New hotel buffet at Dusit Thani's The Pantry: 7 standouts
MANILA, Philippines – Dusit Thani Manila is going through some major changes, starting off with The Pantry, their new all-day dining restaurant featuring a large buffet selection.
We checked out The Pantry at its grand opening on September 19 and found that like many hotel buffets, it boasts pretty interiors and displays. Their farm-to-fork concept, which has them serving veggies delivered straight from Tagaytay, translated well to the restaurant's design.
Like other buffets too, it has its hits and misses. Buffets can get overwhelming because we're all spoiled for choice, and The Pantry's 9 food stations are no exception.
If you're heading over there soon, here are a few of the standouts from The Pantry that you should try out (and some we'd recommend skipping):
Everyone – from Executive Chef Nicholas Issel to Dusit Thani's general manager – were talking about the lechon, and it lived up to the hype. The meat was tender and juicy, and the skin was crisp – what more could you ask for?
The Pantry has a great carving station in general, with pork and chicken meat falling off their bones. Everything had a great flavor too.
The Pantry has an Italian Brick Oven Pizza station that you should definitely try out. If you wanted to get just one slice (why would you though?), skip the thin crust ones – like the smoked salmon – and go for the mushroom or taro pizzas, which are small, round, and thick.
This appetizer was cute and delicious, but also pretty hard to get at. After you take pictures of the tiny bottle, mix up its contents with your chopsticks. The tuna will be slippery, but the effort is worth it – like the other seafood at The Pantry, this was fresh and the taste did not overpower the senses.
While you're at the salad station, where the tuna can be found, you may want to pass on the tempura rolls. You're better off getting sushi at an actual Japanese restaurant.
Speaking of seafood, The Pantry has a great selection – their display of fresh scallops, oysters, and clams isn't just for show, they're all up for grabs. If you aren't too keen on raw seafood, you can try their oysters rockefeller, which are baked in such a way that the meat underneath the crisp cheese layer isn't rubbery at all. Their sea bass has a great texture too, soft, but not mushy or undercooked.
Salted caramel ice cream
The Pantry has 8 different flavors of ice cream to choose from, but their salted caramel is everyone's favorite for a reason. Unlike many other salted caramel flavored desserts that just taste sweet, the restaurant's homemade ice cream gets the salty-sweet balance just right.
The ice cream is right beside a churro station, and The Pantry's version of a chocolate fountain. While the churros didn't really catch our attention, it might be a good idea to top your dessert with some of that chocolate dip if you're feeling extra sinful. Of course, the buffet also offers up its own array of ice cream toppings.
Chocolate covered strawberries
These are a classic, and The Pantry got them right. While a number of the cakes found near these berries were disappointing (pretty to look at, but dry to taste), these were perfectly sweet and juicy, and the chocolate didn't overwhelm the berries.
If you're still craving dessert, or if you just want something sweet on the go, The Pantry has a small bakeshop open near the entrance to take care of your sweet tooth.
Definitely ask for a glass of orange juice when you pass by the buffet's beverage studio. Their juice tastes fresh, like it was squeezed out of a fruit right then and there – not like it came from a carton that claimed it was fresh.
They're serving up cocktails and wines too, if you're up for it, and coffee and tea to wash your meal down.
Breakfast at The Pantry is priced at P1,450 everyday, lunch at P1850 on weekdays and P2,300 on weekends, and dinner at P2,100 from Mondays to Thursdays, P2,350 on Fridays and Saturdays, and P1,900 on Sundays.
With its fresh ingredients and variety of choices, Dusit Thani Manila's The Pantry is a fun new addition to the list of Manila's many hotel buffets competing for diners' attention. Will you be visiting soon? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com
The Pantry can be found at Dusit Thani, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Makati, 1223 Metro Manila