Sundays are agreed to be dedicated to the family. The demands of the world might pull our busy time apart so it’s a collective effort to spend at least one day in one week for the family.
One Sunday after morning church, we scheduled lunch at SM by the BAY, which I call the “Bay of Buffets.”
The good news, no traffic on a Sunday! Yippeee! From Ortigas to SM by the Bay, we had one smooth trip for only 30 minutes!
In case you’re alien to this area, SM by the BAY is an entertainment complex, also part of SM Mall of Asia complex, that houses a wide range of dining options, exciting rides, and a bunch more activities every family will enjoy. It’s a one-stop BAY for all your entertainment needs. It could be overwhelming at first on where to begin because of numerous choices on where to hang out. The wide and looong SM by the BAY will throw away your boredom and pump up your energy, including your family members, whether they’re young as 1 or old as 85. Honestly, I don’t think 1 day is enough to fully enjoy the long stretch of SM by the BAY. With so many things to do, a single day to compress the activities may be too short. In my experience, a day at SM by the BAY was jam-packed with activities, to think I only tried two establishments. What more if I hop from one establishment to another?
To give you more details on what I experienced, let me start with filling our stomachs from one of the loved buffets at SM by the BAY.
La Fiesta Filipino Buffet
Together with my family, we were all thrilled to go back to La Fiesta at SM by the BAY. Just a quick side story. During one of the Christmas holidays last year, we spontaneously went to La Fiesta since mom recommended it as a fun buffet place. Unfortunately, we arrived too late that the restaurant was about to close in 30 minutes. Ooops! I don’t think that’s enough time for a buffet in general. Anyway. Finally our plans to visit La Fiesta pushed through. Big YAY!
We arrived on time for lunch. When the doors opened for us, we instantly felt the “fiesta vibe” going on in all corners of the buffet restaurant. La Fiesta, the largest Filipino buffet located at the South side of SM by the BAY near the MOA eye, epitomized the word “fiesta” in so many ways! Let’s start off with the food.
La Fiesta Food:
|Pinoy Pica-Pica & Favorite Street Food
Intrigued by the food and confused on where to start, I walked around the buffet spread to get an overview of what to fill my first plate. On the far left facing the stage, the Filipino appetizer corner allured me with famous pinoy pica-pica or pulutan like peanuts, fish and squid balls, kikiam, sisig and the like. I’ve been craving for squid balls and fish balls and its legit street sauce since January. Oh boy, I was on my ‘happy dance mode’ after getting a bowl of street food satisfaction.
|Everything on sticks
Pick-up those marinated barbecue sticks like you’re in a Filipino feast.
Roam around and I’m sure you’ll find your pinoy favorites like Sinigang, Dinuguan, Bulalo and my personal choice Kare-Kare!
Fruit and Vegetable seekers have a room in La Fiesta. The fresh salad bar near the dessert station might make you think twice if you’ll skip the salad and jump to desserts instead. Hehe.
Speaking of desserts, the pinoy atmosphere continues to the dessert area with all the famous ‘kakanins’ and traditional desserts and cakes a buffet would normally have. There go your cheesecakes, make-your-own halo-halo, ice cream, and more. Ok, sorry for jumping to desserts right away. I couldn’t help passing by the desserts station at La Fiesta. I felt like getting pinoy sorbetes in between meals. Hehe.
|Various Asian dishes
As Asians, don’t we look forward to Asian cuisine other than our very own pinoy food? La Fiesta lent a small space for a few Asian favorites to feast.
Thank you La Fiesta for including Japanese sushi rolls, makis and sashimis in your Filipino buffet spread! 🙂
|La Fiesta Lechon
Tell me, what’s the first food you think of when you hear someone chant the word “fiesta?” Without puzzling my mind, it’s definitely LECHON! When there is fiesta, there is lechon! When there is lechon, there is fiesta!
Glasses of Fresh shakes as part of our buffet. I opted for the papaya shake, Reine for banana shake and dad for kamias shake.
La Fiesta Ambiance:
La Fiesta is ideal for families and balikbayans who miss the traditional Pinoy culture and food. This kind of buffet is needed in the area, a venue where Filipino families are encouraged to spend time with one another through eating, strolling by the BAY, and other activities available at SM by the BAY.
We had one of the best seats! Front-row seats to enjoy La Fiesta’s live entertainment. I hope I’ll be able to get front-row seats as well when I watch the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition. Hehe. FYI, you might want to purchase your tickets now to watch the majestic fireworks display with your family. This is something to count as one of your family activities, which you could enjoy, also at SM by the BAY.
Birthdays mean celebrations! One of the reasons you should head your way to SM by the BAY complex is to experience how special it is to celebrate at La Fiesta and other festive restaurants beside it. I recommend La Fiesta for birthday celebrants. Currently, La Fiesta has an on-going promo for birthday celebrants to eat for free for 1 whole month. Birthday equals to birthmonth at La Fiesta. For more details, you can visit their facebook page directly.
My aunt volunteered to dance with the talented cultural dancers the famous tinikling. Proper timing and grace, that’s how she confidently danced for the La Fiesta audience. Good job Auntie!
My cousin Katie didn’t want to step out of the stage. The little girl knows how to enjoy the limelight and flip her skirt as she danced like a ‘dalagang filipina’ with La Fiesta dancers. Rainbow colors everywhere at La Fiesta! No exaggeration, it’s really fiesta at La Fiesta!
Your balikbayan family would definitely find home at La Fiesta, especially when you let them walk by SM by the BAY and show them other activities they could do in just a single yet wide complex. No more complications on where to take your family. Park once and walk your way to other sides of the BAY where you can facilitate your own food trip. The variety of cuisines will also allow you to jump from one restaurant to another. If your stomach is that strong enough, you might end up trying more than 5 restaurants.
My family wanted to take a break from eating. At SM by the BAY, eating is just one of the options to enjoy. We took the party on the other side of the BAY not through eating, but through singing. Our family, who’s fond of music and singing, spent the rest of the afternoon at Centerstage Family KTV & Resto Bar. Since Centerstage is located at the North side of SM by the Bay, we had the option to walk and sightsee or move our car to the parking near Centerstage, which will cost us another ticket for parking. I suggest, the best option is to burn down the calories through walking simultaneously feed your eyes with the serene view of the BAY. If you’re into photography or probably into instagramming your photos, I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good shot of the view worth sharing with your friends on social media.
While waiting for our Diva Room inside Centerstage, we waited at the Ultralounge, a party venue you can rent that can accommodate 30-40 persons. It includes a stage, dance floor and bar. Put your hands up and hold the microphone like a rockstar because I think Centerstage is going to be a hit party venue for those who can stay all night singing and belting out.
Food won’t be a problem at Centerstage. While waiting for your song, sit and choose among the unique combination of Asian and international cuisine available on the menu. I thought we’ll be resting from food at Centerstage, probably not. Hehe. I guess SM by the BAY is also a hub for foodies. Almost wherever you go, there’s a food establishment that will invite you.
For bigger groups than a barkada, the biggest private room Centerstage offers is the Sala Room, good for 80-100 persons. Aside from the KTV equipment with LCD projector, the room includes a billiard table, private bar and restroom.
We stayed in Diva Room, big enough to fit in 30-40 persons. The advantage of staying in Diva Room is the terrace included overlooking Manila bay with our own private restroom. The romantic element of watching the sunset at this area is just apt for dating couples or sentimental individuals and of course the weekly Philippine Pyromusical Competition, which you could catch every Saturday until March 14, 2015.
My whole family brought out our inner diva with Centerstage KTV’s high quality sound system. Its updated song list made it quick for us to enter our picks. Frozen fans sang “Let It Go” twice! Hahaha!
SM by the BAY is one hub for dining, entertainment, including rides and ambiance of Manila bay. Totally, it’s a place for families, balikbayans, lovers and friends.
Why not experience SM by the BAY and share with me your thoughts?
Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout
SM by the BAY
Location: Seaside Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Location: Bldg. I SM by the BAY (Near MOA Eye) Seaside Blvd., SM MOA Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact: (+632) 556-1111 / (+632) 556-1222 / (+632) 556-1333
Location: Bldg. C SM by the BAY (Near SANDS) Seaside Blvd., SM MOA Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact: (+63 917) 3856729 / (+63 932) 3830478 / (+632) 904-8034 / (+632) 401-5480