Following the huge success of its Fourth of July-themed menu, Vikings Luxury Buffet, the Philippines' largest buffet restaurant, will once again treat its guests with another culinary adventure this month of August. Every weekend starting August 2, 2014, guests can enjoy a variety of South East Asian Street Food in all of the four Vikings Luxury Buffet branches in Metro Manila. The menu will feature cuisines from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Each branch (Vikings SM Mall of Asia, Vikings SM Megamall, Vikings SM Marikina & Vikings SM North EDSA) will showcase their culinary artistry with their own sets of menu. Though centered on a common theme, each branch will have a different menu so guests can expect to have a unique culinary experience at every Vikings branch. Vikings SM Lanang in Davao will have a Kadayawan-inspired menu this month in celebration of the Kadayawan Festival.
Pinas Muna is again invited by Vikings Luxury Buffet to have a sneak preview of what guests can expect this August. Joining us were Vikings Corporate Chef Ross, Vikings SM Megamall Executive Chef Jason, Sous Chef Bon, Sous Chef Obet, Vikings Assistant Marketing Head Ms. Raquel Bartolome and Vikings Marketing Manager Charles Stuart Lee. Here's what we had for lunch:
|Kerabu Sotong Kering|
For appetizer, we had the Kerabu Sotong Kering, a salad of green mangoes, cucumber, bird's eye chilies, seasoned with lime and sugar, and topped with fried cattle fish. Also known as Dried Squid Salad, it's a spicy salad dish from Malaysia that will surely awaken your taste buds. If you like spicy food, you will surely love this.
|Roti & Beef Curry|
Next appetizer served was the Roti & Beef Curry. Ground beef are seasoned with Indian curry spices and is wrapped in with their home-made roti. The curry spices are mild enough to be appreciated by Filipinos, just the way Edgar and I want it. It is then matched with a mango chutney. The chutney has a good balance of sweetness and sourness and made extra flavorful with chopped cilantro which gives it a rather South East Asian flair.
|Beef & Chicken Satay|
Another appetizer served was the Beef & Chicken Satay. No other dish can better represent South East Asia than the satay. Each country and region has its own version of satay using different types of meat and spices. It is as diverse as the our cultures. The satay served at Vikings uses beef and chicken coated with a very rich peanut sauce with well balanced mixture of saltiness, sweetness and spiciness. Crunchy bits of peanuts gives contrast to the tender meat, making every bite of this dish more exciting.
|Bak Kut Teh|
With heightened sense of taste and level of appetite, we all savored the delightful taste of the Bak Kut Teh. This soup dish is popular in Singapore, Malaysia and Southern Thailand. It literally means meat bone tea because it is made of meaty pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices. Chef Bon showed us some of the spices they used in this dish which include Szechuan pepper, coriander seeds, white pepper, dried ginger, garlic, ginseng, star anise and cinnamon sticks. The soup tasted mildly flavorful with some earthy and herbal notes.
|Vegetable Biryani & Beef Rendang (L); Chicken Rice & Hainanese Chicken (R)|
Already full from the appetizers, the chefs started bringing in the main course consisting of six items. First to arrive was a well-presented plate of rice and viands: Vegetable Biryani with Beef Rendang & Chicken Rice with Hainanese Chicken. The vegetable biryani was mildly spiced and is best mixed with peanuts and cucumber bits, making it flavorful, crunchy and refreshing. We loved the beef rendang! Cooked for hours, the meet is ultra tender and is infused will all the goodness of Indonesian spices and caramelized coconut milk. The deep-fried shallots adds another dimension to the already flavorful dish. The chicken rice, on the other hand, has a mild gingery flavor that perfectly complements the tender and moist Hainanese chicken
Another exciting dish we tried was the Hokkien Mee. If you think this is just another noodle dish, well you have to try it yourself to experience its unique taste. Cooked egg noodles and rice noodles are stir fried with eggs, prawns and squids and served with shrimp paste and calamansi on the side. Yes, you have to mix the calamansi and shrimp paste to the noddles and believe me, it tastes ho chiak (delicious).
|Singaporean Fish Curry|
Singaporean cuisine uses a lot of seafood and this Singaporean Fish Curry is something you shouldn't miss when you try out the South East Asian Street Food buffet at Vikings SM Megamall. This one is a whole fish fried and then mixed with vegetables cooked in a light curry sauce.
|Singaporean Fish Curry & Fried Mantao|
Tip: Grab some fried mantao from the Chinese food section and dip it in the curry sauce. You will forget your name la! I'm sure la!
|Chili Oyster Crab|
There are so many ways of cooking crabs in Singapore and Malaysia, and one way is by cooking them in chili oyster sauce. The Chili Oyster Crab is best paired with plain rice so you can savor the richness of its sauce. We know you love the crab fats so go ahead and feast on the crab claws and aligue as much as you can, it's a buffet after all.
Finally, we come to every one's favorite part of the meal, dessert. Pineapple Tarts are famous in Malaysia and Singapore. It is particularly enjoyed during special occasions, including Hariraya, which, by the way, is fast approaching. The End of Ramadan, or Eid'l Fitr or Hariraya is expected to happen on July 29 so Vikings Luxury Buffet is the best venue to celebrate this special occasion over Malay food.
Lastly, Cendol, a truly refreshing dessert, ends our Jalan Makanan (Food Street) experience at Vikings SM Megamall. It's basically shaved ice topped with coconut milk, green rice jelly noodles, sago, red beans and sugar. It's almost like the Filipino halo-halo but it uses coconut milk instead of evaporated cow's milk.
Note that dishes featured on this article are plated for the purpose of food photoshoot and sampling. These dishes may have a different presentation when served at the buffet table. None the less, the taste and flavors will be the same.
Follow @VikingsLuxuryBuffet on Instagram and use the official #JalanMakananVikings and #eatlikeaviking hash tags when uploading photos from the South East Asian Street Food buffet. Check out what others are uploading on Instagram below:
Here are the weekend rates and contact details of Vikings branches in Metro Manila:
SM MOA: P1,088/person (call: 846-3888, 846-4888, 846-5888)
SM Megamall: P888/person (call: 656-3888, 656-4888, 656-5888)
SM Marikina: P888/person (call: 570-3888, 570-4888, 570-5888)
SM North EDSA: P888/person (call: 376-3888, 376-4888, 376-5888)