My sister surprised us when she booked seats for four (via Deal Grocer) at Café Ilang-Ilang, Manila Hotel in celebration of her 24th birthday last November 26, 2016. We only learned about it when she dropped us at the hotel entrance on the day itself. 😛 Happily, we went around the lobby and corridors to have a glimpse of the grandeur of “The Grand Dame” (for the first time) and then experienced a scrumptious lunch in the spacious buffet restaurant. 🙂 My heart raced with excitement. Everything looked sooo beautiful! Christmas adornments and sparkly decorations were all over the venue.

Review of Café Ilang-Ilang (The Manila Hotel, Manila)


Café Ilang-Ilang is one of the most famous and highly raved restaurants housed in a hotel in Manila. The interior exudes a casual elegance that fits in with the decor in the rest of the theme. The color palette is mostly brown shades, ranging from delicate beige to rich chocolate brown hues. What made it interesting to look at is the wonderful play of textures and patterns in different types of fabrics. It’s these architectural and design touches that create such a sense of old world sophistication with a twist of modernity. Lovely!


Serving an array of cuisines from across all continents in well-positioned buffet counters, Café Ilang-Ilang for the most part looks like a renaissance of chic casual dining. Designed artfully to satisfy the distinguishing palate, it features an extensive selection of food delights with a fresh spin on various open kitchens and a delectable desserts space that highlights its tradition of unique and excellent dining.

We started our culinary adventure at the Italian section, where we picked up some deli and made our own fresh pasta and pizza. The spinach ravioli was captivating! We savored every bite. Italian food induced so much pleasure that we had to remind ourselves to save space in our tummy as we had to visit over 10 more food stations next.

We headed to the appetizers section which displayed wows and rows of tables with tantalizing cheese, bread, salads, and cold meat—all nice for the eyes and savory for the taste buds.

Café Ilang-Ilang’s central stations serve a mix of Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Korean, and Mediterranean specialties. The range covers from Thai Tom Yang and flavorful Kare Kare, Patatim, Peking Duck, Tandoori Lamb Chops, Steak Rendang, and a plethora of Korean side dishes such as kimchi to even a dedicated spread of Halal food. There’s also a meat corner where we each had a slice of smoking Churrasco with Prime Rib, Wagyu Beef, and finger-lickin’ Baby Back Ribs.

Just when we were so full and about to leave, we visited all corners of the restaurant once more and were struck to find out that there’s also a Japanese food section situated in another dining hall. The sushi and sashimi were presented neatly and colorfully. This was one of those times when we wished we could take some food home ’cause our stomachs can’t take it anymore. 😛

For desserts, we especially enjoyed ALL the flavors of gelato, which were not too sweet but really, really good. The cakes, chocolate fountain, and other pastries were also excellent.

Price for Value:

The variety and the number of food selections at Café Ilang-Ilang may not surpass Sofitel’s Spiral or EDSA Shangri-La Hotel’s HEAT, but these are soulful food that takes a journey through the brain yet doesn’t for a second forget its purpose: to delight and dazzle, sure, but also to comfort and please on a deeper level. With the classy atmosphere and friendly customer service to boot, price for value is fair. Rate per person was discounted at PhP 1,195.5 from a total of PhP 4790 in Deal Grocer’s awesome deal: Lunch Buffet for 4 at Café Ilang-Ilang (Monday-Saturday). Thanks, again, to my sister for her treat!

The Birthday Girl

If you’re interested to try and take advantage of the deal, please note that the Deal Grocer offer is redeemable Monday to Saturday for Lunch (11AM to 2:30PM) only from October 31, 2016 to March 25, 2017 EXCLUDING declared holidays and NOT valid on Sundays.

One Rizal Park, 0913, Manila, Philippines
For inquiries, call (02) 527 0011
Date Published: 12/27/2016

Opening hours
Breakfast: Daily 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Lunch: Daily 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Dinner: Daily 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Café Ilang-Ilang Rates:
Breakfast Buffet (Mondays to Sundays): PhP 1,450.00 NET per person
Brunch (Sundays only): PhP 2,400.00 NET per person with bottomless chilled juices
Lunch (Mondays to Saturdays): PhP 2,150.00 NET per person
Dinner (Themed Nights):
Mondays – International Buffet: PhP 2,450.00 NET per person
Tuesdays – Mediterranean Night: PhP 2,450.00 NET per person
Wednesdays – Asian Night: PhP 2,450.00 NET per person
Thursdays – Surf And Turf Night: PhP 2,995.00 NET per person
Fridays – Seafood Night: PhP 2,995.00 NET per person
Saturdays – American Night: PhP 2,995.00 NET per person
Sundays – International Buffet: PhP 2,450.00 NET per person

Review of Café Ilang-Ilang (The Manila Hotel, Manila)
Price for Value
4.8Overall Score


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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11 Responses

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Nice choice! The location is also great if you’re keen to visit The Rizal Park, Intramuros, Manila Ocean Park, and Binondo (Chinatown) because they are all nearby. 🙂

  1. My Teen Guide

    Oh my goodness! Those foods are looks tasty! I wanted to try a few korean foods like these! Those desserts are perfect!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      My sister told me to first have desserts before the main course to which I declined. For those who have a sweet tooth though, her suggestion will seem really agreeable! 🙂

  2. uprunforlife

    The hotel looks beautiful. I love how thet decorated for Christmas too.

    The food looks amazing too. It sounds like you had a relaxing evening.

  3. Ann Bacciaglia

    This looks like such a luxurious place to stay. I love the decor and the food looks so delicious.

  4. Lynndee

    The food is making me drool. 🙂 We hope to visit the Philippines pretty soon, and I hope we get to eat at that restaurant and if our budget will allow, stay at Manila Hotel too. 🙂

  5. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    One of the first things I notice is the beautiful red Christmas decorations, the nice open space and the amazing hardwood floors. I am a sucker for things like that. But, oh, that food. I would certainly stick around for that food.


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