Famous for its authentic Filipino food offerings, Kamayan Restaurant is one of the first restaurants to feature an all-Pinoy buffet in the country. We made our way to this Pinoy favorite on a Saturday evening for a family gathering, and wasn’t surprised to see the entire place packed with rows of Japanese tourists and locals.
As in all branches, it was built contiguous to its sister companies Dad’s and Saisaki, and guests can freely roam to pick any entree or dessert should they opt for the crossover buffet, which allows guests to sample all three resto menus for only P695 (P595 from Mondays through Fridays).
With over 200 buffet choices, one can never run out of food to try in the crossover buffet. Dad’s features a wide selection of Continental dishes, while Saisaki has around 60 sushi bar varieties and other Japanese food choices. If you’re not a big eater and you prefer Filipino cuisine, Kamayan’s menu is teeming with regional specialties that’ll surely suffice for cravings.
Some of us went for the crossover, but I was already happy with my plate of sinful Pinoy goodies. While not everything was exceptional, majority of the dishes in the buffet station were delightful to the tastebuds, offering that distinct, home-cooked Pinoy goodness.
The Kamayan soup is a nice starter, but viscous and extra creamy as it is, I found that it doesn’t complement dishes with tomato-based sauce very well.
crispy crablet, ensaladang talong, kinorokok, dinakdakan
The dinakdakan is good. Although I’ve tasted better versions before, theirs offered a variety of robust flavors. The lengua estopado and binagoongan baboy are above average at best, but I can’t speak the same for the kinorokok and Kamayan yamang dagat. Both didn’t taste fresh, and the yamang dagat was just a bit too sweet for main course.
What I most love about Kamayan was the lechon de leche carving station (Don’t we all?). Freshly grilled, every bite of the crunchy skin and tender, juicy young pork meat warms the heart with much content. Adjacent was the crispy pata and inihaw na liempo, which are both among our favorites too, for their crispy, well-seasoned meat and skin.
Also a must-try is the inihaw na bituka (grilled pork entrails). It had a delicious marinade and was grilled just right – not rubbery, not raw. Juicy and just right.
The carbonara in this particular branch tastes so much better than the one in their Glorietta branch.The ebi tempura, covered in savory, invitingly light yellow batter, was the only stuff I got to try in Saisaki apart from the tuna sashimi, but happily so, as they were both so fresh.
My tastebuds craved for something sweet to wash down all the grease and meat I consumed, but I opted to skip dessert for nothing in the dessert station piqued my interest. On were the usuals: buko pandan, green salad, and ube halaya (which sadly, I don’t eat).
I had my eye on Dad’s decadent cake rolls, but I didn’t want the host to pay extra for the cakes. I was able to taste the vanilla gelatto, though,and while it has that nice, soft texture distinctive of gelattos, it tasted pretty much like cow’s milk.
For P415/head all-in, Kamayan is good value for money. The price compensates for the litson alone (1/4 kilo of litson already costs P120-P150 in other specialty chains. Imagine munching on as much litson as you like). But going for the crossover buffet is a much better deal, especially if you’re fond of Japanese food, cakes and desserts as I am. Would definitely come back for those some other time.