My mother treated the whole family out for a merienda buffet at Dad’s two Saturdays ago in Glorietta 1 as a birthday present for my sister. Initially they opted for Don Henrico’s lunch buffet, which features mainly an eat-all-you-can buffet on pastas and pizzas, but we ended up in Dad’s as it offers more variety.
Pegged at P189/head (excluding drinks; infants are exempted), Dad’s merienda buffet includes popular dishes from American, Filipino and Chinese cuisines. Being an established name in the food industry, we expected at least average in terms of food quality.
Here’s a rundown of the buffet selection:
Lugaw was perfect. Right consistency, flavor and color. Pairs very well with the lumpia, ukoy, and tokwa’t baboy (all delicious, fresh, and fried just right).
I love the Mini Tacos! A bit spicy, but it was packed with all the ingredients a good taco has. I especially liked the soft, tasty beans.
The corn dog was delicious. Crunchy on the outside, warm and tender on the inside. Hotdog tastes like TJ (Sarap!).
The cream puff was good. Jigs and I liked the contrast of crunchiness on the outiside with the squishy, creamy filling inside. I love, love, love the filling: Not too sweet, and has that lovely texture.
Beef mami was average; the soup and beef cubes were flavourful, although the noodles were a bit overcooked.
Their burger tasted like one of those burgers you could buy in Buy 1 Take 1 for P30 joints. Haha, ang sama.
Nothing special about the siopao, although the taste was okay.
The steamed siomai was passable. I could swear Henlin’s is better.
Kakanin were mostly average in taste.
The brownie had a nice texture, and was very moist and soft. Tasted somewhat like banana and chocolate.
Basically, it was the pasta and noodles station that ruined the buffet.
The spaghetti tasted like one of those UFC catsup-based spaghetti you eat in a neighbor’s children party.
The carbonara tasted like low-fat milk. The creaminess and subtle meat taste wasn’t there.
The miki-bihon was insipid at best, and almost had no meat in it. Same goes for the pancit luglog.
The fried siomai was greasy and nakaka-umay.
While the Dinuguan‘s consistency is good, it was just a bit too sour and too salty.
Shawarma was makunat and the pita wasn’t roasted.
I was a little disappointed with the buffet, and we all agreed its value for money is a 2.5 out of 5. Majority of the selections were average in taste or below-average. There were delicious pieces in the selection, but they weren’t even half the entire spread.
True, it is one of the cheapest eat-you-can buffets out there, but I could’ve bought most of the stuff in food cart stalls or turo-turo/ carinderia and would’ve been more satisfied.
Service was good though, and I commend the waiters and the manong guard for being generally attentive.
But hey, my brother and my husband both had 2 rounds of lugaw. That should count for something. Hehe.