Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Lunch Buffet Experience at Richmonde Hotel

Our lunch buffet experience at Richmonde Cafe inside the busy Richmonde Hotel-Ortigas last week, though far from being perfect, was satisfying. I was with my sister J and it somehow served as our bonding moment. Richmonde Cafe is such a cozy dining place and we liked it there. The food was good and the staff were nice, too.

Our reservation was 12:00 n.n. and we got to the hotel 10 minutes before that. The cafe is located at the 2nd floor and we just used the stairs to get there. I walked up to the receptionist and informed her I had a reservation for 12:00 n.n. for a table for two. He got my name and from the expression on his face, I detected a problem. My instincts were right. Apparently, there was no table reserved for me. He asked me as to whom I made a reservation with and I mentioned the name of the person I talked to on the phone. I overheard him whisper to his co-worker that maybe my reservation has been overlooked or something to that effect.

In all fairness to the staff, he resolved the problem on his own and got us a table in no time. I appreciated the response I got but the reservation guy left a not so good impression on me. I have experienced the same during the dinner buffet we had at Barbara's Intramuros. I dunno with restaurant reservation staff but I think they have to be extra careful in handling reservations made by diners who could be potential regulars of their establishments.

Richmonde Hotel lobby

By the way, I used Ensogo vouchers for our buffet lunch. I have purchased several vouchers from the groupon site before (like when we had a Spiral dinner buffet at Sofitel)and so far, this is the first time I had a little problem. And it wasn't even Ensogo's fault but the restaurant's.

On to the food. For a P560 worth of lunch buffet (originally priced at P1,120), I wasn't really expecting a lot. With the food selection at Richmonde Cafe during our lunch buffet, I can say I was quite pleased. I saw fresh seafood and meat items (waiting to be cooked our style!), cooked meat items (mostly Korean dishes), a salad station and a dessert station. I sampled all the dishes I found interesting and skipped the ones I normally eat at home. I brought my DSLR with me for picture-taking but forgot to check the battery. I found out the battery was empty so I asked one of the staff if I could charge it and he was kind enough to let me use one of their power outlets. :)

Here are two food photos I took (these do not include the ones I ate while the camera was still charging, though, haha):

my bread plate with bread, butter, green grapes, and several kinds of cheese

my sister's dessert plate

Among the food items I tried, only one stood out for me -- the steamed squid. It was my first time to see this popular seafood cooked very simply. It tasted so good and the soy-chili dip with calamansi went well with it. The squid was soft, succulent and tasted fresh. Every bite was memorable, the kick from the chilies went from mild to strong and I loved it. I think I ate a total of four pieces.

steamed squid is the one on mini-saucer

If I have voracious appetite, my sister J is the opposite. I think she only finished two plates of food: one for main dishes and the other for desserts. Plus, she tried the halo-halo (I didn't) and it seemed she liked it because she finished her glass. She said she was full already so I just let her relax while I continued eating.


Richmonde Cafe was full house during our lunch. It was the last day the Ensogo vouchers could be used so I wasn't surprised when I saw several groups arrived with Ensogo vouchers at hand. The advantage of being seated near the grand staircase. Haha. I, myself, almost forgot about this deal. Good thing I checked my vouchers and saw this one tagged with a May 11 deadline. I just had to use it so I dragged my sister along. Sayang naman kung hindi magamit.

Richmonde Hotel housed three restaurants in its premises: Richmonde Cafe, The Exchange (which looked like a sushal bar & lounge to me)and the Lobby Cafe (great for coffee or a quick snack). Richmonde Cafe, it seemed to me, shares restrooms with The Exchange because it was where we were pointed to by the staff when we asked for a ladies' room.

inside their well-lighted ladies' room

All in all, I think our lunch buffet at Richmond Cafe was pleasurable and worthy of our trip (we're from Manila). We enjoyed the cozy ambience and the friendly service. The food was good but not the kind that I'd go back for, though.


Have you dined at Richmonde Cafe recently? How has it been?

Richmonde Cafe
2nd Level, Richmonde Hotel
21 San Miguel Ave. Ortigas Center,
Pasig City 1600

(+632) 638-7777 loc. 3409
(+632) 689-8419

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