Being a group-buying site frequent shopper, I actively check various deals sites to find out if they have anything new that I’d be interested to purchase. Since I haven’t bought anything from Deal Grocer yet since the 3rd quarter of last year, I decided to buy 2 half-priced vouchers for Cafe Jeepney’s banquet buffet that they were offering. I’ve done my research and I’ve read fellow food lovers enjoying their buffet spread, so I had some set expectations already.
This is a long overdue post. We dined here in December last year, but they’ve had their famous buffet for decades, so I don’t think there’ll be a lot of changes you can expect, except some of the dishes that were available during our visit might not be the same ones you’ll get when you dine in.
Cafe Jeepney is located inside the Intercontinental Manila in Makati, right beside Ascott Manila and across Glorietta 4. When you come in the front entrance, they’re on the right side. You’d see this:
As soon as you enter, you’d be welcomed by this cozy, well-lit dining area, with high walls and plenty of decors.
Displayed around the restaurant are paintings of jeepneys, a miniature Sarao jeep, and an actual bumper from a jeep.
The restaurant’s theme revolve around this iconic part of our Filipino culture – the jeepney.
Though you’d feel a little bit of elegance inside, you’d be comforted by the Filipino ambiance too.
Their buffet is a mix and fusion of Filipino dishes and international cuisine. And you’d be delighted by the wide variety of food you can choose from. When they said it’ll be a culinary journey on their marketing for the vouchers, they weren’t kidding.
TIP: When you dine in here, we recommend you stick with water for your beverage. That way, any excess sugar intake won’t hinder from your eating everything you can from their buffet. 😀
We do enjoy buffets like this, but we usually stay away now because of the crowds eat-all-you-can restaurants attract. We prefer to dine in a more relaxing environment, but there are times when we’re in the mood to simply indulge.
Let’s get on with the food. To start your meal, they have a section dedicated for fresh breads, soups and salads.
This is the DIY salad station. That wooden bowl is where you mix it all up and you can adjust the ingredients based on how much flavor you can take.
They have parmesan cheese, anchovies, fresh Romaine lettuce, including various dressings like Italian, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Thousand Island, and French.
Since Ken and I went straight to the meaty part of their buffet instead of going for appetizers first, we didn’t get to make our own salad. But, you should definitely give this a try!
There is a cold station available for you with dishes like Chicken with Fruit Salad, Macaroni with Cold Cuts and Seafood Penne Pasta. We didn’t get to try them though. We came from hours of shopping for groceries and what we need at Glorietta, so you can imagine how tired and hungry we were. We went straight to the main entrees.
While we were there, we observed and saw how they quickly replenish the stations. So, if a station needs a refill, you won’t need to wait long. Also, all the meats, seafood and other ingredients, especially the vegetables, all look, feel and taste fresh.
They also ensure that all the entrees, the rice, or anything they have on the buffet are nice and hot for you. They have live cooking areas, so you see how the chefs and cooks there prepare your food.
There are other starters you can go for like Pancit Hab-hab, Hototay Soup, Seafood Spinach and Tomato soups. If you prefer veggies, you’d surely enjoy the buffet too.
For your starch / carbo load choices, they have pasta, rice (Saffron and regular) and potatoes.
If you love Japanese food, you’d probably be coming back to this section where they prepare your sushi in front of you. Ken tried their sushi and I don’t have a photo ’cause he gobbled them up before I returned to our table. 😀
Now, THIS is where we stayed the longest – the meat section! They have beef, pork, sausages, chicken and lamb, cooked in various ways.
You can enjoy them grilled. Also, you can choose your meat cuts and have the chefs inside the circle cook it. You can request for a specific doneness, especially for your beef. We recommend medium well.
For the pork and ribs, most of the ones we had were nicely cooked. They have beef tapa, and a lot more! Lamb chops are also served here. They even have a carving station for pork liempo, lechon kawali, and roast turkey.
To be honest, there were just too many selections that Ken and I ended up not getting to try them all even when we only ate little portions of each buffet item. We were also saving some space for desserts. 😀
If you want something other than grilled or barbecued meats, they also have Beef Bulgogi, and this Fried Chicken in Lemon sauce, which is one of my top favorites from their buffet. I want to recreate this one at home.
Of course, we were delighted by the succulent goodness of Pork Spare Ribs they serve with sweet and sour sauce. Yum!
The Roast Chicken didn’t stand out as we’ve had better versions of this dish at home and at other restaurants. But, still, flavorful.
The Stuffed Pork Roll didn’t disappoint. I had to stop myself from coming back for more. 😀
We didn’t notice a lot of Filipino dishes such as Kare-kare or Beef Caldereta, which we read somewhere that they also serve. When we return, hopefully, they’ll have them available.
Cafe Jeepney makes some mean sauces and condiments, so you have a lot to choose from, depending on what spices you want to accompany your entrees.
They have options for seafood lovers, too! Fresh salmon, tuna, mussels, and squid ready for grilling.
They have an area there for seafoods they’ve already grilled, so you don’t have to wait.
Oh, and they grill everything over charcoal for that extra smokiness.
For main entrees, there’s the Steamed Assorted Seafoods with Saffron sauce (guess what their favorite spice is 😀 ). I absolutely enjoyed this, especially because of that subtle, delicious citrus twist.
The highlight of their seafood offerings for me is this – Seabass with Tausi sauce. I remember Ken and I coming back for more of this.
Now, let’s proceed to the most important part of the meal – DESSERTS! 😀
We were literally like kids in a candy store upon seeing the long section of their buffet, all lined up with cakes, pastries and even Filipino favorite desserts like Halo-halo.
They have a section where someone makes fresh Puto Bumbong and Bibingka for you.
And you choose from toppings of shaved coconut, margarine and toasted coconut.
For your sweet tooth, they offer you an extensive list of pastries. It’s funny that Ken and I tried so much to not eat a lot from the entree selection just so we can indulge when it’s desserts time. 😀
Before we say anything about the desserts, let me warn you that Ken makes killer pastries at home. Needless to say, we have very high standards. So, although we did find most of the choices delectable, we’ve had better. With that said, we know you’ll still enjoy them ’cause there are just too many to choose from and their pastry chef’s pretty creative.
On to the dessert selection. There are Whoopie Pies with Marshmallows, Mango Cheesecakes, Canelles, and Mango Float.
They also have fruit platters and the fruits available may vary depending on the season. Oh, and there’s Bread and Butter pudding too.
They also have Strawberry Panna Cotta, Caramelized Mandarin Panna Cotta, and Ube and Mango Pudding. They also have Vanilla Tiramisu and this Chocolate Log Cake that I think no one bothered to touch. 😀
There are many cakes to choose from: Chocolate Truffle Brulee Cake, Asher Cake, Fruit of the Forest with red wine glaze, and Chocolate Pinoy Cake.
Aside from the cakes, they also have a chocolate fountain with fruits and marshmallows.
Among all the pastries they have at the buffet, our favorite is this – Candied Lemon filled with sweet and citrusy crème chantilly. We liked it so much that we seriously took the time the eat it. Ken is planning on making this at home ’cause he makes a very yummy cream, which I’m sure will make this dessert more scrumptious than it already is.
PHOTO GALLERY: View more photos on Flickr.
If you’re wondering, Cafe Jeepney’s buffet prices are as follows:
- Lunch (Monday to Sunday) – Php 1,616.00
- Dinner (Monday to Saturday) – Php 1,616.00
But, since we got the 50% off vouchers from Deal Grocer, I only paid Php 808 per person and it was just me and Ken. We both agreed the price was all worth it, including and even considering the regular rate.
If you don’t want to splurge that much for their buffet, you have to check Cafe Jeepney’s ala carte menu: (click on images to zoom):
We liked their menu because of the wide variety of dishes they serve. And some of the menu items are marked with these tiny icons where they indicate if a dish is vegetarian, has pork in it (for those who only eat beef or chicken) and if it’s real spicy.
We had an amazing dinner at Cafe Jeepney. The food were well-prepared and presented beautifully. Their wait staff are all very accommodating and attentive without being too intrusive. When we run out of water, someone is almost always there to refill our glass.
Without a doubt, we highly recommend Cafe Jeepney. If you’re planning on celebrating or bringing a date, or even dine in for a lunch or dinner meeting, their restaurant is a great venue. Nothing compared to Hawaii vacations, but Cafe Jeepney surely offers something delicious and satisfying.
Now, we can’t wait to visit Spiral at Sofitel. We’ve heard raves about their buffet there, so they’re next on our must-try buffet list.