Luxurious, gastronomic getaway | SunStar

Luxurious, gastronomic getaway

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Luxurious, gastronomic getaway

Friday, June 17, 2016

(Foto by Noel Villaflor)

KNOWN for its remarkable carving station found in all nine of its outlets all over the country, luxury buffet restaurant Vikings may very well convince a diner to drop by the station for a modest plate of rib eye for appetizer, another plate with a heap of rib eye for main course, and one little saucer with some rib eye for dessert (this last one smothered with glaze or gravy). Non-verbally; the mere sight of the juicy rack of rib eye will surely send one’s diet commitments crumpled and tossed to the bin.

“When you say Vikings, people immediately associate it with the carving station,” said Raquel Bartolome, the brand’s marketing manager.

But Vikings Luxury Buffet, located on the second level of The Northwing, SM City Cebu, is no one-trick pony when it comes to its culinary choices. The buffet restaurant offers to the Cebuano dining public 11 food stations to explore: Chinese, Filipino, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Grilling, Shabu Shabu, Carving, Beverage and Dessert. All stations are filled with quality dishes and it’s up to the diner to make sure he makes the right choices for a memorable meal.

Imagine plates of the freshest sashimi, meat stews done in tens of ways with recipes inspired from all over the world, dimsum, soups, seafood—it’s a working man’s gastronomic getaway, a sure reasonable hit even for the most discerning of palates.

“Vikings were big people who loved to feast,” Bartolome said as to how the restaurant got its name. “So here at Vikings, we have overflowing food.” The buffet restaurant’s tag line: “Eat like a viking.”

The branch in Cebu is the ninth branch of the corporation behind the Philippines’ largest luxury buffet restaurant. The Vikings Group first opened its outlet in Mall of Asia in 2011. Quickly gaining attention for its excellent buffet spreads, according to Bartolome, it was the start of a trend that saw several competitors with their own versions of the luxury buffet concept.

“We started it,” Bartolome said, also adding that before Vikings, birthday promotions were not a thing and similar luxury buffets were only set up in hotels.

True to the brand’s touch of diversity when it comes to its food offerings, the brand makes it a point as well to design each and every restaurant different from each other. A 10th branch is in the works to be launched in Pampanga, and that one will be different from the look and feel of the one here in Cebu.

Vikings in Cebu goes for an urban chic interior. Keeping up with the modern times, hints of color make their way all around the restaurant, keeping the feast very much alive until the last hour. Vikings has a 350-seating capacity and an al fresco area is still underway. Reservations, however, are very much encouraged as the queue can get pretty long. The buffet restaurant operates 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily, with respective rates for each time and day.

With its arrival from the north, the Vikings Group plans on launching two of Vikings’ sister brands at SM Seaside City in the near future: NIU by Vikings, the premier version of Vikings which was launched first in SM Aura Premier; and Four Seasons Hotpot, a new hotpot buffet concept done the Vikings way.

As Cebuanos are a bunch that love to eat, the Queen City can certainly open her arms in receiving concepts like these, welcome additions to her bustling buffet scene.

They have arrived.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 18, 2016.

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