Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Spiral Experience

Spiral is a place where you can experience quality dining buffet. They have a huge selection of food available but for me, you don't need to go to a buffet place and stuff yourself to death. The best way to experience a buffet is to enjoy the liberty of getting to eat a little bit of what you want. The problem lies when you want almost everything you see on the buffet spread. It's going to take lots of will power :)

As soon as you arrive in Sofitel Manila, you'll hear greetings from all the staff that will pass your way and they also greet each other "Bonjour! Mabuhay". Awesome feeling of respect and elegance if you ask me. As you arrive in Spiral you'll be escorted to your seats by the staff dressed with outfits designed by Rajo Laurel. Their uniforms are different from day and night. Their goal is to bring the authenticity and warmth of the French markets and Asian hawker stall but in a 5-star hotel setting. As you enter, you'll immediately notice the spacious and well lighted interiors. With a total area of almost 3200 square meters, Spiral can sit up to 452 pax in total.

They call each section of food Ateliers as the respective chefs regard their creations as a work of art. The new Spiral also encourages diners to interact with the chefs. You can discover so much if you talk to them! You can request, ask and maybe get more information about the food you are going to eat. If something is not available on display, feel free to request that as well because if they have the ingredients to make it, they will! You can even customize your meal. For example,you can get the cheese you want inside the cheese room and ask them to add it into your pasta plus maybe some cold cuts too.

The food really has quality and because they upgraded, almost all their food are on top of induction cookers to keep it warm. The 21 Ateliers in Spiral are as follows: Salad and Appetizer, L’Écailler, Sushi Sashimi, L’Epicerie, Hot Japanese, French Stove, Rotisserie, Wood fired Oven, Churrasco, North Indian, Asian Noodles, Peking Duck Oven, Steam Baskets, Chinese Wok, Filipino, Thai, Korean, La Boulangerie, La Patisserie, Chocolaterie and Creamery. I will try to share a food or two per atelier so you have an idea on what to expect.

Salad and Appetizer
Fresh vegetables on display
Salad dressing
Salad and other appetizers
These are not salad dressings. They are cold soup in a bottle.
You can ask them to mix your salad for you.
Fresh lumpiang ubod
Fresh seafood
Mussels. You can have them baked near the oven area.

Sushi Sashimi
They acquire the ingredients locally. They support the local industry.

There are cheeses in the cheese room that's only available in Spiral
You can also take it home by buying the cheese per gram.
Ask the chef what they recommend and tell them your preference.

Hot Japanese
asking for help: Chef getting me Sukiyaki soup
Grilled corn and yakitori
Hot Japanese section. The sushi section is the Cold  Japanese section.

Love the stuff they use. It eminates authenticity.

French Stove
Soup in bronze pots
Pasta ingredients you can add
Ask the chef to cook pasta. Don't forget to try out their truffle-infused pasta
These are good! Must try! Oven baked pizzas..

(Sadly, I didn't notice I don't have photos for this atelier.)

Wood fired Oven
The wood they use for the brick oven that produces awesome pizzas!

Meat lovers are sure to frequent this atelier
My fave: Mint jelly! Put these in the meat you got from the buffet

Slice 'em up, chef!

North Indian
North Indian atelier

Tandoori chicken oven imported all the way from India

Asian Noodles
Add these flavors to your noodles
Lots of choices to choose from

Peking Duck Oven
Yummy lechon kawali! Crunchy!
Peking duck wrapper
My peking duck being wrapped

Steam Baskets
One of my favorite sections!
Mongo with Salted Egg
Chicken Curry Pie
Bolognese pie
Banana choco pancake

Chinese Wok
So many chinese delicacies to choose from
Chinese desserts and pastries

Filipino food represent!
Bibingka and puto bumbong all-year round



La Boulangerie
Freshly baked olive bread -- must-try!
Each olive bread takes 32 minutes to make

La Patisserie
A wide selection of desserts

Milk, white and dark chocolate fountains
Chocolate artwork which won awards!
Chocolate artworks
Choose your own crepe
Halo-halo section
Fresh fruits
Ice cream!
I've visited Spiral around 4 times this year and here are my top 10 favorites that I highly recommend:
1) Xiao Long Bao (Both, Steam basket area)
2) Shrimp Dumpling "Hakaw" (Both, Steam basket area)
3) Foie Gras (Dinner, French stove area)
4) Lobster (Dinner, L’Écailler area)
5) Olive bread (Both, can be served to your table)
6) Lamb (Dinner, Churrasco area)
7) Sushi and Sashimi (Both, Sushi Sashimi area)
8) Pizza (Both, Wood fired oven area)
9) Pralines (Both, Chocolaterie area)
10) Bibingka (Both, Creamery area)
... and all the cheeses inside the cheese room!!!

Those 10 are the food I will eat whenever I visit Spiral. It also includes coffee and tea and during Sunday brunch, they have unlimited serving of Champagne (Either Billecart-Salmon Champagne or Moët & Chandon Champagne.)

Look for the blue "De-Light" logo
Who says buffets are not for the health conscious? They also have a wonderful tasty meal prepared just for you. Just look for the sign in the buffet spread that says "De-Light". They even have "De-Light" drinks for those who prefer a healthier drink. During my last visit, the drink for the day was "Grapefruit honey and basil". It was a bit bitter with a sweet ending but having thought of most healthy drinks and food are not actually that good, this was very much okay!

For their Xiao Long Bao, they even sent their Chinese chef to China in search for the best Xiao Long Bao recipe. They even told him to but whatever equipment he needs just to create the best Xaio Long Bao and I wasn't dissapointed when I tried it out myself considering that I love Chinese dimsum very much.

Speaking of equipment, they have this custom made kitchen by the French oven. They call it the Maestro and this was created by Bonnet. According to them, it cost them around 10 million pesos and this is what Michelin chefs around the world use.

They very much support the local industry. They try to source their ingredients  to whatever is available locally before they resort to import. Even their staff in the hotel are 90% Filipinos. As to the design, it is easy to see the Filipino trademarks as you go to each section of the hotel, including Spiral.

I'm happy that every time I dine at Spiral, I discover something new. Do not hesitate to interact with the chefs because you really could learn a lot from them. Aside from filling up your tummy, you'll feed yourself knowledge too as you learn from the experts. With their great service, ambiance and food, my last meal at Spiral definitely won't be my last meal there.

For reservations and inquiries, visit,

Address: Inside Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila 
Phone: 551-5555 

Oh! and for Father's day, don't forget to check out their wonderful surprises like:
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve whiskey tasting
Cigar demonstration by Tabacalera Incorporada.
A chance to experience driving a blue Maserati for 15 minutes around SM Mall of Asia (Head turner, that's for sure!)
...a sporty evening with 7 of his friends at Sofitel’s Snaps Sports Bar
OR from Azzaro perfume, Kiehl’s and Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle Institute.

Father's day brunch rates:
Php3250++ for adults
Php1600++ for children 4-11 years old

See you there!

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