Cafe Sweet Inspirations: A Rare Mongolian Treat

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 § 0

There was a time when Mongolian stir-fry was all the rage in Manila. However, years passed and branches of established restaurants such as Kublai's closed down and now, diners are left with few options (especially outside Makati). Cafe Sweet Inspirations is one of the few remaining restaurants in the city that offers a Mongolian buffet that is definitely worth your money. It has the same owners as Mongolian Quickstop, which offers big or small Mongolian bowls for people on a budget.

Once we got inside, Boyfriend and I immediately dumped all our stuff on our table and grabbed a bowl each. The Mongolian spread at Cafe Sweet Inspirations is quite a beautiful sight. They have all the ingredients you need for your basic stir-fry starting with rice, sotanghon noodles and tofu. I actually wasn't planning on adding rice to my bowl but I couldn't resist adding a spoonful. Then we added heaps of carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts - my favorite ingredients for stir-fry.

Because Boyfriend and I are both meat lovers, we made sure we put the meat station to good use. We both got a mixture beef, chicken and a lot of squid. I added a couple of squid ball slices in mine as well. For my second round, I substituted chicken with pork, and Boyfriend just opted for the same combination as his first. Chicken liver is also available.

When you're satisfied with the amount of meat and veggies on your bowl, it's time to load up on flavor. They have onions, tomatoes, leeks, siling labuyo, peanuts, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and other ingredients that will affect the taste of your food. Boyfriend always makes sure he loads his bowl up with a spoonful of garlic, sometimes more. They also have plenty of sauces to choose from. You can mix and match these to your hearts desire. They also have recommendations as to what combination might work depending on your preference. I personally like the sweet and spicy mix, but I put less brown sugar and teriyaki sauce and add a little more soy sauce and mongolian sauce.

When you're happy with your concoction, you can give it to the server waiting at the end of the buffet table. You'd have to wait for 5-10 minutes, depending on the amount of people in the restaurant availing of the buffet.

Boyfriend and I were both very pleased with our creations. His bowl was sweet and garlicky, while mine was rich and spicy. That night, we both had two bowls of Mongolian stir fry. Last time we here, we had three each but we were talking so much that night we ended up eating slowly, which made us feel full faster than usual. It didn't matter though, because when you're on a date (even with someone you've been with for years), good conversation is still more important than good food.

Cafe Sweet Inspirations' Mongolian buffet is worth 310 per head, VAT inclusive with no service charge. It is located along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. Mongolian Quickstop can be found in the food court section of malls such as Trinoma and Gateway.

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