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Kabayan Fiesta at Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai



Although there are already a number of Filipino restaurants here in Dubai, it is very rare for international restaurants, or at least with the ones that I tried, to include Filipino cuisine in the menu. Which is why I was stoked when I knew that the Eatery Restaurant in Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai devoted an entire night to highlight the Filipino cuisine. They have International themed-buffet every night and on Fridays, they have this Filipino themed-buffet which they call Kabayan Fiesta.


Kabayan Fiesta

Eatery is an all-day dining restaurant with an atmosphere that is perfect for families. It's sleek interiors and fixtures may not resemble the usual Pinoy Fiesta vibe that Filipinos are accustomed to, but I loved how they incorporated Filipino touches and festival vibe with the bayongs (abaca bags), abaca hats, and vibrant decors as centerpieces of the salads and desserts station.

Kabayan Fiesta

Kabayan Fiesta Kabayan Fiesta

Kabayan Fiesta

When we talk of fiesta back home, lechon will always be present. Unfortunately, the star of all Filipino fiestas wasn't being served here in Eatery. They instead offer an interesting spread of well-loved Filipino dishes, a nice selection of salads, Filipino desserts, and a live cooking station of seafood.

Kabayan Fiesta
I love the mango salad! Yum!
Kabayan Fiesta
Salad Station
Kabayan Fiesta
Vegetable Spring Rolls and Prawn Crackers
Kabayan Fiesta
Fresh seafood ready for grilling!
I have long been wanting bulalo and I was happy when I saw it in the spread. The dish looked appetizing, the soup was piping hot and the beef was tender, complete with bone marrow, unfortunately, it didn't taste quite like the bulalo that I grew up with. The soup was on the salty side and I just can't seem to find that distinct bulalo taste.

Kabayan Fiesta
Bulalo - beef shanks and bone marrow in beef broth
The main course includes Kare-kare, Pancit Palabok, Chicken Inasal, breaded fish, stir-fried veggies, and chicken curry.

Kabayan Fiesta
Kare-kare - a stew with thick savory peanut sauce, ox-tail, and vegetables
Kabayan Fiesta
Pancit Palabok - noodle dish with shrimp sauce topped with shrimps,
hard boiled eggs, crushed chicharon, tinapa flakes, and garlic
Kabayan Fiesta
Chicken Inasal - grilled chicken in lime, vinegar, and annato marinade
My plate consisted of Chicken Inasal, Pancit Palabok, breaded fish fillet, and mango salad. The chicken was tender and the char grilled taste was evident, it wasn't close to the inasals that I've tried back home. I found it a tad too sweet. The Pancit Palabok captured the authentic taste, especially with the crushed chicaron, tinapa flakes, and garlic bits. The fish fillet was kind of bland but I enjoyed pairing it with the sweet and sour goodness of the mango salad.

Kabayan Fiesta
My Fiesta Plate: mango salad, pancit palabok, chicken inasal, and breaded fish fillet
I was expecting Mark to love the Kare-kare, as no kare-kare dish has ever failed his meticulous palates, but Eatery's version somehow didn't make it. I haven't tasted it, but for a Kare-kare lover that Mark is, saying that the Kare-kare wasn't good must be something.

Good thing the grilled seafood didn't disappoint. This might not be the best looking grilled seafood platter, but I surprisingly enjoyed the shrimps and squid even without any sauces. I loved that the fish didn't have that fishy aftertaste at all. They were supple, juicy, mildly sweet, and smokey. Yum!

Kabayan Fiesta
Grilled seafood from the live cooking station
Leche flan, maja blanca, buko pandan, cassava cake, and ginataang bilo-bilo were served for dessert, along with international sweets and fresh fruits.

Kabayan Fiesta
Leche Flan (creme caramel) and Maja Blanca (coconut pudding with corn)
Kabayan Fiesta
Maja Blanca (coconut pudding with corn) and
Buko Pandan (pandan jelly with coconut strips and coconut cream)
Kabayan Fiesta
Cassava Cake - cassava, sugar, and coconut milk
Kabayan Fiesta
Ginataang Bilo-bilo - sticky rice balls in coconut milk
I am not very particular with Filipino desserts, as I'm more of a chocolate lover, but I love leche flans so that is what I was eyeing when it was time for dessert. I kind of missed eating maja blanca too so I made sure to help myself with a slice. Mark was raving about the "dessert with chocolate toppings" as what he called it and insisted that I also get a slice.

Kabayan Fiesta

The leche flan was okay, but far from what I've tasted back home. The maja blanca, although with generous corn bits, was a bit stiff and bland, and the "dessert with chocolate toppings" was good but it had that bread pudding texture, and I don't like bread puddings, so it didn't appeal to me. It turns out, the 'bread pudding' was actually cassava cake but baked instead of steamed, thus the texture.

Kabayan Fiesta

I wasn't satisfied with  my dessert plate so I tried my luck with the buko pandan, but it also wasn't a hit. I just settled with the fruits which tasted fresh.

Although the feeling of being brought back home wasn't experienced with the taste of the dishes, Filipino hospitality was evident with the staff. We also got to chit chat with one of the head of the 'tasting committee' and she was all ears with our feedback. It was actually from her where we learned about the baked cassava cake. :p We also learned that chef wasn't of Filipino nationality, which explains why the authentic Filipino taste was somehow compromised.

The Kabayan Fiesta Filipino-themed buffet is offered every Friday, 6:30-11:00 pm. At AED 99 per person, it seems to be a bit of a stretch compared to other Filipino buffets especially considering the authentic Filipino taste. Price is quite competitive for a hotel restaurant offering buffet, though.

But then again, it was just their first take on introducing Filipino cuisine and I'm sure that there will be improvements soon.

Indulge in Filipino food every Friday for AED 99 in Kabayan Fiesta at the Eatery!

THE EATERYEatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Lobby Level, Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai
Mankhool Road, Al Mankhool
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 354 3333

We were guests at The Eatery and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.

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