Manila’s best buffet, Spiral can be overwhelming at first. With 21 dining ateliers or artist’s special workshops, as what Sofitel Manila calls the various food sections, you would be hard pressed where to start or what to eat. That was the challenge I first encountered, but having dined here several times already, I have come to frequent specific sections and just know where to go during a visit.
Below are my favorite ateliers.
1 Salad and Appetizers
I usually start here. I’m not much of a salad person but I do love their appetizers that are meticulously plated or artfully displayed in small glasses or ceramic bowls, or on soup spoons or mason like jars. The pureed juices are quite refreshing while pieces of coiled cold cuts or slices of tofu covered with roe like beads are gastronomically memorable.
The salad produce are organic and local. You can actually request the chef to prepare or toss one for you.
I head to this atelier if I will not have an appetizer or as something before dessert. This is a haven for the cheese lover with various kinds of French, Spanish, German, Swiss and Italian cheeses and locally produced, especially from Malagos in Davao City.
There are different premium aged meats, ham and charcuterie. Then pair these with fruit jams, sun dried tomatoes, sauces and other condiments. Most people call this the Cheese Room and most always speak of it with delight.
3 Wood fired oven
Ah, freshly baked pizza! I often get a slice or two of cheese or pepperoni or what’s available. I love the thin crust, lots of melted mozzarella and that taste that only a brick oven can produce. Ingredients are fresh and you won’t be disappointed with the authentic flavor.
4 French stove
Foie gras eat all you can? This is definitely one of the most in-demand dishes at this atelier and fresh servings are usually gone in minutes that you might have to wait while it’s being prepared. You’d be spoilt for choice. There are grilled food, roasted meat or seafood and regional French cuisine. At times, they have dishes prepared in beautiful Moroccan tajines.
After the French stove and to cleanse my palate to prepare it for more heavy dishes, fresh seafood at this atelier is next. While I always envy the cooked and split spanner crab, curacha for you, I just find it messy to eat and as a norm, I usually skip the crabs when eating at restaurants. But then, the slipper lobsters, prawns and shucked oysters, all fresh, make up for the crab. While there are different sauces available, I prefer these seafood as is.
6 Sushi and sashimi
This is my other option other than the L’ecailler. It refreshes the palate too and who can go wrong with sushi and sashimi? There are lots of options here, from sushi to sashimi, from temaki to nigiri, all prepared by masterful chefs. You can actually observe them as they make these delectable food.
Brazilian churrasco is available at Spiral and it has a wide selection of meats and seafood with matching sauces and herbs. You can have your steak as you want it, succulent and quite tasty. It can be heavy that’s why I usually have a small piece, just enough to satisfy a craving or make the taste buds happy.
8 Peking duck oven
If I find the churrasco quite heavy and prefer a lighter one, I usually drop by here. The peking duck is meticulously prepared but sometimes you have to wait in line. But the slices of pork asado and, especially the pork with quite crunchy skin, ala lechon kawali is succulent and quite satisfying and I usually get a few pieces.
9 Steam basket
I’m still traditional and this is my favorite in Chinese cuisines. There are siao long pao, various dumplings and sio mai in bamboo steamers. These are filling morsels but have to be taken in few pieces if you still want to try the other ateliers. Spiral just makes these well!
10 La Patisserie
A fitting ending to a sumptuous buffet meal! I am a dessert person and the various kinds of cakes and French pastries available in bite sized pieces or slices is the most awaited part! And what makes it more inviting? Desserts are displayed in rows inside glass topped trays that slides out. It’s well lighted and the sight of all those sweets can be a challenge to select as almost all are so delicious!
The above are my faves. But sometimes, I go for the french bread at the La Boulangerie paired with their herbed butter. The french bread is crusty outside but soft and chewy inside. I love the way the crust breaks as you bite into it. The Asian Noodles atelier is also interesting. You get to see the chef manually prepare the noodles. The North Indian provides a different kind of spicy flavor that I keep to a minimum.
For dessert? The Chocolaterie has so much to chose from and other than the truffles and pralines, I sometimes get pieces of the asymmetrically cut nut and fruit covered chocolates.
The Creamery on the other hand has such delicious ice cream and sherbets and the bibingka, traditional Filipino rice cakes with pieces of salted egg and topped with freshly grated coconut, butter and sugar is one of the best I’ve tasted!
Now, are you ready to have a great time at Spiral?
Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Manila CCP Complex
Pasay City 1300
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel:(+632) 551-5555 Fax: (+632) 832 6923