Last Saturday we finally had the time to use Papa’s MetroDeal voucher to dinner at Barbara’s. It’s a quaint restaurant located along the street of Gen. Luna in Intramuros. We went there earlier than the scheduled time and were entertained by the live soothing music from the grand piano while waiting for them to finish setting up the buffet table. From the entrance, you’ll already be delighted with their wooden staircase and a large elegant mirror hanging in the wall going up to the main hall. Maybe it’s place their so you could check yourself out first before going in. Haha! I was even joking on the way their about how true that it’s a “prestigious” restaurant accorindg to the voucher. But good enough, they are true to their words. The outside area was nice.. I’m such a sucker for early era houses so I appreciated it much. It’s like stepping into a place reminiscent of old world elegance as their site says. The interiors in the dining hall were quite nice too. They got crystal chandeliers hanging on their wooden ceilings. The room was enclosed with wooden walls with some intricate designs. Drapes of cloth were hanged in a decorative way in the sides that adds up to the homey feeling. Just enough for you to feel your in the old Spanish era.
A couple of minutes after we were seated the buffet table was already set up and we can already start. Some more guests arrived and the hall was already 80% full for that night. Most of the diners were groups of family and also some couples. There were also some foreigners who tried out the place. The food choice for that night were: Seafood pasta in olive oil. Pandan rice, Lumpiang shanghai, Beef caldereta, Roasted chicken, Fish fillet, soup, Sweetened banana sprinkled with sesame, Gelatin and a DIY salad. Just enough for the voucher’s worth. The grand piano was replaced with a live music from the rondalla as the dinner buffet started.
As the dinner continued, candle-lit glasses were placed on each table, a sign that the show would start in a few minutes. Lights were off after and the spotlights were on facing the stage. After some opening music, the cultural dance show started and a voice over of a short intro about the Spanish colonization in the Philippines were narrated. And their came a series of dances performed. I personally love the period costumes of the girls, very classic and appropriate. The lightings were a bit off for me. No offense meant, but it did looked like those lights on red-district areas. But whatever, I enjoyed watching them. Hehe. The "pandango sa ilaw" part always gets me. The show went for about an hour showcasing a number of cultural dances from different eras. The music was done by the live rondalla all throughout the show. For their final part, an INTENSE tinikling was performed. Oh yes, it was an INTENSE one, the beat went faster and faster. Fun! =] They also called out volunteers from the audience to try out tinikling. The dancers were introduced at the end of the show. They were college students who dances their way out to fund off their school expenses. Donations were gladly given after and guests were invited to do photo ops with the dancers. The show was unexpectedly entertaining. The performers were all smiles throughout the show and there energy was all out. Not bad. Props to the live rondalla and high-spirited dancers.
During the photoops, I checked on their buffet table hoping that their salad bowl were already replenished because I didn’t get a chance to try it. But unfortunately, it's not. Though they refilled the other dishes earlier before the cultural show started. I guess they stop refilling the table as soon as the show starts. So as a friendly advice for my fellow foodlovers, arrive early so you could already try more out. Personally, lumpia and the fish fillet were the only good ones I liked. And before the proper show starts, get whatever food you most liked because after the show, you wouldn't be going on another round because you'll already tempted to go home now as everybody does. Excuse my “matakaw-sounding” advice. I love getting the most out of buffets. Hehe. =]
A hotel in the same compound.
Overall, the dinner buffet with cultural show was a nice experience at Barbara's. The place was nice, I love the ancestral ambience. The service was average. Food was a 'B'. The cultural show was an A+. A nice time to bond with your family. I would recommend it to those who would want to try out a classic dining experience in a old era type of place. And also for those balikbayan families who would want to be reminded of the Filipino culture.
P.S. Flash photography in indoor shows is seriously annoying. Please refrain from using you flashes constantly especially when the lights are out and the spotlight's on the stage. We're not in the red carpet people, minimize that popping flashes. Ok, I'm guilty from it sometimes. But seriously.
P.P.S. Sorry for the lousy pictures that didn't gave justice to the place. The other camera's still in the service center that time. =[