Just about every hotel has a buffet.

But the Spiral Buffet at Sofitel in Manila, is a buffet that takes the meaning of a buffet to the next level.

When I was in Manila, staying at Sofitel, my wife Ying and I were invited to eat at the Sunday brunch buffet at their Spiral Restaurant.

I haven’t even come close to eating at all the buffets in Asia, but so far, this is the grandest buffet, in all senses of the word grand, that I’ve tried so far.

Here’s what we ate…

Spiral Buffet Manila
Let’s just talk about the grandness of Spiral Buffet

The grandness of Spiral Buffet

Spiral Buffet is an international buffet with a heavy French influence, largely due to the fact that Sofitel is a French hotel brand, but there’s also an extensive Asian food presence as well.

To get a sense of the grandness of the buffet, they have it organized into 21 different dining ateliers – which in French are artistic workshop stations – and at the buffet they translate into different food sections.

best restaurants in Manila
Roast duck

At the front of the dining area, there was a mirror listing all the different ateliers, from the Filipino food station, to the Peking duck station, to the cheese room.

There’s literally something for everyone, and something to satisfy your craving no matter what you’re hungry for.

I spent a good 15 minutes walking around the buffet, just absolutely amazed at how much food was available, both the variety and the selection.

As soon as we arrived to Spiral Buffet on Sunday for lunch, they seated us at our table, which even though it was for just Ying and I, we were seated at a full sofa table for 6 – so we dined in some serious comfort.

Spiral buffet price
If you love cheese, you could probably eat the price worth just in cheese alone!

Spiral Buffet prices

There are a number of different prices, and the price can fluctuate based on holidays and promotions, but here are the typical prices for the Sunday lunch buffet:

It’s not a cheap buffet, but the quality and selection makes it worth it.

Sofitel Champagne buffet on Sunday
Champagne was poured immediately as we sat down

Another one of the highlights of eating at the buffet is the free flow of drinks (you can get the option with drinks or without if you go).

So as soon as we sat down, they poured us a glass of champagne to get started.

If you’re ready to drink wine and champagne, it’s well worth paying the higher price for an all-you-can-drink pass at the buffet.

olive bread
Spiral Buffet signature bread

Before we made our first trip to the buffet, our host came over with a house basket of bread, which she said was the Spiral signature bread made with olive oil.

Even the bread was delicious, perfectly crusty on the edges, and fluffy and warm on the inside. I just had a taste of the bread, knowing I was about to go deep into the buffet.

Alright, let’s get started with the buffet…

fresh tuna
Nothing makes me hungrier than a fresh tuna

Cold Japanese station

The buffet was so big and so extensive that I really had no idea where to start.

So I did the only sensible thing, I started with the atelier that was the closest to our table – the Japanese cold station.

Positioned behind the Japanese cold station were a pair of sushi chefs, continuously making sushi and slicing sashimi.

There was also an entire tuna, sliced and on display, and ready to be consumed one slice of sashimi at a time.

Spiral Buffet Manila
Oysters from France at the Spiral Brunch Buffet at Sofitel

Just to the side of the Japanese cold station, there was a European cold station that included oysters flown fresh from France, plus a selection of different colored caviar.

Somehow I completely missed the foie gras, perhaps I was mesmerized at the food I did see, and glanced over it, but foie gras (from what Anton showed) is available as well – all you can eat of it.

Sofitel Manila
First plate of food at Spiral Buffet in Manila

So I started off with a selection of sushi and sashimi and some oysters and crab as well. The sushi was all pretty good, and the sashimi was fresh.

oysters at Spiral Buffet
Fresh oysters are hard to beat

But the real winner of the plate were the fresh oysters. They were pretty big size, very fresh, and just melted like a lump of jelly in my mouth.

The crab, which I think was some type of deep sea water crab, was also really good. It was meaty and fresh.

caviar station
The caviar station

Moving onto the caviar station.

To be honest I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to eating caviar and the right method of eating it – all I know is that I like it.

I took a combination of both green and black caviar, both of which came from a lumpfish.

spiral restaurant sofitel philippine plaza
Caviar at Sofitel Philippine Plaza

Since I didn’t take any of the side toppings and garnishes on the buffet line, I ate it along with a piece of the crusty signature olive bread.

It was excellent, nice and salty, like little beads of fish juice and oil.

Filipino food at Sofitel
There was a good Filipino food selection as well

Filipino food station

While Spiral Buffet is an international buffet, I’m always interested to eat as much local food in a country as I can when I travel.

So I was pretty happy to see the nice selection of Filipino food. They didn’t just have your typical pork adobo, but they had an interesting line-up of dish to try.

crocodile adobo
Crocodile adobo was the highlight

There were a couple Filipino dishes that really caught my attention, one of them was the crocodile adobo, and the other was a dish of shredded stingray cooked in coconut milk.

They also had a steaming basket of balut, fertilized eggs, as well.

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Filipino food course at Sofitel

I took a nice selection of Filipino dishes, and despite how bad I wanted a plate of rice to go with it and how well it would have tasted, I had to sacrifice the rice for the sake of being able to eat more.

I’ve had crocodile quite a few times, and all part of it taste a bit different, and oftentimes it’s a bit rubbery.

This crocodile here was extremely soft and tender, like a cross between pork and fish, and really fragrant with the adobo seasoning.

The stingray was also extremely good, soft like shredded chicken, and within a rich coconut milk gravy.

Balut
Balut at the buffet

You don’t need to feel obligated to eat balut when you eat at Spiral Buffet, but if you’re interested in giving it a try, they do have it available.

When I was in the Philippines a few years back I enjoyed eating balut occasionally as an afternoon snack, so I was happy to have it again, this time at a fancy hotel buffet.

If you have a few minutes, you can watch the full video to see me devour it!

You know how hard boiled eggs have a more eggy flavor than an omelet or fried egg?

If you take that egg flavor, and multiply it a few times, and then add some extra textures, you have a balut. It’s pretty good.

Indian food in Manila
Indian food atelier

Indian food course

I’m a huge lover of Indian food, and there was no way I was going to miss the Indian station.

Dal makhani
Can’t beat the dal makhani

At Spiral Buffet they had a selection of different Indian curries, plus a full tandoor section where the chefs were making things like tandoori prawns and fresh naan.

Overall, the Indian food was pretty good, and I’m especially a lover of dal makhani.

tandoori prawns
Tandoori prawns were also excellent

Along with my Indian food plate, I added a couple slices of prime rib onto my plate for good measure.

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
French food station at Sofitel

French station

While walking around taking a tour of the buffet with the manager at the beginning, he explained to me that a French kitchen often includes the kitchen, then a hot metal counter, which is typically where the waiter or waitress picks up the order and then delivers the food to the customers.

The concept at Spiral Buffet was to eliminate, as best as possible, the step between waiter and customer, and just serve the food from the chef to the customers.

In my opinion the French section had one of the most impressive displays of the buffet because of its giant metal cooking station. Again, like throughout the buffet, the food was cooked fresh in small portions, then left to rest on the heated metal counter.

The entire French section felt like you were stepping into the kitchen of a French restaurant, and just grabbing the food for yourself.

French food
French food and pizza

Along with a couple slices of pizza, I got a scoop of mashed potatoes, asparagus and carrots, white button mushrooms sautéed in butter, and the highlight of the plate, mussels simmered in cream and maybe some cheese and white wine.

best buffet in Manila
Those mushrooms!

The mushrooms and the mussels, both of which were heavy on the butter, were awesome.

The pizza was also pretty good. I just threw those slices on my plate since it had been a while since I’d had pizza.

Since I had also eaten at Spiral buffet for breakfast the day before and had enjoyed a plate of cheese from the Spiral cheese room, I didn’t have any this time at the buffet. But if you’re in the mood for some good quality cheese, you could eat enough cheese to knock yourself out at this buffet.

best restaurants in Manila
Free flow of champagne and wine

I have to admit, by this time I was wishing I was back in my early 20’s when I seemed to be able to eat non-stop and never get fully full.

But unfortunately, in my later 20’s I’ve started to slow down and can no longer eat nearly as much as I used to be able to.

Luckily, since I had an entire sofa to myself, I laid back and relaxed for a few minutes before moving onto the next plate.

restaurants in Manila
Japanese sukiyaki

Japanese hot station

I headed over to the Japanese hot station, and I got a bowl of sukiyaki.

best buffet in Manila
I couldn’t resist some kimchi either

I then walked around the buffet looking a little lost and full for a few minutes, before deciding to grab a few more pieces of sashimi, some kimchi, and a final oyster to top things off.

desserts at Spiral Buffet Manila
Good chocolate ice cream, and plenty of desserts

Desserts

Perhaps one of the other grandest part of the Sofitel buffet is the desserts selection, something you’d expect from a French company.

There was an entire chocolate production, including fountains of chocolate, and a dessert selection to satisfy the most hardcore sweet tooth’s.

There were cakes, candies, eclairs, macarons, chocolates, and even a selection of kids candies like gummy worms.

You might be disappointed when I say I skipped dessert… but I did.

I’m not really into sweets – even the ice cream pictured above was my wife’s, which I did have a taste of and it was really good.

But if you enjoy sweets, I don’t think there’s anyway you’ll be disappointed with the desserts at the Spiral brunch buffet.

top buffets in Manila
Cabinets full of chocolate

Ying and I, both full to the brim and satisfied, decided to call it a day at the buffet.

The Sunday buffet opened at 12 pm noon and closed at 3 pm, and we arrived just after opening and left just before they closed.

It was a well spent 3 hours of life.

Spiral Buffet Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Spiral Buffet, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Philippines

What I liked about Spiral Buffet

Spiral Buffet has a lot going for it, and after feasting there, here are a few of the things I really liked and think they did really well at:

  1. Cooking in small portions – One of the main reasons a buffet can be bad is because food is often prepared in large batches, and then just sits until it runs out. At Spiral Buffet however, I noticed that the food was prepared in small batches, so it would sit for less time before being finished to make a fresh batch.
  2. Selection and assortment – Like I’ve already said before a couple times, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a buffet with so much of a selection of food, ever. The food was mainly French European, and variety of Asian.
  3. Service – The service was excellent, and from reading other reviews about the buffet, it seems others had just as good of service as I did. There are plenty of waiting staff, yet they are not pushy and they were all helpful.
Sofitel Manila
I couldn’t do anything for the rest of the day but relax

Conclusion

Located at the popular Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila* along the bay, the Spiral Buffet is one of the grandest buffets I’ve ever been to in Asia.

When we were in Manila, Ying and I were staying at Sofitel for a few nights, and they invited us to eat at the Sunday brunch buffet, including a free flow of champagne and wine, and all the food we could ever want in a single meal.

What I loved most is that, unlike many other buffets that cook in big portions and let the food sit until finished, at Spiral Buffet they cooked in small portion so food remained fresh and the flavors were preserved. Also the selection and variety was unbelievable.

I’m just glad Ying and I had a room at Sofitel, because after eating at the buffet there’s no way I could have moved to go anywhere.

If you’re in Manila and looking for one of the most extensive and high quality buffets in Asia, Spiral Buffet for lunch on Sunday is a real treat.

Spiral Buffet, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila

Address: CCP Complex Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila, 1300, Philippines
Phone number and contact: (+632) 551-5555 and [email protected] (reservations on a Sunday for lunch are recommended)
Websitehttp://www.sofitelmanila.com/en/spiral.html and http://spiralmanila.com/
Prices: 4,092 PHP per person with alcohol, 3,378 PHP per person with no alcohol
How to get there: Sofitel Philippine Plaza is located on the bay in Manila, not far from the Mall of Asia. Probably the easiest way to get there is to jump in a city taxi or an Uber.

Disclosure: Ying and I were invited to eat at Sofitel’s Spiral Buffet, so we didn’t pay for our meal, and I just showed up to eat! However, all photos, videos, and words are my own.

41 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Matt Paulsen

    2 years ago

    Based on your review, I just made a reservation at Spiral for Sunday brunch when I’m in Manila. Can’t wait!

  • Msoz

    2 years ago

    Hi! What is th camera you used here?

  • Msoz

    2 years ago

    Hi! What is th camera you used here? Seems very crisp.

  • Gigi Lei

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, I’m Gigi Lei. My husband and I watched your videos all the time. We’re from Maryland. We like to see you, Ying , and Micah. I originally came from the Philippines and my husband from Taiwan, and we love Asian food (not much of spicy food though). Just to let you know we like all your videos. I will definitely visit Spiral Buffet in Manila the next time I go home. We are watching your video as I was typing this comment. Thank you for all your awesome videos. Safe travel to you all. My email address is [email protected]. God Bless ????????????

  • Ivan Jose

    2 years ago

    Spiral Buffet is in our bucket list. Quite pricey, though, but we’ll get to try it someday.

  • Sean Lo

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    Love your show, You make all the foods looks so so yummy! I have one question, How can you handle the spicy chilli? You must have a every high tolerance for spicy food, again love your show.
    Sean Lo

  • Anita

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark
    I am a fan of yours. your videos are awesome. you have a beautifull wife. and much love to Micah.
    Good luck with your videos and all the best,. I am from Suriname. Bye

  • Patrick McKillip

    2 years ago

    Mark (or anyone); I posted a question to the comments of your YouTube video of the Spiral. Can you PLEASE identify the music beginning at 7:57 in the video?…my SoundHound app came up empty. I haven’t been grabbed so strongly by a piece of music in a long time, and I’d love to find it.

  • Lorry

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    I’m a big fan of yours. I watched most of your videos and I really enjoyed them all. But, my most favorite one is your Philippine episode well of course it’s because I am from the Philippines. It’s been a while since I came to visit my Motherland. This coming August I am bringing my husband and my son for the first time in the Philippines and I am trying to look at making reservations at the places you have stayed and will definitely try to eat at the restaurants you have featured. We are planning to do some tour in Thailand and Japan in the future too so I’m pretty sure we will watch your Japan and Thailand episodes over and over again. Thank you Mark.

  • Beverly

    3 years ago

    Wow, glad I found your blog. I’m taking my husband to Manila on the 1st of February and so excited to see your blog because we will be staying in sofitel for a week. Thank you for the detailed information, that helped a lot.

  • Elda Hall

    3 years ago

    Ooh la la!!! I can’t wait to check this place out! I’m so glad my cousin added this to our itinerary. I had to google all the places he put in our itinerary and ran into your blog, which is well written and enticing! My husband deserves a nice spoiling break, so this will be a nice treat! We’re staying at the Peninsula but I have a couple days still not booked so perhaps, I’ll just make a stay of this place for those couple days.

  • Rose Schaub

    4 years ago

    I’m so excited to read your review. We are going to staying at Sofitel for a week and we are definitely going to try the Spiral Buffet 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Great to hear that Rose, hope you have a great time!

  • Mel

    4 years ago

    Hey Mark! I’m a big fan of yours. I just love to watch all your videos over and over again especially the one in Japan. I enjoyed also watching your trip to Jordan. Let me know where are you headed next time . All the best to you and Ying!

  • Linus Jose Constancio M. Lopez

    4 years ago

    i saw the video first and i was green with envy. saving up for a day at spiral 🙂

  • Pauline

    4 years ago

    Hello Mark,

    I really enjoyed your blogs and your videos! I spent about an hour today to watch your videos about your stay in the Philippines. I am looking forward to try Spiral buffet and see Boracay when I get back home! Please continue to create more food blogs! I have to follow you on instagram now <3

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thank you very much for your support Pauline. Many more blog to come!

  • Ronnie B

    4 years ago

    Wow! I would love to visit the restaurant and try those beautiful dishes. Planning for a holiday next year year, I don’t want to miss out.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thanks Ronnie, hope you have a great upcoming holiday!

  • Renne Malabad

    4 years ago

    Great program Mark. Enjoyed your travel and food videos. Keep up the good work…

    Rey

  • Anna

    4 years ago

    Great article Mark but I wish you took more photos.

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    4 years ago

    I normally avoid fancy buffets, but your photos make this one look quite tempting and worth the over-indulgence.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Stephanie, I agree, and usually the food at many buffets isn’t nearly as good of quality as at a restaurant, but they really do a great job to keep the food fresh here – and such an amazing variety!

  • Josefa Escano cadavida

    4 years ago

    How I wish I can try any of your buffet!

  • Izy berry

    4 years ago

    Great post !!!I always like the idea of the buffets you can eat different things but i don’t like the idea that is to much food

  • Patrick

    4 years ago

    Just wanted to remark that Balut normally is duck not chicken.
    Also, a bit unrelated, I saw In your video for Boracay a short screen which looks like gmaps, where you explain about the different airports. Can get you into problems copyright wise, better use openstreetmaps.
    Otherwise great stuff!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hi Patrick, thank you for the info and about the maps. From what my network advisor said, he told me Google Maps is public domain so long as you say that it’s from Google Maps, so that’s why I used it. But I’ll look more into this. Thank you!

  • Hokyun

    4 years ago

    Dear Mark Wein,
    The buffet restaurant indeed looks grandeur!
    As one of the greated food eaters in the world, could you take me as your apprentice?

  • JOHN D.

    4 years ago

    Everybody in our Indonesian-Filipino family in Las Vegas -one of the Gourmet Food
    Capitals of the World- loved your latest blogs and videos about the newest fine eating sites of Manila. B u t we all miss your special “trade mark” namely that you -as always- stated the p r i c e s of the food you ate. Will you kindly continue stating p r i c e s
    of the food, even if you are invited and do not pay for it ? Thanks a lot and
    Warm regards, from real 106 degree F. temperatures in Vegas presently.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey John, good to hear from you, thank you for watching and for reading this video. Yes, will do my best to write the prices in the videos. Sometimes when I don’t know (or remember the price) when I’m making the video, I’ll still put it in the blog post. Greetings to your family!

  • Tristan

    4 years ago

    Beautiful written piece and great pictures! Would love to visit the restaurant next time I travel to Manila for a visit. Balut is delicious and yes, it is definitely not for everyone!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Tristan, thank you for reading, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, right about balut!

  • Joe serhan

    4 years ago

    I stopped reading when the author said, “the sashimi was fresh”… really.

  • Top Secret

    4 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    Glad to see that you had an excellent meal at this outrageously done buffet. A few things from what I observed watching this video. I’d totally avoid eating that tuna sashimi. Reason? I don’t know where the tuna came from. If it’s from anywhere near Japan, I would totally avoid it with a 10 foot pole. Radiation contaminated tuna and other seafoods from within the area would scare me off and it’s not safe to consume. Balut? Hah, I know this is a staple there but not something I want to eat, chicken embryo is not food for thought. Crocodile meat? Another thing I would stay away from. Other than that, everything else looks delicious and good. The bonus is definitely the all you can drink alcohol which pays for itself even at 4000 pesos. I searched for the conversion rate to US Dollar and it came to 87 USD, which is not too bad considering the alcohol that a person can drink and it’s fair comparing it to a Las Vegas buffet. But to the average Filipino, that’s an outrageous sum and probably a month’s wage worth. Many will never be able to afford such a lavish spread in their lifetime. That’s my 2 cents worth and keep those videos coming.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing all your thoughts. I think for what it is, and for the quality of the food, with alcohol like you mentioned, the price is very fair and you can definitely get your money’s worth. Thank you for your support!

    • Tsubaki

      3 years ago

      Hi Mark i just wanna ask for the dessert section what kind of dessert do they offer since i am planning on going there when i visit the Philippine end of the year.My family all have a sweet tooth so we are more interested in the variety of desserts they offer.Especially for the La Patisserie and Chocolaterie.Thanks