Nines vs. Sweet Inspirations

Mongolian Rice / Noodle Bowls has been one of my favorite eats when I was younger, particularly since my Dad introduced us to Mongolian Quick Stop. It is one of those food court joints where you get to feel the buffet vibe because you are in control of the ingredients that you would like to eat.  We either go to Gateway Mall in Cubao or Robinson's Galleria in Ortigas should we want a healthier alternative to fast food.

But enough of Mongolian Quick Stop, because last weekend my friend planned to have dinner at Sweet Inspirations in Katipunan for Mongolian Rice Bowls. He seem to have thought it as a good idea since it's been awhile that he last ate at the place and he wanted me to try it. Sadly, we should have pushed through on a Saturday night but I had a very tiring day after working part time for an event for my previous company.

So last Sunday, we both agreed to pursue with the plan and headed to Sweet Inspirations.

At first sight, the place was jam packed with cars of the restaurant's customers. We thought at first that we could not find a parking spot but good thing they have a back-up parking area. It is also a good thing for us because later on we found out that customers who are to dine at Sweet Inspirations get free parking for a minimum food purchase of P200.00. This saved us a hundred pesos for less than two hours of staying there. Nice!

As soon as we went in, there were a lot of people, mostly families. What's with the overwhelming number of customers? Maybe because we were right on schedule of dinner time and there are a lot of families whom I thought that they just finished attending mass and went on to having dinner at the resto. Meantime, my expectations went a bit higher as we lined up with the rest of the people at the buffet area.

Yey! Lots of customers. Must be good, right? 
Their main stage was the mongolian buffet area on the side of the resto, apart from the nice display of cakes and pastries on the other side of the place. Buffet per person is "discounted" to half of P640.00 which is P320.00. No leftovers or you'll be charged the full price. No sharing and takeouts either. I never really listened to their rules, considering that I felt they won't have a problem with me with regard to leaving food behind. This was a self-declared Nines vs. Food match! With my stomach as my weapon, here we go.

Sweet Inspiration's Buffet Policy

Mongolian Buffet

The buffet area was very simple. With very simple ingredients that I may so happily define into these divisions: Carbs (rice, vermicelli noodles); Veg (bell pepper, scallions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, onions, turnips, chilies and other greens); Sauces (schezuan, soy, chili, teriyaki, oyster sauces, peanuts and infused waters made from ginger, lemon and garlic); and Protein (fish fillet, squid, and small pieces of chicken, beef and pork). Not really an impressive array of ingredients but hey, I'm in control now.

I never really had any serious experiences with Mongolian Buffets before but I literally filled my bowl with everything that I want. It was a gonna be a great first bowl for me there. Along with my friend's bowl we then got numbers 12 and 13. We began to wait, and man was it long.

So here's the thing. When we were halfway on our time waiting for the food, he talked to me and asked me if it's okay we get another bowl "ready" just in case our first bowl is done then we would already have another batch ready to be devoured. We most certainly did it. This time we were at numbers 36 and 38. After giving our second round of bowls for cooking, we finally got the first bowls.

This is a seriously big bowl of mongolian noodle rice :)

Again, it's Nines vs. Mongolian Noodle Rice Bowl. It was hot and fresh and healthy. I never really had any complaints with the taste because it was my choice of ingredients anyway, so I was pleased. But there was one mistake that I did during this time. It was that my first bowl was so richly prepared with meat and all the squid I can get and I quickly got full.

Another thing was that our second bowl arrived at an earlier time that we didn't expect. So I have this second round in front of me while I have a hard time finishing the first. Boohoo.

It was a clean fight. I lost to Mongolian Rice Bowl because I got full quickly and the bowl was indeed rich and heavy. Yes, I got "umay". What's the english of umay anyway?

And yes, we paid the full price of P640.00 since I can't finish everything. I had a bit, maybe 50% disappointment that still did not show on my face. Sure, the resto is quite strict with their inventory, but don't they think that P640.00 is a pretty heavy price for a Mongolian Buffet? I mean, I compared it like if I ate to an Asian Buffet for the same price I'd be happier with all the tempuras and the salmon sashimis. It was with a few ingredient choices and I paid this much? Maybe they should think of lowering up their prices a bit because man, it was a dismay, really.

Maybe my lesson would also have to be noted as well. I should make sure not to make a second round if the first is not yet finished. I should have put a bit of everything instead of a lot. I should have taken their policy seriously. I should not have gone there in the first place and went to some Asian or Korean Buffet instead.

Probably taking reference to the words of the then infamous but now successful (and bar holder) UP Law stud Christopher Lao, "I should have been informed you know!?!?!"

Still, I'm not pushing everyone away from this place. Maybe you should just be prepared and not do what we did during that time. If you happen to love Mongolian Rice Bowls without the worry of not finishing it, here is Sweet Inspirations. I may not make another attempt for the Mongolian Buffet anytime sooner, but maybe I can go back there to try some of their yummy and very affordable cakes and pastries.

Check out Sweet Inspirations' Menu on their official website here.

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