When in Manila, my parents who love to travel can’t help but reminisce the times when they were aboard a cruise ship. When food was abundantly and gloriously displayed. When you can just grab a plate and get anything that your taste buds desire. When the sushi slices were always smooth and fresh and available. When the chocolate mousse is too good that it melts in your mouth. Going on a cruise is a notch higher than dining in hotels because of its greater number of international cuisine choices, overflowing drinks, mountain-full desserts, and dependable service.
My parents’, as well as myself, were overly ecstatic when we discovered Vikings at SM Mall of Asia. Not only does its architecture look like a ship, but what’s inside Vikings – the food, the interior, the view of the sparkling Manila Bay, everything- has successfully created the feeling of being in a grand cruise ship.
Want to hop aboard? Let me take you through a little tour inside Vikings. Inside Vikings are wooden tables and cushioned seats good for 600 fortunate guests and beautiful sleek mahogany walls that parade between tables to provide guests some privacy. Yellow lights hang low to create a cozy and appetizing atmosphere. Smorgasbord of different cuisines are scattered all around the area. Vikings gives a very luxurious cruise ambience, like Titanic, ready to sail at any minute.
I wondered why a place as grand as this would be named Vikings though. Later on I learned that the word Vikings has a rich history behind it. “Vikings” is a Scandinavian word that refers to explorers by the sea. These people were among the first to create a smorgasbord buffet type of cuisine.
Enough of history. Let the journey of eating begin! First stop, Chinese food! Vikings has these hot snacks on sticks dipped in sate sauce for you to devour. They remind me of the street hawkers in Hongkong.
On the other side of the table, you may find steamed Chinese appetizers, freshly roasted Peking duck and other classic Chinese dishes.
Vikings has a colorful medley of Japanese maki and sushi that can fill an empty stomach. I particularly love their silky smooth salmon!
For those with a western palette, Vikings has a loooong line of salads, salad ingredients and sauces that you can choose from. My personal favorite is their ready-to-eat cauliflower and egg salad, as well as their fresh red beets and black olives drenched in orange with sesame seeds sauce.
Would you believe that for a price of Php 1,088 (on weekend dinners), you can also get as many spoonfuls of caviar as you want? Right beside the long salad bar are Vikings’ European and Mediterranean appetizers ready to tickle your taste buds. I’ve tried the Egyptian Hummus on pita bread which is really something new to my taste.. and also their French Boursin.. imagine cream cheese with specs of bittersweet spinach. Yum! All of these dishes (except for Asian cuisines) by the way were crafted by the infamous Chef Gene Gonzales.
For the main dish, there are more choices than what your eyes can see and what your stomachs can digest. Japanese food lovers may enjoy Japanese fried rice, sweet crispy Tonkatsu (my cousin’s favorite!) and miso soup served in individual teapots.
For Chinese food lovers, apart from the classic dishes like pan-fried vegetable, deep red spareribs among other, you may also take the chef’s hat by cooking a bowl hotpot noodle soup right on your table.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a create-your-own pasta and pizza corner in Vikings!
Plus a grilling station…
And a carving station!
Vikings has indeed covered all bases! What I suggest though when you’re planning to visit Vikings anytime soon is to save a space for a couple of their specialties. Their must-haves include their Angus beef, grilled lamb and baked oysters! Do not leave Vikings without trying them out!
Unlike any hotel, Vikings offer a wide selection of juices and shakes (inclusive in the buffet price). You can indulge yourselves in their free-flowing mango juice, pineapple juice, dalandan juice, iced tea, piña collada, coffee, etc. I love their very refreshing taste of piña collada, it has a hint of vanilla ice cream that cleans the palette.
For dessert, there are several flavors of ice-cream, numerous toppings of halo-halo, bowlfuls of yoghurt, colorful kakanin (Filipino native delicacies), sumptuous pastries and assorted fresh tropical fruits which you can select from. I, a lover of desserts, of course had chosen all of the above! I had a bowl of plain creamy yoghurt, a scoop of avocado ice cream topped with chopped nuts and a slice of my favorite choco-peanutbutter cake (I had a hard time restraining myself from taking another slice). I also had a bite of their biko that is so authentically Filipino.
To wash away the guilt, I ended the meal with a couple pieces of rambutan and a slice of dragon fruit.
For a detailed price-list, please see below:
Indeed, you and I do not need to book a flight and spend a fortune just so we can taste this luxury in a cruise ship. We can enjoy it all in Vikings, when in Manila!
Address: Building B, By the Bay, Seaside Blvd., SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Philippines
For reservations: 846-3888, 846-4888, 846-5888; 0917-5653888 & 0923-7303888
Opens daily: 11:30-2:30pm & 5:30-10:00pm