Cafe Ilang-Ilang: International Lunch Buffet (The Manila Hotel)

Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

Cafe Ilang-Ilang is my aunts favorite hotel buffetDue to my hectic schedule, I somehow missed every opportunity to try it until last week.

cafe ilang ilang
It was a bright setting as its glass windows allowed the sunlight to radiate across it.

cafe ilang ilang
Aside from cozy sofa chairs, it also had long table settings for bigger group. 

cafe ilang ilang
I noticed that they have an exclusive kitchen for the preparation of halal dishes.  I'm sure many will appreciate this.


Bread Station
cafe ilang ilang
Cafe Ilang-Ilang has the most bountiful variation of pastries among all hotel buffets I've been to.  It also has a lot of choices for a spread (i.e. cheese, jams and fruit toppings).

Salads and Cold Cuts Station
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I found Cafe Ilang-Ilang's make your own salad section quite enticing.  It had the freshest greens and toppings with lots of dressing to choose from such as Strawberry Vinaigrette, Apple Cider Vinaigrette and Thousand Island Dressing.  There are also prepared salads such as Tofu and Tuna Salad, Seafood Salad and Coleslaw.  I enjoyed the Caulli-flower Panna Cotta with Truffle, Scallop with Seasonal Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Salmon.  Other cold options include Duck Pate, Seafood Terrine and Pork Terrine.

Seafood Station
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The Seafood Station is pretty hard to ignore.  There are fresh and large Oysters which are sweet and succulent just the way I love them.

Japanese Station
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The Japanese Station offers Sashimi, Sushi and Maki, Japanese Fried Rice, Chicken Teriyaki, Kani Bacon, Katsu and Tempura.  I'm very happy with their Sake (Salmon) Sashimi and Mackarel Sashimi.  I'm also glad to find that Inari Sushi is available and quite good actually.

Korean Station
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There were a lot of fellow Tsinoy diners there.  While I was deciding what to try from the Korean Station, I heard them speak in Chinese that the Korean selections were no good.  That of course, didn't stop me from trying them out.  The Kimchi Soup was very good.  But, the Beef Bulgogi and Squid Dish needed improvement.  They have a wide range of Ban Chan (Korean side dishes), Sauces and Pastes too.

Chinese Station 
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The selections at the Chinese Stations were as bountiful as the rest.  Hot Pot or Shabu-Shabu lovers should rejoice because they have them!  I devoured over the Peking Duck (you can also have them in wraps) and PatatimI missed trying the Fried Rice and Shrimp Orange Sauce which also looks good.  If those are not enough to fill your belly, the Dimsum Selections are good too especially the Seafood Taro Puff.

Carving Station
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Roasted Sirloin
The Roasted Sirloin is of course, the highlight of the buffet.  No elaboration needed for it right?

Mongolian Station

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The Mongolian Station looked very enticing but the my belly doesn't know how to handle it anymore so I had to pass up.

Filipino Station
I usually skip the Filipino Station but not this time.  Cafe Ilang-Ilang's Filipino choices were really good especially the♥  Steamed Lapu-Lapu and Sinigang na Tadyang ng Baboy sa Gabi at Sampaloc.

Thai Station
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I enjoyed every selection in the Thai Station especially the Chicken with Basil and Prawn Curry.  But, I missed the Mango Salad.

Middle Eastern Station
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For starters, you can try the Hummus Tahini, Mung Salad, Acar Salad and Kachumber.  You can enjoy the dips with their hot NaanBut, don't indulge there too much as you have to try their delicious Samosa, Yellow Ghul, Chicken Tikka and Shawarma.  Unfortunately, the Lamb Chops was a bit tough for me.

Italian Station
cafe ilang ilang
One of my favorites is the Italian Station because its actually a live cooking station.  You can watch as fresh pizza is cooked from the brick oven.  For appetizers, there's Insalata Caprese Salad and Cold Cuts.  But, what really impressed us is the Prawn Ravioli with Coconut Sauce and Lemon Grass and Escargot Risotto (both specialty dishes prepared by their Italian chef) and Mushroom Pizza.

Grilled Station
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There's Grilled Lapu-Lapu, Salmon Marinated in Miso and Shrimp Skewer in the Grilled Station.

Churrasco Station
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This is the first time I've encountered a Churrasco Station.  I found the selections quite fun.  There's US Roast Beef Churrasco, Baby Back Ribs (love this!) and Hungarian Sausages. You can mix and match them with their sauces and toppings: Barbecue Sauce, Habanero Salsa, Chimichurri, Mohlo Campnha, Grilled Onions, Grilled Pineapple and Grilled Asparagus.

Dessert Station 
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Seeing all the colors of the beautiful cakes, I thought I was floating in heaven.  There's Biscottini, Macarons: Ube, Pistachio, HazelnutBlueberry, Strawberry, Coffee and Tiramisu.  The Ube and Pistachio are specialty dishes and based on my experience, you can't go wrong with any of their specialty dishes.  There's a Crepe Station if you're into that.  But, I bet it's the cakes that will surely entice you.  There's Mango Cheesecake, Pistachio Opera Cake, Black Forest Cake, Carrot Cake, Ohaina Cake, Chocolate Mousse, Panna Cotta, Creme Brulee and Orange Opera Cake.  I tried all their cakes and every cake that had chocolate in them is a definite must try especially the Black Forest Cake.  I can tell that they use premium rich dark chocolate.   There's also Petit Fours, Cream Puffs, Matcha Chocolate, Baclava, Bibingka, Puto Bumbong, Halo-Halo (with creamy leche flan), Chocolate Fondue, Cookies, Candies, Jellies and Fresh Fruits.   Even if you find the selections quite overwhelming, don't miss the Gelato Station.  The Pistachio and Ferrero is a must try!

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Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Cafe Ilang-Ilang is one of the most expansive hotel buffets I've tried.  To be honest, the only thing that would me back from indulging in it more is the price.  So I'm very glad they have now made it more affordable.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Cafe Ilang-Ilang Rates
Ambiance Breakfast Buffet - 1,450 php
Mon-Sat Lunch Buffet - 2,150 php
Sunday Brunch Buffet - 2,400 php
Sat-Wed Dinner Buffet - 2,450 php

Thurs-Fri Dinner Buffet - 2,950 php
=Favorites or Recommended 
Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Business Address The Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, 
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours Breakfast: 6am-11am
Lunch: 11 am-2:30pm
Dinner:  6pm-10:30am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 2,200-3,500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 527-0011
Other  Website
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