The Monday lunchtime crowd in Circles (Makati Shangri-La) was amazingly sparse, given the promo for the season. Interestingly dubbed “The Chase Continues” it was a relief to note that no chasing took place. I would hate to run around, chasing cheese, in a skirt, which be more horrific than editorial- believe me.
In fact so early were we that we had dibs on almost all of the good stuff. Seriously, it was like opening the stove and getting that first time whiff of fabulous Palak Paneer or that newly grilled tandoori. The early birds do get the worm, the fat curried worms in this case.
The salad bar, if a bar if the best way to even describe it, was not as vast as expected. I was wondering if we were that early that the dressings were not properly labeled or Shang just ran out of printer ink. Whatever the case it, I settled for the balsamic vinegar+olive oil in wee saucer and added cheese. Simplistic yet classic, oh and a toss of almonds for that protein crunch. In a slightly distant location was the smoked salmon amongst other raw/cold cuts. Find it and be rewarded.
The main attraction for the meal was the Indian station, which showcases my recently revived South Asian cravings that New Bombay can never satiate: Palak Paneer, Shrimp/Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Korma, and Fish Curry. Had to abstain from the Naan and papadoms because it was imperative to leave space for the more worthy carbs.
Strangely though, I could not locate a proper Italian-Mexican station, and the pasta cooking station seemed devoid of gourmet interest. And pizza.
Which led me to the Indian staion THREE TIMES. 3 plates, 3 visits filled with curry wonders. I wonder the state of my digestion in the coming days, but screw that.
If you are wondering about the other usual culinary areas of interest like Japanese (sashimi bar, check), Chinese (farthest area with dimsum), American (I hear the lamb and mashed potates were delish), Halal items (there were 3, yes I counted), Filipino (say what?) they were scattered and probably there. As for me, I could not say much – unless you expect me to lie – but I’d have to say that Chicken Cacciatore was a bit flaky.
The dessert bars and tables and glass cases welcomed us and will probably entice any person regardless of indifference and blood sugar level. There lie the usual fruits and Filipino favorites which mean nothing to me.
There was also that delicately set up glass case with the mini cakes with fashionable names that easy to forget, much less pronounce. The opera cake and brownies were ho-hum so best to attack the real sized cakes and get a slice!
There was a slo a hidden ice cream section. Not sure if it was meant to be hidden or I was sidetracked by the Mango Float which was quite frozen, I had no time to wait for it to thaw properly. Instead, I got the homemade frozen yogurt and topped with with fruit and almond – way better mango a la lazy black cat!
Best cake was Desire (the mutilated slice on the right). I cut it so horribly it turned into a bloody cake mess, but with its mousse like consistency and praline crust and creme brulee center, the name Desire seems kind of apt then. Now if only they served tea on the house, then that would be desirable as well.
All in all, it was a pleasant and satiating experience. We can’t expect it to be perfect, and while I was searching for pizza and nachos + salsa, the Indian food made up for this deficiency and the range of sweets to make you certainly dizzy with sugar rush for days. I palpitate just looking at the photos.
The chase continues and given a second chance treat – hint, hint won’t someone feed me for free? – I guarantee to be a courteous guest and cheery cat.