We love buffet style restaurants because we get to taste a wide variety of dishes while taking control of the ones that we want to have more of. And in our experience, most of the time, it was worth the price. So, we’ll be featuring more eat all you can buffet-style food places here, like Cabalen restaurant.
One weekend in June, our family was out for a whole afternoon of food trips and we were scheduled to watch a flick around 3pm. So, we had a lot of time to spare for lunch. I’ve been wanting to eat at Cabalen for the longest time so we decided to head on there to try their eat-all-you-can buffet.
Cabalen’s buffet in Trinoma features Filipino and Asian dishes. The price is Php 468 per adult, Php 270 for kids (4 feet and below). This buffet is available only at their branches in SM Clark, SM Mall of Asia Glorietta and SM Megamall. Their other branches only feature Filipino dishes.
It was easy to get a table even though the place was a bit packed. We only waited for about five (5) minutes. After we were seated, there were about 3 more tables that were emptied.
Our parents were the first ones to hit the buffet so we already had an idea which we should try first. I was browsing the whole buffet spread and got my eye hooked on trying their Kare-kare.
I was a bit let down by the number of dishes they were serving. There weren’t a lot of main dishes. I was expecting some Filipino favorites like Adobo, Sinigang, etc. Pictured above are these dishes: Kare-kare, Ginataang Kuhol, Bopis, Dinuguan, Kalderetang Baka, and something else I can’t remember.
There were also other dishes like Pancit Bihon, sushi, and some dimsum. On the other side of the buffet area, there’s Pinaputok na Pla-pla, Bangus with Tomatoes, and Inihaw na Hito. They also had Pritchon and Sizzling sisig that you can order and will be served upon request. Sadly, we only got to try their Pritchon and not the sisig (Ken’s favorite) because we were waiting too long and no one was manning the area.
So, we decided to go for desserts. You can make your own halo-halo. They had Ginataang Alpahor (some call this Ginataang Bilo-bilo), Palitaw, fruits, and a chocolate fondue, which Ken completely enjoyed. He always looks for a choco fountain whenever we’re at a buffet restaurant.
That’s Ken at the chocolate fountain.
You might be wondering why else I’m disappointed with Cabalen in Trinoma. First was I was expecting a wider variety of main dishes. Second, the dishes were all bland for our taste. The only ones I enjoyed was the Bopis and Pancit Bihon. The rest were lacking in flavor. Even their Ginataang Alpahor was flat. Their beef in their Kaldereta was tough, the fried chicken was overcooked. *sigh*
If you’re thinking of bringing friends or your family here for lunch or dinner, make sure you’re all not too hungry or that the place isn’t that packed. The dishes aren’t that bad. We know how difficult it is to maintain an eat-all-you-can buffet style restaurant, but we’ve had better food at Lola Maria’s. I guess they should’ve stuck with fewer but flavorful dishes if they were having trouble maintaining the quality of their dishes.
The service crew was also slow at refilling the servings. We, along with a couple other diners, had to follow up 4 times to refill the Tempura and some of their other dishes. Ken even had to wait for about 10 minutes before they can refill the marshmallows for the chocolate fondue! Seriously?!
After this, Ken and I both agreed that dining at Yakimix, although pricey, was more worth it than our experience in Cabalen. We’ll willingly add Php 300 more per person for a wider variety of dishes and better dining experience. I guess you can say you get what you pay for, eh?
We’re giving Cabalen in Trinoma a rating of Just Okay, with 2.5 out of 5 stars. I wish their other branches offer more flavors and better service.
There are other eat all you can restaurants you can try that’s more worth the buck. Click here to read our reviews of the ones we’ve already been to (we’ll have a special section for this once I’m done with the new theme). Feel free to share your recommendations too at the comments section.
Cabalen Eat All You Can Restaurant
2/F Trinoma, EDSA cor. North Ave., Quezon City – 10am to 9pm
Contact #: (02) 901-3602
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