I was notified of the opening of the new Gloria Maris Banquet Hall located at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center in Cubao but it was only recently that I had a chance to visit them. There are a lot of Chinese restaurants in Manila and only few are considered as an institution in the league. Gloria Maris is definitely one of them.
My visit happened while they were celebrating the first day of their 2 weekends celebration of the Mooncake Festival 2013. This festivity features a special buffet spread and dice game for only Php1,088 per person. The first wave of this feast started last September 21 and 22 and another wave will happen this weekend, September 28 and 29. If you are up for some Chinese feast, be sure to catch this promo.
For you to have an idea on what goodies you might enjoy should you avail of the buffet, I have included some snapshots of the dishes alongside the account of my experience at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall in Gateway Mall.
Gloria Maris Banquet Hall located at the 4th Level of Gateway Mall boasts of spacious dining area with several equally spacious function areas to boot. Its interior has this luxurious and elegant appeal that is distinctly Chinese. Red and black are the dominant colors that added to the elegance feel of the place.
The buffet spread for their Mooncake Festival Celebration 2013 boasts of different sections; carving, salad, sushi, mains, chef's picks, shabu-shabu/hot pot, dimsum, desserts, and beverages. Dishes are neatly arranged in its respective stations and it is noteworthy that they are quick to replenish the dishes.
The Carving station features the proverbial Peking duck, yellow chicken, pork asado, and roasted chicken. As a respectable Chinese restaurant, Gloria Maris is known to dish out really good Peking duck, hence it was the first one that touched my plate during our visit. The lechon Macau was equally satisfying with its crackling skin and impressive flavor.
The Main section features nest selling dishes that Gloria Maris is known for. The long stretch of the spread was impressive especially if you're a Gloria Maris fan. But whether you're a follower or not, everything deserves at least a try.
The Gloria Maris signature chicken was one of the dishes I enjoyed immensely. Its distinct flavor that plays between savory and sweet with a smoky punch to boot. The Hot Prawn Salad was another Gloria Maris favorite that made it to the spread.
I am not sure if I have mentioned this before but any visit to a Chinese restaurant wouldn't be complete without Sweet and Sour Pork. And as expected, Gloria Maris rendition of this all time favorite is always a stellar. Same goes for their Beef with Bell Pepper in Taosi Sauce.
It was my first time to try Gloria Maris' Beef Black Pepper Sauce I found it impressive just like the one with taosi sauce. It made me think why have I not tried it before considering it is tagged as one of their best dishes by many.
As if the dishes at the main section weren't good enough, the dishes which are considered as cream of the crop were located at the chef's picks station. Although not as wide as the main station in terms of variety, each item is a surefire hit.
Impressively huge crabs in garlic sauce should not be missed. Its taste suggest a "fresh catch" note to it made all the more palatable by the sauce peppered with minced garlic. The steamed prawn suggest the same freshness with its plump and juicy meat.
Two more dishes included in the chef's picks station were the egg salted prawn and the fried lapu-lapu. While I was hoping to be served with my favorite crab with salted egg that I enjoyed the last time I visited Gloria Maris in Greenhills, the rendition of this dish with prawns in it instead of the crab was equally delightful.
Another enjoyable station which can be deem as a feast in itself was the hotpot station. Different vegetables and noodles are available including variety of seafood and meat. There are three different soups diners may choose from. Two of them were spicy, so naturally, I opted for the clear broth instead.
You may enjoy a bountiful of hotpot after another since there's no limit with the choices spread before you. I must say that I have gone a bit overboard on mine but I enjoyed every bits of it.
Just right beside the hotpot station was the dimsum section. There were siopao, mantau, dimsums, and other hot dishes such as chicken feet, spare ribs taosi, and bean curd. The sushi station, although limited in terms of variety, boasts of impressively made rolls, sushi, and sashimi. Of all the goodies I have tried, my palate favored the Peking duck maki more.
The desserts station features the usual Chinese meal enders of Gloria Maris. One of the notable feat however was their chocolate buchi which I found extremely satisfying. It was very apparent that good quality chocolate was used in making this rather usual dessert transform into something special.
Since it was a celebration of Mooncake Festival, every diners has the chance to participate on their dice game. Several prices are at stake but everyone had their eyes on the grand price which was the Peking duck. I wasn't able to bagged the Peking duck but I am quite happy with the water chestnut mooncake I have won.
I must say that the Mooncake Festival Buffet Promo at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall in Gateway Mall is a good way to celebrate the autumn festival with your loved ones and friends. Not only you are assured of good quality of food, but of unlimited servings as well. The service during our visit was impeccable thus, it adds to the already wonderful experience we had.
I have yet to try dining at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall on a regular days and see if the experience will be as equally delightful. I have not checked their menu yet but I was told that the prices are reasonable. But for now, I must say that I can recommend grabbing this promo if you are up for a Chinese feast and some good time this coming weekend.
If you want to take part of this festive buffet in celebration of Mooncake Festival at Gloria Maris Banquet Hall, place your reservation by calling telephone numbers 332-5067 or mobile numbers 0917-5435640, 0928-4486241 or 0932-9209503.
Gloria Maris Banquet Hall
4th Level of The Gateway Mall
Araneta Center, Cubao