Islas Pinas All-day Buffet: A Food and Heritage Village [Blog Review + YouTube Video]

Wednesday, May 08, 2019
I recently went to Islas Pinas Buffet Restaurant which was tagged as a Food and Heritage Village under the famed chef Margarita Fores to check out the place and try out the buffet offerings. Islas Pinas opened last year and originally started as a food hall. Come February of this year, Islas Pinas transformed into a buffet showcasing different Filipino food from all over the county. 

While I am confident that the food would be food since it's under the wing of chef Margarita Fores after all, what I was excited about prior to my visit was the aesthetic of the entire place. And it didn't disappoint. Islas Pinas as a heritage village has a charm of its own. 

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Located at Double Dragon Plaza in Pasay City, Islas Pinas is a good destination if you want decent Filipino food while feasting your eyes to the wonders of its decors that mimics different parts of the country and echoes Filipino heritage. Aside from that, they do have a Pasalubong Center that offers local goodies which makes it a perfect destination for people who wants some souvenir edible or not, from the Philippines.


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Compare to to other buffet restaurants in Manila, upon entering Isla Pinas, you will be given an access pass. You will use that pass to avail of the buffet or to purchase goods in their Pasalubong Center. 

The attendants will just swipe your access card indicating whatever it is that you availed. And as you leave, you will surrender your access pass to the cashier and your access pass will show whatever purchases you made and the price you need to pay. 
  
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Since Islas Pinas is a Food and Heritage Village, visitors will be treated with beautiful set up that reflects the beauty of the Philippines. For instance, there's this bahay kubo which also serves a little private eating space should buffet diners wants a bit of privacy as they enjoy their meals. 

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The entire place was designed in such a way that it will make the visitors visits distinctly Filipino if not famous places in the Philippines.  

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There is an area that resembles a cobblestone street in Vigan.

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And there is the area that gives off the sense that you are inside the Walled City of Intramuros. 

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And probably one of the most favorite spots of some of the visitors as I have observed during our visit, the Aling Pasing Sari-Sari Store that replicates a typical small streetside stores we have in almost every street especially in Manila. 

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The Tusok-Tusok area on the other hand resembles food cart selling street food. Too bad it wasn't operational during our visit. I would have love to try if they do justice in serving legit Manila street food.

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Another favorite spot was the Jeepney - a public transportation Philippines is known for. 


And yes, that adorable street scene with sari-sari store, street food stalls, and jeepney made all the more complete with the green foot bridge. Adorable if I do say so myself.

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Then there's also a vinta that mimics a beautiful and colorful traditional boat from Mindanao. It is also a dining area so you can totally enjoy it while feasting on your favorite selections from the buffet spread. 

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The common dining area is spacious enough that it can accommodate groups of people and have them enjoy their food comfortably.

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For those who wants privacy however, there are several private spots at Islas Pinas that can be occupied. These areas are perfect if you are having a company meeting or a small group celebration. 

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The buffet spread is located under a big tree at the Ifugao section. The variety of food may not be as wide as I want it to be but thankfully, some of the ones I have tried were good. For the adult rate of Php488 I must say that the choices are fair enough considering the taste which I find palatable. 

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I remember the lechon skin was sadly not as crisp as I want it to be but the meat  was very flavorful. 

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Now, my favorite among all the things I ate at Islas Pinas was their Kare-Kare. It was delicious, I kid you not. It's nutty and savory - really really flavorful. The thing about this Kare-Kare is that it has so much meat on it you won't even believe it because usually, restaurants that sells kare-kare would fill your servings with too much veggies which is not a bad thing, but the meat would be very little. That is not the case at Islas Pinas.

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Another dish that I find good was a chicken Visayan dish called Halang-Halang. I love that it's rich, thick, and creamy with bold flavor meant to be eaten with rice - and lots of it. 

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I find the tocino really good as well. It has a good ratio of meat and fat and thankfully it as tender enough even if it wasn't that hot anymore.

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The daing na bangus was also superb. I ate it with garlic rice and an accompaniment of vinegar with lots of garlic and it made me a very happy diner. 

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The Pancit Cabagan I also find really good. I usually go for Pancit Malabon when dining in a Filipino restaurant but during this visit, even I was surprised that I got a second helpings of the Pancit Cabagan instead of the Pancit Malabon which in all fairness was also good. 

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There's also some Filipino fried food selections like lumpiang toge, okoy, lumpiang shanghai, fish balls, kikiam, and more. The lumpiang shanghai was my favorite among the lot. 

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The lumpiang sariwa was also good. It came in small size but it was so good I remember finishing about four of it in one sitting. It was good, I tell you.

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Now the desserts. There aren't too many selections so I got to try almost everything and I am happy to report that literally everything I tried was good. The mango graham cake, sansrival, brazo se mercedez, and the Filipino Kakainin were amazing. 

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Drinks are not included on the buffet rate. It has a separate menu and if ever you are going to try one, may I suggest not to skip their ice cafe latte because it was so delish it can rival big brand coffee stores' cafe latte offerings. 

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Before leaving Islas Pinas, be sure to check out their Pasalubong Corner. It offers wide variety of things made locally. It can be a perfect place to visit when you're entertaining a balikbayan friends and relatives. 

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As mentioned, the food selections aren't that wide, but for the price I deem it's fair enough. What I have written here are just the few things I have tried, there are other dishes on the selections which according to my companions were really good. 

The place was really nice. There are a lot of areas to explore and dare I say that it's enirely "Instagramable." So, if you're craing for good food and would want to feast your eyes with everything patriotic and can remind you the beauty of the Philippines, I suggest Islas Pinas as a good place to visit. 

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Islas Pinas Buffet on YedyLicious TV YouTube Channel




Islas Pinas Buffet Rates: 
Lunch (11am to 2:30pm) - Php488
Merienda (3pm to 5:30pm) - Php198
Dinner (6:30pm to 10pm) -Php488 

Islas Pinas All-Day Buffet
Address: G/F Double Dragon Plaza
DD Meridian Park,
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Contact No.: 63(2) 403 1588
Facebook: @IslasPinasbyMargaritaFores


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