I was thankfully invited to partake in a dinner buffet at Cafe Ilang-Ilang, which included the Tuna Festival I just posted recently, and it was certainly a gastronomic delight! I thought we were going to be given a tasting menu, instead, we were allowed to eat anything in the buffet. Wow!
For those who have never been to Cafe Ilang-Ilang, let me tell you that with 18 stations to go to, it was a struggle for me to decide where to go first … everything just looked amazing! From the meat carving station (which happened to be near our table) to Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, and Italian dishes, salads, bread and cheese plates, and desserts … it was overwhelming.
Everything you see in the image above, I tried, except for the Tuna Whanja (upper left). I’m a fan of spicy food, but looking at the dish, I was intimidated by the visible chili pieces. Since I was driving home, I had to be careful with my choices.
In my personal opinion, tuna ceviche is a fancy way of saying Kinilaw na Tuna. If you don’t know what that is, it means that raw tuna is covered in vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar is what cooks the fish.
Now, I don’t know if this is how they made that dish, but that is how it tasted. Fyi, kinilaw na tuna is one of my favorite dishes, so it definitely got a thumbs up!
What I discovered is that if we don’t eat this immediately, the tuna becomes dry and tough, so word of advice … when this is served to you, ask for more sauce to put on it and try to eat it immediately.
At the back of the photo are Tuna Empanadas. I didn’t get to taste them anymore because every time I went to that station, they would run out! That’s apparently how good they are. Based on that alone, I would have to assume I missed out on something wonderful, but there just wasn’t space left in my tummy after. 😀
I ended the evening with Pear Sorbet and a macaron.
Who am I kidding? I ended the evening with several bowls of pear sorbet, macchiato gelato, mango crepe, and several macarons! Lol! Anyone who has been at a buffet with me knows my favorite station is the dessert station, and I made sure to leave room for those lovelies.
In five words, I would describe my experience with Cafe Ilang-Ilang and their Tuna Festival as “a party in my mouth”. That’s a party I would love to attend again soon.