Showing posts with label Food Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food Review. Show all posts

Sunday, July 23, 2023

The Buffet Experience at The Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang-Ilang

10:00:00 PM


It's one of the many places where everyone is excited to go and experience. If there's what you call revenge travel, then you have this revenge eating. Most of us have missed the clinking sound of plates and glasses, the smokey smell of the prepared dishes, and the enticing color of each food at the counter area waiting to be picked to fill up hungry tummies. All of these sum up our longing to experience the buffet once again.

As for me, well, I got that momentous time because of an invitation to experience it again and what it meant to be full, somehow bloated. Of course, in moderation.

So, where did I enjoy that sumptuous meal? Well, it's in a place where it witnessed historical events and cultural transformation—an established icon and the very first five-star hotel in the country, The Manila Hotel, with its iconic dining destination, Cafe Ilang-Ilang, known for its extensive and exquisite international buffet selection—an array of different flavors for the palate.

Imagine those mouthwatering dishes that you rarely see on your table or plate. So, this opportunity is priceless. At Cafe Ilang-Ilang, you can indulge in different stations—the Salads and Breads Station, the Churrasco Station, the Pan-Asian Station, the Italian Station, the Mediterranean Station, the American Station, and of course, don’t miss out on the Dessert Station.


This month, Cafe Ilang-Ilang offers an additional selection for buffet enthusiasts and hungry bellies. It has partnered with Calle Arco, an ancestral home in Pagsanjan, Laguna, transformed into a restaurant famous for its authentic Filipino dishes prepared with heirloom recipes. So, on the day of my buffet indulgence, I happened to experience not only international cuisines but also the rich Pinoy cultural dish. It's enjoying both worlds from a singular perspective.

The partnership of Cafe Ilang-Ilang and Calle Arco showcases the annual food festivity in Laguna called Anilag or Ani ng Laguna. It is the locals' way of honoring the province's rich culinary heritage.

The Anilag dishes offered at Cafe Ilang-Ilang are on a rotating line-up, so there are cuisines that are not offered on a specific day or night. But during my buffet experience, I was able to get some of its delectable dishes.

There were Binagoongang Crispy Pata, Hurnong Lechon, Kare-Kare (Galapong), Pancit Habhab, Fried Itik, Grilled Pla-Pla with Pako, and Sinigang na Baka na may Langka.

The Experience

Food has always been my comfort, but it's even more interesting and tastier when having it together with your family or friends. As for me, I had good company that night, and I enjoyed every dish. It was gastronomic, but I felt less bloated.

I was late—thank you for the heavy rainfall—but fortunately, I managed to be there since it wasn't a formal event or anything. The main purpose is to experience!

Since the other bloggers already started, I took my time and let myself settle. I let the aroma flicker into my nose, which later enticed me more to stand up and check which food to pick. 

It was my first time at Cafe Ilang-Ilang, so familiarity is recommended. I started to roam around and took some videos and snapshots of the selection.

I finally decided to start with the Pancit HabHab. I wanted to taste this version to compare it with the one from Quezon. The noodles were soft, and the flavor is within it. It would have been a habhab experience if it were served on banana leaves.

The next on my plate is the Lumpiang Ubod. The serving may be small for someone with a big appetite, but you can still go back for another round. With the ubod itself, its crunchiness is just right to enjoy it, not too hard and not too soft. The wrapper, made of battered egg (I think), compliments the crunchiness of the Ubod with its soft and fine texture. My only regret was I didn't ask for the pink one for a better color on my plate. So, if you'll have this dish, putting up 3 or 4 together would really create a colorful and enticing plate of Lumpiang Ubod.


Bad of me that I took the appetizers after finishing the pancit. Anyway, together with the Lumpiang Ubod is the Watermelon Caprese, intriguingly looks good and presented very well that you cannot simply not notice it.

Another dish that I totally dig in was the Baked Salmon. I love fish, and I'm glad that it was cooked well and not that ‘malansa’ or fishy. I would really mistake it for bread or something. Getting into the details of the salmon, the fish meat texture is still firm and exactly how it should be, not overcooked nor undercooked.

Of course, I won't miss the opportunity to try some of the main courses of the Anilag offerings—the Kare-Kare (Galapong) and the Adobong Kangkong. Hmm... it makes a rhyme. I'm sure it will also rhyme in your palate.

Added also are the Kani Salad and the Maki, which I like.   

After a round of tummy-filling flavors, it’s time to tickle our taste buds with some sweet indulgence at the dessert station. A slice of Ohaina Cake, Mango Sorbet, Strawberry Ice cream, Kakanin, and Halu-halo end the buffet experience.


If you’re adventurous with your palate and love to indulge in different cuisines and flavors, Cafe Ilang-Ilang at The Manila Hotel lets you become an adventurer.


Cafe Ilang-Ilang is located at the Ground Floor level of The Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila

For their Buffet Schedule: 
6AM to 10AM 

Daily 11:30AM-2:30PM 


*BREAKFAST RATE: P1,750.00 nett per person
Child rate: P875.00 (for kids ages 5-12 years old only)

Adult Rate: P2,995.00 NETT per person
Child Rate: P1,497.50 NETT

Adult Rate: P3,145.00 NETT per person
Child Rate: PHP1,572.50 NETT

Adult Rate: P3,145.00 NETT per person
Child Rate: P1,572.50 NETT

Adult Rate: P3,790.00 NETT per person
Child Rate: P1,895.00 NETT

You can also call them for inquiries or reservations at +632 8527 0011 or +632 5301 5500 or you can send an email to

Anilag's selection is available at CafĂ© Ilang-Ilang at lunch and dinner buffet until July 31. So if you’re in to experience Anilag visit Cafe Ilang-Ilang in The Manila Hotel.

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Porchetta Experience at Karnitas Korner

7:08:00 PM

Who would have thought that there’s a place in Kapitolyo, Pasig where you can have your delightful Mexican inspired dishes. This is the place where you can have your cheat day err may be not. It’s not cheating when you enjoy what you are eating and at Karnitas Korner I did have a great Mexican inspired food experience.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Have A Break, Have Auntie Anne's Kit Kat Wind-Upz This Holiday Season

5:35:00 AM

Work can really be stressful at times and it is advisable to have a break when it is time to have a break. Even machine do need to stop and cool down. Working people gets more productive if they have breaks in between of works. Just like what Kwento Ni Toto did when its break time, went to have a break and have Auntie Anne’s Kit Kat Wind-Upz.

About Me

About me
Hi!, This is Marco a.k.a. Toto Blogger and Publisher. I created this blog to provide stories, personal experiences, entertainment, and insights on products I like. I'm here to share and inform you (readers) on things about music, movie, food, travel, and events.

You can also meet my wife on her blog

For project collaborations, product reviews, event invitations, or hotel and resort experience reviews, kindly email me at

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