Manila’s Best Japanese Buffet Restaurant: Inagiku in Makati Shangri-La

Every weekend, there’s a special dining experience that awaits you in Makati Shangri-La. Inagiku is Makati Shangri-La’s prized Japanese restaurant, serving the most authentic of dish specialities ranging form teppanyaki grilled meats and seafood, special handmade sushi and sashimi, impeccable sukiyaki, Japanese fried ice cream, and so on; and all this, you can unlimitedly indulge in during lunch on weekends.

The Weekend Utage Buffet Lunch rates are priced as follows:

  • Saturday – PHP 2,330.74 net per person
  • Sunday – PHP 2,453.54 net per person
    • Children receive a 50% discount from the regular buffet rate
    • Available – Saturday & Sunday from 11:30AM to 2:30PM

Inagiku is located on the second level of Makati Shangri-La, right by the leftmost staircase situated in the hotel’s main lobby.With spacious interiors and floor to ceiling glass windows, Inagiku offers a great ambiance for a fantastic dining experience.  Though their selection offering isn’t as sizeable as other hotel buffets in the metro, the quality of each and every thoroughly-prepared dish is absolutely top-notch. Since there are several stations in Inagiku’s Utage Buffet, I’ll be covering one station at a time for this post.

Salad Bar

First station I’ll be covering is one of the most generic things you would find in a buffet – a salad bar. For Inagiku’s salad bar, there is nothing really special about it – though I might be saying this with bias, as I never dare go near salad bars whenever when we’re in a buffet – let alone, in a hotel buffet! In my opinion, it would be an unnecessary waste of stomach space to fill up one’s self with salad when there’s a wide array of other more tasty options you could find in the buffet. On a lighter note, however, everything looked fresh in their salad bar, so don’t let me (or anyone else) stop you, should you wish to indulge in Inagiku’s salad options. 

Soba & Vegetable Station

Next on the list, is the Soba & Vegetable station, where they serve a selection of cooked vegetables, and in my opinion, the star of this station: cold matcha green tea soba noodles. This refreshing dish is a great complement to all the meats and seafood you’ll be partaking, with its green tea infused soba blending perfectly with their cold tsuyu dipping sauce.

Sukiyaki Station

Normally, I don’t take any kind of soup during buffets, but my Dad took an order of Inagiku’s sukiyaki beef soup, so I had a taste. And I’d have to say that it is a must-try when in Inagiku. The soup broth is absolutely tasty with its ingredients mixing really well, and the beef cooked to perfection, in flavor and in terms of its tenderness. This might just be the best beef sukiyaki beef soup I’ve had to date – no exaggerations here!

Tempura Station

And of course, one of the most popular stations in not only Japanese buffets, but in all kinds of buffets in general: the tempura station. The serve ebi bacon tempura, shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura, and so on.And just as it is in every other all-you-can-eat restaurant, Inagiku’s shrimp tempura disappears within a few minutes of being replenished, so make sure you keep watch when they serve a fresh hot batch, so you can load-up your plate accordingly. The special thing that would be vital to take note of is that the shrimp tempura in Inagiku is fresh as can be, fried to its best quality. I hate how some restaurants make the mistake of cooking shrimp tempura in a commercialized way, meaning: too much breading, too much grease, too little shrimp, or simply leaning towards being bland; but this is a dish by which Inagiku remains authentic, and should not be bypassed when dining here.

Cooked Meat and Seafood Station

There are several cooked dishes served in this station, with a variety of noodles, fried rice, meat and seafood – cooked in a more or less asian – oriental cuisine.My favorite, however, was their Sweet & Spicy Fried Chicken, depicted below. I only got to taste a piece, as I was full from all the seafood I had consumed prior, but this is one of the dishes I would certainly go back for.And another favorite would have to be the Yakimeshi fried rice that I instantly devoured a bowl of in an instant, yet another dish you mustn’t miss while in Inagiku.

Sushi & Sashimi Station

Of course, onto my second favorite part of Inagiku’s Utage Buffet: the sushi and sashimi station. Beginning with sashimi, they serve tuna, salmon, and mackerel variants, and its spicy and marinated counterparts, as pictured below.  My favorites, as always, would have to be the tuna and salmon sashimi – both to its freshest of qualities! The tuna is refreshingly tasty, but the salmon would have to be the star amongst the sashimi variants; as its sweetness and freshness exude through each and every slice. As evident as it is in the photos below, you won’t go wrong with stocking-up on sashimi in Inagiku. The sushi selection, however, is another story! To describe it to have an extensive selection would be an understatement, as there are at least ten kinds of sushi variants diners could choose from. I tried at least five, and they were impeccable – hand-rolled to perfection, in taste and in its fusion of ingredients.

Live Cooking Station

If in each of the stations, I named a star; the live cooking station, in this case, would have to be star of the entire Utage Buffet of Inagiku. The chefs, namely Joshua and Ariel, will warmly welcome you and most gladly offer what is served at the station. There is an option of cream dory, salmon, chicken, and shrimp, ever so deliciously cooked in olive oil, salt and pepper, butter, and garlic. I tried each variant, and was extremely satisfied that I did so!More importantly, however, is the beef selection in the live cooking station, with options of: Usuyaki Steak (Thinly Sliced Beef) and US Beef Steak. Oozing with an explosion of flavors, I have no words to describe these heavenly pieces of meat, so let me just leave it at a a mouth-watering photo, as seen below.

Fruit Selection

Before we get to the dessert station, I’d have to quickly mention the small fruit selection that sits by the entrance of the restaurant; though small in offerings, everything seemed to have been neatly cut and freshly-picked.

Dessert Station

Let me start the dessert station with the cookies, dried fruits, mallows, and dips & toppings, that sat beside the fruit selection. The dried pineapple and cookies were my favorites from this tray. And now, onto the main dessert station, offering a variety of about fifteen variants with my must-tries zoning-in on the cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, and their in-house flan. Lastly, and the most important dessert of all (at least, for me) would have to be the Japanese Fried Ice Cream, though not in in any of my photos; it was my first time to try this kind of dessert, and I really loved it that I had quite a few servings that definitely completed the entire meal.

Wrapping it all up, Inagiku, in my opinion, is the best Japanese buffet in the metro – and most possibly, even one of the best buffets in Manila. It is within the same calibre in terms of quality amongst my buffet favorites in Metro Manila, namely: Circles, High Street Cafe, Spiral, and Spectrum. Don’t think twice if you haven’t tried Inagiku’s Utage Buffet, but if you’re not up to having the all-you-can-eat option, then do try their a la carte menu during their normal operating hours apart from the lunch buffet periods on weekends; and you’ll surely get you money’s worth – down to the last cent!For more details about their operating hours, or for any questions with regards to their menu, kindly refer to their contact details below:

Inagiku, Makati Shangri-La
Manila Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue
Makati City, 1200, Philippines
+63 2 8142580