Dine Confidently. The Buffet Dining Experience in the New Normal at the Food Exchange of Novotel Manila Araneta Center

The sweeping changes due to the quarantine experience continues to leave a lasting impact on our daily routine even with the most beloved dining experience of many Filipinos, the buffet. Here's a quick peek at the buffet dining experience at the Food Exchange in this new normal... 

The buffet dining experience keeps in step with the times with the latest health and safety protocols in place at the Food Exchange of Novotel Manila Araneta Center. The wide and extensive array of international offerings and all-you-can-eat format, features that made buffet dining a popular option for many diners, can still be enjoyed with the added benefit of your peace of mind. At the Food Exchange, diners can indulge and dine confidently in the new normal and enjoy the various dishes from all 6 interactive cooking stations with no worries. Here's what buffet dining looks like in this new normal at the Food Exchange...

To remain relevant, the food service sector had to adapt and evolve in a continuing process in pace with the changing times. At Novotel Manila Araneta Center, this is taken to heart with the global ACCOR-led All Safe initiative so diners and guests can dine confidently. The Food Exchange has long been known as one of the best buffet dining options this side of Manila with its variety of international and local cuisine as well as excellent value for a memorable buffet experience. Following the latest mandatory guidelines for health and safety, dining at the Food Exchange of Novotel Manila Araneta Center is subject to IATF protocols with the following rules:

  • Reservations are required. Walk-in seating is subject to availability.
  • Only guests 18 to 65 years old will be allowed to dine in. Proof of age is required upon arrival as needed.
  • Maximum of 10 persons per reservations according to QC LGU Guidelines, subject to table availability.
  • Guests may only remove their face mask/shield when eating at their table. All other areas will require to wear face mask and shield at all times.
  • Contactless payment is encouraged for settlement of bill.

Inside the Food Exchange, diners will also notice the following changes...

All six interactive stations are fully enclosed in glass, and not just plexiglass dividers to ensure food safety at all times. Diners simply have to point at their selections and the station chefs behind the glass will prepare their dishes a la minute and served to your table. The familiar long queue is eliminated, and the dishes are expedited in minutes which brings order to the usually chaotic buffet dining experience. 

All the specialties of each interactive station are prominently displayed, making your selection easy and hassle-free. The glass enclosures at the Food Exchange are just some of the physical adjustments for the transition to the new normal. But that's not all... 

At the Food Exchange, all utensils and plate settings are thoroughly sanitized...

...and packed securely in a carton with napkins. None of the utensils are exposed on the table. 

Each table is also marked for proper social distancing and the one-seat apart rule is strictly followed at the Food Exchange. Large groups with a maximum of ten per table are also subject to proper social distancing. Each table setting also includes individual envelopes for face masks.   

For your convenience, each table is numbered to facilitate your orders from the different stations. Just mention your table number to the station chefs and your dish will be prepared and served to you so there's no need to wait at the stations. The new format for buffet dining is so much more convenient and stress-free, enhancing the experience even more.  

Every week, the Food Exchange highlights a specific fruit showcased in a variety of refreshing beverages and salads. Novotel Manila Araneta Center's Executive Chef Massimiliano Pauletto holds up this week's fruit, mango, and shows us the inventive creations using mango as the base at the Food Exchange... 

...from refreshing beverages like Mango Juice and Mango Basil...

...and Mango Prawn Salad. The new health and safety protocols implemented at the Food Exchange includes packing their salad offerings in sealed glass jars as an added precaution. All salads like the Mango Prawn Salad are ready to eat, simply twist open the lid. For the usual salad of fresh greens, diners can simply pick up a jar and choose their bottled dressings. Convenient, hassle-free and without the fuss, the Food Exchange makes buffet dining so much easier.

Same goes with the Cheese and Charcuterie Station at the Food Exchange. Plates with an assortment of sliced cheeses and cold cuts wrapped and placed in the chiller are served to diners. If you prefer to customize your cheese plate, the station chef will prepare your plate just the way you want it and served to your table.

It's good to have a proper game plan in any buffet. Start your feast with a comforting bowl of Chicken Soup with tender chunks of chicken in a light and soothing hot broth. You can start anyway you want at the Food Exchange, it's your rules.

The Food Exchange boasts of an impressive Fresh Seafood selection, and you can enjoy it in a variety of ways. Just in time too for the coming meatless Fridays of Lent. 

At the Japanese Station, indulge in a wide array of fresh sashimi like Tuna and Salmon Sashimi as well as sushi and maki rolls. In keeping with the new normal, the sashimi is sliced as you order and served. And that means it's not only safer but you get tp enjoy the briny richness of the sashimi at its flavorful peak. 

The day's fresh catch in rich garlic butter is my go-to choice, simply choose your seafood and the station chefs will have it ready in minutes fresh off the pan. Succulent prawns, fork-tender squid and plump crabs draped in garlic butter works for me all the time.

And you can have seconds too. This time, make it an all-prawn affair lightly sautéed in nutty garlic and smooth indulgent butter. The daily fresh seafood offerings are just one of many culinary attractions at the Food Exchange...

From the Chinese Station, indulge in a sampling of savory roasts like Pork Charsiu, Soy Chicken and Pata for comfortingly familiar flavors. You can also enjoy Chinese stir-fry and noodle dishes prepared a la minute and served hot to your table.

More roasts from the Chinese Station were offered that day, including Chinese-style Roast Duck...

...and Barbecued Pork slathered in a mildly spicy sweet and sour sauce. But at the Food Exchange, there's always more to choose from for that perfect new normal buffet experience.

Savory dishes like prime Roast Beef slathered in gravy...

...and tender Roast Chicken served with mashed potatoes and gravy are individually plated as you order. A buffet dining experience takes your palate on a global culinary journey, and the linear configuration of the buffet spread at the Food Exchange makes flavorful trips from one end to the other a breeze. Directional floor stickers ensures a smooth flow while social distancing markers at the interactive stations control the queues for an efficient walkthrough of the buffet spread.

The Food Exchange also offers some of the best authentic Indian cuisine, and I'd say the finest in this part of the metro. Chicken Tikka and other Indian specialties were part of the spread at the Indian Station that day. 

Craving for more seafood? Enjoy the delicately nuanced notes of the Steamed Fish in Light Soy topped with fresh ginger, scallions and chili...

...or savory and fork-tender Roast Lamb...

...and the crisp and juicy Porchetta, each one conveniently served to your table. The individual portions are just right, allowing you to enjoy each dish with still room for more. 

Change the pace with a jar of Mango Prawn Salad...

...and come back for even more seafood. At the Food Exchange, you can enjoy your buffet feast at your own pace and there's no need to rush.

If you're still up for it, try the specialty 6-Cheese Pizza from the Italian Pizza and Pasta Station at the Food Exchange to round up your sumptuous buffet feast in this new normal. We've barely gone through the massive spread, with still more to try in succeeding visits. 

At the Dessert Station, choose from an indulgent selection of cakes and pastries to cap your buffet feast. Or go local with the traditional Bibingka... 

...perfectly paired with Batirol, a thick hot chocolate. And the Food Exchange is all geared up for the new normal so you can dine confidently without any worries. 

But no buffet experience at the Food Exchange is complete without their best-selling and popular Gelato. A double scoop of Caffe Latte Gelato? Yes, please. Variety and value still rules in this new normal, and the Food Exchange remains one of the best dining options in Quezon City. Enjoy a lavish buffet with the health and safety protocols in place for your peace of mind at the Food Exchange for only P 1,288 net per person for Lunch (12:00nn to 2:30pm) and Dinner (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm) on Fridays and Saturdays and Brunch (11:00 am to 2:30 pm) on Sundays. See you at the Food Exchange next weekend...

For more on the Food Exchange at Novotel Manila Araneta Center, visit their site at https://www.novotelmanilaaranetacity.com/restaurants-bars/food-exchange-manila/. You can also call +632 8990 7888 or +63998 841 8972 for reservations and more information, or email at [email protected]

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