Friday, November 6, 2015

When Novotel Manila Araneta Center's Sunday Funday Was Launched

I don't know about you, but for us, Sunday is a definite family day.  As much as possible we give all our available times to our kids.  If we can only make everyday a Sunday... 

Bhogs and I grew up looking forward to Sundays, and even when we met and became friends, Sunday became more special.  Hence, when we became parents, that day, stands on top of all days and we give priority of honoring it, as God's day, by spending the whole day with the complete family. 

Apparently, two of our kids (we have four kids, btw), who are now slowly becoming adults themselves have never realized yet its importance.  Though this make, Bhogs and I, tad heartbroken, we just make the most of our Sunday spent going to Sunday Christian services and of course savoring hefty servings of good food, with our two girls.

Do not let Sunday be taken from you.
If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.
as quoted by Albert Schweitzer
Aforementioned is one of the quote I live by whenever I think of Sunday.  It's the soul of the weak, and Christ's followers like me get charge up with strength, wisdom, patience, and blessing on that day.

With the quenching of the spirit, filling the physical body comes next, that only means indulging, and indulging is a must as it is the family's fave hobby.

If you happen to agree with me, then come along as I share you our dining experience last October 25, 2015.  It was when this sole hotel in Araneta, Cubao - Novotel Manila, launched their Sunday brunch offering.

After its abrupt and silent opening just this October, Novotel Manila Araneta Center has been getting busier and busier by the day as the crowd of Quezon City warmly welcome the 24-storey hotel which features 401 contemporary rooms and suites.  My friend said they have an executive sky-lounge with a 360-degree view of the metropolis and I can't wait to check it out when we get to have that ultimate hotel experience here. With this, Novotel is the only hotel in the area to offer the largest number of rooms in Quezon City to date.

Novotel is the world's most recognized AccorHotels brand for business and leisure travelers, with hotels located in the heart of major international cities, business districts and tourist destinations. With over 100 hotels in Asia Pacific and five hotels in the pipeline for the Philippines, the opening of Novotel Manila Araneta Center reflects AccorHotels' continued expansion in the region and will drive the growing demand for tourism and business in the vibrant hub of Quezon City. Essentially, Novotel Manila Araneta Center will join a global network of more than 400 Novotel hotels and resorts in 60 countries.

It's a humbling experience to be invited by my couple friends, Merna and Chef Didier, to be amongst the first to experience Food Exchange Manila's Sunday Funday. It's a brunch buffet which opens at 11 am to 2 pm and hear this, this most affordable lunch treat includes free flowing mocktails and sparkling wine.  For only P 1588 nett as their soft opening price, you get to indulge in an array of cuisines staged in different aesthetically pleasing stations, each giving a unique eating feat that will surely make you come back for more.

What's better than kids' having fun on buffet without any expense?  For adult guests with kids 12 and below, your kids eat for free.  Though my kids doesn't realize it, all they know is that they were being treated like royals, paying diners, and along with lots of kids, they strolled along like adults in wonderland.  Specifically giving so much attention to the dessert station which happens to be occupying the longest area.

While the spread was equally fetching, I first noticed the stunning, utterly modern interior design.  I find the curves so sexy yet elegant.

Look at this alcove of a bar.  My daughter said it looked like a space ship that's about to take off.

I'm equally enamored by the modern furniture, which are mismatched but still getting that cohesiveness in the design they are after.

Every dining space seem to cater to any diners' whim.  My daughters and I had a hard time deciding where to sit, but eventually some of the seats were reserved already, so we ended up getting seated near the glass wall near the children's play area.

Another thing  I love about The Food Exchange are the different live cooking stations where you can customize dishes such as pasta, pizza, sandwiches, steaks, etc, and even your cocktail drinks prepared in front of you.

Indian Station

By far my favorite station, and I think the only hotel buffet where one can savor delectable true-blue Indian cuisine.  Novotel even hired an Indian chef to lead this open station.

Get to see a couple of Tandoori being prepared.

Aside from the naan and papadums that I hoarded, I got all frantic at this adorable ball-looking crunch.  According to one of the chef stationed there, it's called Pani Puri.   The Indian chef, even demonstrated how it is eaten.

These cute, dainty-looking Pani Puri are small crisp hollow round bread filled with spiced water, tamarind paste, potato, onion, and chickpeas.  This is the perfect snack or appetizer when you’re craving a thousand flavors at once.

The way to eat one is to crack it open on the top, but carefully retaining its shape, making it into a bowl to hold, corn kernels, chopped veggies (n tiny proportions) chutney and spiced water.  

Oh, did I mention you have to eat it whole?  Haha, a hell of an enjoyable experience, might I say.


Cocktails and wines

Pasta, Noodle Station

My steamy bowl of rice noodles

Grilling, Steak and Lechon Station (Meat and Seafood)

Pizza Station

On the end of the counter, a small kiddie-sized stainless counter was set up for the DIY Pizza-making for the kiddos to enjoy.

A chef mans and helps the kids do their pizza, from rolling the dough to topping them.

My Danica, together with other kids sure had tons of fun making their pizzas.

Of course, the pizza was magnificent!  Like all other pizzas, each is baked perfectly, the traditional Italian way on a brick oven.  Whether you like yours in thin crust or chunky, you have all the freedom.  I noticed a Taiwanese putting shelled seafood over the tomato sauce glazed crust her daughter has rolled out, you can just go wild with your own pizza creation.

I'm just imagining the cost you get to shell out when you go to a pizza pie place where you customize your pizza for P 400 to P700, and it's only a 9 inch regular crust pizza, where as here you can have more than one together with other dishes for the sweet cost of a premier buffet.

Next to the pizza station is the live cooking demo for specialty desserts.   Diners get to see how to make lava cakes, churros and MYO crepe.  To add to the joy of  sweets, you can also have Filipino's very own bibingka and Puto Bumbong.

Was too early for the brunch, thus the clean counter top and Chef Didier preparing the mechanisms.

Modern Bibingka (Filipino rice cake cooked on charcoaled pots) cooking machine.

Stainless Puto-bumbong cooker.

Japanese Section

As you can see, there's no shortage of sushi, sashimi and maki here.

Over the end of the room are fresh fruits to either cleanse your palate or end your meal.  Next to them are a number juices and fruit flavored iced teas on huge glass jars.  Of course, how can I forget about their infused water jars, which I have gone gaga over.  I'm a huge fan of infused water, so forgive me.

Bread counter

Salad Station


Dessert Station

Triple chocolate fountain
 My choice dessert...

The cost of this Sunday jaunt was just priceless.  Where else can you spend the best family bonding over great food selections without burning holes in your pocket.  

Avail of Food Exchange Manila's limited time offer of Php 888 nett for buffet lunch (Mon-Sat) and Php 999 nett for buffet dinner to enjoy our cheese selections. Sunday buffet brunch at Php 1,588 nett also includes free flowing sparkling wine and cocktails.

With this, it only shows how Novotel values family and businesses and from a parent's standpoint, this hotel truly is family and kid-friendly.  Hurry, reserve your seats and even rooms until their promos last.  Do visit their FACEBOOK for more info.


Address:  General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center
                Quezon City, Philippines
Contact Details:  (02) 990 7888

Food Exchange Manila - Novotel Manila Araneta Center Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

1 comment:

  1. The overall experience eating here for breakfast was disappointing. While the staff is friendly and trying, they are not being trained correctly and what you have serving are students working for free to fulfill an "On The Job Requirement". It's not the students fault, but the hotel that places profit before service. When you see the buffet, it's looks large and spread out only to find that it's mainly a lot of the same items "repackaged" to look different. Also the "OJT" attempt to provide service involved mainly removing your place, sometimes before you are ready (although they will ask you several times until they get it right). Also items are not replenished properly. I was there during a not so busy time so heaven help you if the hotel is busy and getting something like you wanted. I was happy to see they offered eggs benedict, but look at the slop they served. On top of that the egg were cold and sauce didn't taste correct. Oh well, lesson learned and never again.


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