If you are under the impression that when one is at Vikings Luxury Buffet (SM Mall of Asia), a barbaric appetite is necessitated—to be consistent with the overall restaurant theme—then go ahead. Liberate your Nordic roots and partake on the feast of the sea.
If you are not of Nordic origin though, which I’m guessing might be the case, then I suggest savoring the Celtic-inspired décor and interiors, and dining with the level of standards that you are most comfortable with. I do not care if you eat your hands or dump shellfish on your plate so high, you could cause scallop extinction—do as you wish—so long as you don’t vehemently stare at my salad.
That salad, my masterpiece, has elicited a number of stares that I can only expect from pickpockets and crooks, which I don’t suppose make up the patrons of Vikings.
Which brings me to the unspoken rule of the buffet: No sharing; no staring. I’m pretty sure everyone would agree to this.
After all, the buffet line, being the powerhouse of gastronomic fabrication and independent design, is best left alone to fuel our creative juices. The result may not be the most pleasing composition, but effort rewards the diner who is aesthetically blessed and intensely starved.
Having said that—you probably know what’s coming—I showcase my Vikings Weeknight Dinner, platters abound and forks in perpetual motion.
I warn you in advance not to expect barbecues piled high or a makeshift cheesesteak sandwich (which is easily feasible given the abundance of the raw materials present) since 1) I’m part vegetarian, and 2) I had a sandwich less than 2 hours before Vikings, hence a partial lack of appetite that is no one’s fault. Other than that, I managed to preserve what seems to be my monstrous appetite.
This is my Athena appetizer sampler: cheese, almonds and olives. You can also refer to it as your pet rabbit’s supper, but I prefer the reference to Athena who is the Goddess of Wisdom, and would likely be tempted by this gorgeous, mental platter.
Back to the salad. It has always been my dream to create my own Greek salad, but with a fridge devoid of food, this was far from becoming a kitchen reality. With salad and toppings spread luxuriously in Vikings, in an area barely visited by the hungry, I found my spot and finally embarked on my lifelong dream.
I present to you Salad a la Lazy Black Cat: Greek Salad for the ravaged and hungry topped with broccoli, anchovies, boiled egg white, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and olives. Drizzled with balsamic vinegar with a scoop of pesto. Perfect for the forlorn, sinful and stubborn vegetarians.
I will never get tired of Hummus, as I believe that I will never have the opportunity to make this on my own. Ever. Unless I move to Greece, which is a long shot.
Ares, being the God of War ought to bring “spice” to this dish as I inadvertently splashed chili and wasabi on all sauces. This inadvertent catastrophe was rather well taken by my taste buds and so Ares Goes Pescatorian was born. If I could live on one shrimp dish, it would be Hakaw. These steamed shrimp dumplings carry that soft, chewy comfort food goodness that can bask in the glory of chili.
While other buffets bombard us with sashimi and sushi, this one met the challenge with matching boats and formation. I enjoyed my minimal serving as the tuna and kani sashimi I got seem to be on the plump and fresh side. While I spied an assortment of innovatively named sushi—squid ink rice a part of the roster—I had to shy away from this array to make space for the highlight of my meal. You got that right: Dessert!
Lastly, Sweets on Repeat holds my dearest and darkest dessert. “Repeat” because I ate those I enjoyed twice (like that moist and decadent chocolate square topped with a cherry). The mango pudding was a second favorite, but apparently someone liked it too and hoarded the hidden bowls for the rest of the evening, leaving me with pandan tapioca, which was repelling enough with its mint green hue. Fruits are likewise abound, from the common watermelon and oranges to mangoes and that illustrious dragonfruit.
Cookie jars are scattered in the dessert area too, but make no mistake of being the thief who sole the crinkles from the cookie jar. Not only will you be committing a crime, you’ll be sentencing your tooth to early retirement as well. You’ll thank me for this warning.
Missing in action were the feta cheese (for my salad) and fish curry which I gloriously splattered on my plate during an earlier (lunch) visit. However with the abundance of shellfish and seafood, which would please not only the fisherfolk, the Vikings Dinner All-You-Can-Eat is one masterpiece of a buffet that Poseidon would not mind leaving the sea for.
Food items I sadly missed but intend to sample and savor for future visits: Crabs, Grilled Tuna Belly, Scallops, Frozen Yogurt and Pizza. Yes, they have a Vikings Pizza but as grievous as it may sound (for me), it has bacon.
Here are stolen shots from my neighbors’ plates, which I managed to take while I distracted them with the old “Hey, is that tempura flying on your head?” trick. Strangely effective.