I’d been hearing a lot of good reviews for The Alley by Vikings and so in my perpetual search for the best buffets I made a reservation here for 2 this month.
The Alley by Vikings is considered by many to be one of the best buffet restaurants in Manila. What makes it unique is that instead of regular food stations, it features a street-inspired food hall featuring cuisines from around the world. There are around 15 food stations in every branch, including Just Steak A Minute, Ocean Eleven, Lost and Pound, Street Wok, and its own café station called Nords Coffee Bar.
Here’s our review of The Alley by Vikings at Ayala Mall by the Bay.
Our experience at The Alley by Vikings
Hali and I visited The Alley located at Ayala Mall by the Bay for a weekday dinner schedule. I actually tried to make a same-day reservation for dinner time but did not make it, so we just arrived an hour earlier and noted our names for walk-ins. We didn’t wait long. After it opened for dinner, we were called 10 minutes later.
The Alley has a cool, modern interior. They have cozy tables and long table set-ups for large groups. But enough of this — it’s time to eat!
The first food station that I visited is Ocean Eleven (seafood station). I was a little disappointed that there were no cheesy baked oysters, since it’s one of the food highlights of The Alley in social media. Their mixed seafood in spicy sauce made up for it though, it was so good!
I also visited the Japanese food section. I love the fresh salmon sashimi! Usually when I’m happy with the quality of the sashimi, I’m already satisfied. There are no tuna slices, but the good thing is that their sashimi plate is immediately refilled so there’s no need to queue or wait for the next batch — unlike in Buffet 101 where they refill the sashimi plate slowly so you end up fighting over it with other customers.
Their sushi is composed of makis only. The other side of this food section features other Japanese items like tempura. Their shrimp tempura is delicious and also served still warm. Like the sashimi, it’s refilled immediately.
We also tried their roasted meat section since it’s one of the best-reviewed food stations in The Alley. The roast beef was good. I miss having steaks, but I guess the pandemic really put an end to that.
I also liked their pasta dishes. I topped off my meal with slices of crunchy green mangoes with bagoong. Hali warned me about getting an upset stomach, but oh well just the looks of it made me drool. Meanwhile, Hali particularly liked the bonchon-style chicken and spicy squid.
Here are other food stations:
The dessert section for me was just okay. I didn’t find anything remarkable. I did sample a few cakes and desserts in shot glasses, and they were okay — similar to those in other buffets. I liked their avocado ice cream.
The Alley also offers various drinks, such as juices. They also offer complimentary beer and cocktail — which we didn’t know about so we didn’t have any, as well as bottles of wine for additional fee. They also have their own coffee station where you can request for hot tea, Americano, latte, cappuccino, or mocha. I ordered cappuccino which was the perfect hot drink to end our buffet dinner.
We really liked the food at The Alley. It offers delicious food, which is important, since a lot of restaurants seems to suffer in quality after the pandemic.
Here’s a summary.
- Variety: I was expecting little variety based on reviews, but when we dined in here, I think the number of food stations and variety of dishes is just enough. Admittedly though, I didn’t really get the impression of it being a street-style food hall – it seemed similar to other buffet restaurants.
- Quality of food: Great. We liked most of the food that we ate.
- Service: Walk-in was a breeze, though take note that we went here on a weekday. Staff was attentive and service was fast.
I would say that in terms of value for money, I like both The Alley and Buffet 101 though The Alley ranks higher in terms of taste and quality.
About The Alley by Vikings
The Alley by Vikings is an international street-inspired food hall.
It has different branches:
- UP Town Center
- Ayala Malls Cloverleaf (QC)
- Ayala Malls by the Bay (Pasay)
- Unimart Capitol Commons (Pasig)
Each branch as around 15 food stations:
- Antipasto Blvd (appetizers and salad)
- New York Pizza
- Buono (Italian food)
- Hao Chi (Chinese food)
- Street Work (Korean food)
- Yatai (Japanese food such as katsu, tempura, sushi, and sashimi)
- La Sap (classic Filipino dishes)
- Frituen Batsoy (lechon, bagnet, crispy pata, and more)
- Just Steak a Minute (roasted chicken, beef, and other meat)
- Ocean Eleven (seafood such as paella, mixed seafood, and baked oyster)
- Lost and Pound (nachos, chicken wings, burger sliders, and more)
- Honeycomb (dessert)
- Nords Coffee Bar
- On holidays: Bibingka and Puto Bumbong
The Alley by Vikings Rates
Here are their current rates (Updated as of 2023):
- P988+ on weekdays
- P1088 on weekends and holidays
Prices are subject to 5% service charge.
For queries and reservations, you can contact The Alley by Vikings via their website.
Have you been to The Alley by Vikings? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).