Hot Palayok is the Filipino answer to AB’s and Barbeque Nation, the ultimate value for money buffet. Because, for an eye-popping AED29, you can gorge yourself on a very decent quality, all-you-can-eat buffet of mainly Filipino, but also other Asian inspired dishes. FYI, A palayok is a clay, cooking pot used as the traditional food preparation container in the Philippines.
The interior and ambience of Hot Palayok are equally wow-inspiring. Modern, well laid out, clean-cut, and with the best set of wall graphics I have seen this side of Cuisinero Uno, Hot Palayok takes the Filipino experience to a completely different level. The restaurant is very family oriented, and even has a children’s play area immediately outside. And for adults who want to play, there’s a private party section complete with karaoke (of course).
The buffet itself is expansive and has an impressive variety, including many Filipino favourites such as Beef Kare Kare, Honey Garlic Beef Tapa, Pancit Canton, to name but a few. On the fringes, there’s a sushi section, loads of salads and starters, and a whole island of desserts.
I tried a little of as many dishes as I could, enjoying most but absolutely loving the wonton-style dumpling soup – OMG! I would go back for that soup alone.
Service is unbelievable; friendly in that genuine, warm Filipino way, and super accommodating. I had the pleasure of meeting assistant manager, May Torralba De Asis, who was kind enough to tell me a little about the amazing team behind this home grown (Abu Dhabi) concept. Contract May for group bookings, etc. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. She is very approachable.
So, while this may not be the best and/or most authentic Filipino restaurant in town, I certainly think it offers one of the best Filipino buffets which, at AED29 per head, is simply unbeatable value – well worth a visit.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.