Buffet Etiquette: Four Ways to Conduct Yourself Properly When Eating at A Hotel Buffet


 “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating”-Luciano Pavarotti


In the Philippines, eating at a buffet pretty much mimics the scene of a knight laying siege to a castle insomuch that every food item offered is seen as another enemy soldier to be taken down.

Indeed, grabbing a meal at a buffet may resemble a war zone as more often than not, people are often in fear that the food will be taken away before they even get the chance to sample some of it. In other cases, they are afraid that someone would monopolize all of the buffet’s choice items leaving them to take the crumbs. In this regard, many of the buffet diners are of the belief that they should take more than necessary so as to sample as much food as they think their money is worth. After all, they have already paid a premium just to sample a smorgasbord of scrumptious food, why not take advantage of it to the fullest?

Unfortunately, it is this very mentality and irrational approach that deter many prospective diners from eating at the hotel’s buffet. Hotel guests would be of the belief that other diners would behave in such a way that makes them seem like they have not eaten for days (and in some cases, that might just be true). However, this kind of mentality needs to be put to rest as not only is it incredibly unbecoming, but it increases the likelihood of food wastage from all the uneaten excess food you have taken. So, if you have been planning to visit any hotel buffet soon whether that may be in any of the Pampanga hotels or elsewhere, here is what you need to keep in mind:



Some hotels open their buffets before the food is prepared and served. In this regard, guests can freely seat themselves and get comfortable before they start perusing the food offers of that particular day. However, once the food starts rolling out always remember to never sample any of it until the buffet is officially open. Sure, arrays upon platters might have been set out but until the servers tell you that you can begin eating, do not touch the food. Taking food before the buffet is officially open would only stress out the serving and kitchen staff, so be patient. Once a server tells you that you may now commence your meal or if you see a queue by the tables, then go ahead and fall into line. Remember, status and privilege do not apply here, so do not cut in line and wait your turn.


When a food item is short in supply, do not hog all that is left and just take a piece and then move on. Taking everything that is left is an easy way to annoy those who waited in line behind you and can ruffle the wrong feathers at the buffet station. Relax and go easy on it, chances are it will be replenished within the next few minutes or you can ask the server to bring a serving to your table. In taking food items, never use your own utensils and use the serving spoon or forks provided for the dish. After your done, remember to put the serving utensil next to the platter or chafing dish and never leave it on the hot serving tray as it can get hot and burn the fingers of the person next in line to you.


Eating at the buffet is not a contest of who can pile their plates the highest. With this in mind, do not stress your plates by overloading it with food. Take only what you can finish and go back if you wish to have seconds or thirds. Similarly, you should never take a whole plate of food for others in your table as that runs counter to the idea of the buffet. Apart from being unnecessary, taking a plateful of food for others would increase the likelihood of food wastage as there is a likely chance your company would be getting the dish for themselves as well.

Serving Stations

More often than not, hotel buffets have designated special serving stations that would cook hot meals for guests such as the case of the pasta and pizza station. However, keep in mind that there is a limit to what the attendants can provide. Essentially, they cannot realistically prepare all of your special requests. However, if they are straightforward and uncomplicated, special requests can be accommodated so long as the ingredients are in sight, well-stocked and readily available.


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Travel EATineary: Five Excellent Reasons You Should Go on a Food Tour


“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” –James Michener


One of the best ways to truly get to know a foreign city is to eat your way through it.

After all, eating itself is already a visceral and immersive experience. Consequently, indulging yourself in the foreign flavors a city can be a wonderful experience that is certainly nothing short of delightful. Seeing as the consumption food is known to be one of the best ways to explore and discover more about a city, the concept of food tours was then introduced and since then, it spread like wildfire. For this reason, localized food tours such as the one we have in the Philippines like the Pampanga food trip have been rather popular insomuch that it attracts tourists by the droves. So, if you wish to put a fresh new spin on your travel ventures and go on an epicurean journey.

After all, it has been said that food prepared on the other side of the world is all the more tasteful. In any case, here are some of the compelling reasons that should convince you to go on a food tour on your next trip:

It is an amazing introduction to the city

Of course, there are other ways you can learn about a country which is mainly done through research and reading articles and books. However, there is no better way to explore a country or city than to eat your way through it. In fact, one might even go as far as to suggest that each plate you consume and whatever meal you might eat in a foreign city will likely tell you a story. Similarly, it might even give you a glimpse into the city’s culture. After all, the harmony of flavors has subtle hints about the locality it is offered in. Plus, food tours also allow you to see the city in a different light than you would have had you been part of a food tour.

You visit the places locals love and take the road less traveled

Sure, while guidebooks and travel articles would proclaim where the best places and tourist spots to visit in the city are, there is a likely chance that they would miss all the spots which locals have developed a fondness for. However, as food tours are primarily organized by the city itself, you would then have the chance to get up close and personal to the locals as well as try out the food they know to be the best. Furthermore, you cannot always rely on reviews to point you towards the best restaurants in town. If you wish to get the best recommendation, there is no better person to ask than the locals themselves.

You can see and sample a lot

Walking in on a restaurant and asking to try everything they have to offer in their menu is not only unorthodox but rather impractical. In this regard, you can only rely on what you think you might fancy or from review recommendations. However, food tours are not so limiting. In fact, food tours would often encourage participants to try all of the dishes showcased and select the best one after their initial tasting. Of course, the most difficult part would be selecting one that you like as you are guaranteed to like quite a lot of dishes.

You meet other food enthusiasts

Of course, food tours will likely attract like-minded individuals who have developed a unique affinity for food and they come in all shapes and sizes (and ages too!). Some of these foodies would even be chefs and would love to share and swap recipes with you. Participating in a food tour means you would also get to know people who share the same passion for food as you do and if you are lucky, they might just recommend the next food tour you should join. Plus, who knows if you might end up forming friendships with them? You might not know it but they might just invite you to explore the city with them as well.

It is always a delightful experience

Regardless of what food tour you join, it would always be a delightful experience and one that is worth reminiscing over and over. In fact, it can be said that a food tour might just be one of the best experiences you will ever have while out of town. Take note: No two food tours are the same just as no two cities are entirely alike. Even the food tours within the city are not entirely alike so you might want to go on and try as many tours as you possibly can.

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Food Tourism: Three Questions to Ask in Picking the Perfect Food Tour in


“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote time to eating.” –Luciano Pavarotti

It has been said that to get to know a foreign country truly, one must eat their way through it.

Sightseeing tours can only get you so far, but to consume ethnic cuisine is to partake and immerse yourself in a new culture and custom. Eating has been known to be a very personal and visceral experience insomuch that sampling a foreign country’s epicurean offerings can be synonymous with experiencing it as a whole. After all, much of what is to be discovered about a foreign place can be found in their food. So, in this regard, going on a gastronomic journey in a new place should be one of the primary things included in one’s travel itinerary.

As much of a city’s culture is reflected on its cuisine and seeing as food is one of the main highlights of a trip (not to mention one of the most important considerations in a vacation), tours dedicated to food and its consumption have been conducted all over the world. In this regard, food connoisseurs and food enthusiasts from all over the world can converge and share their unique passion and love for the consumption of food. Going on a food tour is an excellent way to explore a city. Furthermore, these tours are also known to be incredibly diverse, and you are guaranteed to find something to suit your discriminating palate and food preferences. However, how do you pick the perfect food tour for you? After all, a food tour is so much more different than an ordinary food trip in Pampanga or elsewhere. It is immersive with food curated only from the best restaurateurs. Moreover, the various selections of food included in these tours have been deemed to be absolute “must-trys” not only by the organizers but the locals themselves. At times, the food included in the food tour menu would only be available in that place alone or is a definitive food staple in the country. So, if you are preparing for your next overseas food trip, here are the ways to choose the appropriate food tour:


1.) What neighborhood is the food tour in?

More often than not, a food tour is more than just a simple sampling of various local food offerings; it can be an avenue to explore the city as well. For this reason, many food tours would be on foot and conducted in a particular neighborhood so as to prevent tourists from getting worn down by all the eating and walking. In this regard, consider going on food tours as hitting two birds with one stone wherein you would not only get to eat a variety of local food but go sightseeing as well. With this in mind, choose a neighborhood that sounds interesting to you. Check the description and see where the food tour would be held which can either be in the center of town or a less frequented place. Both have their respective benefits with the former providing you quick access to famous landmarks and monuments while the latter would give you an insider’s look at the place’s particular lifestyle. Select whichever appeals to you best.

2.) What are the food offerings included in the tour?

Before going on a food tour, it is always a good idea to do your research first. Read up on the tour description to have an overview of the kind of food included in the tour. Undoubtedly, this would be of paramount consideration to you seeing as you are mainly participating in this tour for the food. Unfortunately, making a judgment can be quite the challenge seeing as there might be food items you are not familiar with. If you are an adventurous eater, go for the exotic and unusual food offerings. However, if you do not wish to venture out of your traditional tastes, be sure to ask the organizer what the food offerings will be and try to see if the majority of what is offered would sit well with you and your palate.

3.) How many tastings are on the food tour?

To ensure you are getting the most out of your buck, go for the tour that includes the most stops or the best restaurants. On the surface, it might look like you are getting a better deal on a tour that has ten stops than one that has five. However, remember that both are equally enjoyable and you would be getting roughly the same quantity of food. A food tour with more stops usually serves smaller portions than tours with fewer stops. Regardless of these, your criteria for choosing a food tour should primarily be based on what food you would like to try and what city you would like to city rather than solely the number of stops alone.

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Five Things You Need to Know Before Dating a Food Lover


“Cooking is a lot like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”-Harriet van Horne

Foodie (noun) – An aficionado of food and drink; A person who loves to study prepare, and eat amazing food.


George Bernard Shaw was once quoted to say that there is no sincerer love than the love for food. With this sentiment in mind, we could then infer that there is no love more profound and intense as the love and affection coming from a foodie. So, if you have ever found yourself fortunate to be dating one, consider yourself incredibly lucky.

However, know that dating a foodie is unlike any other. Their love for food and proclivity for anything that relates to it transcends their inclination or love for any (and perhaps every) aspect of their lives. So, do not take it too personally when you only come second to their devotion to food. After all, no one knows truer passion for eating than they do (and hey, at least you come very close). To foodies, food is so much more than just a staple supplement we eat three times daily and it is definitely more than a source of nourishment. To them, food is all about the journey and the intertwining of flavors inside your tongue and playing in your palate. Food is about an adventure that means so much more than just going on random food trips in Palawan or elsewhere, it is about the experience. So, if you have found yourself a lover who just happens to have an immense enthusiasm for food or anything related to it, here are some of the tips you can bear in mind whenever you are dating them:


Try to broaden your horizons

Foodies and food lovers are natural-born explorers—of food that is. In this regard, you can expect every meal to be somewhat of an adventure with them. With this in mind, you can expect to try a whole range of food preparations—from the usual to the downright exotic. Considering all these, you need to broaden your horizons and at least try some dishes you never had in your life before. You do not have to like them (and you cannot expect them to like it all the time either) but at least give it a try before rejecting it. To a foodie, a meal does not always have to taste good in order to be enjoyed. Part of what makes it fun is trying new things and dishes that were once foreign and alien to them and to you. So, if you are a fussy or picky eater, you might want to reconsider dating someone with an active enthusiasm for food.

Dates are not only about fancy restaurants

One misconception people have about foodies is that they will pick fancy restaurants over unassuming and humble eateries. However, this is just like saying that all foodies have expensive taste or are at least pretentious about their food. No doubt, food lovers would appreciate fancy meals but true foodies care less about where the food is prepared and served and more about the food itself. Genuine foodies can appreciate undiscovered gems such as a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that would have no menu apart from what the chef wishes to serve you. In fact, you can expect to actively seek out this kind of restaurant just to satisfy her curiosity and palate that it would not even matter how long it takes him or her to that part of your city.


They do not see anything wrong with traveling for a dish

It might have been that your foodie lover saw something out of the myriad of food blog posts she or he follows and has long been itching to try it. With this in mind, no city or town is too far just for them to try out a particular food. Similarly, if a city boasts that they are the best at preparing your foodie’s favorite dish, expect that city to appear in your travel bucket list anytime soon. To you, a trip to Palawan might mean seeing the beautiful beaches or at least visiting the Underground River and in a way, you are right. However, to your foodie, the highlight of the trip would be to try the world-famous woodworm online blog posts have been raving about.

They will want to have a taste of whatever you order

When you are out dining, a foodie would always try to order something different than the food you requested so that they will not end up having two of the same dish. To them, meals are a communal thing so expect to be sharing your food quite a lot. They always want to try something new from the menu and would expect you to allow them to eat off of your plate (Do not worry; they expect you to do the same!)

Deciding what to eat can be time-consuming

It is not that she does not know what she wants to eat (Trust us, she does!). It is just that their incessant penchant for trying new food would always outweigh their want for eating they know to be tasty. They might have already tried all (if not, most) of the restaurants in your particular area and are desirous of something new to tease their taste buds with. Be patient, they will eventually come up with a decision. It would not hurt for you to pitch in some suggestions as well.


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Pampanga EATinerary: Kapampangan Dishes to Include in Your Epic Food Trip


“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into abandon or not at all.”-Julia Child

While other provinces boast of scenic coastlines, towering megacities and an abundance of natural wonder, none of them can hold a candle to Pampanga’s promise of glorious eats. Hailed and revered as Philippine’s culinary capital, it has been said that no other region in the Philippines can compete with its food fares and staples. Sure, it may not have enough tourist attractions to brag about nor does it have a series of beaches for it to be considered a summer capital. But what it does have is a unique selection of the best Filipino food dishes that are skillfully and masterfully prepared. In fact, it seems that Pampanga’s claim to fame is hinged on its inhabitants’ unique prowess and abilities in creating food dishes of epicurean quality.

While it is undeniable that the province is rich in culture, an exemplary skill in food preparation is considered a Kapampangan heritage for which they are staunchly proud of. If you have been wondering why people sing so many praises about Kapampangan food, perhaps it is time to sample it for yourself. However, while Kapampangan food is considered the best, there are some of them that are worth the visit so much more than the others.

So, if you are planning on going on an epic food trip in Pampanga, here are some of the food dishes you ought to include in your itinerary:

1.) Sisig

Although each Philippine region is known for their unique way of preparing sisig, none of these renditions can ever compare to the original—which would undoubtedly come from Pampanga. This iconic and versatile dish has been known to be a beer match or a simple viand to those seeking for a quick fix to stave off their hunger. In any case, you should never miss how the Kapampangans prepare their sisig as not only did the dish originate there, but they arguably have the best version of the dish.

2.) Buro

If there is one dish Kapampangans cannot live without, it would definitely be buro. Consisting of fresh shrimp sautéed in garlic and plenty of tomatoes with fermented rice, it is not a dish that everyone would want to try immediately. Although the dish is definitely not for the faint of heart, it makes the perfect match of fresh mustard leaves and is a must try for adventurous eaters.

3.) Camaru

If you are the type of foodie who wishes to venture out of the usual food fares, you might want to try more exotic offerings such as the Camaru. This exotic Kapampangan dish is basically a crunchy feast of deep-fried insects sautéed with chopped onions and tomatoes. Once you can get past the fact that you are practically eating insects, you might find that the dish itself is actually very delectable and tasty after all.

4.) Betute Tugak

If you can stomach the idea of eating a crunchy round of insects, then you might want to ante up the stakes. If you have a predilection for exotic food fares, then you are going to love eating Betute Tugak which is essentially stuffed frogs that are then deeply fried (depending on how it was prepared). If the idea of eating frogs might seem unsanitary to you or put you off, you need not have any qualms as the frogs are farm raised and are guaranteed safe. If you think you have what it takes, then go ahead, indulge and treat yourself to a serving of stuffed frogs from Pampanga. If you can finish off a single serving all by yourself, you get to have bragging rights for successfully conquering this unique and exotic dish challenge.

5.) Taba ng Talangka

Crab fat has always been somewhat of a decadent portion in crabs which most Filipino diners would be fighting over. In this regard, one can assume just how tasty any dish made from or slathered in this fat would be. With paste-like and creamy consistency, Kapampangan crab fat comes from tiny crabs and would be sautéed in garlic and squeezed with lemon or calamansi. The resulting dish would then be a great addition to starch bases such as rice or pasta. However, it would be just as tasty on its own as well, but we probably would not recommend that if you have notoriously high cholesterol levels.


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World EATinerary: Three Excellent Reasons to Travel for Food

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” –Thomas Keller

It has been said that food is the ingredient that binds us together. And according to James Beard, it is a common ground and a universal experience. From this standpoint alone, we can see how food plays a significant and even pivotal aspect in our lives. After all, we consume it on a daily basis and at times, food has been considered to be an indulgent experience that although banal, can be quite extraordinary. Today, with the culinary atmosphere reaching new heights, food preparation has evolved. In fact, with aspects in food preparation that has never been explored before (and with advancements and innovations in gastronomy), we can safely say that the way we dine today is so much different than we did decades ago. With food being a ubiquitous experience that every single one of us happens to enjoy, the concept of food traveling was engendered. And for years now, individuals do not only travel for the place but for the foreign food as well.

It has been said that to truly get to know a foreign place, one must discover it through their senses—with taste playing a fundamental role. In this regard, we do not only immerse ourselves in a country through our sights, but explore it with the sense of taste as well. After all, a little known thing about our palate is the fact that not only would it heighten an experience, but it would make it memorable as well. So, go ahead and indulge yourself and gorge yourself with all the glorious food offered in a food trip to Pampanga or elsewhere. In any case, if you have wondered why people travel for food, take a gander at the list below:

1.) Inspiration for culinary endeavors

Sure, you can easily get information from a foreign recipe books but information and inspiration are two very different things. The former simply tells you to do while the latter encourages you to actually do it. Food is visceral experience that how a particular dish should taste cannot be accurately translated through the pages of a cookbook. You need to savor the dish yourself in order to fully appreciate it. Taking in the aroma of fresh ramen or hearing other diners slurp it are both things a foreign cookbook can never capture. And if you have this budding desire to pursue a culinary endeavor yourself, seeing the action for yourself would be enough to motivate you to actually push through it.

2.) It takes you out of your comfort zone

Being in a foreign place means exposing yourself to a whole new array of food—some of which are unavailable at home and some you would have thought of trying. When you are in a foreign place, you tend to be a little less guarded about your food choices and would be willing to sample things you might not have tried back at home. In this regard, the dining experience takes you out of your comfort zone and you might be surprised how well you would actually like it. Traveling opens your palate to a myriad of authentic flavor profiles and notes that you would have missed out on had you not given it a try.

3.) You will meet people who love to eat as much as you do

While some people have little to no regard for food, there are also some who would say they have a passion for it—a food enthusiast if you may. Traveling to foreign countries for the food gives you an opportunity to meet and connect with them. More often than not, these people would convene and would plan where their next group dinner would be. Furthermore, these groups tend to have cooking classes that would suit their preferences and tastes. However, if your schedule does not allow you to participate in these culinary and food excursions, go for the alternative of taking part in culinary tours instead.


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The Top Five Restaurants You Should Try in Circuit Makati


“A restaurant is a fantasy—a kind of living fantasy in which diners are the most important members of the cast.” -Warner LeRoy


Circuit Makati may be quite new to the entertainment development scene, but since its inception, it has already been making waves. This 21-hectare property used to be the former Sta. Ana Racetrack property of the Philippine Racing Club Inc. and is now a mixed-use development land. Today, Circuit Makati is known to be one of the famous and most happening entertainment districts in the metropolis. It is poised as the unequivocal destination for all things entertainment. It features multipurpose entertainment spaces, open grounds, and an indoor theater. Indeed, even if Circuit Makati has not been around for quite too long, it has already made an impression on locals and has cemented its claim to fame by being the go-to venue for fun and entertainment.

Among the myriad of activities, you can do in Circuit Makati are attending hot music festivals and skateboarding in the skateboard park, doing sports related activities on the football pitch or go for a go-kart ride. With the array of things you can do in the entertainment hub, it would be no question for it to come armed with its own arsenal of excellent restaurants. If you ever have the chance to visit Circuit Makati, here are some of the best restaurants you should try:

1.) Palm Corned Beef Corner

What could possibly be better than corned beef for breakfast? Well, corned beef for lunch and dinner as well! It is a well-known fact that corned beef is one of the breakfast staples in a Filipino home. In fact, it is the favorite breakfast food of many—a fact which Palm Corned Beef decided to capitalize on. Considering that it is one of the leading corned beef brands in the country, Palm Corned Beef decided open their own restaurant which can be found in Circuit Makati. Apart from the New Zealand corned beef, you can enjoy a lot of food items from their menu.

2.) Mudpie Heaven

Dessert connoisseurs will rejoice—particularly those who are incredibly fond of chocolates. Mudpie Heaven is the physical manifestation of an ode to the thirty-year-old recipes of the owner’s (Ashley Cayuca) mom. Of course, this place serves more than just desserts. Known for their extensive menu of reinvented Filipino-American comfort food, this restaurant is a must try for food enthusiasts with an insatiable palate for food fusions. If you get the chance to visit, remember to make room for their rich desserts as their signature Mud Pie ice cream cakes are a definite must-try!

3.) OnBoard Game + Gastro Pub

This restaurant, as the name suggests, is a fusion of a board game center and a pub. This straightforward concept promises a full-service kitchen that would serve craft beers, comfort food, and specialty cocktails among others. Patrons can play a wide array of board game titles that would suit all ages and preferences while waiting for their food. A pretty nifty concept so as to keep your diners entertained while their food cooks.

4.) Backyard Kitchen + Brew

If comfort food is your thing, then you might want to try a contemporary rendition of it at Backyard Kitchen + Brew. Owned by Chef Edward Bugia of Pino, this far-to-table bar and grill concept serves modern comfort food with a little twist. Of course, indulgent drinkers with a unique taste for liquor are not left behind either as they serve a wide selection of craft beers and beverages.

5.) Outre Manila

Ice cream and dessert enthusiasts have something to rejoice about—especially since hand-crafted liquid nitrogen is now readily available in Circuit Makati. Although Outre Manila traced its roots back in BF Homes, it has now expanded to cater to a wider market and is newly opened in Circuit Makati. If you have a hankering for complicated and unusual desserts or simply just love ice cream and gelato, then this place is for you. Alternatively, those who are ravenous can get hot meals in this restaurant as well.


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