Indian food and I do not go way back. Now, I have never been a picky eater but due to a bout with some horrendous chicken curry as a child, I’ve avoided anything to do with it up until a friend of mine persuaded me to try lamb kofta sometime around ’06-’07. Just like that, years and years of sense memory were forgotten, leaving me with a newly opened mind (and maw) to the cuisine I so long ago vowed never to eat again.
Fast forward to 2012, I had the opportunity to dine at the famed Circles Event Café in Makati Shangri-La where I got to sample Spice Up, India!, Thursday’s dinner buffet theme. Turns out, there’s a different theme for their dinner buffet from Monday to Saturday while Sundays are reserved for Big Brunch, where the whole family can partake in a feast that both kids and adults will enjoy.
In the lobby was a delightful display reminding everyone that Mother’s Day is almost upon us. If you don’t know what to treat your mommy to just yet, Shangri-La’s many dining spots are sure to have something that will appeal to any mom’s tastes. If she’s a fan of Junior Master Chef, she’ll be in for a treat as the 3 winners’ dishes (their moms’ favourites, awww) will be served at Circles’ dinner buffet.
Now back to the food. I had a few bites of sushi and salad from the buffet’s other stations but I was still raring to go. The Indian station was quite inviting, with its vibrant colours and delightfully warm aromas. I would catch whiffs of the various curries and other dishes, making it rather difficult for me to formulate my plan of attack.
I started off with vegetable samosas, which were delightful and according to Timmy, had the “potential to be addictive” because they were light and easy to eat. Alongside those delightful bits was a serving of tawa vegetables, mixed veggies sautéed in salt, chilli powder, curry powder, and a nice ladleful of cashew and onion sauce, ceremoniously prepared by none other than Chef Sovan Singh, who gave me a nice running commentary as he cooked. “Vegetables are good for you,” he told me, as he put a second spoonful onto my plate. Considering how tasty they were, I couldn’t have agreed more. This is where I started doing my “happy food dance”, which in its simplest form, is me swaying my upper body from side to side while I bounce in my seat.
The fire on my first plate was provided by gorgeous prawns smothered in a vivid orange curry, a nice contrast to the fish covered in brightly colored spinach sauce. It was such a beautiful play of mild and meek in terms of appearance and flavour. Suffice to say, my first helping disappeared pretty quickly and off I went to the buffet table for more.
To aid with digestion (as I would very much like to think), I got a steaming bowl of lamb soup, Paya Shorba. I’m fairly particular when it comes to non-creamy soup because I believe that the effort put into ingesting it should be directly proportional to its goodness and let me just say that I have been sorely disappointed many times before. Much to my delight, the soup did not fail me. It had the ideal amount of lamb flavour which wasn’t too faint or overpowering, complemented by the perfect amount of garlic. When I say perfect, I mean lots of it. I love garlic.
My second plate consisted of a large helping of a succulent lamb curry called rogan josh. The lamb they used was still connected to the bone and I got bits of tenderized cartilage along with the meat. It was amazing. Along with that, I had good ol’ tandoori. I have nothing but nice things to say about the lamb which was soft and flavored nicely, but I have to admit that my favorite was the chicken marinated in yogurt and cashews. The cashews imparted a bit of its sweetness to the chicken and it was just a party in my mouth. Did I mention how tender the chicken was? A party, I tell you!
At this point, I think you can imagine how full I was. I had already started sitting differently as my stomach expanded and I reluctantly decided to call it a night. There were a few Indian desserts such as gulab jamun, but I found myself unable to accommodate any more.
With the success of this theme, I’m bound to come back and try the other themed buffet dinners, come fatness or high blood pressure.
Makati Shangri-La is located at Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
T: (63 2) 813 8888
Circles Event Café dinner buffet themes
- Monday – Persian Delights by Chef Hamed Ghayedi
- Tuesday - Notte Italiana by Chef Franco Brodini
- Wednesday - Filipino Fiesta by Chef Gene del Prado
- Thursday – Spice Up, India! By Chef Sovan Singh
- Friday - Seafood Market
- Saturday - Off the Grill
All For The Love of Mothers at Makati Shangri-La
- Pre-Mother’s Day dinner buffet at the Lobby Lounge with a performance by singer Arnee Hidalgo (May 12, 2012)
- Mother’s Day High Tea (May 3 to 14, 2012)
- Four-course set dinner menu, available at Red (Mother’s Day Weekend)
- Mother’s Day set menus available for lunch and dinner at Inagiku
For restaurant inquiries and reservations, please call the Restaurant Reservations and Information Centre at 840 0884 or e-mail email@example.com
A big thank you to the lovely Mica Siquijor!