Saisaki, Dad’s and Kamayan

After last SundayÕs picnic with friends to kick off Younger DaughterÕs birthday celebration, last night was strictly a family affair. Birthday Celebrant chose Saisaki, a Japanese restaurant. Saisaki is operated by Triple V Corporation which also operates DadÕs (Western cuisine) and Kamayan (Filipino cuisine). They are all popular for their sumptuous buffets. At SM Megamall, Saisaki, DadÕs and Kamayan are adjacent to one another. While they used to be three separate and distinct restaurants specializing in different cuisines, they have a new set-up. Whether the new arrangement is temporary or permanent, I do not know. The walls dividing the three restaurants have been knocked down. By choosing their Òultimate buffetÓ one can enjoy all three buffets for PhP 495.00 ($ 1.00 equals PhP 55.45, so, go figure). That was what we had last night. Following are some of the dishes from the three buffets.

Below, left, lechon de leche (suckling roast pig) from the Kamayan buffet. Beside it is a huge pot of liver sauce. From the DadÕs buffet, the usual ham and turkey (below, right). lechon de leche from the Kamayan ham and turkey from the Dad's buffet

There was also a new and very good dish called mahi-mahi con verduras (below, left) which, I guess, was supposed to go with DadÕs Caribbean festival called Carnivale. This is a dish made with fish fillet, cream and diced eggplants, pimientoes and cucumber with corn kernels. Callos, a DadÕs specialty, was still in the buffet but its famous baby back ribs was nowhere to be found. mahi-mahi con shrimp tempura

At the Saisaki buffet, the usual variety of tempura including my daughtersÕ favorite shrimp tempura (above, right) the quality of which is nowhere near the wonderful tempura that catapulted Saisaki to heights of popularity during its early years of operation. Their shrimp tempura last night was more flour than anything else. Part of the sushi bar (below, left) which I had difficulty photographing because people were getting their food and, well, I had to take the best shot I could and then crop the photo so that the food, and not the hands, would be visible. The sushi bar was still good. I had my fill of salmon sashimi as usual. sushi chocolate eclairs and cream puffs

Believe it or not, the chocolate eclairs and cream puffs in the photo above (right) were from the Saisaki dessert bar. ThatÕs one thing about Saisaki that I have never liked. My family has been customers of Saisaki for over ten years and weÕve yet to sample some authentic Japanese dessert in its buffet.

On a scale of 1 to 10, IÕd give last nightÕs Òultimate buffetÓ a 7. Good enough but could be better.