‘Vikings’ entices Davao in a culinary voyage

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Friday, December 6, 2013

OPENING a restaurant in Davao, or anywhere for that matter, comes with a smorgasbord of challenges. Without effective marketing, it is tough sell to launch a food business even if it is a well-known franchise or opening under a new management.

Davao, however, is gaining attention as a culinary metropolis in the South. With the opening of new malls, restaurants are coming in one after another, giving unchartered, gustatory experiences to the locals.

According to Department of Tourism's (DOT) assistant secretary (Asec.) Art Boncato (former Regional Director of Davao Region), the food tourism is a good selling point of a destination and that positive image is propelled by good food and entertainment for the guests.

With this optimistic development in the food and restaurant industry, Vikings, the largest buffet restaurant in the country, makes a grand timing as it enters the largest city as well.

Settling in its new home at the upper ground level fronting the Fountain Court at SM Lanang Premier, Davao's Vikings outlet has a seating capacity of five hundred for the guests.

As the first branch outside of Metro Manila, it is the first of its kind in the Davao dining atmosphere, where full live show kitchens in all seven stations can be viewed. Actual cooking shows how fresh food is being prepared in high quality, serving as entertainment as well.

According to Marketing Director Stewart Lee, each Vikings branch has its own unique interior to encourage guests to "travel" from one branch to another, reliving a true Viking's voyage from one uncharted territory to another.

Vikings-Mall of Asia has the more Nordic theme with elements of the Vikings ship incorporated into the interior. Vikings-Marikina has a homey vintage feel to it, and it also boasts of the longest buffet table in all of our Vikings branches. Vikings North Edsa has a classy black & white theme. "Vikings Lanang in Davao City on the other hand, has a modern Filipino theme," says Lee.

Davao City was picked because of its investment potential as a growing city, according to Vikings Director Anderson Go. They felt it was a good time to show the Dabawenyos a new way of dining, a luxury buffet treat that is out of the hotel and at an affordable price.

Go explained, "Vikings puts premium on Philippines festivals and Filipinos love for food. We wanted to enhance the experience of "Feast" in Davao by providing the Dabawenyos with a variety of cuisines beyond imagination. At the same time, we also noticed that the Dabawenyos love to eat, and there's no better place to do that but in Vikings."

Viking has its rates on their website for different branches (www.vikings.ph), with Vikings SM Lanang as the most affordable: on weekdays, adults get lunch for P588 and dinner for P788. Kids at 4ft - 4ft 6' get lunch for P388, and dinner for P588; Kids at 3ft - 4ft get lunch for P188, and dinner for P288. On weekends and holidays, both dinner and lunch costs P788 for adults; P588 for kids at 4ft - 4ft 6'; and P288 for kids at 3ft - 4ft. Kids below 3ft are free of charge while the senior citizen privilege is at 20 percent discount for 60 to 74 year olds, and a 50 percent discount at 75 years old and above.

Vikings has a birthday celebrant promo of free food on his/her birthday as long as accompanied by one full paying adult and an ID for proof of birthdate. For group dining, a minimum of 10 people will get two more guests in same group to eat for free.

To date, Vikings lunch and dinner reservations have been fully booked and on a waitlist daily. Best to call for early reservations on the dates you prefer. With this new gastronomic setting being served, Davao apparently likes what is cooking so far.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 07, 2013.


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