Spiral

An area I love visiting in the city is Roxas Boulevard. Remove the hustle and bustle and it is still reminiscent of the Manila I used to drive by as a child. I get this feeling of nostalgia inside which makes me so proud to be a part of our country and culture when I am there. That being said, one of my favorite hotels in the metro is Sofitel. I love that it is 20 minutes away from my house and I can dine poolside and take in a pretty view of the ocean. I also appreciate the hospitality of the staff, there is always a friendly smile to welcome or assist you.

When in a hotel, I tend to judge the food by the quality of their buffet. I guess because it is the most accesible when you are a guest and also the more reasonable option as they tend to throw in a lot of freebies. Spiral is the buffet of Sofitel. I remember being heartbroken a few years ago when I learned that it was completely ruined by the flood that hit because asides from the obvious tragedy, it was also a nice in town getaway. Since they have re opened, Spiral has only improved. Not only did they rebuild but they have completely elevated the quality of their food. It is not like your typical buffet which has a wide array of food but is just mediocre. Most of what I had tasted good.

I will admit, that this buffet is quite an undertaking. It is overwhelming to have so many options that look interesting. The only advice I can give is to come hungry so you can try as many things as you like and keep coming back for your favorites. In a buffet I usually stick to my go to items like japanese, dimsum and  the carving station. Here, I prioritized the different cuisines. The Indian section was particularly good. The chef prepares a good mix of authentic dishes. I also enjoyed the Laksa that you can get in the noodle station. And of course, I returned to the infamous cheese room 3 times. Their selection is great and I appreciated the freshness of the cold meat. Oh yes, one more piece of advice… Leave room for dessert! If you like ice cream, cakes, candies, cookies, crepes or even our local fare, they have it ALL.

I cannot lie, I did not sample everything you see here. But I tried to photograph as much as possible so I could share it all with you. Enjoy!

One of the private dining rooms, perfect for a big group

BREAD

Bread Selection

Tapanade, Oil and Vinegar or bread dipping

SALAD AND NOODLE STATIONS

Salad Bar

Pasta Fixins

Make Your Own Pasta

Noodle Fixins

Make Your Own Noodle Soup

THE CHEESE ROOM

FRESH SHELLFISH

Dipping Sauces for the Fresh Shellfish

CARVING STATION

Meat Selection

Flavored Salt

CHINESE DIMSUM

Lemon Chicken

Beef in Oyster Sauce

Broccoli

JAPANESE

Sashimi

Sushi

Sukiyaki

Teppanyaki

Tonkatsu

Tempura

THAI

Fish Cakes

Squid

Phad Thai

Asparagus

KOREAN

Korean Barbecue and Pajeon

Japchae

Kimchi

FILIPINO

Pork Adobo

Ginataang Sitaw

Pusit

Our Local Version of Chicken ala Kiev

Fresh Lumpia

 

Karekare

Filipino Dipping Sauces

FRENCH

INIDIAN

PIZZA

Pizza Station

Here were some of my lunch options…

Boysenberry Slush

Ceasar Salad

Pan Seared Foie Gras

Gnocchi with Pancetta

Prime Rib

DESSERT

An Assortment of Cakes and Pastries – Creme Brulee, Carrot Cake, Rum Baba, Cheesecake, Vanilla Milk Pudding with Caramel Sauce, Crunchy Dark Chocolate Mousse, Paris Brest, Mango Coconut Tapioca, Chocolate Caramel Tart & Vanilla Panna Cota with Mango Salsa

Chocolate & Orange White Chocolate Fountain

Fresh Fruit

 

Cookies

Crepe Station

Homemade Ice Cream and Toppings

FILIPINO SWEETS

Kakanins

Fresh Bibinka

Ube Palitaw

Halo Halo Station

CANDY BAR

Assorted Candies

Sour Straps

Jelly Beans

Chocolate Rocks

Berry Gummies

THE CHOCOLATE ROOM

The Spirals buffet is priced at the following: P1,720 net for Breakfast from Monday through Friday for adults and P983 for children while weekends are P1,900 for adults and 1,106 for children. P3,431.94 net for Lunch from Monday through Saturday for adults and P1,352 for children. P2,800.41 net for Dinner from Sunday through Thursday for adults and P1,596.73 for children. P3,623.34 net for Sunday Brunch for adults and P1,843 for children. P3,046 net for dinner on Friday and Saturday for adults and P3,046 for children.

 

Anniversary Lunch at Antonio’s

Today marks my 6th year wedding anniversary. This year, it also happens to fall on Black Saturday.  Keeping with our holy week tradition of taking our family down to Tali beach in Batangas, we were blessed to already be on vacation to celebrate. And since we were just a half hour’s drive to the Chapel we got married in, we decided to visit and say a prayer of thanks. Content with our plan, I deposited my 3 little ones to my mom and sisters for safe-keeping. My sneaky husband though, wanted to add a special surprise so he prepared a set menu with Antonio’s for a delicious afternoon date.

Antonio’s is truly one of my all time favorite restaurants. So rarely do I find a place that is consistent every single time I return. Even the other restaurants, Antonio’s Grill and Breakfast at Antonio’s have never disappointed me. I have seen Chef Tonyboy in action many times when working with him and he is truly a master. Asides from the wonderful food, his eye for aesthetics is impeccable and it is manifested through the sheer beauty of his restaurant. Upon arriving, guests are already in awe. Whether it is through the well-tended gardens or surrounding foliage, the combination of wood and tile that floors the grounds or the pretty chandeliers that hang from the ceilings, anywhere you look is a sight to behold. Antonio’s captivates all senses. The music which plays ever so softly was obviously carefully chosen to only accent the sounds of nature – crickets, the faint blowing of the wind, or the water echoes from the pond. And if that isn’t enough to keep you from coming back, regardless of how long the drive, they have an amazing staff, all of which are friendly and knowledgeable.

Koi Fishpond and Greenery inside Antonio’s

We sat in my favorite table, the same one I sat in on our 1st anniversary, right beside the koi fishpond. In the mood for something refreshing to sooth my sun burned skin, I started with the apple ginger slush. It came in a carafe and the ice in the glass was made from the juice so that it would not get watered down. It is something so simple but it is also that attention to detail that I appreciate. The taste was heavenly. The ginger infusion was strong so if you are not a fan this drink may not be for you. They have other blends though so I am sure you will find one to suit your taste.

Apple Ginger Ice Cubes

Apple Ginger Slush

Being a set menu, we jumped right into the salad. I love almost all the salads they serve there because the greens are so fresh. The colors literally pop off the plate. They are crisp, light and each leaf holds its own flavor. The one we got had their famous raspberry vinaigrette, which was perfectly accented with a generous amount of blue cheese, walnuts and dried cranberries and blueberries.

Mini Baguette with Whipped Butter

Antonio’s Farm Fresh Mesclun Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Our second course was a hot kohlrabi soup with pancetta. It had a similar flavor to cream of mushroom soup but a lot smoother, which again was delicious. I would have preferred to have it on a cool evening but still it warmed my tummy and satisfied me. Though I couldn’t really taste the pancetta so if you are craving for that flavor it may not shine through. The froth was a nice touch; it made the creamy soup feel lighter.

Kohlrabi and Pancetta Soup

Our palate cleanser was calamansi and sili labuyo sorbet. This was one of my favorite parts of the meal. It managed to make something frozen bring heat to your mouth. It was a fantastic play of flavors with the sour and sweet notes from the calamansi and the spicy after taste.

Calamansi and Sili Labuyo Sorbet

The fourth course was a lovely chateaubriand, which was cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The crust was crisp and flavorful while the inside was very tender (the knife cut through like butter). It had a play of herbs that was almost tea like. It was so tasty that it the muted steamed broccoli and cauliflower accompaniment was perfect. My husband also opted to pair his steak with olive rice. Imagine garlic rice but using minced green and black olives instead. If you are an olive lover, this comes highly recommended. Because it was my anniversary, I decided to treat myself to their tomato risotto, which is one of my favorite items of the menu. The texture is wonderfully creamy and it is the perfect play of tomato, basil and fresh Parmesan cheese. Pure comfort food!

Chateaubriand with Bearnaise Sauce

Salt Crusted Chateaubriand

Slicing the Beef

Olive Rice Side

Tomato Risotto Side

We ended on a sweet note… Even desserts they get right. We started with a vanilla bourbon pecan ice cream, which was smooth and velvety. I loved how the flavor of the bourbon really came through which evened out the sweetness. The pecans added a wonderful bite to the texture. This was followed by their famous Felchlin Maracaibo chocolate terrine with double cream and roasted pistachio. As always, it was rich and creamy and crunchy and perfect.

Vanilla Bourbon and Pecan Ice Cream

Felchlin Maracaibo Chocolate Terrine with Double Cream and Roasted Pistachio

As always, my experience was beautiful. I love how I feel the same way today as I did on my first anniversary. Completely in love with both the restaurant and my delicious date.

At Caleruega, Our Wedding Chapel taken on March 30,2007 by Pat Dy

Antonio’s is located in Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, Cavite. For reservations please call (046)4130975