I always see the neon signage of The Food Club: Your Lifestyle Buffet whenever I drive along Macapagal Boulevard. Buffet? Of course I wanted to try it! When it opened to the public, I've been bugging T to go but we just couldn't find the time. So when our team decided to have some sort of lunch bonding, we had it here. I'll just mention everyone's opinion as I go along.
This is the dining area. Ayie pointed out that the layout is not as cramped as the other buffet places.
I would suggest getting a booth since it's a bit more private but still spacious.
Like all buffets, it's so hard to feature all of the dishes. There are just too many! So I'll just walk you through the sections from one end to the other. Let's start with the right most area, the Beverage Section. Their tea selection is impressive.
It's pretty cool how they have this sand timer to tell you how long you should brew your tea in boiling water. It's the first time I've seen something like this in buffets.
Here's a look at the tea selection.
For those who prefer brewed tea, there are pots of Japanese and Chinese tea leaves. I tried the Japanese tea leaves.
After eating, Marvee, Ayie, and I got tea to help digest all the food we ate. Ayie said the Blueberry Tea is good. I liked the one with Lemongrass. It actually helped when we were in our "nth" round of eating. For once, I preferred tea over coffee during the daytime.
Juices are also unlimited...
...And so are the fresh fruit shakes. These are just the drinks, and isn't it a lot already? Now on to the food.
The first thing I look for in a buffet is the Carving Station for the Prime Rib. However, we all found it a bit tough. Ayie and Marvee added that it was rubbery and dry.
In front of the carving station are different side dishes like Ratatouille.
There are also three different sauces: peppercorn, mushroom, and red wine. I always get peppercorn.
Beside it is the Shawarma Station but I wasn't able to take a photo.
Next is the Pizza Station. There are already ready-made pizzas but you can also ask them to make a pizza with your preferred toppings ala Project Pie (read my blog post about Project Pie Philippines). I think this is a better option because Julie said the pizza crust of the slice she got from the display was hard to bite into.
Beside the pizzas are dishes such as Braised Duck and Grilled Fish, which Julie liked.
Next is the Pasta Station.
I asked for pasta with pesto cream sauce. The pesto didn't taste like the usual pesto that I'm used to and I have the same comment for the creamy sauce. But it was good.
Next stations are the Grill Station and Western Soup Station.
I was disappointed to find out that there were only 3 kinds of seafood that were available for grilling: Mahi-Mahi, Mussels, and another kind of fish. I liked how the mussels were grilled but didn't like the fish that much. It didn't feel that fresh. My colleague Raissa has the same comment.
But I want to commend this group, especially the lady chef who was very accommodating. She was the one who grilled my food. And when I returned to the area to get other dishes, she asked me how my food was. Little things like that make dining experiences worthwhile.
Next is my favorite station in all buffets, the International Cheese Station. The selection is good but as you can see, the quantity and presentation is so-so. Although this might have looked better earlier.
Next is the Freshly Baked Bread Station.
Karen, who provided me with this photo, said the bread was good, especially after being toasted.
I know I'm going through the stations right to left but I thought it would be good to mention that opposite the cheese and bread station is the Prociuto de Parma Station. Impressive. They even have a cutting machine!
There are even more kinds of cold cuts and cheese in the chiller beside the machine. Because of this section, it makes The Food Club more similar to Sofitel's Spiral compared to Viking's or Buffet 101.
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Now back to our journey through the stations. After the Freshly Baked Bread Station is the Indian Bread Station, another unique section which I haven't seen in other similarly-priced buffets.
If there's a Western Soup Station, there's also an Asian Soup Station.
Beside it are dishes such as Fish Fingers, Lamb Marsala, and Vegetable Curry. The fish and the vegetables were Julie's favorites.
I couldn't see a label for this section but there's my favorite Lechon Kawali (crispy pork) behind the counter, which I saw only while I was getting dessert. Sad!
More dishes (from left to right): Tropical Grilled Pork Chop Spiced with Pineapple Gravy, Ginger Crab Onion, and Squid...
...Grilled Chicken in BBQ Sauce and Baked Mussels. Both Raissa and Marvee liked the mussels.
Here's another unique section, the Pad Thai Section. Karen said this was good.
Next is the Yakitori Station. It's just confusing sometimes to see the label of the section and then non-related items in front of it. In the photo below, there's plain rice and some other dishes that are obviously not yakitori. I just noticed that for some stations, the dishes are in front of the glass panel (like the Western Soup and Asian Soup) but for other stations, the dishes in front are unrelated and the dishes at the back are the one that corresponds to the station (like Grilled and Yakitori).
Next is the Teppanyaki Station, and again, there are dishes in front of the glass panel which are not teppanyaki.
At the end of the row is the Tempura Station. I was still in a Kessaku-tempura high (read my blog post about Kessaku) so I didn't get any tempura, lest I get disappointed. But Ayie said she liked the tempura because the prawns were big with just the right amount of crispy batter.
Don't you hate it when sauce for a particular food spreads all over your plate? I'm not sure if that's the reason but I'm glad the gyozas are placed in individual ceramic glass squares. Good idea that should be copied by other buffets.
In another area is the Dimsum Station. Ayie thought that this was too hidden and I agree with her. In fact, the dimsum available were not shown but rather Yang Chow Rice and Meat Pancit Canton.
Big bottles are in front of the labels so I had to move them around to see what they were, like this Live Suahe Station.
Next is the Noodles Soup Station.
At the very end is the Roasting Station.
In front of the glass panel are dishes such as Sweet Pork Adobo, Beef Tendon, Jelly Fish, White Chicken, and Red Sausage.
On the same row are beer and soda. Ayie and I both thought that this should be grouped together with the other drinks on the other end of the line.
That's the end of the line so let's go back to where the cold cuts were. Beside it is the Tacos/Nachos Station. Ayie and I both liked this station. This is perfect for kids since they can create their own tacos and nachos.
Next is the Caesar Salad Station.
Then the Mixed Salad Station.
There's also a Kimchee Station.
Then the Salmon Gravlax Station. I liked this a lot, and so did Ayie. According to her, it was cured perfectly, giving the salmon the right amount of flavor without overpowering the natural taste of the fish.
Next is the Sushi Bar Station. Ayie and Zi both liked the salmon sashimi especially because they could still taste the sweet juicy flavor of the fish.
I looked at the range of sashimis that they offer and was surprised to find octopus! I haven't seen it being served in other similarly-priced buffets before.
There are also different kinds of makis. But the boat was almost empty when I got to this area.
My second favorite station in every buffet is the Seafood Station. I was really expecting lobster because so far, the food selection of Food Club is of the "higher end" (hello manchego cheese!) but unfortunately there were none. I got crabs instead. Ayie felt like the prawns were too small and were actually more like shrimps.
There's also Smoked Tanigue and Tuna Maguro.
Now on to the dessert. Check out the Fondue Fountain.. No, the Fondue TOWER!
I find these spring-y things cute.
Beside it is the Cookies and Cake Station.
But if you feel like you've eaten too much, there's the Fruit Station.
And if you're into Filipino desserts, there's a station for you as well!
Next is the Crepes Station.
There's also an Ice Cream Station. Ayie liked the bubblegum ice cream the best.
What I like about this station is that it also has sorbet in three flavors: mango, strawberry, and calamansi. I got the calamnsi sorbet but found it a bit too sweet.
Towards the end of the meal, Marvee, Ayie, and Zi pointed out to me that wine was included in the buffet. But it was too early for wine, besides, we were all so full!
We all left Food Club with happy and full tummies! Except for our photobomber server :D
Check out The Food Club's buffet prices. But for the month of March, there's a 30% off promo so better take advantage of it.
- Organized set-up and labeling.
- Wide variety of food.
- A lot of options for make-your-own dishes like nachos, tacos, shawarma, pasta, and pizza.
- Attentive and friendly servers.
- It's just confusing sometimes when dishes unrelated to the label are placed in front of the glass panel.
- Also, because of that, other dishes can't be seen which are really part of the station, like the lechon kawali.
- The price promos are not clear. Metrobank offers 40% for their cardholders. When we asked how much was the lunch buffet, they told us it was P680 so we were expecting around P428 per person. But when we got our bill, the rate was P504 per person. Apparently, they used the original price of P800 from which they subtracted the 40% from. They just have to make it clear to the diners coming in that the P680 lunch buffet price, as well as the prices for the other days, is a discounted rate. Just so to prevent confusion during billing.
Although not all of the dishes are superb, you'll get value for your money at the prices they have now.
The Food Club: Your Lifestyle Buffet
Dining Date: 19 March 2014
Tel No.: (02) 736-8001
10:30am - 2:30pm (lunch)
5:30pm - 10:30pm (dinner)