As featured in BEST OF TAGUIG: 10 Most Awesome NEW Restaurants in BGC & Taguig 2014! 

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NIU is a high-end buffet of the Vikings group, located on the topmost floor of SM Aura Premier in Taguig. The name literally means “nine” in the old Norse language and refers to the “Cloud 9” experience the buffet provides. Coincidentally, the buffet also has 9 stations with over 300+ dishes.

Is it a Spiral-killer or just a rebranded Vikings? We tried NIU on its first day of soft opening to celebrate wifey’s birthday.  

NIU by Vikings
6F SM Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway, 1630 Taguig
Telephone: +632 478-3888, 847-3888
Mobile: +63 917 586-6888, +63 919 999-6888
Email: [email protected]
Websitehttp://niu.ph
FacebookNIU by Vikings: SM Aura
Twitter@VikingsBuffet
Instagram@NIUbyVikings

Here’s our first look into the NIU experience… 

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The stations are arranged on the left side in one long buffet setup. The dining area can accommodate 350 per seating during lunch time, and another during dinner.

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Executive Chef Anton Abad is the man behind the yummy food selection at Niu. I was pleasantly surprised that my foodie friend Wilson is the F&B Manager, and Hong Kong Chef Lau of IMC Kavino is the man behind the superb Chinese food in the buffet.

Related Blog Post: IMC (International Master Chef) Kavino Lau

 

Where is the Best Place to Sit?

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Sweden is the biggest private room, which can accommodate 45-50 people.

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Beside it is Norway, which can seat 10-12 people.

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Denmark, the room beside Norway, can also accommodate 10-12 people and up to 20-24 when combined with Norway.

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There’s a grand piano performance in the middle of the restaurant during dinner time.

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The best places to sit are beside the piano, sections 6-7 or 8-9.

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If you want a cozy private corner, reserve these booth tables at the back end of the restaurant known as section C.

 

1. COLD STATION

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You can start with the cold cuts section… 

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…different kinds of cheese…

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…and assorted green salads.

 

2. JAPANESE STATION

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The Japanese section serves sushi and sashimi…

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…with different maki rolls.

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Eat-All-You-Can Tempura is always a hit.

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Baked oysters

 

3. DRINK STATION ✮

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I love the fresh juices, specifically the Fresh Tamarind Juice and the Fresh Minty Lemon Lime.

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I love their house wines too, which are already included in the price of the buffet. They have Jacob’s Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. 🙂

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Double Chilled Draft San Mig Light and Pale Pilsen Below Zero.

They serve beer as well, although it would have been nice to include Draft San Miguel Premium All-Malt, Super Dry, or Cerveza Negra in the selections.

 

4. FILIPINO/PAN ASIAN STATION

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Yakitori station with Chicken Bum (isol), Chicken Skin, Chicken Liver, Quail Egg, and Pork Belly.

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Chicken Pot Pie Chowder Soup. 🙂

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Beef Rendang.

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Twice Cooked Chicken Adobo with Salted Egg Salsa.

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Biryani Rice.

 

5. CHINESE STATION ✮

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The Chinese Station is very good because of Hong Kong Chef Lau of IMC Kavino.

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One of the best hakaw I’ve tasted in a buffet, packed with generous amounts of shrimp inside the soft skin. 

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Some people like the steamed or fried kuchay.

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There’s a decent Shabu Shabu selection.

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Eat-All-You-Can Steamed Suahe

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We requested for special yummy Birthday Noodles for the birthday girl. 

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There are cooked specialty Chinese dishes like the Three Cup Beef Tenderloin Cube (similar to Three Cup Chicken).

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Steamed Crabs with White Egg and Wine.

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Soy Chicken, Lechon Macau, and Hongkong Barbecue Pork Asado.

 

6. GRILL STATION

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Live grill station for preparing Beef Medallion and Pork Belly

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Lamb Souvlaki, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Pork Barbecue.

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I like the grilled Salmon Kabayaki.

 

7. CARVING STATION

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The quality of a buffet is usually based on the yumminess of and variety in The Carving Station.

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Rib Eye and Rack of Lamb.

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Make sure to ask for Medium Rare because they tend to overcook the meat most of the time. 

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You can top your steak with foie gras. The chefs will be more than happy to plate it for you.

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Salmon Coulibiac (Pie).

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Roasted Turkey

Niu Experience by Viking-173.jpgNiu’s Belly-chon.

   

8. ITALIAN/ EUROPEAN

Niu Experience by Viking-105.jpgAll their pizzas are handmade and cooked in a brick oven.

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Try the Panizzas! :)(Use the cute plastic plates for your kids.)

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You can customize your own pasta, which is cooked on order

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I recommend the Risotto made from Arborio rice. Make sure you ask to have it cooked al dente.

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They have French, Italian, and Spanish dishes.

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I like the soft and tender Lengua Mechada (although it’s a bit salty).

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New Zealand Black Mussels steamed in White Wine, Dijon Mustard, and Saffron.

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Cangreros ala Andalucia.

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Remember to also ask for the surprise dish of the day, like these Risotto Balls

 

9. DESSERT STATION

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The Dessert Station isn’t that exciting yet.

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Small White Truffle Cake with Macarons and candle for the birthday celebrant.

(Note: You have to eat the cake onsite; you cannot bring it home.)

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You can reserve the fruits that you like, like the Mangosteen, before you start the buffet. 

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The also have freshly cooked Bibingka and Puto Bumbong for your Filipino dessert craving. 

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You can also have homemade gelato to end your buffet.

NIU BIRTHDAY
Happy Birthday to the Love of My life, @MrsAwesomePlanet!

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NIU is a lot better than Vikings Buffet in terms of selection, quality of ingredients, presentation of dishes, and service. The ambiance is more pleasant and can compete with hotel buffets

The assortment of dishes is as big as that of the Vikings MOA branch, and the buffet layout is similar to Vikings Marikina‘s.

We love the Hakaw and the Chinese Station, the Meat Carvings, Grilled SalmonBrick-Oven Cooked Pizza, Risotto, and Eat-all-you-can Tempura. Make sure to also get the Tamarind Juice, Fresh Minty Lemon Lime, and Jacob Creek House Wines.

If you’re celebrating a birthday, you can reserve one of the private rooms, request for the birthday noodles, and ask them to prepare the birthday cake with a candle

The dessert station needs improvement, maybe because they’re still in the soft opening phase.

Budget P1,500/head for adults and P400-P700/head for kids.

Is it a Spiral-Killer? Not yet. But it’s a lot better than the mediocre buffets in the different hotels. It should also impact restos with high-end pricing like Todd English. 

Let me know what you think about NIU in the comments.

NIU by Vikings
6F SM Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway, 1630 Taguig
Telephone: +632 478-3888, 847-3888
Mobile: +63 917 586-6888, +63 919 999-6888
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://niu.ph
FacebookNIU by Vikings: SM Aura
Twitter: @VikingsBuffet
Instagram: @NIUbyVikings

 

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of our foodie friend Wilson. I wrote this article with my own biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. Take the left express elevator that takes you from Basement Parking to the 6th Floor. 

P.P.S. Here are the complete buffet rates for adults and kids.

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P.P.P.S. Attire is casual. Shorts are OK, but slippers are not allowed.

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