Sunday, sweet Sunday brunch at Dusit Thani
Ching M. Alano (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Sunday, sweet Sunday with nothing to do? Well, here’s something to do and get up early for on a lazy, dreamy Sunday (when all you probably want to do is to lie in bed all day): the Crossover Reloaded Sunday Brunch at Dusit Thani Manila.

So, having extricated myself from my beloved bed and skipping breakfast, I dress up and drive off to Makati for my brunch date. Upon entering The Pantry, an attendant gingerly wraps a red paper band around my wrist that serves as my ticket to avail myself of all the humongous offerings of this all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink Sunday brunch at Dusit. Please don’t lose this precious bracelet! I learn later that the color changes every weekend; it could be green this weekend and purple the next.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t know how to navigate through this culinary maze? Fret not ’cause you will be given a map to guide you on this food adventure of a road trip.  So, keep your eyes on the road, please!

The well-loved Sunday family brunch just got even bigger and more exciting, with more treats, freebies, and live entertainment for kids and kids-at-heart to enjoy.

The map takes you to these major highways and byways: ramen, dim sum station, seafood, Benjarong area (for Thai food, a hot favorite), pasta and pizza, meat carvings, Filipino dishes, Indian food, lechon pit, seafood cocktail, salad bar, A World of Cheeses, dessert station, bar, kids area/kids buffet.

The Pantry has its own lechon pit so you can have freshly roasted lechon, which is part of the buffet.

If you want fresh, this is probably the best place to be. The big and plump oysters are A-OK and make you want to think that, indeed, the world is your oyster. The giant river prawn is shrimply delicious!  You can have your fill of the freshest scallops, too! You can have your seafood cooked the way you like it — in herb butter, in hot spices, etc.

Making for colorful eye candy beckoning one’s sweet tooth is the dessert section that currently offers a rainbow theme. The rainbow leads us straight to the big, fat, melt-in-your-mouth churros. Not to be missed, too, are the totally fruity and creamy Bavarian donuts without holes. The blueberry tiramisu with shimmering blue frosting looks tempting, too! Likewise, we can’t resist picking up a macaroon — or two, or three — strewn all over the dessert counter.

To continue your Crossover Reloaded Sunday Brunch, you literally cross over to the other side of The Pantry. To get there, you cross a bridge by a koi pond and pass a veranda. Oh, my, it’s Umu, our favorite Japanese restaurant! Its Wagyu — intensely marbled, extremely soft and succulent — is certainly worth crossing over for! 

“Wagyu is very expensive and you can have as much of it as you want because it’s included in the buffet — it’s definitely value for money,” says Lizel Ventosa, Dusit Thani restaurant reservations manager.

Thus, we shovel our way through the greens to get to the Wagyu and enjoy it to the last morsel.

Also on the buffet spread at Umu are assorted sushi/maki (including a Pinoy version that has mango instead of avocado), sashimi, ebi tempura, seafood (lots of scallops, salmon, shrimps, big and small), and vegetable teppanyaki.

I couldn’t help saying hai to the gigantic fish, carefully carved to hold the sashimi, staring at me.

The brunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — enough time for you to enjoy all you want of the buffet offerings. I suggest that, to save time, you skip the breads (although they’re really good) and plunge headlong into the main attractions, starting with the salad and appetizers all the way to the noodles, meat carvings, seafood, dim sum, and finally, the desserts. 

To enjoy all the buffet dishes offered at the two restaurants, guests pay only one price.

You pay P2,500 net/person, inclusive of unlimited soda, iced tea, and chilled juice.  A maximum of two kids, 14 years old and below, dine for free when they are with their families.

On the other hand, you pay P2,950 net/person, inclusive of unlimited soda, iced tea, chilled juice, red and white wine and Chandon.

More, music from a string orchestra fills the air as you fill your tummy.

We bump into Dusit Thani F&B director Danish Khan, an amiable guy, who tells us that the Sunday brunch is really designed for family bonding. The target market is the family.

“We also have a Kids Zone where different activities and entertainment await kids every Sunday,” says Lizel.

Kids are transported to the magical world of the carnival with shows from famous illusionist Joe Conrad, acrobats, ventriloquists, mime artists, balloon twisters as well as puppet theater shows. Kids may also get creative and do arts and crafts. Or participate in the kiddie salon, face painting, henna and glitter tattoo booths, and scavenger hunts.

Surely, our Sundays just got sweeter and lovelier!

 

 

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For inquiries and reservations, call 238-8888.

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