Thursday, June 5, 2014

How did I enjoy my lunch at Vikings SM Marikina

I am not a fanboy of eat-all-you-can buffets to be honest. In my understanding these establishments would try to find ways to lessen the cost of food preparation while at the same time charge diners of unavoidable exorbitant fees such as drinks and service charges. Moreover, there is always a tendency of filling your tummy with various cheaply prepared foods.

I remember vividly a few years back, my family and I had a very uncomfortable experience in one of the famous eat-all-you-can buffets at SM North. For five of us the bill reached almost 4,000 pesos due to steep price of drinks since they only provided free water along with the buffet. After our meal, I felt bloated while my eldest son suffered minor abdominal discomfort and vomited at the toilet of SM North.

Fast forward, my daughter graduated as cum laude at UP Diliman recently. Any Dad would be proud of their child's great accomplishment considering that UPD is the top notch university in the country. Thus, when my daughter begged me to have another family celebration in Vikings at SM City Marikina and avail its on-going "graduation promo" I couldn't refuse. She added that she just needs to show some supporting documents such as picture, school ID and other related school credentials attesting that she belongs to batch 2014 to avail her of a free meal. The catch is she should be accompanied by at least 3 paying adults. That would be a clear savings of 688 pesos or I would simply pay four instead of five; a clear 20% discount was in the offing.

In short, my daughter reserved a table for family of five through FB page of Vikings SM Marikina last 15th of May. We arrived at past 11 am and immediately guided to our table by one of their staffs.

Interestingly, the foods and trays are lined-up from the entrance up to the other end of the entire dining area. I was impressed with the wide selections and variety of menus. Equally interesting was the interior decors of the area. It seemed we were dining inside a hotel.

I refrained from immediately filling my plate and gobbling foods like what other diners were doing. I surveyed the snaking line of food trays and took my time tasting most of them. Likewise, I enjoyed the bottomless draft beer. Let me show you how I enjoyed my lunch at Vikings.

Round 1

Nothing extraordinary on my salad plate except the slices of green and black olives and the cherry tomatoes.

Round 2

Thin slices of boneless lamb leg, lemon fish fillet, veggie, fried squid and soy chicken. Having worked in Middle-East for many years where lambs were part of their staple food I can attest that the lamb leg was a let-down though the fish fillet saved the day.

Round 3

A couple of thin slices of tasty but fatty Angus beef from the carving station, adobong lamb sa dilaw na luya, jelly fish and spicy bean curd. This plateful was so remarkably tasty and yummy. Chewing the chunky jelly fish made me remember my Chinese grandpa, he used to cook jelly fish when he was still with us. The lamb in dilaw na luya was equally superb though a bit spicy.

Round 4

Well, the sweets were not that impressive at all albeit its wide selections. Even the coffee jelly lacks caffeine punch while there wasn't any oompss and aahhs for the cake. 

Round 5

Nothing would go wrong in having buttered French baguette paired with steaming cup of brewed coffee.

Round 6

Dared by the wife and kids to have another visit to the buffet tables, I searched for something unique. I fished from the buffet tables atchara, salted eggs, fried sweet potato roll, salmon sashimi and ensaladang talong.

Round 7

Whenever we dine at any Chinese restaurants I always asked for a cup of green tea to sooth my taste buds. However, at Vikings they only serve Jasmine tea which I found to be also quite refreshing for my tummy. I love ending a good and satisfying meal with a warm plain tea.


drink station
my favorite place along the drink station

steamed delicacies corner
shabu-shabu area

salad bar - nothing special here except the olives

want to go Japanese?

lots of sweets...

If you will ask me if 688 pesos is worth the trip to Vikings at SM Marikina then I will reply in positive. It's bang for the buck especially when you consider their minuscule 0.05% service charge - not to mention their different promos such as the graduation promo we have availed.

Allow me to give you some typical examples how you could get your money's worth at Vikings. A mug of draft beer that costs around 50 pesos in any decent bars is included at the buffet of any Vikings branch; I gulped two mugs. How about the price of black coffee, pastries and sweets at a decent coffee shops? It is not pretty easy to find a restaurant where you can have unlimited slices of Angus beef and boneless lamb leg at the same time. Moreover, the dining ambiance and the comfort of tasting the overwhelming varieties of foods was simply awesome at Vikings SM City Marikina. Gone are the usual hordes of restless diners in queue due to wide selections of foods while the numbers of guests have been limited inside their dining area as well. In addition, you would seldom see empty food trays since they are being replenished regularly.

We arrived at Vikings at around 11 am and left at almost 2 pm. To honor your reservation you need to be there not later than 11:30 am or else your slot will be given to walk-ins.

Do I look like a foodie? One of their staffs asked me to answer their electronic survey using their unique tablet.

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