Manila Hotel’s Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Review – This is My Go-To Hotel Buffet

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet

Photo Credit – The Manila Hotel

A couple of weeks ago, we had lunch at The Manila Hotel’s Cafe Ilang-Ilang. It is one of my favorite hotel buffets and our default place to go because:

  • the food is good with a varied selection, they have several food stations
  • either we, or someone we know, has a Prestige card so we get discounts,
  • parking is easy, and
  • it has a central location that’s accessible to most of my friends / family

My family has been going to The Manila Hotel for decades. I still remember attending debutante balls there, and I also remember when the hotel kind of went into a slump, and then around 4 or 5 years ago, I witnessed its transformation into a reinvigorated, happenin’ place again.

After that rejuvenation a few years ago, The Manila Hotel is now embarking on another update. Have you seen their new, modern logo? I don’t mind the modernization, it seems that The Manila Hotel is very mindful of keeping its historic charm and I’m certain that that old world class is safe.

Anyway, let me go ahead and share my latest experience at Cafe Ilang-Ilang’s lunch buffet!

Here’s the Salad Station:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Salad Section

Here’s the Seafood Station right beside it. You can ask the chefs to cook the seafood – you can have the seafood broiled with cheese, etc… 

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Seafood Section

On the other side of the Salad Station are the cocktails and cold meats:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Shrimp Mango Cocktail Vegetable Terrine Carrot Soup

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Crabstick in Herb Mayo

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Cold Meats Section

There’s smoked salmon, beef wellington, duck pate, seafood terrine, etc…! I wish I had the stomach capacity to try them all. The smoked salmon is best with some lemon and capers.

Next is the Bread & Cheese Station. They look so tempting, but I had to pick my battles!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Bread and Cheese Station

Here’s the Grilling Station where you can ask the chef to grill some meat for you. You can specify if you want it rare, medium, well done, etc… That day, they had Baby Back Ribs and Roast Beef available. They can also grill seafood for you, and I asked for some grilled lapu-lapu! There are many sauces available, but my favorites are the chimichurri and the grilled pineapple.

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Grill Station

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Grill

They also have Indian and Persian food, and certified Halal food!

Here’s one of favorites, Mutton Rogan Josh (Goat Meat):

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Mutton Rogan Josh Goat Meat

They also have Mattar Paneer (another one of my favorite Indian dishes), Samosas, etc..

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Halal Station

On the other side of the Indian food, there’s a Shawarma Station!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Shawarma Station

Something new is the Burrito Station:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Burrito Station

They also have Filipino, Chinese, Thai & Korean Stations:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Korean Station

The rolled Peking Duck did not have any green onions. Without green onions, it seemed a bit lacking. There was no fresh, crisp, sharp contrast to the duck and the hoisin sauce. If I had more time and more tummy space, I would have gone back and requested for another roll, this time making sure it had some green onions  But that’s the beauty of Cafe Ilang-Ilang’s buffet, as long as they have the ingredients, and it’s within reason, they can usually accommodate requests.

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Chinese Station

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Chinese Station Duck

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Chinese Station Peking Duck

They have US Roast Striploin!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet US Roast Striploin

If you are looking to try venison, they have it here, too!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Venison Stew

Here is another favorite, the Japanese Station:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Japanese Station

The sushi and tempura are very popular! They have various kinds of sushi and tempura.

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Japanese Station Sushi

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Japanese Station Sushi 2

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Japanese Station Tempura

They also have cold soba. Here is my small bowl of soba with tempura and tamago.

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Japanese Station Soba

Saving the best for last, here is my favorite station, the Italian Station! I love this because I can ask them to cook some mushroom risotto and request for some truffle oil to be added, and I was so happy that day because they had fresh ravioli! I know some of the other food is pricier and should be given buffet priority, but the fresh spinach ravioli is my favorite and I can happily eat several servings!

The Italian Station has pizzas and antipasto:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Italian Station Pizza

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Italian Station Pasta Antipasto

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Italian Station Pasta Ravioli

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Spinach Fresh Ravioli

And now, on to everyone’s favorite, DESSERT!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Tower

You’ll want to spend some time lingering on dessert. Not only does Cafe Ilang-Ilang have a variety of cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, etc… they also have macarons now! Can I just spend forever here? Unlimited macarons, FTW!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Cakes

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Macaron

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Panna Cotta

I think they also have Sugar-Free options, but I seem to have missed taking pictures of them.

There’s bibingka & puto bumbong, too!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Bibingka Puto Bumbong

And here’s where you can request for some crepes:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Crepes

They also have ice cream. Their ice creams are good!

I really wish I can eat as much as I want without any consequences! But, I have to pick my desserts so I ended up with these. I liked the mille-feuile (the crispy, multi-layered custard cream cake on the right side of the macarons). I can’t get enough of the macarons, of course!

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Desserts

Here are some fruits if you want to pretend to eat healthy  I like that they also included some grapefruit and dragonfruit. You know, the diet/healthy fruits  It’s all good. Fruits provide fiber and they could help you avoid getting indigestion. We should always aim to have several servings of fruit every day.

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Dessert Fruits

QUALITY OF FOOD & SERVICE

Cafe Ilang-Ilang maintains the level of quality that I’ve come to expect of it’s food. There are so many different dishes that it’s going to be difficult to describe how each one tastes. I’ve been coming here a few times a year, every year, in recent memory, and it has never failed me.

If ever there is any concern, all you have to do is ask the staff. They have always been very helpful. I really like the a la minute stations where they cook what you want to order, you can even tell them to drown your pasta in butter, if you so desire  sometimes I just tell them I want something with cream and ask them to surprise me! It always turns out well. Want it spicy? Tell the chef. A creamy, mushroom/truffle risotto used to be my favorite thing to ask for, but now I think it’s been supplanted by the ravioli! And keep that grilled lapu-lapu and grilled salmon coming!

I like to pretend I’m a judge on one of the food shows like Iron Chef, hahaha! So many chefs cooking me what I want to eat! I’m happy!

Unlimited coffee and tea is included with the buffet. I like having hot tea during the buffet (helps with digestion?), and then switching to coffee with dessert.

BUFFET PRICE & PROMOS

One of the reasons we also like The Manila Hotel is because they know how to treat senior citizens right! My dad and his buddies love coming here for breakfast. Senior citizens get 50% OFF on weekends!

Manila Hotel Senior Citizen Discount

Here are the buffet prices and the buffet schedule:

Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Prices

Breakfast P1,450 net
Lunch P2,150 net
Dinner P2,450 net
Sunday Brunch P2,400 net
Thursday Surf & Turf P2,950 net
Friday Seafood Night P2,950 net

Open Daily 6:00 AM – 10:30 PM
For inquiries & reservation, call 527-0011 local 1261

SUMMARY

If you go to Cafe Ilang-Ilang, you must be prepared to feast. There are many food stations, but it’s not overwhelming. After not having been back for a few months, I’m glad to see that they have made some improvements and additions, like adding a Burrito station, a Shawarma station, having fresh ravioli, and adding more dessert options like macarons!

The best advice to tackle buffets is this: pick your battles! We can’t eat everything we want. We will try our best, though. Take a look around, make note of things you want to try or eat, and pare them down to what you can reasonably eat. Get very small portions of each dish, and just go back for your favorites if you still have room.

For me, it’s not about eating the most expensive food like the beef, salmon, the lobsters, etc… I tend to focus on food that is difficult/uncommon/pricey for me to find elsewhere. And I really do love those “cook-to-order” stations.

The choices available at Cafe Ilang-Ilang make it so hard to choose! Or you can just promise yourself that you will come back for those dishes that you missed trying!

If you have become a fan of The Manila Hotel, I really suggest checking out their Prestige membership to get discounts and privileges, like regularly getting up to 50% OFF on this buffet! 

Cafe Ilang-Ilang at The Manila Hotel
One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines
Contact #: 527-0011 local 1261
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheManilaHotel
Click to add a blog post for Café Ilang Ilang - Manila Hotel on Zomato

I share the latest sale alerts I find on my Facebook page! Please LIKE to stay updated on the best deals I find!

If you enjoyed this post or found it useful, please share it and leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

xoxo,

The Barat Queen

Disclaimer: The comments section is not moderated to encourage honest comments from readers. Reader comments do not reflect the views of BaratAko.com. However, if you find abusive comments, please report them using the Report link.

One thought on “Manila Hotel’s Cafe Ilang Ilang Buffet Review – This is My Go-To Hotel Buffet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.