For the past year, I have probably been to the luxury buffet restaurant, Vikings, more times than I’d care to admit, stuffing my gob with enough turkey and lamb with mint jelly to satisfy a small platoon on Christmas. The folks that run the luxury buffet establishments have also been quite busy this year. Aside from opening a branch at the busy SM Megamall in Mandaluyong earlier in the year, they also opened their high-end buffet place, Niu, at the Skypark in SM Aura and now their newest Vikings Luxury Buffet with a Romanesque-inspired design at the equally new SM Jazz in Makati.
With their lunch (Php 688+) and dinner (Php 888+) rates being a lot more affordable than what one would expect of its hotel counterparts, its no surprise that even a branch still in its soft opening would still be booked to the rafters.
The newest Vikings branch at SM Jazz actually has a lot of similarities to it’s big sister, Niu, with their generous use of marble, neutral hues, use of big chandeliers, and tufted chairs. The colorful chandelier reminds me of the pretty ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Compared to the other Vikings branches, this one is a bit more special, with the marble tables and tufted chairs. As this is also the newest buffet restaurants, it isn’t as crowded as its other counterparts.
When planning on dining at Vikings, some of the items to change from day to day, but more or less here’s what one can expect:
Salads & Appetizers
There are usually four to five salad options at the buffet spread. When I was there last it consisted of a sweet and tart Thai Pomelo Salad, an apple-laden Waldorf Salad, savory Potato and Egg Salad, and a Mediterranean Greek Salad.
If you feel like a little nosh before digging into the entrées, Vikings has a few hors o’deurves on hand: Deviled Eggs, Salmon Tartare canapés and Caper Bruschetta, insalata caprese, little Philly cheesesteaks, turkey sandwiches, and tuna ceviche.
If you’re the type that likes their food dipped in a crunchy coating of batter, starting with a plate of cheese tempura, beer-battered onion rings, and potato croquettes may be a good place to start.
I love a buffet with a good assortment of cheeses, and the Cold Cuts and Cheese Station at Vikings covers most of your basics. I just wish they’d have a pot of honey on hand for those who like to add the golden syrup along with their bread, butter, and cheese.
Sushi, Sashimi & Maki
Probably one of the most Instagrammed Viking buffet stations is the Japanese station that holds a colorful array of sushi, presented in a miniature Viking longboat. Although the little pieces of sushi looked delectable, I find them lacking in flavor and prefer the spicier tuna sashimi and salmon sashimi.
The creative chefs behind the Japanese station got a bit more creative with the makimonos they served up that varied from the slightly spicy Spicy Salmon Sashimi Rolls, to the tropical California Rolls, the crunchy Tempura Maki Rolls, savory Ninja Beef Rolls, huge Crazy Maki Rolls, pretty Dragon Rolls, and their Vikings Special Rolls.
Another interesting station to note is Viking’s shabu-shabu station, where you basically pick out all the ingredients you want as well as your broth (I particularly prefer the Taiwanese sate sauce), and one of the servers will bring it to the table along with a little cooking apparatus so you can enjoy watching it cook away tableside.
Indulging in more Asian favorites, I really love the spicy slivers of jellyfish as well as the beef kimchi. For those looking for a more adventurous Asian food experience they also have drunken chicken feet as well as a cholesterol-raising drunken pata for guests to indulge in.
Vikings’ Soy Chicken always reminds me of Singapore, and to add to the hawker stand experience, there is also the pork asado and kuchay rolls to remind one of strolls and shopping sprees along Orchard Road.
While we’re on the topic of a taste of Singapore, one doesn’t need to go to Marina Bay for a taste of Steamed Crab with Shaoxing wine or Lapu-Lapu with Soy Sauce anymore. The luxury buffet restaurant also has other favorites like Steamed Suahe, Kai-Lan with straw mushrooms in oyster sauce, Long Life Noodles, and Pata Tim.
Of course, if you’re looking for Filipino dishes, the establishment also has a personal favorite of mine, Crispy Pata in Kare-Kare Sauce, a posh-looking Chicken Inasal in Adobo Reduction, hearty Corned Beef in Mechado Sauce, a seafood medley of Ginataang Hipon, Alimango at Kalabasa, and an interesting-looking Pancit Ilocos.
For guests that are hankering for more Japanese, there are platters and platters of gyudon, teriyaki chicken, and tempura on hand – which is again, one of the more popular stations as there never seems to be any more tempura when I pass by looking for some!
The Yakitori station is another fan favorite, with little skewers of pork and chicken being brushed with the dark soy sauce before being put on the grill.
They also have another grill station towards the back that grill Greek beef souvlaki, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, and Grilled Skewered Shrimp – I found the jerk chicken to be the better tasting of the three. For the seafood, the fish may vary from day to day, but when I was there they had Spicy Tuna, Gindara Kabay, Thai Fish Fillet, and Grilled Salmon. Gindara and salmon are always good bang for your buck, so if you love our fishy friends as much as I do, keep going back for that.
There are usually at least two pizzas displayed on their station at any given time. The Carbonara pizza with a squid ink base seems to be a favorite, the contrasting colors and pops of green with a sunny side up egg in the middle making for an interesting conversation piece. For a taste of Italia that isn’t all pasta and pizza, there are other dishes on offer like the Lengua Con Setas and Italian Lamb Stew.
If there is a station that guests enthusiastically queue for, it is definitely the roasts station. Thick slabs of US Beef Entrecôte are piled one on top of the other, ready to be sliced, seared, and slathered with a sauce of your choice. I love myself a good peppercorn sauce, but they also have a decadent mushroom and truffle gravy oh hand, as well.
I am of the firm belief that any post-Christmas or pre-New Year meal should always include turkey in some form or another, and the Herb Orange Stuffed Turkey at Vikings does not disappoint, although I do wish their cranberry sauce would be a bit thicker.
Another favorite is the crunch Spicy Bellychon, a Filipino take on porchetta with the boneless pork slab stuffed with lemongrass, herbs, and spices. This is best enjoyed with the liver sauce on the side that accompanies it and lots, and lots of rice.
The New Zealand Garlic and Rosemary Stuffed Leg of Lamb is a personal favorite, served with mint jelly and a side of vegetables, one can probably find me going back for just this at least twice.
Dessert is always a plethora of sweet treats ranging from bite-sized cakes, shot-glass puddings and custards, cookies, gummy candy, ice cream, and yogurt. Kids and grown ups alike would line up for the chocolate fountains, dipping in marshmallows on sticks, cookies, crinkles, and the like, which makes for a delightful activity after a big meal and I find goes exceptionally well with a cappuccino.
There are whole cakes surrounding the dessert station which are rather tempting, like their Colossal Caramel Cake, White Forest Cake, Ube Delight, and Brazo de Mercedes. I found the Mango Royal something I kept going back for, the combination of chiffon, light whipped cream, and fresh mangoes simply irresistible.
For a local take on dessert, Vikings also serves cassava cake, kutsinta, and sapin-sapin as well as puto bumbong and bibingka, complete with desiccated coconut and muscovado, which is always good for a bit of nostalgia.
So far, I have yet to grow tired of Vikings, but they seem to keep finding reasons for me to go back. Whether it be a relative coming home for Christmas, a small family gathering, or a high school reunion, the luxury buffet establishment is always value for money, and this branch especially is spacious enough to accommodate everyone comfortably.
The newest Vikings Luxury Buffet is located at SM Jazz Mall, Metropolitan Avenue corner Nicanor Garcia St., Makati and they are open from 11am – 2:30pm and 5:30pm – 10pm daily. For inquiries or to reserve a table, please call +63 2 891 3888, +63 2 891 4888, or +63 917 827 1888.
Are you an employee or resident of Makati? You can celebrate that fact by getting 15% off your bill (cash or card payments) when dining at Vikings Jazz Mall! Employees need to only present their corporate ID or calling card that clearly displays the company’s office address, while Makati residents just need a valid ID that displays their home address. Students, on the other hand, just need to present their school ID.
* Please note that the discount cannot be used in conjunction with other in-house promotions or discounts. Promo period is from January 8 – 31, 2015 at Vikings Jazz Mall only. Vikings reserves the right to amend or cancel this promotion at any given time.