Noche Buena in the city

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FORGET about your diet even for a day (or two), after all, the traditional Noche Buena with our families, friends, and loved ones only happens once in a year. Now, if cooking the feast at home is too much of a hassle, here are places where one can order something special, have the meal catered, or simply eat out and break one’s diet to one’s heart’s content.

City of Dreams offers a feast fit for a king with Nobu Manila’s Christmas Eve buffet on Dec. 24 at P3,880++ per cover. Fill your plates with goodies such as baked salmon with honey truffle, roasted Wagyu leg, scallop okonomiyaki, rock shrimp tempura in creamy spicy sauce, and chicken lollipop with sweet soy anticucho, among many others. The famed Japanese restaurant is also offering an omakase — a Japanese set meal — created by the chef which is available until Dec. 28. For inquiries and reservations, call 800 8080, e-mail, or visit

At Crimson Filinvest’s Café Eight, family and friends can indulge at noon or at night. At the Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet, there are lavish selections of Christmas pudding, mince pies, beetroot and vodka-marinated salmon, citrus fennel salad, terrines, roasted turkey with Chipolata sausage, chestnut stuffing, and a lot more. At the Christmas Day Brunch Buffet, the food up for grabs includes mimosa salad, gravlax with oriental five spices and orange sauce, seafood bisque, Indian spiced duck leg confit, and Yuletide cakes. Buffet rates start at P1,600++. For details and reservations, visit or call 863-2222.

At the Makati Shangri-La one is faced with a bountiful problem: where to eat and what to get? At it’s in-house restaurants, family and friends would surely would not know where to start: Sage Bespoke Grill has a five-course dinner on Dec. 24 at P3,900 while Inagiku has a Christmas Eve dinner buffet at P3,500. On Christmas Day, the five-star hotel also offers the Lobby Lounge Christmas lunch buffet at P2,800 and Shang Palace’s premium dim sum feast that starts at P1,888. For details and reservations, call 813-8888 or visit

’Tis the season to be merry over good food and at the Diamond Hotel, you can bring in the brood for a sumptuous repast of international cuisine at the Corniche Buffet Restaurant where the pianist and quartet set you in a holiday mood. On offer are Christmas Eve Lunch for P2,680 net per person and Christmas Eve Dinner at P2,980 net per person with a glass of cava. On Christmas Day, indulge in traditional holiday favorites: the lunch buffet — which comes with a glass of cava — is priced at P2,980 net while dinner is P2,680 net. If you are craving for Japanese food, indulge at the Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant, which offers Christmas set menus. On Dec. 24 and 25, the lunch and dinner set menus come with a glass of cava for P2,580 net per person. For queries and reservations, please call 528-3000 ext. 1121.

Recently hailed at this year’s World Luxury Restaurant Awards as the Global Winner for Chinese Cuisine, Conrad Manila’s China Blue by Chef Jeremy Leung offers a modern interpretation of Chinese recipes, epicurean feasts, and specially curated set menus on Dec. 24, 25, and 31. Craving for dim sum and tea? The holiday set menus start at P2,888 per person (minimum of 10 people) for eight courses available on those three days. For details and reservations, visit or call 833 9999

Craving Filipino food? At New World Makati Hotel, cuisines are not only local, but international, and, of course, special. Start off your Christmas meal at Café 1228 with oven-roasted turkey with chestnuts and prunes and honey-glazed Hawaiian ham, and follow up with Pinoy sweets such as bibingka and puto calasiao. Lunch is priced at P2,199 per person on weekdays and P2,499 on weekends, while dinner is P2,599 per person. The hotel is also home to the award-winning Chinese restaurant, Jasmine, which offers the 10-course set menus prepared by chef Wong Kam On. Signature dishes and traditional favorites such as braised local abalone with black mushrooms and pan-fried scallop with egg white and black truffle sauce are available on Dec. 24, 25, and 31 and on Jan. 1. Set menu prices start at P9,888 for a group of six guests. The special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dinners come with one round of sparkling wine and standard drinks for P2,999 per person. For details and reservations, call 811-6888, fax 811-6777, or visit

Holiday Inn and Suites’ Flavors restaurant offers Christmas Eve specials like a Christmas turkey, complete with all the trimmings, and an array of delightful Christmas desserts to cap of the meal. The meal costs P2,500 net per person. Meanwhile, Christmas Day is made more special with roast sirloin steak and traditional smoked bone-in ham as the stars of the banquet. Flavors Restaurant is also bringing back its most popular offerings for the holiday, with a Poke Bowl station and Burger Bar. The Christmas Day buffet is P2,900 net.

It’s a meaty holiday at Ascott Makati’s Myron’s. The restaurant offers a generous dinner buffet featuring traditional yuletide season favorites: glazed holiday leg of ham, roast US turkey, slow-roasted US Angus beef belly, braised Spanish chicken with Txistorra, and Irish lamb stew. Besides all the meat, there are salads; hors d’oeuvres; a seafood station featuring New Zealand mussels, baked oysters Kilpatrick, chilled shrimp; and also paella with seafood and chicken, a selection of pasta dishes, and a variety of desserts to seal the deal. Myron’s Christmas Eve dinner buffet costs P2,500 net per person. For inquiries and table reservations, call 755-8898 or e-mail

Meanwhile, L’entrecote Corner Bar & Bistro offers unique Swiss-French holiday fare that starts with Pissaladiere au Saumon Fumé (smoked salmon and cream cheese on a thin, crispy crust), traditional Duck a L’orange, and smoked salmon parcel, spaghetti with smoked salmon carbonara-style with lumpfish caviar. This holiday menu is available until Jan. 31. l’entrecote is at Bellagio II, Burgos Circle at Forbes Town Center, Bonifacio Global City. Call 856-4858, e-mail or visit for reservations and details.

For Christmas, Mario’s is serving cochinillo, callos Madrileña, paella Valenciana, lengua con setas, and its famouse Caesar Salad. End the meal with toffee sans rival, canonigo, bread pudding, or chocolate and cheese cakes. The dishes are available at both Mario’s branches at Tomas Morato, Quezon City and Upper Session Road Ext., Baguio City. Mario’s also caters and is accepting orders for Media Noche. For details, reservations, or orders, call Mario’s Tomas Morato at 415-3887, 372-0360, 376-6210 and 0917-323-2404 or e-mail and Mario’s Baguio at (074) 442-4241, 0905-297-3384 or e-mail

The Cravings Group’s restaurants are all ready for the holiday. Starting at P650 per person, Cravings’ offers three set menu options. For big parties, Cravings’ buffet includes a Sushi selection, a lechon wrap station, a carving station, and an ice cream bar that can serve up to 100 people. Cravings can also provide on-the-day event management services, basic sound system and multimedia equipment and event styling so you only have to worry about enjoying the party. Cravings also has classic party staples for potluck party including roast turkey with chestnut raisin stuffing, salt-crusted salmon, and pork bagnet with Arroz Valenciana, among many others which come in Family and Party sizes. Meanwhile, C2 Classic Cuisine offers Family and Party sizes of its best-selling dishes like kare-kare, crispy pata, and lechon belly. Platters good for four to five people are also available. For groups of six to eight, the Salu-Salo sets combine vegetable, meat and noodle dishes. For inquiries and reservations, call 0920-983-1095, 0917-107-0323, 907-9205 or e-mail or For details, visit

Ilustrado at Intramuros, Manila offers house specialties to go including adobong bagnet with taba ng talangka, callos Madrileña, twice-cooked Angus beef shortplate, paella Ilustrado, palabok negra with crispy calamares, Christmas turkey, pineapple-glazed leg of ham, cochinillo and a lot more. There are also desserts like baked cheesecake, Christmas eggnog cake, chocolate fudge cake along with different flavored brownies, cookies and breads. To enjoy at home or as unique gifts, there are homemade dips, deli items and dressings like Boursin cheese spread, spicy cheeseball, chimichurri, malunggay pesto, and traditional atsara and bagoong. For details, visit or call Ilustrado branches at 744 General Luna Road, Intramuros, Manila (527-3674, 527-2345); Café Ilustrado at SM Makati (818-6760); Pasteleria Ilustrado at Alabang Town Center (0919-845-9503) or e-mail or visit