Monday, March 14, 2011

Imperial Palace Buffet Lunch

It’s the biggest buffet in Cebu! Literally!

Ah you’ll get bored at the story how I started out on this lunch… but you deserve it, if only for you to know what to expect, okay?! So, it was another “anyongaseo” encounter for me entering the “Familia Buffet Restaurant” (girl who received me at the entrance is also a Korean staff). Of course I again said I am no Korean, I received another apology, the lunch stub was detached from my ‘ticket card’ and I was let into the door. Another crew, this time in “wait staff” uniform and Pinay ushered me in, suggesting tables where I might be interested to sit, and she was speaking in English hehe. I just went strolling amongst the many tables, until I thought those smaller ones (good for 2) by the closed glass doors/walls that led into the outside gardens would be a fine place for me.

Nge! The girl was following me all along hahaha, and I got a bit startled when she asked from behind me what I wanted for a drink as soon as I was settled in that table. There were so many choices and I was getting tired listening to her litany of drinks, mainly since I was sure I was not going to choose any of those juices and shakes she was reciting. So I cut her short with a hard-to-find and very rare drink called… “coke” hehehe! Of course I was joking and she bought my joke whahehehe! She however tried to convince me that this and that juice was fresh from the fruit and this and that shake was made out of fresh fruits and so on. And then I was not joking when I said… “that’s my final answer… COKE”!

Now now… as indicated in other blog entries, I am not good at describing food. Am more reliable in devouring them than painting them a thousand words hehe. But let me attempt to describe them for you my avid readers so you’d know what to expect. Foremost, I already said it, this is the biggest regular buffet in the whole of Cebu. And I will stand on that. Food is laid out in a long, probably 30 or so meters of floor area. Its not all. There are islands. Yep, buffet islands for the breads, salads, desserts, drinks and other what have yas. The rice alone came in 3 kinds, or was that four choices?!

Pasta? Noodles? Pancit? Ah I don’t know how to classify them. All I know is that there was the regular pancit bihon, there was also the thicker yellow noodles, there was those glass-colored noodles also called pancit; and they come in either the sautéed kind or those that swim in delectable broth. Yep, some were definitely Filipino, others were Korean, and yet others, I don’t know where from. Those are aside from the regular western types of different colored, differently shaped noodles that you mix with differently colored sauces of different consistencies hehe. Hey, I think there were something like 6 or 7 different kinds of salads in what is called a ‘salad-bar’ from vegetables to macaroni to fruits and crustaceans all surrounded by a multitude of smaller containers where you scoop your choice of sauce, dressing or whatever they are called. Verdict, I liked everything. Am no fan of anything 'halaman' but OMG I even liked the 'eggplant and tomato salad'. "Grilled Chicken With Rancher Sauce" is also a salad and delectable. I liked the shrimps of course... oh, was it supposed to be a garnish? Sorry nalang, I scooped tons of it hehe, cuz it went well with just abut everything like the cold crisp halaman and even croutons with vinaigrette hehehe!

The soups were not to be outdone. They also came in different kinds, from the clear Asian broths to those thick western cream of whatevers. And the breads were too many to sample each, though I still did haha. Surprisingly, there were not too many spicy Korean fares as I expected they would dominate the buffet owing to the majority of diners in this place. Most prominent and rightfully popular were the Japanese kinds of food and I can’t seem to decide if I should sample each type of maki or sushi as there were just too many kinds. And I had to sample tempura of all kinds. But yes, I love the shrimps hehe. Hey, that big aquarium-looking kitchen near the Japanese fare was bustling with an army of chefs real and wannabes. They themselves were entertaining to watch.

There was lechon baboy and other things made of pork; there was lechon manok and other fares that would fly when alive hehe; there was roast beef and other things made of beef; and the fish dishes were dizzying as I couldn’t decide which not to try. This is one buffet where the rule of the wise seems likely to be ‘just pick a piece or morsel of each so you can sample everything’. Otherwise, you better bring out your reserve stomach if you have one hahaha!!

The desserts that come in various shapes, colors and sizes are not to be outshone. They after all occupy a whole island that teemed with just all of them and the fruits. You’d feel you are not getting your money’s worth if you look at it from the point of view of what have you not sampled yet. Then you think, you are only human and can only eat so much hahaha. There is just a plethora of eatables in this buffet you would hesitate drinking anything lest your already full stomach become anything more bloated hehe. Hey, some of the desserts are too delicately and beautifully presented to be eaten. Yet they all are for anyone to gobble!

Hah, this is one such time where I declared upon myself that eating, sometimes, make me figuratively and really literally dizzy. And I must say sorry to the crabs that seemed to be inviting my tongue over at the paella pan. I had to shun them in favor of lobsters and the easier to handle shrimps hehe. Yes, I had to forego many others especially on the sweet and fancy parade of colorful desserts, chocolates included.

Question: why only a few pics in here? Answer: hello, I only have 2 hands, both busy feeding the mouth
!

Capping everything with some of the desserts I still could afford to ingest, I went out to the outside tables for a breath of breezy air with my coke and cigarettes as really, the binge was getting me sleepy. Stayed there looking out into the garden and took my grand sweet time until I thought the sun was bearable enough for me to hit the waterpark.

Oh yes, the waterpark hehe, all the food almost made me forget about it. So let's go there in the next entry?

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