Monday, April 29, 2013

Solaire Resort & Casino: Dinner Buffet at Fresh

A good buffet can stir the heart as well as the stomach. That's what I think anyway. My heart skips a beat and does a hop, skip, and a jump at the very word "buffet" and I feel like a kid in a candy store. Solaire Resort & Casino's Fresh makes my heart to just that, my stomach goes into knots in anticipation of what awaits me, and I try to mentally and physically prepare myself not to go buck wild at all the different cuisines I would get to savor in one night.

The first thing I noticed about Fresh is how affordable the buffet is for such a posh place. Breakfast goes for P1,100, lunch is at P1,900, dinner goes up to P2,600 on weekends, and there's Sunday brunch which will set you back P2,400. This isn't bad at all when compared to hotel buffets of similar caliber.

And let me tell you, there is just so much win at Fresh.

Read more on Solaire Resort & Casino:
★ Solaire Resort & Casino: Creative Cocktail Frenzy at Eclipse Lounge
★ Solaire Resort & Casino: The Decadence of Dragon Bar
★ Solaire Resort & Casino: A Relaxing Weekend Staycation
★ Solaire Resort & Casino: Dim Sum Buffet at Red Lantern
★ Solaire Resort & Casino: Discover Solaire Rewards
★ Solaire Resort & Casino: Blogger Comedy Night

I love how the whole space of Fresh is designed! The interiors looks like they were inspired from The Little Mermaid - the jellyfish-looking ceiling lamps, to the aquamarine plush sofas, to the curves of the wooden wall and ceiling accents that could be likened to rolling waves - Fresh is definitely a feast for the senses.

The sushi station holds a variety of your usual maki and temaki, as well as fresh sushi. My favorite is a tie between the poached octopus and sake (salmon). Dipped in kikoman with a squeeze of lemon and a lot of wasabi, I knew I was in for a great night.

They have a particularly good cheese spread, with an assortment of different crackers, jams, cold cuts and preserves on the side. A little bit of cheese can go a long way.

I couldn't stop staring at this art installment. The stick people standing on top of each other scares and intrigues me. Notice how there are more people at the base, helping the others up, and a little over 15 stick figures at the very top? It reminds me of the small 1% that run this country (or the world, for that matter). #Aliens. I wonder where I stand in this hierarchy of stick people? One of the people causing a ruckus that leads to the whole thing falling apart, I hope.

I averted my eyes from the sculpture and instead, focused on the delightful spread at Fresh's seafood station. Have you ever seen such a beautiful sight? Huge pieces of prawns were ready for the picking, resigned to their fate of being slathered in cocktail sauce and one by one, disappear into my gob.

These oysters were quite a sight, too. You can have them shucked and bring them to the grill station where the chefs could toss them in with a bit of butter, or a cheese of your choice, or just bring a lemon wedge with you to the table and slurp them down instead - whatever tickles your fancy.

They have a pizza station for those who are craving for a slice of Italy, but most of them are quite forgettable when compared to the other dishes offered at the buffet. I think this is something the kids would appreciate more than the adults. The Margherita and cheese pizzas were alright.

The roast station got me quite excited, just looking at that prime rib makes me so happy! The meat was roasted to blushing, with its juices oozing out onto the board while the chef carved me a piece. This is perfect with a side of roasted vegetables and a bit of gravy.

The Baked Salmon "Coulibiac" in a Brioche Crust with Herb Veloute was something I've never tried, so of course I had to have a piece. The fish was perfectly baked, flaky yet still very soft, layered with a happy mix of  rice, hard boiled eggs, mushrooms, and dill.What a treat!

I like walking around the huge restaurant and just take everything in. All the stations are spaced out nicely, so I don't think you'd have to worry about overcrowding. The cuisine varies from Italian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and a few Filipino favorites.

At the grill station, you choose what pieces of meat you'd like to have, and how you want it done. Almost everything is cooked on the circular grill at the very front of the open kitchen, so you can marvel (or gawk with child-like wonder, in my case) as the chef prepares your meal.

My favorite at this station had to be the fresh, pink salmon steaks. Seared and topped with herb butter is how I wanted mine, and that's exactly what I got.

They also have a dimsum section that I tried a bit of . There was nothing special, just enough variety for you to get your dim sum fix. I haven't tried the dim sum buffet at Solaire's Red Lantern yet, so maybe that's where they're keeping all the fancy stuff.

Get your fill of siu mai, hakaw, siopao, and even puto (at least I think that's what I saw) at the dum sum station! How'd you like them hot buns, eh?

If the popular Hong Kong roasts are what you're craving for, Fresh has that for you, too! Get your fill of Peking Duck, Roasted Haianese Chicken, and char siu at this station. I'm not sure if it comes with pancakes to wrap them in, but I didn't really need that for my chair siu.

To cleanse your palate, or preempt dessert, there's a table of fresh fruits and fruit-based desserts. Everything was served in petite glasses, so you can get a taste each without feeling too guilty.

I'm a chocoholic, so naturally I went straight for the dark chocolate confections. There were mousses, mini cakes, puddings, and flans, as well as an ice cream station for anyone who was looking for something cold for dessert. I was quite happy with the little cakes, flans, and tarts that I didn't pay the ice cream station much mind.

Fresh is open 24/7 and serves an ala carte menu when the buffet isn't available. So if you ever find yourself mucking around Solaire, wanting to treat yourself to some really good food, or looking for an luxury buffet that won't break the bank, ask any of the staff at Solaire for directions to Fresh!

Just mucking around Manila,
Follow @_iamkathi on Twitter and Instagram.
Like the Mucking Around Manila fan page.

Photos courtesy of Jericho San Miguel

+63 2 888-8888
Casino Floor, Solaire Resort & Casino
1 Solaire Boulevard
Entertainment City
Metro Manila