I’ve been wondering why our chefs in the consultancy have been oh-so busy the past few weeks that every time I see them, all they could tell me was “Vikings”. So finally, we were given the great chance to be one of the first batches to eat in this grand new buffet in SM by the bay. I am a huge fan of great buffets. For one, I’ve always compared all buffets to my standard: The Four Seasons Jazz brunch as well as the Price vs quality idea. So for your P888…which is translatable to about P900+ tax inclusive…what can you get at Vikings?
From the name alone you can already tell that this place is nowhere near your “cheap” and low quality buffet. The real vikings from Scandinavia were known to eat a huge variety of meat, seafood and drank beverages including…BEER. So it’s no wonder that our first inclusive-in-the-buffet subject would be the unlimited soda, juice, coffee, shakes (I don’t know if the shakes are unlimited due to their soft opening…so go..now.) and tada BEER ON TAP! Yes, you can drink all the beer you want! All the sodas and juices you want…and it is inclusive in your buffet price. This is something you seldom see in Manila! This this part excite you or what? I think the idea of unlimited beer can already draw a huge crowd of followers alone.
Now for the real stuff: The food. I would like to first touch on the part that our chefs didn’t help set up because it was just beautiful and delightful on its own: the Chinese food. Apparently, one of the owners of Vikings is also the owner of President (one of Manila’s foremost Chinese restaurants, notorious for their branches that are always full in Binondo). There is an entire isle that focuses on Chinese food. There were about 6 different dimsum steamers there…the most recommended of which are the scallop dimsum and shark’s fin. Then there were soups, birthday noodles, vegetable stir fry, fish and pata!!! The pata was just perfect…gelatinous, slick, with a very tasty sauce. I could’ve eaten just that but I had to make sure that my review is as extensive as I can make it, despite the fact that my stomach could only fit maybe 1/3 of their offerings that day.
The next interesting isle was the shabu-shabu isle. Yes, you can now have shabu-shabu on your table after picking out which hotpot variation you would like. Or, if you don’t want an entire pot on your table, you can pick out the large variety of skewered meats, vegetable, seafood balls that are already boiling in 2 broths: 1 is the plain broth and the other one is a great, aromatic and spicy broth that reminds me of the broth in Nobu Hotpot, again in Bangkok. I just took a skewered seaweed in this section and shared a hotpot with my brother. The broth was really spicy but it was very interesting because of the different herbs, spices and seeds in it. This kind of shabu isn’t normal in Manila, I’ve only seen this broth in Bangkok and it really is a wonderfully new experience. Of course, I only ate my favorite part…blood blocks hehe.
The next isle is the Sushi, Sashimi and cold seafood station. This again, has never-before seen food on it’s sushi boat. Pops and his team created new kinds of sushi such as the Nuclear TomYam roll, Bali roll, Bangkok roll etc and they come in all these wonderful colors, flavors and textures. There is even a black colored roll that uses squid ink.
As for their seafood station, what we had for the night were oysters, mussels, crabs and shrimp…as well as a good selection of sashimi like tuna, salmon, mackerel, cuttlefish, crabstick and egg. The oysters were definitely fresh, you can also have them baked. And you can go crazy and creative with their selection of over 10 sauces for this area aside from the typical soy sauce and wasabi combination. The only thing I was hoping to see in this area, that I didn’t see were the sea urchins.
The next isle I will cover is the salad island. This is a very big island of different mixed Asian, western and make-your-own salad, as well as blini (a tiny caviar station), breads and soups. Because of the amount of food they had here, I was only able to try the grape salad, the Thai beef salad, the waldorf salad, the tiny caviar station and the make-your-own salad with the orange-black sesame dressing i dumped on it. Everything looked fresh and the Asian salads were good enough (not as spicy as in Thailand) and well prepared. Yes, they seem to be using feta cheese on their grape salad which is surprising because feta is quite expensive. As I said, they have good quality stuff here.
I also can’t help but admire the lovely set-up of these islands. They had this under-the-sea motif with these beautiful shells and sea urchin skeletons on sand. I wonder if they were going for a more “Atlantis” feel rather than vikings? I know it sounds funny, but I was actually hoping to see some people clad in those giant hats with the tusks on the side. Anyway, I am veering away from the enormous amount of other selections I am supposed to talk about…on with the review!
The next island is split into 2 parts. One are the spreads, dips and appetizers and on the other side are western main courses such as fish fillet and lengua. The dips vary from Mediterranean dips to pates, terrines that can be eaten with crackers and bread. This side also has the “kiddie” section. This restaurant is very kid friendly and the kiddie section has favorites like fried chicken, nachos, mini burgers and mac and cheese.
The next section would be the grilled meats and fish section. They have grilled shrimp, liempo, lamb kebabs, beef kebabs, chicken barbeque and basically anything you can think of on a skewer. This also comes with a big variety of their sauces. They also have a “roasts” section where they offered Iberian Chicken, Stuffed Pork with Prunes and a roast tenderloin along with about 12 sauces to choose from for the roasts alone!
The next isle has the make-your-own pizza and pasta station. The pizza is really good with a thin crust and is baked in its own wood fired oven by the chef inside the station. You can also ask them to make your own pasta with a selection of about 20 ingredients (and even more if you decide to go around the buffet and get the ingredients from other stations). The next isle is smaller but houses all the little fried stuff like tonkatsu, 3 kinds of tempura, fried mozzarella sticks, and calamari. This also comes with about 6 different dips.
Finally, the dessert section. Which is divided into the frozen yogurt and ice cream section, as well as the cakes, pastries, shot desserts as well as the make-your own halo-halo section.
Maybe I can touch on the review of the other sections when I come back because I really just tried whatever I felt like eating that day. I skipped a lot of items I didn’t feel like eating.
The service? Impeccable. The staff were friendly and fast. They are attentive enough to remind you that your beer is almost finished and if you would like another glass. It seems that when you are faced with the food in the buffet, there are limitless possibilities in what you can do because of their chefs and staff. They also encourage you to eat…the best paaart!
I’m proud to say that our consultancy company recently finished another great project closer to home: Vikings Luxury Buffet. By the way, they HAVE MENU CYCLES. This means that on some days, some of the food would be different from others. Another reason why you should not only come here once, but as often as you can. I am hoping to eat more great things at Vikings when I come back…maybe I should go on a diet for a week so I can indulge even more next time. Hehe! Enjoy these pictures!