Death by Chocolate: Chocolate is Not My Middle Name

By Guest on 24 November, 2008

Hazelnut Pot de Creame from The Peninsula Manila
Hazelnut Pots de Creme

It took one intimate chocolate buffet to make me realize that I could never really lay claim to, as a badge of honor, being a chocoholic. Or a chocolate lover. I crash. I burn. I lay down on my table, defeated.

Friday night I made reservations for two at Manila Peninsula’s famous chocolate buffet. I brought along the most sweet-toothed of my sisters, the one who always got first dibs on the cookies and cakes I used to bake in sixth grade. I was assured that whatever sweet ending the buffet will lead us, she will be at the other end of the table bright-eyed and satisfied. And all the chocolates in the hotel will be worth it.

I had no delusions of being transported to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when we arrived. But I had a pocket of excitement in my belly, traveling to my watering mouth. “Tsokolate-Ah!” marked the menu that the staff gave us. I did a double-take on the buffet’s name this year, thick puddles of Spanish chocolate and tableya parading in my head. The waiter informed us there are no tsokolate-eh or ah tonight, but chocolates made from the Swiss brand Felchlin.

Two tables modestly groaning with chocolates displayed a multitude of incarnations. This being our first time, we had a progressive plan of attack: Work our way up from the lightest to the most intense. The first table carried the smaller treats we could easily pile on the plate without hogging the line. The hogging happened on the next table, where people took their time while carefully slicing the cakes. Besides it’s much more convenient to make a beeline for one table at a time than crisscross our way to two. Out of that table emerged my personal favorites:

Chocolate fondue, still warm in ramekins the chocolate guy handed to us for the strawberries and marshmallows.

Hazelnut pots de crème, singing duets like a jar of Nutella (well, almost).

Fresh fruit in chocolate cups, “the middle tasted like cream puff filling,” my sister said, a cream puff fanatic.

Chocolate pudding, creamy up to here.

White chocolate passion fruit, biting me with such tart I quiver.

Super chocolate ice cream, simple, smooth and unadorned, packs a wallop of chocolate flavor.

By the time we swooped down on table two, I had my eye on the cakes: fallen chocolate cake, heavenly moist cake (hmm, chocolate so good you can either fall from the sky or ascend to it?), and the Bailey’s chocolate chip cheesecake. They were perhaps the stars of the buffet but I could barely finish half of what I’d sliced. System crashing from all the sugar. I should have asked for the complimentary tea earlier, at least to help melt my indulgences.

My sister, bless her, had mercifully eaten everything she had loaded on her plate. I nibbled mindlessly on a white chocolate-covered breadstick. Lifted me up a bit but not enough for me to compose anything poetic about the handmade pralines and truffles I had reserved last. At this point, the candle on our table flickered and died. The wick had drowned on the wax.

Memo from self: “you like chocolate, you really do. But only up to a point.” I could only pop one last white chocolate truffle before we called it a night. The Felchin chocolates were not as fetchin’ as I hoped but it was a fun buffet as it should be. I envied the kids who got their Spider Boy Float. I wouldn’t mind going back, next year maybe. If only to graze on a few old favorites and then hit the cakes first without gorging myself to death. I want a chocolate to live for.

Jenny Orillos is a regular contributor to
Many thanks to Lori of Dessert Comes First for the lovely photograph.

For the Buffet Only: Adults: PhP 550+++, Children: PhP 225+++.
Available on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 pm to 12mn, until the end of December.

Tsokolate Ah: The Chocolate Buffet
The Peninsula Manila
Ayala cor Makati Avenue
Makati City 1226
Metro Manila
Telephone: (02) 887 2888, extension 6694


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  • NOVEMBER 26, 2008 2:00 AM

    Anonymous said...

    Another way to cut on the "umay" factor is to eat something salty. Ask for a bowl of mix nuts or chips, always works for me.

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