Monday, March 31, 2014

Crimson Hotel: Dinner Buffet at Cafe Eight

After a short afternoon tea at Crimson Hotel, we were famished with all the gabbing, and stayed long enough for the dinner buffet at Cafe Eight. Jane's daughters left, and was replaced by her husband Jeff, a.k.a. Kap. The night was still young, and dinner is always a good excuse to hang around a buffet table, so with that in mind, we proceeded to the cafe-cum-restaurant.

Cafe Eight has a pretty huge space, extending from one side of the hotel to the other, with most of the buffet items lining one side of the room. The spread is pretty straightforward, starting with appetizers all laid out on one table, Asian entrees on another, Western fare on the next, a small carving station, and a pasta station on the end. On the other side of the buffet spread are the desserts and cheese station.

They have a really nice selection of fresh salads, and I kept coming back to this station to try most of them out. I loved the spicy shrimp appetizer the most - I love anything spicy. There's also a mean potato and bacon salad somewhere there that I had in lieu of rice.

They had a simple Japanese spread that consisted of fresh sashimi, makimono rolls, a kani salad, and soba. I got my fill of shake sashimi that night, totally ignoring the rest of the spread. It doesn't take much to make me happy, really. Just good food.

Something a bit different at Cafe Eight's buffet is the taco station. Make your own taco with their assortment of fresh toppings and gooey cheese - this was pretty good stuff!

There were at least six trays of dishes for the Asian and Western buffet spreads, each with their own version of soup, fish, chicken, beef, pork, and carb. I stuck more to the Western mains section, while Jericho checked out the Asian station.

Admittedly, most of the dishes weren't anything special, but the dishes - like the black pepper beef and sweet and sour pork - were comfort food, meals we've grown up with at home. Kids will have an easier time at the buffet with dishes they're familiar with, I think.

Jericho kept coming back for the sweet and sticky pork ribs. He loved the stuff so much, I think he must've gone through half the platter.

Here are a few other dishes whose names escape me:

I think the carving station could've been executed a little bit better. The roast beef looked overdone and dry, and it took a lot of gravy to bring my slices of meat back to life. Even then, it was still quite forgettable.

I cleansed my palate at the cheese station instead. The cheese dome was surrounded by bread rolls, dried fruit, buts, jams, and honey. I came back here thrice.

They had a decent selection of cheeses for those like me who was probably a mouse (or French) in a past life. I would get a little bit of everything, toss in some fruit and nuts, drizzle the whole thing with honey and happily munched on the little plate back at the table.

The biggest station at Cafe Eight was the dessert table, laden with all sorts of goodies that would put any grown ass adult into a sugar coma. I got a piece off of each plate of goodies, trying very hard not to go back for seconds:

I went for the fruit salad, pineapple, and cherries to cleanse my palate of all that chocolate. It was also in preparation for my next station destination...

The ice cream bar! This is simply set up, with your basic favorites and something extra for those of the Pinoy persuasion. Ask for a scoop of two of your favorite flavors and add a sprinkle of your choice before digging into your creamy creation.

The dessert bar also comes with a "make your own halo-halo" station, which you could do yourself, or ask your server to put together for you. Jericho is a halo-halo monster, but was too full to finish the sweet monstrosity our server created for him. I, on the other hand, went the crepe route, with a blueberry-filled masterpiece topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate drizzle, and slivered almonds on the side. This was the perfect dessert to cap off our lovely buffet dinner at Crimson's Cafe Eight.

When staying down south, give Crimson Hotel a go. Not only do they have such an affordable dinner buffet (P988++ per person), but the ambiance is relaxing, the food is homey, and the place is just so inviting, you'll end up staying longer than you'd expect, eating and laughing with friends.

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

Cafe Eight
+63 2 863 2222
8/F, Crimson Hotel,
Entrata Urban Complex, Filinvest City,
Civic Drive, Muntinlupa
Open Daily: 6am to 11pm