreate the uni pasta I had at Green Pastures so I had their chef make me this version with garlic, lemon juice, mussels and pine nuts. My mistake was adding pine nuts which overpowered the dish. It was also a bit dry and overcooked but I still ate it all.
I was quite upset with the frozen orange yogurt ice cream which didn’t taste like ice cream or yogurt or orange. It tasted like orange colored ice. This needs a LOT of improvement.
I wasn’t even planning to try the yellow chocolate coin thinking it was white chocolate but thank goodness I did. It was actually tart mango ganache (I’m sure made with a white chocolate base) with bits of dried mango and crispy rice atop solid dark chocolate. Soooo good and I’ve never tried anything like that anywhere else. I was also enamored with the dark chocolate mediant topped with a piece of almond, pecan and a melange of dried fruits. My new bff Chef Tweet (sshh she doesn’t know me yet) used top quality dark chocolate which I loved. I’m definitely buying more of these chocolates in the near future.
The citrus cheesecake and the chocolate caramel tart were good but what blew my taste buds was the dark chocolate mousse cake.
I don’t know what kind of chocolate they used but it was deep, dark and decadent. I wonder if they will sell me a whole cake?
Yup, a third serving of the chocolate cake topped with bit of crunchy and gooey things. That truffle dusted with cocoa powder was super dark and yummy too. I told Jane, the PR of Sofitel who toured me around that they should offer a dessert only buffet and I will be the first in line.
The price for the Spiral buffet depends on the time and day you go so check this chart below before you go. Whenever you go I can assure you there will be an overload of food and dessert selections. I didn’t even miss the foie gras which is only available at dinner time and Sundays. Prices are subject to change.