After a bit of planning (checking prices, asking for discount coupons, reserving table) and waiting (someone had midterms), we took our eat-all-you-can adventures to the Heat Buffet at Shangri-la Edsa this weekend.
I’m not going to lie and say that we daintily sampled the generous spread, like the good well-mannered girls we’re supposed to be. We were buffet busting veterans, efficiently hustling between table and food stations, skipping fillers (pasta, rice, lots of liquids), sampling new dishes (indian curry, spicy prawn puffs) and loading up on favorites (cheese, prime rib, rock lobster, prawns, exotic salads). The food was well worth the P1,083 (P1,548 with a 30% discount) we spent. The only real disappointment was the lack of cooked salmon or sea bass and the roast duck rolls without duck skin.
Our previously held jobs afforded us many opportunities to practice our buffet skills. Some of the tips and tricks picked up over the years are as follows:
1. Come in the comfortable clothes.
Skip tight and form fitting clothing and fabrics, unless you are willing to claim to be in the early months of pregnancy after gorging on buffet food.
Like seasoned buffet busters, we showed up in the proper gear — loose fitting cotton blouses / dress, stretchy jeans, and flats.
2. Always remember that you can come back for seconds, thirds etc…
A few years ago, during a working lunch, I remember my boss exclaiming “Is that all you’re getting?!” when I returned to the table with my first plate — 5 different cheeses, slices of seasoned salmon and smoked milkfish, and a small portion of greek salad. I politely responded with “Don’t worry Sir, I’m going back for more!”
I hate how people rush to the buffet tables and just heap huge helpings of the first things they see onto their first plate. They seem to forget that the tables and food are inanimate objects incapable of running away. It usually helps to do a taste test — get small portions of things, that look or smell interesting, before going back for bigger helpings. You’ll be able to load up on more things you actually enjoy, rather than be forced to finish less enjoyable dishes or have tons of leftovers on your plate.
Take advantage of the number of times you can return to the buffet spread. Eat from each section at a time, it’ll help you keep track of what you’ve tried and liked, should you want to come back for second helpings. Finally, standing up and walking a bit is good for you!
3. Go with good friends.
Eat-all-you-can buffets are like theme parks. There is a huge possibility that you will be presenting a less than flattering side of yourself, thus they make for awkward first dates. Your friends can watch you demolish a two plates of prawns and rock lobsters in record time and stand up for a third serving without disgust, or disdain. Your friends will also understand and or agree that there is always space for dessert.
Finally, your friends will not judge you as you waddle your way away from the meal ala Templeton at the fair (1:36 to 1:47).