Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buffet Dinner with Cultural Presentation at Barbara's Restaurant, Intramuros

Whenever I dine in a restaurant, my top preference is always the buffet. Aside from the fact that buffets allow me to eat to my heart's content with its eat-all-you-can policy, they never fail to give full value to my money. As a paying customer, that's what I look for at all times. I don't care if I spend more than what I would usually pay for a meal, so long as it's buffet with wide food selection, I'm in.


The emergence of Groupon sites has allowed me to spend more on food through their awesome restaurant deals. Last Friday night, for instance, we have finally used our Metrodeal vouchers at Barbara's Restaurant, a fine dining vintage restaurant in Intramuros.

While the food and the wait staff service at Barbara's during our visit were pretty good, I found their reservation service a bit bad. I booked for a table for three the week before and when we asked for it, my name wasn't on their list for the night. How come it wasn't there?

I even called three times on different days just to get a table. During my first and second calls, the reservation officer said they're already fully booked on the dates I chose (within the week). On my third and final call, I was able to get a table because I chose a date that fell not within the week but on the next week. I was really upset but didn't show it. The guy on the reception table was kind enough to still accommodate us (okay, maybe the disappointment did show on my face).

Initially, we were ushered to the adjacent empty room. The other room was where the buffet spread, cultural presentation and diners were. My two companions (Edwin and his sister Albie) were just looking on and following me. So, we went to the other room to get food and for some reason, I overheard the guy at the reception table explaining about our situation to another guy that looked like restaurant manager to me. I made parinig that how come nobody enlisted my name as part of the diners for the night, blah blah blah. Funny but somehow, it was effective because seconds after we got our share from the buffet, we were led to the nearby table for three within that room. That, or maybe they just transferred us because the supposed diners for the said table for three were not arriving in the next one hour and we didn't look like we'd stay for more than an hour. Whatever the reason was, I was glad we got seated in that room.

a peek into the cultural presentation (behind us)

Personally, I liked the food at Barbara's. There were only a few dishes on the buffet and these were all Filipino food. I particularly enjoyed their lechon kawali. I think I had two servings of it. It was well-seasoned and had just the right oiliness. The pork skin was crispy and the meat was tender. I paired this with the mango, tomato and bagoong (shrimp paste) salad. Yum.


Another dish I liked is the soy sauce-based fish fillet (looked like taningue to me) whose meat was super tender and tasty.

Aside from the two dishes I mentioned, there were also pancit and kare-kare. I skipped on the pancit because it didn't look delicious to me. I tried the kare-kare but I only got some veggies and sauce because I was not a big fan of it.

that's the buffet at the back of Edwin

Drinks are not included in our vouchers. We had to drink or run the risk of choking. So, I got fresh guyabano juice. It's not on the menu but just a suggestion from one of the waiters. P120 for a glass. It was sweet and refreshing but had a bitter aftertaste. I guess some guyabano peel got mixed in while they were scraping off the fruit's flesh. But I still liked it as it was.


For desserts, Barbara's served three kinds. There were the banana fritters with sesame seeds that Edwin liked a lot, the merengue that Albie was raving about and the sago cups which Albie and I both enjoyed.

The entire restaurant complex of Barbara's is huge. They have function rooms for special occasions. The room where we got seated was on the second floor. It was big and looked really vintage with its wooden, Spanish style interiors. Despite the presence of the diners around, I still found the place spooky, though. It didn't help that the minimal lighting was concentrated on the buffet side and the tables were lighted by candles only. Taking good food pictures was next to impossible. We even forgot to bring a camera so pardon the lousy photos taken using an iPhone 4. Haha.

We got our Metrodeal vouchers at P250 each, original value was P500. Not bad for a buffet dinner with one-hour cultural presentation from a certain Folklorica dance group. Had my reservation went thru smoothly and my name been included in the list of diners for the night, our experience would have been more fun and memorable.

Barbara's Restaurant
Gen. Luna St. (just beside San Agustin Church)
Plaza San Luis Complex
Intramuros, Manila

(+632) 527-3893
(+632) 527-4086

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  1. I was suppose to buy a voucher from metro deal. But reading your post on what they serve, it's a bit disappointing, i was expecting a different dishes. BTW thanks for this post...

  2. Thank you for this post..now, i'm not interested to buy a voucher for this one...

  3. Thanks for the post...I'm suppose to buy a voucher today at Metro deal in time for celebrating our anniversary next week...But reading your post about Barbara's resto makes me change my mind....Will find a better place.

  4. hi foodiestation! i would love to go to barbara's too and watch their cultural show. do they allow guests to take a video of their show? thank you!


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