Despite the many restaurants scattered in the metro offering international cuisine, I can’t help but go back to restaurants offering Filipino dishes. Just like the rest of the Asian region, Filipino food also has a lot of influences, having been colonized by Spain, Japan and America. Not to mention the influences of our neighboring countries, like China, whom our forefathers used to do business with prior to being taken over by foreign countries. While I have to admit that I am no longer aware which food is truly Filipino, I enjoy these dishes. A recent food trip to Cabalen TriNoMa got me enjoying this kind of food as this branch is offering All-Filipino Buffet for only Php298. I got my unlimited drink too for an additional Php40.
I remember dining at Cabalen Restaurants several times. If my memory serves me right, the first time was at the Megamall branch back in the mid-90s. I was able to return twice in 2010, first when i checked the restaurant at SM Mall of Asia as I was coordinating a reunion with friends. I liked the airy ambiance, plus the Asian buffet that I decided to make the reservation. I was surprised that this branch located at the 2nd floor of TriNoMa only serves Filipino dishes in their buffet selections. The good thing about this is that the price is lower compared to their other branches which until today offers Asian dishes on their buffet spread.
I enjoyed all the food on the buffet spread – there’s soup, meat, fish, vegetables, dessert – all available for one to enjoy at heart’s content. I think I went back 4 times to have my refill of Bringhe and Lechon! It was a fantastic meal, and because we were there on a weekday, the customers are not that many, so I the environment is more relaxed. We also had 3 kinds of sisig — Lechon sisig, pork sisig and tofu sisig. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the tofu variant as it was flavorful, not that the others are not, but this one has a distinct taste that I like. A tip though, make sure to order your sisig before lining up to get the rest of the food. This way, the staff can prepare the sisig while filling your plate and have it waiting for you just in time when you’re ready to dig in.
Dinner was capped with desserts — Leche Flan, Guinataang Halo-Halo and the Do-It-Yourself Halo Halo.
The All-Filipino Buffet at Cabalen TriNoMa is a perfect offering for family and friends. It’s more affordable and the place is very casual. Everyone will feel welcomed here. This is also an ideal place to bring friends and relatives coming home from overseas who are likely to be missing Filipino foods a lot. If you know expatriates or foreigner friends, the restaurant is highly recommended for an introduction to local dishes. I suddenly remembered my friend based in the US, who would always look for Filipino cuisine whenever she’d visit the country. She would order a lot of food that we’d end up having to bring it back to the hotel where she’s staying. Incidentally, Cabalen TriNoMa has partnered with Quick Delivery Service. You can bring the Cabalen buffet experience wherever you are in Metro Manila. Simply call (02) 212-1212 or visit the website for more information.
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