Food Exchange Manila Lunch Buffet Review

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Featured Image

When it comes to Novotel’s Food Exchange Manila’s lunch buffet, I consider myself a veteran since this is my fourth? or fifth? time at this buffet.

But I have not had the time to tell you all about this buffet and recommend what to get! Fortunately, we ate at this buffet again last week, and while everything is still fresh in my mind, let me share my tips.

Watching other people there, I realized many of them didn’t know how to get the best out of this buffet.

FOOD EXCHANGE MANILA

Food Exchange Manila is Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s buffet restaurant. It is located on the ground floor of the hotel, to the left of the front desk area.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila

It is not a big buffet spread, but they have a lot of food on offer. It is just one long area, with the cooking stations on the right, prepared food in the middle, and more stations, mostly drinks and desserts, on the left.

The price for this buffet is actually very, very affordable. It is only P1,488 net for Weekday Lunch (Mon-Fri). But, you can get a much better deal if you buy vouchers from Metrodeal. With the vouchers, it’s only P892 for Weekday Lunch!

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Interiors

THE FOOD

Cheese & Cold Cuts Section

Many diners don’t even notice this station. The cheeses and cold cuts are inside the chillers – just open the chillers and take what you want.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Cheese Cold Cuts

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Cheese Cold Cuts 3

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Cheese Cold Cuts 2

This is the machine for slicing the cold cuts:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Cheese Cold Cuts 4

Indian Station

This is the big, big reason why you should try this buffet! They have a real Indian chef who is picky about his spices – my contact told me his spices need to be authentic and always come from his own supplier in India.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Indian Station

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Indian Mouth Freshener

Whenever I recommend this buffet to friends, I always tell them to go for the Indian station. Aside from the usual tandoor-grilled meats, there’s also an assortment of chutneys!

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Indian Chutneys

What I like to do is to get the yogurt and put it in the center, then spoon a little bit of each of the chutneys around the yogurt. I get more of the green chutney since I happen to use more of it. Then get some of the Indian breads and get a little bit of each of the chutneys and yogurt with each bite. Experiment and find the combination that you like.

Lassi is also available – plain, mango and rose. Lassi is like flavored, watered down yogurt, but it’s a very refreshing drink! At the breakfast buffet, they also serve a fresh Chai Latte (made with real spices, not a tea bag).

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Lassi

There are also some pickles:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Mango Pickles

And our favorite thing about the Indian station? You can order fresh naan! We requested for some naan bread, and the Indian chef made one for us. Here is the freshly grilled naan, brushed with butter, paired with chicken curry:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Fresh Naan

There are a few Indian dishes on the prepared dishes section. That day, there was an aloo something (some sort of Indian potato stew), a dahl (a lentil dish), a rice dish (Green Peas Pulao)  and the chicken curry.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Green Peas Pulao

The Indian fare here is really good, and I don’t know why Novotel doesn’t capitalize on their Indian station more. I wish they had more Indian dishes aside from just the aloo, the dahl and the curry. How about some Chicken Makhanwala or some Palak Paneer, and some samosas? If they expanded their Indian station I would probably totally ignore the others! 

As it is, I am already ignoring the other stations and just concentrating mostly on the Indian food.

Prepared Dishes in the Middle

Here are some of the dishes on the buffet spread in the middle. I like how they are kept nicely warm in the pots:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Beef Goulash

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Beef Tomato Stew

Chinese Station

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Chinese Station

Carving & Grilling Stations

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Grilling Station

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Porchetta

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Steamed Snapper

They have a choice of mustards:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Mustards

And a selection of salts:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Salts

Pizza & Bread Station

Their freshly baked, thin-crust tomato sauce and cheese pizza is something that I always come back for every visit. This pizza doesn’t have any meat, but please, please pour some basil oil or rosemary oil on it and ENJOY! Yummmm….

Notice the brick oven in the back!

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Pizza

They have flavored oils:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Flavored Oils

Desserts Station

Ah, puto bumbong! One of my favorites! Here, it is made to order, and you can put only the toppings you want. Instead of the margarine here, I got the home-made butter from the Italian / Pizza / Bread station.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Puto Bumbong

They also make fresh churros! These churros are not nakakaumay, and I could eat a lot of them! I prefer the ones in cinnamon sugar, smothered with the caramel sauce and drizzled with some of the chocolate sauce.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Churros 2

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Churros Frying

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Churros

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Cinnamon Sugar Churros

Condiments, Salad & Middle Eastern Fare

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Salads Midddle Eastern

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Asian Condiments

They also offer a Wine & Beer Buffet for an additional P850.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Wine Beer Buffet

Japanese

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Sushi

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Salmon Belly Maki

They have cold soba!

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Cold Soba

Drinks

I think their set up is cute!

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Drinks

More desserts

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Dessert

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Ice Cream

They also have a multi-color chocolate fountain:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Food Exchange Manila Chocolate Fountain

SUMMARY

I like Food Exchange Manila’s buffet because I can just eat the food that I want. They don’t have fancy things like salmon or Angus beef, so I don’t feel like I have to eat a lot of those to get my money’s worth. But they have a great Indian station that I hope they expand soon. I ate as much naan as I wanted, as much curry and dahl as I wanted, and generally took advantage of the Indian station. Good Indian food here in Manila can be pricey, so I thought this was great. I really hope that they add more dishes to their Indian spread.

They also have middle-eastern dips that I am really into right now. I didn’t see any hummus, so I asked if they had a refill, and they gave me a small plate of it. So nice! Service is warm and helpful.

I love puto bumbong, and I ate as many as I wanted. Had as many fresh churros as I wanted. I also had several rounds of basil oil topped pizza. Since the price is not as steep as other hotel buffets, I didn’t feel the need to only pick the “expensive” food to eat. I just let myself eat whatever I wanted, and I left there very, very happy, and very, very full.

Food Exchange Manila
Novotel Manila Araneta Center
General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
Contact No. (02) 990 7888
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NovotelManilaAranetaCenter/
Website: www.novotel.com

Food Exchange Manila - Novotel Manila Araneta Center Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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