Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Buffet Dining at Cafe 1228 (New World Hotel, Makati)

I've dined at the New World Hotel probably half a dozen times in the past but haven't been there in a while. There are, after all, so many restaurants all over the metropolis that it would be almost foolish to keep coming back to even a favorite restaurant. Variety, as the spice of life, is what everyone prefers, isn't it? Last November, before flying to Maldives, I brought a friend to the hotel's Cafe 1228, located at the hotel's ground floor. The place is quite accessible because it is just across Greenbelt 3 right in the heart of Makati, Metro Manila's financial district - where a government parking building can cost up to PhP2.3 billion (wink wink). That's a whopping $52 million, if you can't count. But I am digressing.

I've recently taken my family back because they haven't been to New World. This post accounts for the two visits. During each visit, the "cafe", which seems a misnomer for a grandiose spread of epicurean delight, had credit card promo deals, i.e. a buffet plate is cut 50% off if you use the credit card that's hosting the promotional offer (BPI last November 2013, BDO this September 2014).

Moreover, a senior citizen enjoyss further discount. That adds to a lot of savings. All in all, a bill that should cost me PhP15,000 was slashed to a mere PhP7,250 (for a party of 6). How's that for discounts? What's sweeter, I didn't even go there for the promo. I just wanted to take my family out for a relaxing, albeit sumptuous dinner. Half-price was the bonus.

The restaurant offers 5 live-cooking stations, including a Pinoy table, a seafood spread, a salad-and-international spread and a dessert table. And though I am not particularly fond of sweets, I have to admit (without guilt!) that their dessert selection is to-die-for. My favorite though is the seafood table where you could pick your choice of crabs, shrimps, oysters, clams or fish (e.g. snapper, grouper, tilapia, etc.) and have them "cooked" according to your own preference. I like them soaked in garlic - and I have one heavenly viand (below) that lets you drool pre-prandial and after. If I could choose a single dish here, this would be it - crabs and shrimp in garlic sauce. They cook it so well that the chambers are easily broken into pieces, yet the meat is left tender, not macerated. How's that for a contrast of gastronomic preference?

My favorite

I usually pick a little of (almost) everything. That way, I get to taste several of them then come back for seconds of what I found most delectable during the first haul. Yup, haul. You should see other people's plates - the way they pile them up like it was going to be their last meal before they croak and go to heaven.

Their "adobo" should be mentioned for its exquisite cooking, taste and quality of meat (pork and chicken). After all, what is Pinoy Food without the "adobo"? What I like about Cafe 1228 is its relaxed ambiance and the sprawl of the restaurant. Even during peak hours, the place doesn't feel like a culinary zoo. Ironically, my Monday visit was busier than the weekend dinner I had - so it's hard to second guess a more relaxed day.

Plus point includes chatting with one of their chefs who ears his toque to check out or even welcome the crowd. A pastry chef whispered, and "insisted", that I try their pannacota so I did and I was blown away by its sinful taste. Apple crumble? Lemon cheesecake? Have I gone to heaven? If it seemed that way, that wasn't a bad time to be on Earth.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

My first plate during my first (November) visit.

Pick a seafood and have them cook your plateful while you wait at your table.

I prefer a table away from the buffet spreads.

The Filipino spread includes your rice, menudo, adobo, etc.

My dessert plate during my second visit (September 2014).

They call this spread "fruit sushi". One look and you're full. :)

You could choose an intimate table for your date.


New World Hotel, a 584-room, 25-floor deluxe hotel built in 1993 (but recently renovated in 2014), has 5 restaurants. They include Club Epicure (for exclusive members), The Lounge (for dining with live entertainment), Jasmine (for classic Cantonese cuisine), Bar Rouge (for evening cocktails and Cuban cigars) and Cafe 1228. Buffet is offered here. The restaurant is open from 6AM to 12 midnight and also offers a la carte menu. Yup, burgers and pasta could be had here. To book a table and reserve, call (632)811-6888 and have it connected to Cafe 1228. Please do not ask this blogsite for reservations and bookings. New World Hotel is located along Esperanza Street in Makati's Ayala Center just across Greenbelt 3.

Check out their website here -

Facebook account here - https://www.facebook.com/NewWorldMakatiHotel.

Photo #2 and this photo only courtesy of the hotel's website.

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