Manila Hotel’s Café Ilang-Ilang: Great Food within Historical Walls

Manila Hotel is one of the country’s luxurious hotels, continuously unfolding with history since 1912. Within its nostalgic and historical walls is an extravagant gastronomical treat proudly offered by its very own Café Ilang-Ilang.

Know Inside Out

Café Ilang-Ilang impressively offers a wide variety of cuisines from different parts of the world. Live cooking stations serve a combination of Asian, Western, European and Mediterranean dishes. The buffet is definitely a spoiler but a la carte dishes are also available.

On the Table

The extensive selection from the various open kitchens are scattered in a very spacious area. The elegant sofas suggest a homey and comforting feeling. I like how each section is differently styled with furniture and how each station is distributed as if mingling with the crowd. As every station speaks of a certain dish from a specific continent, I appreciate the simple decorations to highlight the origin of the dishes.

The Stations

Japanese Station

Japanese food lovers will return nth times to the Japanese Station with the numerous selections of sushi and sashimi. Other beloved Japanese dishes are present on the list like tempura, okinomiyaki and soba noodles.

Italian Station

After starting off with some antipasti, I immediately tried some pasta. Their pasta dishes are greatly recommended and as the Italian station is a live cooking station, you can tell the chefs some particular requests you may have. I took delight in watching some pizzas being made and yes, it is cooked from bricked oven.

Western Station

This is where a great deal of western delights come together: cold seafood, salads, cold canapes and a selection of cheese and bread. Enjoy DIY salad with fresh greens with generous toppings and dressings. And one of my ultimate weaknesses made my heart skip a beat – shrimps! Oysters, mussels and are also hard to resist.

Shawarma, Burrito and Halal Stations

For our Muslim brothers out there, Café Ilang-Ilang has a Certified Halal food (Hala certification guarantees consumers that the food being served comply with the religion’s set standard). And who wouldn’t be spoiled with a separate Shawarma and Burrito stations? I’m not really a fan of goat meat but I find their Mutton Rogan Josh scrumptious.

Filipino Station

Our very own dishes are proudly present too! I loved their roasted bangus belly.

Chinese, Thai and Korean Stations

Simply your favorite dim sum and curry dishes.

Dessert Station

Yes, Café Ilang-Ilang’s Dessert Station highly gets people’s attention. Blame Executive Pastry Chef Jerome Benda for those French macarons parading the dessert bar in different colors and flavors. The smooth and crisp outer shell wraps that sweet, flavored filling. I like that it’s not overly sweet and how chewy it was made.

Café Ilang-Ilang’s ice cream is the other factor why Dessert made it as one of my favorite stations with flavors like Pistachio, sugar-free Macchiato and Banana Wallnut Gelatos.

Food for Thought

With Italian, Japanese and Dessert as my favorite stations, Café Ilang-Ilang is undoubtedly one of the best buffets in the country for me. I can describe them in two words: complete package.  The combination of elegant interiors, well-trained staff and most importantly, great food are the reasons why you should have them in your buffet bucket list if ever you have one. Café Ilang-Ilang is also a good place to bring foreign guests. It might just surpass your high expectations as it did with mine.


Breakfast Buffet (Mondays to Sundays): PHP 1,450 NET per person

Brunch (Sundays only): PHP 2,450 NET per person with bottomless chilled juices

*With Face Painting and Balloon Twisting activities for kids

Lunch (Mondays to Saturdays): PHP 2,150 NET per person

Dinner (Themed Nights):

Mondays – International Buffet: PHP 2,450.00 NET per person

Tuesdays – Mediterranean Night: PHP 2,450.00 NET per person

Wednesdays – Asian Night: PHP 2,450.00 NET per person

Thursdays – Surf And Turf Night: PHP 2,950.00 NET per person

Fridays – Seafood Night with live magician entertainment: PHP 2,950.00 NET per person

Saturdays – American Night: PHP 2,950.00 NET per person

Sundays – International Buffet: PHP 2,950.00 NET per person

Café Ilang Ilang – Manila Hotels
Operating Hours: Breakfast: Daily, 6AM-11AM, Lunch: Daily, 11AM-2:30PM, Dinner: Daily 6PM-10:30PM
Address: The Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila 0913
Contact Nos.: (02) 2469069

Disclaimer: This particular visit to Café Ilang-Ilang is courtesy of Zomato and Manila Hotel. Nevertheless, I wrote this article with my own insights influenced by my personal experience.