If you've read my previous posts, you'd know that I'm always visiting this well-known buffet restaurant in Mall of Asia. Though I have heard of other buffet restaurants in Manila, we've never got the chance to try them. One of those buffet resto is Cabalen. We've passed its MOA and ATC branches many times and my dad keeps bugging us to try them yet we always give it a pass either because we were in a hurry or that we were already full. But when they opened a branch here at SM Dasmariñas recently, it was more convenient for us; it was much easier to find the right time to visit.
When we were seated, this table display caught my attention. Cabalen is strict with their leftovers. They have this clean plate policy. There will be additional charge per 100grams of leftovers. This is a good policy to teach their customers to only get what they can finish. Besides, just because it's an eat-all-you-can doesn't mean you can get anything you want even though you can't finish it.
Cabalen is serving Filipino cuisines which was not ideal for me because I don't eat kare-kare and the other dishes they offer. I only ate pancit bihon, lechon, corn soup, and chicken skin because that's what I'm familiar with. It was hard to try the other dishes because I was so afraid that if I didn't like it, I will have leftovers. I didn't want to pay any additional fee. But if there were sinigang, menudo, kaldereta and the other typical lutong bahay dishes, I would have enjoyed eating here for sure.
Cabalen has only four (4) areas: 1) the main courses which extends to the soup, 2) salad and sizzling area, 3) seafood and lechon area, and lastly, 4) the dessert area. The space is not that spacious so you'll really have to wait for the first customers to finish getting their food.
The tables and chairs are also close to each other making it somehow a hassle for customers to go in and out to get food.
The drinks are not included in the buffet price. They only serve healthy fruit shakes, Pinoy drinks (like buko juice, gulaman at sago), softdrinks (Pepsi products) and iced teas. They don't serve beer. The softdrinks and iced tea can be bottomless which costs Php 60.
Overall, my dad enjoyed eating at Cabalen. My mom seems okay with it too, given the affordable price but for me who really don't eat much of what Cabalen offers, I was not that satisfied.
I hope they can offer more lutong bahay dishes. I hope they could also offer other grilled fish types. Maybe if they add new and more familiar food, I will eat there again.
Have you tried Cabalen before?
What was your favorite dish from them?
Or which Filipino dish you wish they offer?