Did you know that a hotel room is cheaper without the “free breakfast buffet for 2” option? But unless there are better options nearby or you already know the hotel restaurant is crap, and if you can afford it, why won’t you avail of the “free breakfast buffet for 2” option? There are some hotels that are not worth it, but Café Ilang-Ilang in the Manila Hotel isn’t one of them. I’m saying the breakfast buffet is worth it in the Manila Hotel, in case the previous statement confused you.

Manila Hotel Breakfast Buffet drinks
Don’t sleep on the juices offered by the Cafe Ilang-Ilang breakfast buffet

Unlike the dinner buffet in Café Ilang-Ilang, which was a totally new experience for me, the Breakfast Buffet was merely a confirmation of my previous experience. Service, even though it’s a buffet, is topnotch. As soon as you get seated, a server approaches you to ask for your preferred drink, which for me is always going to be coffee. It’s hotel coffee, don’t expect much.

Manial Hotel Breakfast Coffee for foodmetromanila
Free-flowing coffee, yes please. Just wish it was actually amazing.
Cafe Ilang-ilang is a beautiful hotel restaurant
The best seats for breakfast, the one with the view of the pool, were already reserved for a event when we got there

But that doesn’t stop you from getting your preferred drink. They had Cranberry (fancy), Orange, and Mango juice available at the front of the restaurant which diners can access by themselves anytime. These are right next to the Appetizers station, which had some of the same items from last night’s dinner – including that Macaroni Salad and the Shrimp cocktail I so loved.

Also read: Cafe Ilang-Ilang at The Manila Hotel, I ate here for free!

If you’re not adventurous, or associate breakfast with either Pancakes or Waffles (maybe a French Toast), those are all available in one station at the back. If you’re more a rice-for-breakfast kind of guy (like me), then you’ll have a great time here at Café Ilang-Ilang!

French Toast, Waffles, and Pancakes by the Manila Hotel

Tea Eggs from the Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Do you like tea eggs?
Meatloaf for breakfast in the Manila Hotel
Meatloaf, tehnically like a terrine. The Chefs really like to make terrines in this hotel
Manila Hotel Breakfast Cafe Ilang-Ilang danggit
Danngit – much crispier, and just as delicious, as crispy bacon.

There’s bacon, but since we got here late (about an hour before last call); it’s not as crispy as you want. There are two types of sausages, three if you count the Sausage Ragout, but my wife said the chicken sausage was too tough. Neither of us tried the fish sausage. The ragout, well it tasted like sausage with tomato paste – nothing else.

There’s tapa, of course, but aside from it being tender it’s nothing compared to the tapa you’ll get from a carinderia (a good one) somewhere. Longganisa was dry, that would have to be the biggest disappointment for me for this breakfast buffet, coz I love longganisa for breakfast err thang. What gives, Café Ilang-Ilang?


Omelette from the Manila Hotel at Breakfast
Look at how neat and delicate this omelette is. That takes some skills

What I absolutely loved, and something that surprised me as well, were these siomai with little orange balls on top. The orange balls, I have no idea what they are, but I do know the siomai itself were juicy and delicious. No special flavor, just well-seasoned pork and shrimp wrapped in thin dumpling wrappers, steamed to perfection. The mini siopao, with asado filling, were also good but nothing compared to the siomai.

Manila Hotel Breakfast Siomai delicious foodmetromanila
Seriously, if you know what those orange things are, let me know in the comments
Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang-Ilang Laksa for breakfast
You would think it was spicy, but it’s not at all this Laksa by Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Messy plate but it’s breakfast.

You can also have a bowl of noodles assembled for you by the chefs, but didn’t try that. I did have an omelette made, with everything in it. The omelette was fluffy yet the egg was still slightly runny inside, which is exactly what I want. My wife, who usually likes noodles, also didn’t have a bowl made but trusted me to assemble a bowl of Laksa for her. The Laksa was creamy, with no taste of spice at all, but had more or less a good flavor.

You know when buffets let you make your own halo-halo for dessert? That’s normal What I don’t usually see, though, is them letting you assemble your own taho. Taho, for those who don’t know, is soy pudding with tapioca balls (sago) and basic sugar syrup (arnibal). It’s streetfood peddled by men balancing two stainless steel ‘tubs’ on a long bamboo stick. It’s cheap, it’s good, it reminds Filipinos of their childhood, you can make one in the Café Ilang-Ilang breakfast buffet. The arnibal is not as sweet as the ones in the street, but everything else is about the same.


Plenty of other dessert option, but I just got the taho and a few fruit slices. It was everything I needed for that morning, along with coffee.


The atmosphere is much chiller than during dinner here at the Café Ilang-Ilang. People, including myself, are dressed more ‘comfortably’. There are also less people, but again we got here pretty late. There are less stations open, like the Italian station is not offering food but the chefs are already prepping for lunch service. The ones that are open, though, are more than enough for breakfast.

Beautiful Cafe Ilang-Ilang Manila Hotel foodmetromanila
The Cafe Ilang-Ilang is beautiful!

Of course there’s room service breakfast, but I’m not sure you can opt to have a plated breakfast in room if you’ve availed the “free breakfast buffet for 2” when you checked in. I’m only sure about that when you’ve booked a room as part of a banquet package. My wife, on the morning of our wedding, had her free breakfast in her room.

Get the “free breakfast buffet for 2” from the Café Ilang-Ilang when you book a room in The Manila Hotel. It’s delicious, first of all, and it’s much better to get it in house that having to worry where else to eat.

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