IF you’re looking for a place where you can have Sunday lunch, buffet style, with the family in privacy and yet have almost as extensive a buffet selection as when you’re in the coffee shop of a five-star hotel, you might want to check out the Sunday Grill Buffet of Makati Shangri-La Hotel’s Sage Bespoke Grill. Sage Bespoke Grill is a cozy, more relaxed and private dining place where a more intimate dining setup has been created. There are less buffet stations, but everything is pretty much covered—appetizers, salads, soup, seafood on ice, even carvings—although the hot dishes, side dishes, and desserts are served in a more a la carte style than buffet.
After creating a new a la carte menu of innovative dishes for Sage Bespoke Grill, Chef de Cuisine Eric Weidmann focused his attention to the Sunday brunch/lunch buffet of the restaurant and came up with a winner of a combination.
The appetizer buffet, where diners usually start, features a wide selection of charcuterie or cold cuts, antipasti, salads and palate-teasers such as Watermelon Salad with Feta, Prawn and Avocado Salad, Broccoli Salad with Quinoa, Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes Salad, assorted gourmet cheeses, Gravlax Salmon, and an exquisite Duck Liver Galantine. There is even one whole leg of Jamon Serrano, which is being ‘carved’ on site, so diners get the freshest helping at all times.
An exquisite soup, such as Lobster Bisque, is also always available, and it goes very well with the selection of freshly baked breads at the buffet.
Right in front of the appetizer buffet is a two-tiered giant ice tray teeming with fresh seafood, such as large clams, mussels, scallops, oysters, prawns, even Boston lobsters. Eat them as is or with a squeeze of lemon or a dash of cocktail sauce.
In a corner, live stations for Caesar Salad and Beef Tartare are kept busy by diners, who come by to request for freshly prepared Caesar Salad, mixed in a giant wheel of Parmesan cheese, and Beef Tartare. The latter is actually raw hand-cut beef mixed with condiments and sauces and made into patties. Yes, it is eaten raw, in the way fish, shrimps and other seafood are eaten raw in Japanese cuisine, where they are called sashimi.
When it comes to hot dishes, there is no buffet selection but a special menu with four items: Cooked Egg with Morels and Green Asparagus, Scallop and Clam Risotto with Leeks and Champagne Sauce, Lobster Ravioli with Shellfish Cream and Baby Spinach, and Mini Chicken and Truffle Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust. These dishes are served cocotte style from the kitchen, and each diner is supposed to choose one dish to order.
Diners can also partake of the Josper steaks at the carving station. There are usually two selections, such as Tomahawk Steak and Sirloin Steak, which are slow-cooked to perfection in the Josper grill. Juicy, naturally flavorful and perfectly seared and properly cooked through in the Josper grill, they are a food lover’s treat indeed. Such gastronomic treats are only to be expected from Sage Bespoke Grill, which is a restaurant with a new dining concept that showcases premium superior steaks, seafood and best-selling comfort food served in a relaxed setting amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It boasts of a Josper grill, which combines a grill and an oven in a single machine so that dishes can be grilled to perfection without the risk of overcooking, thus preserving the meat’s juiciness and texture and making it pure pleasure on the palate.
As a part of the Sunday Grill Buffet at Sage Bespoke Grill, the service crew goes from table to table offering Brazilian churrasco style grilled meats and seafood. From time to time, they come out from the kitchen with long metal skewers of meats, fish, prawns and other seafood straight from the grill and serve them to diners. Sometimes it is even Makati Shangri-La’s service manager for food and beverage Simone Cordedda who personally serves diners with freshly grilled meats.
Seafood lovers who want even more seafood for lunch can have seafood items from the buffet grilled or baked and served at the table.
To go with all these delightful mains, a wooden tray of side dishes is placed at every table for diners to enjoy, and it includes Creamed Spinach, Forest Mushrooms and Mac and Cheese.
The Sunday Grill Buffet also takes care of dessert, which is a lot of people’s favorite part of the meal. Every table gets a Dessert Platter with Floating Island, Banana Pudding, Pineapple Crumble and Brownies on it. There is also a mobile crepe-making trolley, where the assigned chef prepares Mango Crepe Flambé at tableside upon request. It’s an entertaining performance complete with flaming pans courtesy of shots of Grand Marnier splashed into the hot pan and the sweet aroma of ripe mangoes wafting in the air as the crepe is prepared.
As a fitting meal-ender, there is also Limoncello to wash down all that food.
Every detail that will make Sunday Grill Buffet truly enjoyable for diners has been carefully thought of.
Sage Bespoke Grill’s Sunday Grill Buffet is priced at Php2,650++ per person, and is available every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(Sage Bespoke Grill is located on the second floor of Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Ayala Ave. corner Makati Ave., Makati City 1200; with telephone number 813-8888.)