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I love buffets. I guess that’s pretty evident due to my hefty size.

One of the newer buffet places in Metro Manila is Niu by Vikings at SM Aura. Niu, which means ‘9’ in Old Norse (language of the Vikings), is the 9th restaurant of the Vikings group. Its opening generated a lot of buzz because it promised to offer a fine-dining experience to buffet lovers.

One of my closest friends invited me to have lunch at NIU. He had a contact who was able to secure us a table for a Chinese New Year lunch.

Walking in to Niu, I immediately noticed how different it is from the usual Vikings restaurant. For one, it’s not as crowded inside. Another is that the interior design was much better albeit a bit tacky.

We were lead to our table near the beverages section. One of the things I liked about Niu was that the staff were excellent and they seemed to be genuinely happy being of help. Also, the cutlery was of very good quality and lived up to the upscale vibe of the place.

I went straight for the meaty stuff at the carving station.

Appetizers? Nah. Give me some roasted leg of lamb and prime rib! The station was my favorite. Everything there was really good. I particularly enjoyed the belly-chon and the lamb. I came back here again and again and I think the person in charge of the station noticed that. Haha!

There were some Italian offerings near the carving station.

The pizza crust had a nice bite though a bit thick. The stromboli would’ve been nicer with more fillings.

Just beside the Italian station are some Spanish selections. You can get foie gras there.

There was a good selection of dimsum at Niu. My favorite was the Phoenix shrimp dumpling. The siumai was good as well. My friend pretty much had a dimsum fiesta.

There were many Asian dishes available at Niu. Japanese and Chinese food were abundant.

Another station that I liked was the one that served noodles and soup.

I asked for lobster in miso soup which I found delicious. The miso soup wasn’t too strong and the lobster was tender (not chewy). I also made my own noodle soup with a lot of meat balls in it.

In usual Vikings fashion, the beverages area was excellent. You’d be spoiled silly with the different drinks you can have in Niu.

There was a mint lemonade which I loved. A bit sweet though so I only had one glass of it.

Aside from the juices, you can also have cocktails, beer, coffee, soda – they’ve got you covered!

The other sections were okay at best. The carving station was really the highlight.

The most underwhelming station for me was the one for desserts. It’s usually my favorite station in buffets but the one in Niu was just blah. There were many choices but the quality was not that good. The only dessert I found okay was the gelato. The rest were a bit disappointing.

There was a frozen yogurt machine that I wasn’t able to take a photo of. I think crepes were also available but that I did not try. The cakes were not that good.

Here are some photos of the food that I ate…

The foie gras was good!

I pretty much had a little of everything, except for the lamb, roast beef, and bellychon (which I had a ton of).

Would I come back to Niu? For the carving station, probably. Haha! It may seem a bit expensive at 1,388 PhP (weekend / holiday rate, 1,088 PhP during weekdays) but you do get a lot of choices. Even hotel buffets would hard a difficult time matching what Niu has to offer. Also, the service was excellent. I just hope that their desserts improve.

If you’re planning to eat there, I suggest you make a reservation as the place is usually full.

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Weekday Rate – 1,088 PhP+
Weekend / Holiday Rate – 1,388 PhP+

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Niu by Vikings
6F, SM Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway, Taguig City
+632 478-3888
+632 847-3888
+63 917 586-6888
+63 919 999-6888

http://www.niu.ph

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