In a battle of quality versus quantity, Mirèio proved that the former trumps the latter when it comes to a buffet. Even with less offering, everything I ate blew my mind.
Located on the 9th floor of Raffles in Makati City, Mirèio is like a paradise in this urban jungle and the word is out that it offers a sumptuous brunch. I nervously walked the slightly dimmed hallway, which opened to a bright, expansive, and luxurious dining space with a view of Makati City (which is nothing but towering structures or the progressive part of Metro Manila). The DJ on the side was playing the remix versions of the best of the 80’s.
The seafood station on the right side greeted me as soon as I entered, which I purposely ignored because I’m allergic. There was a salad bar on the left side beside the DJ booth, which I purposely ignored because I was not eating healthy that day.
My friends and I were led to our seats and as we settled in and our glasses were filled with water, I took a quick look around and saw that Mirèio is smaller than other well-known buffets with fewer tables, and most of them remained empty. Maybe the almost Php5,000 per head price put off some diners. But that also eliminated the long lines that are common to most buffets.
I asked my friend for a recommendation on where I should start, he pointed to the wide selection of cold cuts and cheeses. There it is! At the centre of the charcuterie spread dividing the meats and a large variety of cheeses as if parting the Red Sea is the whole leg of Jamon Iberico. Right beneath it are beautiful, paper-thin slices of ham. I put a few slices of different meats and cubes of cheese that are all foreign to me on my plate.
As soon as I put the Iberico in my mouth like a Doublemint chewing gum, it immediately awakened my taste buds as if they haven’t tasted anything that good. All I need is a good wine, I thought. As if my friend read my mind, he ordered a bottle. I made several trips to the spread taking slivers of meats and cheeses, then drinking more wine.
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I targeted the carving station next and got myself a rib-eye steak that was exquisitely tender with a slight bite to it. For a lechon lover like me, the porchetta roast was oozing with fatty goodness and the crispy skin was worth dying for. Lastly, the salmon also boasted a crispy skin and tender meat best paired with the lemony butter sauce. I felt like I had the best of the land and the sea. Since this is brunch, breakfast staples were available on offer like eggs benedict, potatoes and sandwiches.
Special wine pairings were served right on the table and was one of the unique offerings of Mirèio, and they were perfect intermissions between my trips to the different food stations. However, the dishes served in these “pass around” were not to be sneezed at. I tasted the most rare and delicious Western delicacies that even advanced chefs idolize – caviar, foie gras, and truffles.
We were served lobster thermidor topped with caviar paired with Moet and Chandon, which is gone too quickly leaving a sweet lingering taste in my mouth. The next round was the delectable foie gras with mango chutney and I forgot how it tastes when I downed it with dessert wine Castellenew. Then, a few moments later, we were served angel hair pasta with truffle white sauce, which became my new benchmark when it comes to truffle pasta. This went down smoothly with Adele’s favourite tipple, Whispering Angel, which was truly a heaven sent.
The dessert station offered assorted cakes and pralines that may be too sweet for my taste. Suddenly, I smelled some smoke then I saw a cake with firework candles paraded around the place that made me think that someone is celebrating his or her birthday. However, it was the “Baked Alaska” making its grand entrance. I can’t explain how the three-flavoured ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry) enveloped in a light meringue tasted so amazing and brought me immense happiness and almost compelled me to lick off the plate. This was paired with the young Brachetto d’Acqui. Indeed, a great way to end one’s meal.
Even with fewer selections, there were stations I was unable to visit like the tables for pasta and risotto because I was so full. I was so close to making the nearby restroom an ersatz vomitorium as I pursue one of life’s pleasures. I cursed at myself for devouring the bacon and egg sandwich I had that morning. If only I didn’t succumb to my growling stomach, I may have room for that risotto.
Eating in Mirèio is a sensory overload. The place and food are pretty and Instagram-worthy; everything smells expensive; the music is not intrusive to the experience yet will not lull you to sleep; and the service is impeccable. Most importantly, just like the brunch that Guy Beringer described, the meal swept “away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
My only plea in this article is for Mirèio Brunch Society to not change and keep the highest standard of quality I experienced that day.
P.S. – I will be back with my son soon!