My high school friend and I rarely get to see each other since she is based at Cagayan de Oro city. This is why we try to schedule what we call our “food trip” meet-ups when she comes for a visit. This time, we agreed to have our lunch date at a popular buffet place in the city. While not really a fan of buffets, I have been thinking about the last one I have been to while in Chungju. The pleasant experience as well as the scrumptious food I enjoyed at that time made me think about giving the restaurant here a try. Something that I was not keen on doing before.
As expected, the place was already jampacked when I got there. The crowd was the first thing that hit me when I entered the restaurant led by one of the staff in charge of seating guests. I’m not sure if all Sundays are like that or it was more crowded because it was after Halloween and many are celebrating All Souls’ Day. For such a huge space, there were already a lot of people and lunch was not even in full swing yet. I was only roughly half an hour after its opening hours.
The restaurant is definitely bigger and has more extensive selections of food and beverages than Edelweiss in Chungju. But since I’m one of those people who feel easily drained in the midst of a crowd, I couldn’t help but think that I probably should have visited the place on a weekday. I liked Edelweiss’ more subdued ambiance.
With nothing to do while waiting for my friend and her kids, I just sat there surveying my surroundings. I noticed that our table was wobbling. The lighting seemed a bit dark for me considering it was lunch time. I think it was because we were seated a bit farther from the entrance.
I have no complaints about the extensiveness of the selections. There were so many that I wasn’t able to sample each one of them. I found myself gravitating to the Japanese cuisine area. I also love how there were so many choices of desserts and drinks. In that aspect, it was certainly far better than the other place.
For now, I’m not sure if I find the experience worth the cost of the meal. The food was good, but nothing stood out for me like the spinach and smoked salmon salad at Edelweiss that somehow got stuck in my head. I guess I was looking for that something different that would make me want to come back. But then again, I haven’t tried much of what’s in the entire menu so there must’ve been plenty I’ve missed.
In terms of service, there’s nothing much for me to say. Except for the reservation that was handled efficiently, there was nothing remarkable that I could remember. It was a busy day and I could just imagine all the staff have their hands full so I wasn’t expecting much interaction with them. Our table was bussed regularly in the beginning. But the frequency diminished as lunchtime progressed. I also noticed some of the dessert spoons were not cleaned thoroughly. These are common lapses that happen to many restaurants during the lunch or dinner rush.
Buffets are one of my weakest points. I’ve often wondered how someone with my appetite and love for food can’t seem to eat as much as I could at buffets. I think having a smorgasbord of choices overwhelms me. Or it could also be that I tend to gravitate to food that satisfies me most. It’s probably why I loved the relatively smaller buffet place at the upper floors of Lotte Mart in Chungu. Popular but not overly crowded on the nights we dined there. The food was good. While the dessert selections were a disappointment, the overall experience was great. Something that I didn’t feel during this most recent buffet indulgence.