Vikings has fast become one of the “must-go” eating places in Bacolod. People rave about it and it was about time I tried it out – what better time than Zabrina’s birthday so I treated the whole family to dinner there on a busy Friday evening.
Let me cut to the chase – Vikings is a great experience but the quality of much of the food leaves a lot to be desired. It is really a wonder of marketing and whoever thought up the concept is a clever individual.
Vikings is a concept in buffet style eating with a wide array of worldwide foods. Think TGIF but with imagination.
It is an experience and once you enter it’s like walking into a cross between a Vegas hotel/casino restaurant and the restaurant of a cruise ship. The decor, ambiance and layout are all quite stunning. The customer is transported into a different world leaving his or her everyday existence behind.
That is the best part of it – the experience.
It’s also a great venue for that special occasion like Zab’s birthday. It made her happy and I kept my complaints about the quality of some of the food stifled until writing this post. And, let me say, despite my observations, I would still go back there.
I hope that the purpose of my post is taken in the right spirit – the purpose is to warn people not to expect wonderful quality food because it falls short.
Food Falls Short
For example, the pizzas were pretty disgusting and tasted like cardboard. The chicken al fredo pasta was bland and tasteless. In fact most of the food was tasteless and seemed to cater for the unadventurous palate with a distinct lack of seasoning. Even my peppercorn sauce with the Chateaubriand beef steak was without taste. I don’t know what kind of peppercorns they use there!
The carvery section also had vegetables. The baby potatoes were raw! Clearly they had not been parboiled before being sauteed.
I also tried some of the Japanese food – ordinary and again bland. The tempura was absent any taste whatsoever and the sushi left no impression.
The plus bits – free beer! San Miguel on draft is unlimited and just down my street.
The ice cream was also delicious and I tried Kimmy’s crêpe and that was okay too.
Enough of the criticisms … I could add to them but allow me to remind you it was a great experience!
The whole thing is well organized (that is its strength) and birthday guests receive a free birthday cake on production of their ID. The adult birthday guest also gets a free meal. There are promos for all kinds of things including birthdays. In addition there are discounts for kids and seniors. I was not embarrassed to qualify for the latter!
I had some of the birthday cake the following day. Once again, no taste and poor quality ingredients. I somehow think it was an industrial cake mix used in its baking.
The main thing was that we were happy, particularly Zab. Happy Birthday!
My Rating – 5/10 Food 9/10 The Experience 8/10 Value For Money (Adults) 4/10 VFM (Kids)
Vikings Bacolod is located at SM Mall.
The dinner all-you-can-eat buffet was Pesos 588 for adults.
The Facebook page has details of prices, promos and reservations.
I am a believer in communicating issues with businesses – that is how they improve (if they care). I left a ‘visitor post’ on the Vikings Facebook page.
If I were them, I would be concerned. Look at the numbers under the 4.1* Rating:
There are a significant number of 3 stars and less. So it appears it’s not just me.
PPS Latest development – I received a Private Message in response to my post on the Vikings Facebook page. This si the response and my reply:
From: Luel Magbanua
Hi Steve, Thank you very much for your comment of your experience here at Vikings Bacolod. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every dining experience.Your concerns on our buffet selections were endorsed to our Chef.We sincerely apologize and rest assured that we will take action on this matter. Thank you and we hope we will see you here again for another sumptuous dining experience.
Hi Luel, first of all let me say it is very good of you to respond. I hope you read all of my blog post when I reviewed Vikings Bacolod. I will copy and paste the link at the end of my reply. I believe in fairness and I can assure you I will be trying your venue once more to see if there are improvements. I have wined and dined in some of the best restaurants in the world so I do have some knowledge of your industry plus my brother was a top chef in the UK and Canada for many years. I promise I will write another fair and honest review after my next visit. Thank you for your response.
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Well…..I had intended to give my observations and opinions about the Vikings dining establishment but having read your review, there is very little for me to add – but I will do my best. We have been there three maybe four times, the first time was in the first couple of weeks of opening….first impressions were very good, as you report, the experience is the huge pulling point though on that first occasion the food was very nice. Our subsequent visits have become increasingly disappointing. I have no problem with the style and it being a buffet eatery but the quality of food varies from very poor to inedible and that will turn many – mainly visitors – away from eating there again. Meat that cannot be chewed or the meat being disguised as a lump of fat is no way to keep customers. Raw and often cold vegetables further add to a poor dining experience. Does this sound like a whinging foreigner? Well…I am foreign and I guess I am whinging so……..perhaps I am being harsh but no amount of nice decor or a good time feel can make up for quite frankly..dreadful food. It remains popular with the locals and that is great…..would I go again? Not by choice but if others wanted to go there then yes I would. Vikings need to improve their food, if they can do that then they are on to a winner (with me anyway). I really dislike being negative and if the Vikings restaurant was a small affair I would definitely cut it a little slack but there is a whiff of maximising profits these days.
All valid points and made well. I do wonder if it is a case of Manila management having now returned to HO and standards have slipped?
Interesting that you say your first visit was okay.
I don’t subscribe to the ‘Whinging Foreigner’ label on matters involving value for money. Our money contributes to the local economy as much as the next man, Filipino or foreigner. As such, we are surely entitled to voice an opinion – good or bad.
It’s funny, I was just reading a wonderful review on Food with the Dude about an Italian restaurant in Chicago that delivers. Seems like this place could take lessons from La Villa!
It’s always disappointing to me when I think I’m going to a great restaurant with such an incredible atmosphere like Vikings, only to find out it was all sizzle and no steak (or a crummy Chateaubriand, in your case). Sounds like they got a big batch of stale peppercorns, and they use industrial, imported foodstuffs that sit in a shipping container for a good three weeks and then another two weeks to truck it to its destination (can you tell that I worked in ocean freight at one point?).
I think you gave an honest review rather than coming off as a whinging foreigner, though, and your commentator above did as well. Honesty isn’t whinging. It’s ethical. Now, if I ever went to Vikings, I’d know exactly what to expect and would be careful about what I ordered.
“Sizzle and no steak” is apt! Both of us use the word “industrial.” This Vikings concept is industrial catering. It’s done by numbers and formulae to try and ensure uniformity of standards. The standards applied to ingredients are below par as is the actual food prep in certain instances.
Customers like me want great tasting food first and foremost. The “experience” is great, yes, but I have had my share of those already 🙂
It’s a real shame to have such sub-par food. I’m the same way as you are, though. Atmosphere can only carry me to a point.
The raw potatoes gave me a little bit of sadness when I read that. What a terrible thing to do to a potato.
You are generous to offer to return. Dining out is an expensive outing, typically. I suspect there are many quality options in your city. Just my take.
Yes it can be expensive even here. I do believe in giving folks a chance to redeem themselves. We will see ????