Truth be told, there aren’t many buffet restaurants in Metro Manila that satisfy like Vikings Luxury Buffet does. God bless the people behind the creativity of their dishes. And speaking of creative dishes, this coming August 2015, Vikings features “World Street Food” with varying kinds and presentation in each of its branches nationwide: By the Bay SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM Jazz Mall, SM City BF in Parañaque, SM City Marikina, SM Lanang Premier in Davao, and NIU by Vikings.
Last Saturday, with blogger friends, I had a tasting session at Vikings SM Jazz Mall and enjoyed an incredible flow from appetizing bites at the start to desserts at the finish. Here’s a rundown, to give you a sneak preview. 🙂
Vikings Luxury Buffet Features World Street Food in August 2015!
Homemade chorizo patty and fried mantao bread are like a match made in heaven. The juicy and savory chorizo patty well complemented the fried mantou which had a fragrant crispy outer crust. No doubt, this Chori Burger from the Philippines with a twist is a modest reminder that you are in for a modern cuisine.
Lightly battered, this Oyster Omelette from Singapore was a slightly different experience from the usual baked or grilled rendition as the crisp finish of flour mixture accompanied the soft and fresh oyster underneath the coating. I thought that adding a mayonnaise dip would further add richness to the taste.
Time to face fears! We had Balut Deconstructed from the Philippines which was served in a rather unique fashion: in a typical shot glass. The beer battered duck embryo was topped with balut mousse and garnished with chicken floss and sliced albumen (bato).
The duck’s embryo had some fried crispness to it and the texture of the balut mousse was excellently smooth like butter. To say it melts in your mouth would be an understatement. It’s so light you honestly won’t even know if it’s in your mouth. But it is. And it’s wonderful.
Beef and Chicken Satay from Indonesia would easily make a lovely main standalone with a bowl of rice. The tender beef and chicken were served street food style and the peanut dipping sauce played a prominent role in making the satay taste a bit sweet and flavorful as if watered down with nice chunks of peanuts.
Popiah from Malaysia consisted of braised jicama, tofu, shrimp and ground peanut spring rolls. The combination of ingredients and variation in texture were spot-on and did more than necessary to impress our palate. These fresh spring rolls looked almost like an art piece on its own. Paying attention to such intricate workmanship on the plate speaks volume about the chef’s culinary skills.
One of Filipinos’ favorite snacks, Mango and Singkamas from the Philippines served with bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) remained a classic and true to taste. I just found the bagoong too salty for my liking. Water, please.
The next entree was Bah Kut Teh (肉骨茶) from Singapore which I remember so well from local hawkers near where I used to live in Singapore. However, this soup by Vikings was cooked to suit Pinoys’ taste buds as it combined Singaporean, Malaysian, and Peranakan flavors without being intensely peppery and garlicky.
The stock was simmered with meaty pork at length and produced from a complex broth of herbs and spices. While salinity on the soup was on the high side, the tenderness of the pork infused a refreshing touch to it that balanced out the dish.
Topped with scrambled eggs and shrimps, the yellow noodles and thick rice vermicelli composing Hokkien Mee from Singapore were chewy, dense, and a little slippery with a slightly porous surface that fully absorbed the savory prawn broth. The best part? It had little bits of pork lard that get both crisp and melty. Yum!
Jerk Chicken from Jamaica had a familiar warm spice aroma from spiced rub marination and it did pick up some smoky flavor on its deeply charred skin. The firm, sweet, and tart mango salsa as a topper provided a good contrast.
It was my first time to come across Tamales and I was awestruck with its uniqueness. Boiled in a leaf wrapper, this popular Mexican dish was “Filipinized” and was completed with stuffed corn rice, shredded pork adobo, and garnished with salted egg and pork floss. As a well-rounded meal itself, the humble tamale tasted earthy and a bit spicy. It’s a must-try.
To end our meal on a high note, for desserts, we had this fried dough pastry based snack called Churros served with rich chocolate coffee sauce. As a chocoholic, it was pretty much my duty to indulge here. Not too greasy, not too sweet, not too hard outside, and not too hollow inside, these churros were just perfect. You just can’t have one.
The freshly sliced bananas in the Bananaque Pie were homey and straightforward with a little zing to it. There’s really something delightful about the luscious, creamy, and cool simplicity of the egg custard and fried plantain pie sweetened further with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche. 🙂
It seems that sky is really the limit when it comes to offering something new and exciting at Vikings Luxury Buffet. While these dishes will be available during dinner and weekends next month, I suggest you grab the chance! Prepare for a great multi-course “street-food-themed” meal with an unimpeachable roster of hits, with a few absolutely unforgettable food mixed in. 😀