Celebrations & Occasions Food & Dining My Kids

Happy Birthday Ate: Cafe Ilang Ilang

For ate‘s birthday celebration with the family, she requested for CHAMPAGNE ROOM at The Manila Hotel because it was so darn pretty. BUT. She didn’t want french food. Dilemma, what to do. It’s so funny that they think Mommy can fix everything even though things are more often than not beyond my capacity & control.

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The beautiful Champagne Room of The Manila Hotel.

We looked over the menu and there wasn’t a single french thing she was “feeling”. Le Frick. So I had a clever idea of booking at Cafe Ilang Ilang for a buffet dinner so they can eat whatever they want without me popping a vein stressing on what to feed my lovely but very particular children, then we can just transfer to the Champagne Room for drinks.

Problem was, The Champagne Room was booked for an event the night we went. Okay, I didn’t factor that in. Doesn’t make me a good fairy godmother, does it. So I owe my firstborn a date at Champagne Room. I can live with that.

Cafe Ilang Ilang, Manila Hotel

One Rizal Park, Roxas Blvd. Ermita, Manila (02) 527-0011
Dinner: Adult P3,014 | Child: P1,507
Lunch: Adult P2,645 | Child P1,322
I’m almost sure the last time we stepped foot in Manila Hotel, Kap & I weren’t hitched yet, or even making plans to. Yes, it’s been THAT long. I don’t know why but it never did leave a lasting impression on us. Maybe because it looked really old then, and being young, we were more attracted to the new hotels. What I do know is, it’s such a beautiful sight to behold now. Everything is old-world charming in our eyes. I guess our taste grew with age. :P


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In line with its old world elegance, a uniformed doorman in a gentleman’s hat & top coat greeted us, as well a pretty lady in a long blue gown.


My ate’s classic beauty was perfect for the hotel’s elegant setting.


I was floored upon getting inside. I did say it’s been ages since we stepped foot. Has it always been THIS nice???


I love each nook & cranny. <3


Because we got there late (as usual), I didn’t bother taking pictures of the buffet set-up anymore kasi bungi-bungi na. And as expected, the kids attacked the Japanese station first. This is why I take them to buffets whenever possible. So they can have plenty of choices.. hindi stress sa chest!


In the Japanese station were, aside from the usual sushi & sashimi assortments, teppanyaki grilled fish & meats, and yakisoba..


as well as tempura assortments & pork tonkatsu.


My happy plate. <3 Their spicy tuna sashimi (rightmost) is a killer. I LOVE IT!


All other stations are just additions. Their main go-to place is really the Japanese buffet. But they do enjoy the others after they’ve had their fill of their favorite dishes. I’m happiest when my kids are all smiles & happy. <3


I liked Cafe Ilang Ilang’s korean station but I wanted to leave space in my tummy for the more unusual buffet items. So I just gave it a brief wave & went on my way in search of another station that will catch my fancy.



I also skipped the Chinese station but had a forkful of siomai from Kap’s plate. :P That’s what husbands are for, after all.


As well a taste of this jellyfish & century egg. You can never take way the chinese in me I guess. ;)


DIY soup station which Kap enjoyed..


Tada! Kap’s bowl of soup. He mixed in everything which made for a most wonderful flavor.


This lechon was begging to be eaten, but I had to constrain myself. I still haven’t seen what I was looking for.




Normally, I go for the roast beef. But I didn’t want to overstretch my tummy and end up not enjoying my night because of a tummy ache. The hickory rib I forked from Ate’s plate was too salty though & it just didn’t taste right so we just set it aside.


And finally my heart started beating wildly! PERSIAN FOOD. NOMS! <3



I wnet crazy with these prawn kababs! <3 So plump! So juicy! So very tasty! <3 It was love at first sight AND bite!



My 2nd happy plate. <3 So very happy plate!



I was going to call it a day, I promise. But then this HUGE cheese wheel called out to me. No one, and absolutely NO ONE, says no to a cheese wheel!


O. M. G. LUST!




Fine. I had a 3rd happy plate. @_@


But I did ignore the freshest catch to balance things out.




In fact I even said no to the dessert station. BUT…


Th dessert gods were smiling at me! SUGAR-FREE!!! <3


With shame, I present to you my 4th plate. Please don’t judge me. :'(


My love for food.. is the reason why my (face & body) remains so very rotund. Huhuhu! I’m cursed!


My wish for you is: that you can eat & eat & eat and NEVER GET FAT. Ever! <3


One of ate’s birthday wishes was a BAKED BY ANITA‘s BERRIES & CHOCOLATE CAKE. So even though it was soooooo out of the way, I made sure I got this one thing right at least!

CHOCOLATE & BERRIES: Chocolate cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting & 2nd layer of Chocolate mousse topped off with dark Chocolate ganache & fresh berries.

7″ single layer P1300, extra Berries add P200. (Serves 6-8)
7″ double layer P1700, extra Berries add P200. (Serves 8-10). SIZE ABOVE.

9″ single layer P1850, extra berries add P300 (Serves 10-12).
9″ double layer P2300, extra berries add P300 (Serves 12-16).
9″ triple layer w/ extra berries P3500 (Serves 18-22).

8×8 Single layer P1800, extra Berries add P250 (Serves 8-10).
8×8 Double layer P2500, extra Berries add P250 (Serves 12-14).

Baked by Anita. (02) 7362877 or Pick up at 340A Smuth drive Maytunas San Juan City. (On Wilson from Unimart, pass P. Guevarra intersection, stay on Wilson, at approx the 7th corner, M Marcos, turn left. When road splits, take right side (Smuth Drive) BBA is on the corner blue & grey duplex, across Palaise Royale Townhouses)


Happy 20th Birthday, my gorgeous Ate! <3


Our firstborn.. our first everything as parents. Thank you for teaching us. We love you oh so very much! <3


I insisted on 20 candles. Kahit na hirap na hirap silang ilawan. It’s more fun in the Philippines! ;))


No shortcuts, Ate. You deserve all the extra miles coming your way. Remember that. You are special.


My beautiful family. God’s ultimate gift to me. Love & Happiness! <3

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I wish you a path untroubled. Happiness everlasting, and love forevermore. <3


20 years. 20 years that you have made my life amazing. Thank you! I love you. Happy birthday my perfect child! <3

Happy 20th Birthday Ate! :-*

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