Vikings. Luxury. Buffet. These three words strung together is probably the only reason I would willingly brave the heavy traffic of either the CAA-Evacom or President’s Avenue routes to loiter around SM City BF Parañaque these days. For those living in the south who just love getting their buffet stretch pants on (let’s admit it, there are a lot of us), their newest Vikings BF Parañaque branch is a godsend, being a lot closer to home and not as packed at the second nearest Vikings haunt at the SM Mall of Asia.
From the outside, the design of the buffet restaurant looks more like something out of a posh boutique hotel than at a mall in Parañaque. The space is decked out with beautiful industrial chandeliers that mimic branches of trees, hanging over and illuminating the spread. There are woven baskets, porcelain birds, and green leafy accents decorating the space as well, set against the gold lattice design above the buffet, giving the place the look and feel of a modern rooftop garden. In fact, the look of their newest branch is so unlike the other stores, if it weren’t for the gigantic sign up on the wall, only the hat made of bread by the entrance gives the place away.
If you’ve been doing the rounds of the Vikings buffet spreads at all the different branches long enough, you’ll notice that although most of their main items are the same, each has their own little twist on the presentation. I first saw the Watermelon Gazpacho at Vikings more luxurious sister, Niu, but the BF Homes branch makes it their own with a touch of basil. Even a simple starter like their Deviled Eggs have a are given a more luxurious mouthfeel with a touch of caviar, the little beads popping in your mouth with each bite.
For those who cannot resist the cheese platters at hotel buffets, Vikings has a simple spread of soft and hard cheeses, sometimes cut into cubes or presented as wedges by the front of the restaurant. It isn’t mind-blowing, but the creature comfort of having cheese with your starters is always appreciated. Kids who want their burger fix can enjoy a healthier version with Chicken Sliders with a side of chunky Potato Salad.
I have always liked the Tuna Ceviche that sometimes makes an appearance at the luxury buffet – always fresh, a bit sour and a little spicy. When that isn’t on offer, they usually have a bright orange Spicy Salmon Sashimi option that is even better.
For a more Singaporean starter, the restaurant offers Smoked Chicken, Smoked Sausages, Nguyong Rolls, and Jellyfish by the starter buffet table.
I’ve always seemed to glaze over the dumpling and shabu-shabu sections of the luxury buffet, but this time I decided to give it a go as it was placed prominently to one corner. Whether it be Siomai, Hakaw, or Chicken Feet you’re looking for, Vikings always has the classic crowd pleasers.
For the hotpot section, pick out what you think you can consume (don’t go buck wild – other people want to eat, too), pick a broth (sate!) and wait for your server to deliver it – little burner contraption and all – to your table.
Speaking of crowd pleasers, the first station guests always seem to gravitate towards is the very colorful Japanese station, where all of Vikings’ creative makimonos are lined up in rows, along with light golden tempura and tonkatsu to one side, and delicately cut pieces of sashimi ready for noshing. If you like pretty, Instagrammable food porn, this is the food station to beat.
For a taste of Asia, this luxury buffet doesn’t disappoint. Start with a simple get addicting Lemon Chicken with the tangy sauce on the side, making sure the pieces of poultry you get is always crispy. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, they usually have some version of Singaporean Crab on display- whether it be the garlicky or the simple salt and pepper version. Ask a server for a crab cracker to really get into the claw meat!
You can tell which dishes are Filipino by the vibrant colors. One is immediately drawn to the super colorful Pinakbet, with plump pink pieces of shrimp peeking out from under all the reds, yellows, and greens of the mixed vegetables.
Heck, they even managed to make Pata Tim – a dish made with pork leg that’s been braised in a mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, pineapple juice, and spices – look interesting, with thinly julienned carrots and roughly chopped eggs giving the fatty dish texture and color.
The Sweet & Sour Tilapia is presented like how it would be on a plate – with a lot of vegetables for extra color, and the fillets of fried meat piled high on top of each other covered with its golden glaze. For those who are fond of Korean food, the restaurant also serves Jap Chae, Yangnyeom Tongdak (Korean fried chicken), Bulgogi, and Kimchi.
Refreshments are a no brainer at Vikings as they always have a nice array of liquid libations to choose from. Fill your glass with everything from Lemon Grass-Infused Iced Teas, Blueberry Lemonade, Iced Milo, sake, and draft beer. While enjoying dessert, pick your favorite blend of Twining tea or a cup of coffee to settle the stomach, or create your own drinkable dessert by mixing dark chocolate ice cream (from the ice cream station, naturally) in a glass with Iced Milo!
The fish look incredibly fresh at the new Vikings branch in BF Parañaque! I’m not quite sure if it’s because the overall design of the place just makes every look so shiny and pretty or because I was just really hungry to begin with and everything looked so good! All up for grilling (or prepared any way you want, really), pick your seafood of choice, let the cook know what you want done to it, give them your table number, and wait for it to arrive at the table, already plated with its suggested dipping sauce for added flavor.
The grilling station seems to be another crowd favorite, especially with the men! Chicken Jerky Skewers, Beef Kebabs, and Pork Medallions are all available for the picking. What is it with men and food that comes on a stick?
A revelationary discovery – at least to me – is the teppan station. I had never really paid this station much mind before, but the buttery smell of searing beef was calling out to me, it’s smokey finger teasing my nostrils, beckoning me to give them a second glance. And so I did. And I did not regret it one bit.
The roasting station is almost always crowded, with meaty offerings laid out Roman style-y. US Roasted Beef Belly, Baked Cajun Turkey, Whole Barbecue Chicken Jamaican Jerky, Spicy Belly-chon, Spit-Herb Leg of Lamb, US Beef Entrecôte, and Barbecue Ribs. I almost didn’t see the ribs as they were happily bubbling away in a big stock pot filled with the liquid gold marinade, until someone ahead of me decided to order them. Score!
For dessert, I cannot stop raving about their Pavlova! The texture seems to change every time I pay them a visit, so I’m guessing the quality depends on who’s preparing them, but on this day the delicate little meringue balls were crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, with the fresh fruit and cream in the middle for a fruity finish. I wish they would serve bigger portions instead of the bite-sized ones, as I was leaving the dessert bar with six of these little things at a time!
Aside from the Pavlova, the cakes that they make in-house is also a treat for your sweet tooth. I was particularly fond of the chocolate cake finished with dark chocolate ganache, and crumbled brownie on top. The cakes are all simple, rustic, and not cloyingly sweet, the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.
For balikbayans and tourists looking for a taste of the Philippines, the luxury buffet doesn’t disappoint with a variety of kakanin – Biko, Cassava Cake, Suman, Puto, and Palitaw all make an appearance, served with a side of muscovado and coconut shavings. They also have Bibingka and Putobumbong all year round, which is a real treat!
For any celebration, whether big or small, Vikings Luxury Buffet is always one of the first places that come to mind when you think of an affordable place to go that serves good food with a relaxing atmosphere, and the newest branch covers all those bases. The glass garden-theme makes it even more relaxing, in fact it was so relaxing, I think I spent more time chatting over cups of tea and dessert than trying to make a dent in their buffet spread. This is definitely one of those restaurants I’ll keep coming back to, bringing a long as many friends as I can to share in all the fun and all the food.
Vikings Luxury Buffet is located on the 2nd floor of SM BF Parañaque, Dr. A Santos Avenue, Parañaque and is open daily between 11am – 2:30 and 5:30pm – 10pm. For inquiries or to reserve a table, please call +63 2 811 3888, +63 2 811 4888, +63 998 988 2888, or +63 917 895 4888.