Saturday, May 5, 2012

An "F" Lunch

When I said,  "I had lunch at that F place" I was being honest, solemn and definitely not vulgar. That "F" place happens to be the restaurant at the hotel with such a lengthy name, it makes anyone's most customized Starbucks drink sound monosyllabic.

Get ready because it's quite a mouthful: Best Western Premier F1 Hotel. I'd prefer my self-made nickname: F1 Hotel. However if you imagine a racing-inspired accommodation and theme, then you'll have to go to Toyz for that. F1 Hotel is classy, sleek and very silver/gray-oriented. There are no cars, just quite a collection of mirrors lining the walls.

As for F, the restaurant, it was enclosed with glass, giving a fantastic view of Taguig. As a downside to this glorious location, the summer sun was not very forgiving to lunchtime diners. Good thing I was part of the late lunch crowd. Dining at near closing time (2pm), something as irrelevant as sunshine can be waived for other more pertinent matters such as cheese and ice cream. With fewer people to contend with!

The lunch buffet offers the usual cuisine selection that people have gotten quite used to: Japanese, Chinese, a bit of Indian and American. Nothing fancy as Greek or Mexican, but with my limited time, I was glad that I need not face indecision at such a crucial moment.

[caption id="attachment_1806" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Salmon & Salmon Salad[/caption]

The salad bar was nothing grand and extensive, just the usual dressing and toppings. On the side were various cold cuts, sushi and sashimi that were plentiful enough to appease the hungry crowd. As for me, salmon sashimi and smoked salmon topped my salad - weird, I know - but was engaging enough for me. Perhaps with the lack of interesting toppings, the salmon came in particularly tempting.

The main course section was a line of viands, soups, pasta, shabu-shabu and seafood selections. Spotting the cheese board at the start of the line, I couldn't help but get a sample of each, thus reducing plate space for the main course. My bad. But it was so good, topped on my already existing salad, so not bad at all.

The vegetables were the first to grace my plate, then came the fish with raita sauce and that cajun chicken. The waiter-cook swore to that chicken's spiciness which I looked forward to with a glass full of water, only to find out that it was mediocre hot in my spice scale. The fish was tender and succulent, but I found the sauce a tad too sweet for my taste. Too early for dessert. Hence the fish dove into my salad. Fabulous catch.

[caption id="attachment_1799" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Pesto with Mushrooms[/caption]

My customized pesto came in a wee serving but tasted absolutely fresh and cheesy. The carbonara looked just as appetizing - a bit on the creamy side but with all that cheese - worth it!

Roasted potatoes, tempura, dumplings and bagnet graced the plates of my companions. I would be forever sorry for not having taken photos, but with the way everyone was rushing, people might just end up eating my camera in haste, or something to that disastrous effect.

The dessert section was a glorious lair of fondue, fruit, cakes, pastries, crepes and ice cream. For once, I was astounded and could not determine what to select. Strange as it was, I decided to forego ice-cream for the first time in my life. A traitor to ice cream, I will make it up next weekend.

[caption id="attachment_1804" align="aligncenter" width="614"] The Crepe that Launched a Thousand Burps[/caption]

The crepe station had fruits, a host of awesome toppings and ice cream to boot. This crepe was not mine but was such a delight to stare at and take a photo of. As for the rainbow sprinkles, good luck to the lucky diner who finished this off.

[caption id="attachment_1801" align="aligncenter" width="614"] The Chocolate Crew with the Lone Creme Brulee[/caption]

My dessert platter was painstakingly chosen from a chiller containing at least 10 other cakes. I decided to stick to the chocolate inspired theme. The brownie was the best bet, ultra moist and mixed in with a bit of walnut. If I was not that full, I'd have gotten more of that brownie and topped it with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate cake had a layer of chocolate icing and another of hazelnut - perfect with coffee. The creme brulee was fantastic for those who refused to indulge in a totally sweet dessert but wanted a decently sweet treat. A second favorite next to the brownie.

Aside from buffet, the hotel also offers conferences and the like. Here's what they served our guests. The thickly sliced bread was quite a sight, I'd forever wonder how they finished their sandwiches while trying to be all prim and proper.

Of course I had none of those sandwiches. I was still too full from lunch - and just managed to drown myself with chamomile tea.

It can't get any more "F" than that.

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