Spiral is one of the most popular hotel buffet in Metro Manila. I’ve actually bought a lot of coupons when it went for sale at 50% off. Unfortunately, a huge typhoon in Manila pushed Sofitel (where Spiral is located) to close down for a year (September 27, 2011–October 28, 2012) and renovate the whole place.
We had to wait for one year before being able to try out the super yummy dishes that were served in Spiral. Last November, Spiral finally re-opened its doors again to the public and boy, it was a big change! With 11 million US dollars as investment, Sofitel definitely made a big comeback.
Here’s what Sofitel general manager Goran Aleks has to say:
“We are proud to announce the rebirth of Spiral which is set to revolutionize the art of interactive dining. This has never been seen before in Asia-Pacific and it can be found right here in Manila. The 21 dining ateliers of the new Spiral reflect the best of the world’s cuisines in one magnificent destination. It is Sofitel’s vision to showcase not only the best of French culinary heritage but also combine it with the best of Eastern, Western and Filipino cuisine, produce and artistry.”
As for security & safety, Spiral spent 210 million pesos to ensure that the hotel is strong enough to withstand our country’s climate & flooding. Three levels of typhoon protection was considered and done:
- Construction of a retaining wall that is 0.9 meters high, which serves as defense for the property’s building perimeter.
- Improving the hotel perimeter’s drainage. This required a new drainage piping layout, thus declogging and increasing the size of the existing pipe network. Waterworks expert Veltrup was commissioned to eliminate the hard deposits and stone to ensure proper flow. Regular maintenance of the system will also be done before any typhoon season.
- Construction of a 100 meter long trench canal to enable the water coming in the hotel to be diverted back to Manila Bay. In case of strong typhoons, ten submersible pumps are ready to redirect overflowing water to Manila Bay.
With that information, we are assured that Sofitel and Spiral are here to stay.
I was lucky enough to be given the chance to tour around Spiral and take pictures. As you know, taking photos inside a hotel is usually not allowed. I remember when I tried to do that before, I was asked to stop. That’s the reason why I haven’t blogged about Spiral until today…
So with that rare chance, I took as much photos as I could, got myself information about new Spiral and its 21 dining ateliers.
THE PLACE: a Multi-million Dollar Culinary Investment
Sofitel hired the same company, Spin Design Studio of Japan, to work on the new design of Spiral. Usually, people would outdo themselves whenever they re-do a project. I guess they are successful considering how beautiful the new Spiral is. I heard that the concept was meant to bring together the best of both French and Filipino design into a hotel setting.
The Sofitel team travelled around Asia and Europe to search for the best dining concepts. They came up with 21 dining ateliers where the chefs prepare food from a wide range of cuisines for every dining customers to see. More about the ateliers on the food section of this write-up.
Spiral’s wine cellar can be seen at the dining area which according to Sofitel, reflects the hotel’s Voyage du Vin program. It features wines from the best vineyards around the world. I couldn’t tell or appreciate the wines though as I don’t drink wine, hehehe!
The new Spiral is just so big that touring the whole place took me almost 30 minutes to do. Next time I eat at Spiral, I have to make sure that I only eat, eat, eat, and eat!
Of course, I couldn’t miss the 21-foot sculpture located behind the staircase, which is where we sat during brunch. The ‘Rhythmic Movements’ sculpture was made by national artist, Eduardo Castrillo, a man’s tribute to nature by using bronze sheets & tubes to simulate a developing plant.
Spiral is huge and I can see that the interior designer, Masakazu Koizumi, made good use of the space. It was a wonderful sight to see.
THE FOOD: Spiral’s 21 Ateliers
The Spiral Sunday Brunch operates from 12 noon to 3pm but I believe those 3 hours aren’t enough for us to be able to try each and every section of the buffet. Honestly, my stomach couldn’t handle all the dishes at that short time as well. There are 21 ateliers in Spiral.. I’m going to share here how Spiral describes each one and I, on the other hand, would post the photos from my visit.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to try everything but boy, I wish I could! It was just too many! Only a lucky few have that big appetite. But this one’s for sure: everyone will get to enjoy their favorite dishes! I do not think Spiral missed anything apart from the palitaw (a Filipino dessert) which I requested for them to add in their menu 😛
Salad and Appetizer
Fresh locally grown produce and organic colorful vegetables freshly picked from our garden will be tossed for you by our chefs with your choice of home made salad dressings.
Jewels from the sea from oysters, salmon, prawns, crabs and other seafood sourced from all over the world prepared with fresh organic vegetables and your choice of sauces from white wine, vinegar or zesty lemons. Indeed, the world is your oyster, this time, its freshly shucked oyster by the l’écalier.
A raw bar with all the fresh sushi and sashimi prepared for you by our sushi chefs. Japanese rituals abound at this cold stone counter. Temakis and nigiri are in abundance.
Meat and Cheese lovers will be on seventh heaven in this room where one could feast from a wide variety of premium aged hams, charcuterie, smoked fish, artisanal cheese from France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland creamery products. Pair them with olives, herbs, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, sauces and condiments for a real gourmet experience.
From a delectable choice of fresh natural ingredients, Japanese cuisine never ceases to amaze one with its simplicity and artistry. Enjoy a selection of traditional grilled sea food, meat and vegetables cooked at the robata or at the teppanyaki.
With every dish meticulously prepared, authentic French dishes are a labor of love. Savour home-made seared foie gras, luscious roasted meat and carving, seafood, grilled food and regional French cuisines that will surely impress every gourmand.
The aroma of roasted meats triggers the sense of taste and brings back the time honored traditions since 1400 in Paris. Slow cooked meats give you a chance to try a selection of home – cooked lamb, chicken and pork with its rich natural juices blended with various marinades and herbs from the secret recipes of our chefs.
Wood fired oven
Pizza with pizzazz – just as the Italian “Mama” makes it at the traditional wood-fired oven with fresh ingredients.
Savor a variety of mouthwatering juicy skewered steaks and sea food with matching hot sauces and your choice of herbs straight from the churrasco which originates from Brazil. Ask the chefs that move around to grill what their fine meats and seafood are on offer that day.
Inspired by maharajah of Northern India, your taste buds are in for a fiery and spicy treat. Discover the pomp and pageantry of Indian cuisine – North (naan and tandoori) and South Indian cuisine (dosa and chutneys) at its best. Lavish and homemade dishes include tandoori-spiced meats with Indian and Asian breads and sauces. Vegetarians will surely have a feast with a selection of dal, paneers and chutney.
Hand pulled Asian noodles prepared many hours before; with a variety of broth, sauces and an extensive range of condiments and soup stocks to choose from. If that is not enough, ask the chef to make your own noodle recipe. Try the authentic steamed and fried dimsum from different parts of China.
Peking Duck Oven
Roasted to perfection, enjoy peking duck, one of the Chinese atelier’s star dishes which goes back to the tradition of the Emperors Palace in Beijing during the Imperial times. Also on offer are Chinese barbecue.
The sight of flames, the sight and sound of the Chinese master chef cooking stimulates one’s appetite. Let him entice you to try his signature dishes reflecting all parts of China whether Cantonese, Hunan, Sichuan and regional. Also choose from a selection of Wok cooked Chinese dishes.
Savor endless authentic steam and fried dimsum from siao long pao, siomai, dumpling and wonton from all over China.
Warm your palates with a delectable array of traditional Filipino dishes like beef tapa and adobo with its unique sauces from coconut base and dashed with spices. These can be paired with your all-time favourites such as the mouth-watering kare kare with its peanut based sauce and the amazing crispy pata among the many which will want you to crave for more. Surely just take the culinary adventure and try the Filipino dishes with homemade and heirloom recipes from our notable Spiral Chefs.
Fiery flavors of Thai cuisine beckon you with its fabled soups and curries. In contrast to the chili dishes Thailand is known for, Thai food infuses a lot of zesty lime, kaffir and basil to its rich flavors.
Sizzling plates and freshly tossed vegetables await Korean food aficionados. Korean dishes like dakdoritang (spicy chicken stew) and changjorim (soy braised bean), kimchi, bulgogi , beef short rib barbeque, chili chicken barbeque, pork rib barbeque, squid chili barbeque, bibimbab , five kInds of kimchi and five kinds of namal will be on offer for you.
Follow the smell of warm and freshly baked baguettes, pain au chocolat, croissants and you end up at the La Boulangerie right at Spiral where you can choose from a selection of freshly baked breads – all hand rolled. Healthy choices include rye and gluten free breads.
Sweet endings are the perfect way to end a memorable dining experience – succumb to the temptation of freshly baked French pastries of all shapes, fillings, textures and sizes.
* check the right picture and notice that the container holding the bread is also made of bread! Total coolness! 🙂
Chocolates are the stuff sweet dreams are made of. Indulge in artisanal chocolates, truffles and pralines intricately designed whether dark, white or milk chocolate from the best cocoa in the world and all freshly made for you by our chocolatiers. One bite of these devilishly good chocolates will surely send you to seventh heaven with its intense flavors and colors.
Imagine sweet temptations – all types of ice cream at the tip of your tongue from your favourite fruity and citrus flavors along with dark chocolates and toppings
Couldn’t get enough of Spiral’s dishes? Why not take some home? Spiral recently added the option for us to take home some of their cold cuts, cheeses, sauces, organic products, cookies, chocolates and a lot more. A perfect pasalubong for your loved ones!
THE EXPERIENCE: Catchup & Food Overload
I’ve shared a lot about Spiral’s interior and food in this post already. Suffice to say, I was really impressed and satisfied with the new Spiral. Maybe the only thing that would take me aback is its price. Considering how full Spiral is (I’ve tried the Spiral buffet both during weekday and sunday brunch), I can conclude that people believe that they are getting their money worth.
Sofitel Manila spent so much in research and getting the best people in the industry to design the dining area, the menu, and the overall security of the hotel. It just proves how serious Sofitel Manila is in bringing the best experience we diners can have. I appreciate that.
When dining at Spiral especially during Sunday brunch, I wouldn’t miss the foie gras and the lobsters. I can eat them over and over and over again.
Your kids will definitely enjoy hanging out at Spiral while you munch your heart away. That’s because the friendly clown is available to entertain them and give them balloon toys for them to play!
Another reason why I enjoyed the Spiral sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago is I was able to hang out with a long lost friend, Blessy. We’ve known each other since late 1990s and I’m just so glad that after a decade or two, we were able to hang out and catch up on our lives.
I’m once again tortured while writing such a yummy experience (because it just makes me wanna drive to Spiral at Sofitel Manila and eat again :D). I do not have the luxury to eat at a buffet often especially that I’m now looking after my weight. However, for special occasions or for the times that I crave for the complete foodie experience, Spiral is definitely one of my top five choices.
The sunday brunch at Spiral costs about Php 3,600 per person (champagne included) or Php 3,200 per person (without champagne).
So there… My super dining experience at one of the best hotel buffets in Manila —> Spiral.
G/F, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard
Pasay City 1300 Manila, Philippines