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

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.

Cafe Ilang-ilang cozy interiors.

Cafe Ilang-ilang cozy interiors.

The Atmosphere

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.

Japanese Station

Japanese Station

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.

Italian Station

Italian Station

Brick oven pizza.

Brick oven pizza.

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.

Breads

Breads

Enjoy DIY salad with fresh greens with generous toppings and dressings.

Salads

Salads

And one of my ultimate weaknesses made my heart skip a beat – shrimps! Oysters and mussels are also hard to resist.

Cold Seafood

Cold Seafood

Shawarma, Burrito, and Halal Stations

For our Muslim brothers out there, Café Ilang-Ilang has a Certified Halal food (Halal certification guarantees consumers that the food being served comply with the religion’s set standard).

Certified Halal Food

Certified Halal Food

And who wouldn’t be spoiled with a separate Shawarma and Burrito stations?

Burrito Station

Burrito Station

I’m not really a fan of goat meat but I find their Mutton Rogan Josh scrumptious.

Mutton Rogan Josh - Goat Meat

Mutton Rogan Josh – Goat Meat

Filipino Station

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

Roasted Bangus Belly

Roasted Bangus Belly

Beef Nilaga

Beef Nilaga

Pancit Canton

Pancit Canton

Chinese, Thai, and Korean Stations

Simply your favorite dim sum and curry dishes.

Pork Siomai

Pork Siomai

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Sword Fish

Sweet and Sour Sword Fish

Northen Thai Pork Curry

Northen Thai Pork Curry

Fried Chicken with Yang Yum Sauce

Fried Chicken with Yang Yum Sauce

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.

French Macarons

French Macarons by Executive Pastry Chef Jerome Benda

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.

Overall

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.

Rates

  • Breakfast Buffet (Mondays to Sundays): PHP 1,450 NET per person
  • Brunch (Sundays only): PHP 2,450 NET per person with bottomless chilled juices
  • 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 Hotel

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
Website: http://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/cafe-ilang-ilang

Disclosure: 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.

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