An old reliable for end of season team lunches, Paseo Uno at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has always been a favorite go to for the people in our office.
The place is just the right size and its interiors are on of my favorites, with the hard wood and the green glass. However, the place can get crowded during lunchtime and the layout of the place might be too cramped for some. Our table was near the hotel’s large lobby window and we had to somewhat squeeze ourselves in between the rows of tables leading to ours.
the pretzels on this stand is a cute idea though and it saves space
For the appetizers, the crunchy hardboiled egg in my picture below was the highlight of my appetizer plate. It was wonderful biting into a crunchy egg with a slightly spicy yolk. The other appetizers on my plate were typical and did not offer anything new.
Right after the appetizer and sushi station was their Asian buffet station. One can order fresh noodles, hot and fresh tempura straight from the hot bubbling oil, miso soup assorted stir fry and ihaw-ihaw(bbq!)
However, you can afford to skip this station, and go straight to the carving station. For buffets, I think the general idea is to go straight for the high priced items. Save your dimsum, noodles and liempo for another time. So, following this philosophy, I ordered a slice of prime rib. However, the lady who was behind the carving station sliced a pitiful piece of rib with a hole in the middle so I had to ask for a thicker slice. I had it grilled medium well and scooped red wine sauce on the side. I’m not a fan of pouring gravy or sauce all over grilled meat, the meat loses its flavor and most of the time its’ own juice is its’ best sauce. Before I sat down, I also took two rolls of roast duck with hoisin sauce.
the satay station
steak sauces, i’m a big fan of mustard on steak, well of mustard in general
I need to point out this sad bowl of cold (!) and underseasoned miso soup. I love a good miso soup so it’s sad to see this one not finished to slurping.
my main course
The prime rib was dry and a bit tough. Not to sound like a hotdog commercial but I was expecting to bite into a tender, juicy, really meaty slice of good prime rib but I did not get it. It was disappointing. I finished off the other food in my plate before I finished off my rib.
The roast duck too was pretty average, it tasted like the regular duck you could order at any other Chinese restaurant. I gave the other roll to my friend who after eating decided not to get one from the buffet station anymore.
The buffet’s dessert station had your usual fare of chocolate mousses, mini-cakes, crepes and a halo-halo station. The cutest thing about the whole thing though was the candy buffet, it was a delightful and colorful counterpoint to all the “serious” food out there in the other stations.
The next best thing I ordered for the day (the first being the egg appetizer) was this calamansi sherbet which was a really refreshing palate cleanser. It was just the right kind of sour for me. The girls in our team loved it but the boys hated it. At least though, the buffet ended on a right note.
We just had water with our meals but ordered coffee and tea afterwards. The total bill including a 12 percent service charge and an 8 percent food tax came to about Php1,700 per person. Quite a steep price for an uneventful buffet lunch.
Service wise, the staff and the waiters were very helpful, courteous and attentive. Sometimes good service makes up for an average meal but in this case, Paseo Uno is in a hotel and good service is expected. I could only wish the food was up to par.
G/F, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Makati Ave. cor. Paseo de Roxas
Makati City, Metro Manila
Expect to shell out at least Php 1,700 for food and drinks per person (price as of May 2009)