I started to like eating at Shabu Shabu and Grill buffets back when we tried Tong Yan in Jupiter Makati. Looking back at our experience there, we had so many choices, both in terms of cooked food and those that are for hot pot and grill. Our tables were full and we really enjoyed the company with our friends. We’ve also tried other buffet restaurants and enjoyed our experiences as well and this time, we suddenly felt the urge to try out Tong Yang’s branch in SM Megamall.
It’s on the fourth floor of the atrium, right at the back. It’s exactly at the center so you also have a great view of Julia Vargas street. So we went there for a dinner buffet for P645 per person and we got the unlimited drinks as well.
The place is kind of dim and it’s not easy to get around. The number of tables is quite impressive though. However, we suggest to find tables that are not blocked by other tables. Those that are standalone are the best, those near the buffet/shabu shabu area that do not have a table beside them. Unfortunately, we sat at the table near the window. We had a hard time moving to and from the table because there were 2 tables blocking our path and the seats behind us were too close.
The staff members were great, especially the guard and the one who reserved our seats. We came at around 4:00 and they told us that they will start accepting customers at 5:30 so they took our name. We were the first there. So when we came back at around 5:20, our names were called first so we got to choose our table first. Again, too bad, we chose an oddly placed table. However, it’s kind of mixed once you’re already eating. Some will assist you and some will ignore you. There seem to be like at least 8 of them, but only 2 are roaming around assisting customers.
The tables and chairs, on the other hand, were quite okay. They’re comfortable and have 2 hot pots per table. This is quite difficult, much like the other hot pot restaurants we’ve been to, because there’s little room for an extra plate. It’s okay if there are only 2 of you, but if there are 4 of you on the table, you’ll have a hard time arranging your plates.
So the shabu-shabu has quite a lot of choices for you. You have different kinds of meat, from pork to fish, and vegetables and the shabu shaballs, which is what I’d like to call the squid, fish balls and the like. The soup is just okay. We only got to choose from sinigang and another one that is a bit sweet and spicy. We tried a lot of them and our favorite were the shrimp, crabs, different kinds of balls, veggies, fish and the hotdogs and sausages. My wife enjoyed grilling those shrimps. They’re unlimited anyway.
The cooked food is where things started to go haywire. If you’re not too much into cooking your own food and expect cooked food to be available, you will be somewhat disappointed as you don’t really have that much choice except for chicken, pancit, rice, dimsum and a few Japanese sushi. So if you’re into cooked food buffet dining, if you have a choice, go to another buffet place. Dad’s, Kamayan and Saisaki are just on the other end at the main mall.
The desserts are another area for improvement. You won’t find that many and in fact, I only was able to choose two. I have this weird thing when it comes to buffets that I start with the desserts first, at least a few of them that I find interesting. There’s ice cream though, at the very least. There are a few breads and fruits, but they lack it for that price. Unlimited drinks are available for an extra fee as well.
So in the end, does it justify that price tag? We don’t think so. It’s good, but they definitely lack food offerings and you are almost hard-pressed to have hotpot for most of the duration of your stay. You could get more value if you choose the more expensive stuff like shrimps and crabs, but other than that, you can get some from the supermarket or even from street food vendors. They have quality though.
Would we recommend Tong Yang then? Well, it’s okay to try, but there are others that offer much more value for your money. I’d gladly spend P100 more for a lot more choices and a better dining area. Nice customer-facing, reception staff though.
Tong Yang SM Megamall
Taste: Price: Food Choices: Location: Place: Staff: Order-Serving Time: Healthy offering:
*Should you wish to rate the product/article, please leave a comment and your star rating and we’ll tally them up in addition to ours. The overall star rating will reflect everyone’s contribution. Thank you very much.