Monday, June 24, 2013


        A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of being one of the guest speakers at the Belle Du Jour "Street Chic" event. After I told the lovely ladies about my favorite Pig Out Spots, I answered a few questions from the audience members. One of the questions I was asked, was "What's the best buffet in Metro Manila?". Without even thinking about it, my answer came naturally. I simply said, "If how they were before their renovation is any indication, my favorite buffet has got to be Spiral at Sofitel Manila." I heard a bunch of "oohs" and "aahhs" that made it clear that many of these ladies knew what I was talking about. I told the lady who asked, "But I haven't been back since it re-opened, but I hope to soon.".

       Someone up there must have been listening, because a few days later, I once again found myself standing before the most lavish buffet in the country.

       This is my triumphant return to Spiral. And an homage to Spiral's Triumphant Return. 

              I don't mean to sound arrogant, but there was an air of familiarity that I felt when I went back to Spiral. I had been to the old version quite a number of times, because it became one of my boss's favorite places to hold a meeting (And believe me, the man loves to hold meetings). One time, he took me there for a breakfast meeting.. and the discussion unexpectedly extended a bit longer than it should have, so he asked me if I could ask the person he was going to meet up with next in Quezon City, if he would be willing to come here for lunch instead. You could tell the person was initially reluctant when being told that the boss wanted him to travel to Manila from QC on short notice. I think I heard every possible excuse in the book. But when I said, "Sir said we'll just meet here.. at Spiral", the only reply I got was "See you in an hour".  So yes, I had Breakfast there... AND LUNCH. 

          That was a great day.

            As always, the dining area was absolutely stunning. It warmed my heart to see the place being restored after the terrible typhoon that caused so much damage. The lovely Jane from their E-Commerce Department took me on a quick tour of the newly refurbished Spiral, and I swear, my jaw must have dropped down to the floor with the changes they made. 

         Like I said, I was very familiar with the old Spiral - I knew the layout like the back of my hand. I knew what went where and immediately noticed when something was moved, so I was constantly left in awe when Jane would show me a new feature added during their 11 Million Dollar renovation.

Like their private Dining Rooms.  


        Spiral included six new lavish private dining rooms, aptly named the "Indulgence", "Epicure", "Decadence", which can seat up to 12 people comfortably, but can be joined together to fit from 24 to 36 people. 

             The "Tasting" function room can accomodate up to 8 people, while the "Voyeur" and "Hidden" are premiere private rooms that can accommodate up to 12 people each, but a bit more secluded from the first four, making it ideal for intimate meetings and functions. The Voyeur offers a peek at the kitchen, so you see the action as it happens.

The selection of wine available would make any wine connoissuer's head spin 

          Perhaps the most evident improvement to Spiral, is the presence of La Veranda. A bar, and an extension to the dining area, is a dazzling addition to what is already an amazing restaurant. The glass covered lounge gives you a spectacular view of the pool and the sunset by the bay - perfect to enjoy a nice drink, or in my case... an epic meal.

          A nice new concept they added is "Spiral To Go", a small kiosk by the restaurant entrance, which allows a guest to take home some of the goodies they'll find at Spiral.

           Just to get my juices going, I had a piece of Spiral's famed Olive Bread, which was served to me steaming hot, but the crust having a beautiful crunchy exterior. The bread went nicely with the pesto butter that it was served with.

        Before we began our tour Jane explained to Rina and I what the biggest difference was from the Spiral of old. Let's face it, before it was struck by mother nature, Spiral was at the upper echelon of the hotel buffet scene. You would think that the management of Sofitel had every right to go with the notion of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Meaning that apart from the physical repairs needed to the restaurant, their system was perfectly fine.

     But apparently, Sofitel had no intention to just rebuild. They decided to reload as well. 

      Dining at Spiral is not just a mere meal, but an entire interactive experience as well. Food stations are now known as "Ateliers", because everything you feast on are created by Spiral's - not just chefs- but artists in their kitchen. The chefs proudly stand behind their atelier, and are more than willing to engage their guests to a short conversation on the dishes that they've prepared for you.  

Atelier #1 Salad and Appetizers 

         I'm not going to lie to you..I skimmed through the salad station. Although i have to admit, it was quite unique how the locally grown produce were laid out in shelves for you to choose from, where you can have it tossed by their chefs in a dressing of your choice. 

      Another new development at Sofitel's Spiral, is the their new "De-Light" menu concept, which offers delicious, yet well balanced, low calorie items. One such item was their Cucumber-Pineapple smoothie, which Rina was surprised to find to be quite refreshing. 

       Salads may be brought to the tossing station, where you may choose your dressing, or have their chef toss it for you.            

Atelier #2: L' Eccalier

         Rina let out a gasp when she saw the L'Ecailler Atillier, which featured a beautiful selection of fresh seafood to choose from. 

Fresh Mussels

Plump Prawns

And some sort of Shellfish that reminded me of an alien. 

Atelier #3: L' Epicerie

          One of the most impressive additions to Spiral Manila, would have to be the L' Epicerie. In layman's terms, it's the cheese room. Yes, you read that right. If other buffets have a wooden slab with assorted cheeses laid out for you to choose from, Spiral has one entire room, dedicated to the magnificence of cheese.

            Their selection is pretty thorough, too. Some of these cheeses I've never even heard of, but the aroma that swirled the room made it highly evident that you were getting the good stuff. 

              There was also an assortment of deli meats to choose from.. a selection that would give any deli in the country a run for its money.  

       Also available are a wide range of condiments to go with your cheese and meats. From Sun dried tomatoes, to hot mustards and Chilis.. Practically anything you can think of, Spiral has already thought of it for you. 

Atelier #4: Sushi Sashimi

          Whenever I go to a buffet, and see my companions load up on the sushi and sashimi stations, I'm always perplexed. With the wide range of cooked food to choose from, I never understood why both eating raw fish. I asked Rina that same question, as she piled up some sushi on her plate, and all she could answer me was, "Because it's delicious!". 

         In Spiral, Sushi and Sashimi are elevated to the next level.


There you will find the finest sushis prepared for you....

With the freshest seafood used in making classic Japanese rice rolls.. 

        But if you had something else in mind that isn't on display, Spiral has a Sushi Chef on standby, ready to slice and roll a creation for you on the spot!

Atelier #5: Hot Japanese

        If you're like me whenever you're at a buffet the first Thing you do is make a beeline for the shrimp tempura station before it runs out. The funny thing is I don't even eat shrimp that much. Its just annoying to see a person get a tray-full at a time, and saying he's getting "for the table" (It's a buffet, dude.. you're supposed to get YOUR OWN).  It would be a good idea to go straight to spirals hot Japanese Atelier, Because you wouldn't want to miss out on their Teppanyaki cooked right in front of your very eyes.

And yes they had assorted types of tempura..

Rina was quite pleased to find out there was a sukiyaki station as well..

I got a chance to meet their Japanese Chef Hiroaki Yamaguchi, who surprised the hell out of me, by his ability to speak better Tagalog than me!

I was speaking to him in English when he said, "Are you Filipino?"
I replied, "Yes, Chef."
And he answered with, "Yun naman pala eh, pinahirapan mo pa ako!"

The dude is awesome!

Atelier #6: French Stove

        You are looking at one of the most impressive pieces of culinary equipment in the entire country. As irrefutable proof that Sofitel spared no expense in making sure Spiral returned to the top of the Buffet heap, they flew in this top of the line Bonnet Oven that costs more than my house and car put together. At the tune of around Ten Million pesos, this is one of the centerpieces of Spiral's relaunch.

        The French stove Atelier Features some mouthwatering French dishes for you to choose from, served in beautiful brass pots.

Atelier #7: Wood Fire Oven

Also quite impressive, was the wood fire oven atelier. 

The fire burned furiously in the oven as a chef would bring pizzas
 in and out of it, baking it to a beautiful crisp.

Yup that's crispy bacon on the pizza. I asked.

Atelier #8: Rotisserie

Photo c/o Sofitel Manila

           Be mindful when you're at the French Oven Atelier, because you might not realize that the Rotisserie section is there as well. Although you'd have to be blind to not notice the amazing whole chickens being slow cooked to ultimate perfection. Apart from Chicken, you may take meat Seafood and meat from other sections and have it roasted here as well. 

Atelier #9: Brazillian Churrasco 

         I was a little bit taken aback when I was informed that there was no longer a carving station. However, everything made perfect sense once I saw there was a Brazilian Churrasco Atelier.

         Gorgeously cooked meats served the Brazilian way, and from a spit, sliced directly unto your plate. 

       If the meat is not served at the temperature of your liking, you may easily have it cooked to your taste. 

 They had my required Prime Rib.. 

Stunning Lamb...

And Pork Shoulder..

    As you can imagine, this was clearly one of the Ateliers I visited the most! 

             I was also quite impressed with the attention they paid to their sauces and salts for their meat. They had the Mint Jelly that I love for the lamb, Mustard for the steak, and an array of assorted salts, such as "Pepper Salt", "Herb Salt" and "Lemon Salt". Although the salts help compliment the flavor of the meat, to me, the meats are phenomenal on their own. (But I have to admit i'm addicted to Lamb and Mint Jelly hehe)

Atelier #10: North Indian

Photo c/o Sofitel Manila

       Spiral also has an Atelier of the finest North Indian Cuisine. The station is filled with dishes that feature Tandoori spiced meats that taste so authentic you would swear you were dining at the home of a Maharajah. 

       Their secret weapon? An authentic Tandoori oven imported from India. It was pretty amazing, and the ideal tool for their Indian Chef Halim Ali Khan to work his culinary magic.  

Atelier #11: Asian Noodles 

        Although I'm not too big on soups, one can't help but take notice of the Asian Noodle Atelier, in which chefs pull noodles by hand in full display of the guests, ensuring that you get nothing but the freshest noodles and ingredients in your dish. 


         I have an addiction to Peking Duck wraps, so this the Peking Duck Oven Atelier is one of the first stations I attacked. It was nice watching them carve up the duck, and make the wrap right in front of me (I asked them to skip any form of veggies hehe)

          You shouldn't miss the Crispy Pork Belly

And the Pork Asado!

Atelier #13: Steam Basket

Photo c/o Sofitel

          Funny Story.. Rina was so intent on getting her Xiao Long Bao from the  Steam Basket Atelier, that she totally forgot to take pictures of the main portion of it. But with a whole variety of dimsum to choose from, it was a bit difficult to fault her. I'm pretty sure the same thing would have happened to me.

Atelier #14: Chinese Wok

      Whenever I go to Spiral, I usually go back to their Chinese Wok Atelier several times. This time was no exception. The creations of Executive Chinese Chef Chee Wah Mok had me floored. From his stir fried beef,

       To the amazing pork belly in a thick sauce, and Sweet Chili Fish fillet, I went back around three times for this. 

Atelier #15: FILIPINO

         Respecting the country that it has called home, Sofitel Made sure that the Filipino Atelier was well represented. 

       You know i'm going straight for the Inihaw na Liempo (Grilled Pork Belly)

  Also available are Pinoy favorites, Adobo, Caldereta, and many more

Atelier #16: Thai

        The rich flavors of Thailand are brought to our shores by the Thai Atelier, spearheaded by Filipino Chef Romeo Malate, who specializes in Thai Cuisine. Fish Cakes, Curries, and chili infused dishes make this station one that you must make a stop at.

Atelier #17: Korean

          My mom, a fanatic of anything from Korea, would love to have seen the  dishes that the Korean Atelier had to offer. Of course the ever present Kimchi was there, as was the chili garlic squid. But one of the best things I had in Spiral that lunch, was the Kalbi or Grilled Pork Ribs.

Atelier #18: Le Boulangerie

          I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for some good bread. So imagine how I felt when I was swarmed by practically every type of bread that you could possibly imagine. 

  From rye, to ciabatta and Foccacia, Spiral had an amazing selection of baked bread goodness.

We also got a front seat view of the Olive Bread being freshly baked

Atelier #19: Le Patisserie

The item that caught my eye from the dessert Atelier was the Rum Baba. 
A bit of vanilla cream on top a soaked bundt cake,
 with a little bottle thingamajig sticking on top, for you to inject more rum! 

Apart from the Rum Baba, they also had some of other Dessert favorites,
Like Chocolate mousse, Cheesecake, Panna Cotta and Creme' Brulee'

No matter how full we felt, skipping dessert was NOT an option

Kids are gonna flip out over their selection of Jelly beans, 
Jelly Bears, Sour String, and other candy goodies.

Despite the worldly selection of the dessert treats,
 Spiral also features some classic Filipino desserts 

Atelier #20: Chocolaterie

          As we passed by the Chocolaterie Atelier, We were fortunate to witness a chocolate creation being made by Spiral's Pastry Chef, Chef Tweet Obsequio.

      We were curious to see the creation she was working on, but since we weren't allowed into the room (Its kept at 16 degrees.. my kind of room), we couldn't quite make out what it was.

            Thankfully, Chef Tweet was kind enough to bring it closer to the window for us to view. 

And what a masterpiece it was.

            Chef Tweet used a combination of White chocolate and Milk Chocolate, to make a Poigant dessert piece for Spiral on Mother's day, which in my opinion, was too beautiful to eat, but too delicious to pass up. 

        Three chocolate fountains, featuring free flowing Milk chocolate, White Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate, with several choices of fruits and pastries, just waiting for you to give it a mouth-watering chocolate bath. 

Atelier #21: Creamery

            The final Atelier is the Creamery, which offers some frozen treats to wind down what is sure to have been an amazing meal.  

         Different ice creams, ranging from the classics, such as Vanilla, Strawberry and chocolate, to the green tea and pistachio are all made in house. 

          Spiral also has different fun toppings, like nuts, sprinkles and marshmallows, readily available for an even more awesome ice cream experience. 

      Again, paying tribute to our beautiful country and the amazing desserts we have to offer, there is also a Halo Halo Station.

      During that same talk for Belle Du Jour, I said that I don't like calling something "The best", but Spiral makes a very strong case for the best buffet in the land once again. I have to say, I've been dreaming of coming back to Spiral, and when I finally got there, I can safely say that it was better than I could ever have imagined.  

      The only suggestion I would make, is something that my blogger friends thought of when I was talking about my experience in Spiral. There's no possible way to try every single atelier in one sitting, so if Spiral came up with a "Two Day/Meal Pass", I would definitely be all over that! 

      Just a humble suggestion :) 

       Thank you to Jane for an amazing lunch, and a wonderful tour! Rina and I can't wait to go back soon! 

How amazing would it be if someone did a Giveaway for dinner for two at Spiral? 
You'll never know  :) 

“Rates are subject to change without prior notice”

Check them out on the web:
Spiral website:
Spiral Facebook: Spiral Manila
Spiral Twitter: @SpiralManila

Spiral - Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Mouth watering!!!! And you had to post this past midnight .... Argh!!!!!!

  2. Most beautiful restaurant in Manila, nay, the world? Looks pretty special, though I don't like the "Atelier" thing. We are in the Philippines, not the south of France. Pretentious much? But I know they go for that sort of thing in Manila. (No offense, you gorgeous Manilenos and nas, your suplada-ness is part of what we provincianos love about you).

    The desserts look exactly like my thing.

    1. The restaurant really is gorgeous.. possibly one of my most beautiful I've seen.
      The entire hotel has a "French Touch" to it, which i'm assuming is one of the driving forces behind the "Atelier" idea..

  3. First post I read today and I'm having a headache thinking WHEN I'm going to try Spirals. Gawd I'm so going to lock myself inside the cheese room.

    1. I get a headache thinking of when I could go back hehe

  4. Nice post Richie. I enjoyed reading it, especially the part about two Spirals meals in one day. That has to be a first. :)

    Btw, for a split second there, I thought that said "Beer Lollipop" in your Spirals-to-go picture. lol

    1. haha im sure that would have made a lot of my friends who drink happy!

      Thanks JB!

  5. Wah... I was able to come here for a Saturday buffet last April. And now, I want to go back! I think I dropped by ALL the Ateliers, but wasn't able to taste some offerings (there was just too much!!!). :) Would LOVE to go back again!

    1. Dez, thats how i felt! you have a deep sense of regret when you look back at it now... WJHY DIDN'T I TRY EVERYTHING?!?!

  6. Do you need to book for reservation or walk-in won't hurt?

    1. I would strongly suggest to reserve, but I know they accept walk ins, depending on availability :)

  7. New reader here :)

    Did you try the chocolate souffle in front of the puto bumbong and bibingka? Heavenly! Too bad, like you, hubby and I really didn't have enough space in our tummy to try EVERYTHING. Can't wait to go back, this time for dinner, to get the goodies that I had to pass up.

    And isn't Jane just the nicest? She was also the one who took us on a tour of Spiral when we dined there during their Tour de France last July. We wanted to take photos and thought it'll be better to do it with permission from Spiral and Sofitel rather than do it on a sly.

    1. Hi Shella, I think I was too full and I missed out on the souffle.. hehe

      Jane really was an amazing hostess.. I've checked out your blog! Great stuff :)

      Us picky ones gotta stick together! ;)

  8. Good day! Pickiest Eater, This is Philippine Women's University (Sta.Cruz, Laguna) Event Team, we would like to ask if it is possible for us to have a Restaurant Tour and Dining Experience in this Spiral Buffet in Sofitel. We would also like to have a brief overview about the establishment or a brief seminar about the tour in their facilities, Do you think is this possible for us?

    1. Hi Lian, I have absolutely no clue if it's possible for you, as I am not connected with Spiral or Sofitel Manila in any way. However if you would like to email me at, I can help you by putting you in touch with someone who would be in a better position to assist you.




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