DUSIT THANI: Sunday Family Crossover Brunch Buffet (Umu and Basix)

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Dusit Thani recently launched the Sunday Family Brunch Buffet, which is a streamlined and improved version of their famous Crossover Buffet across all the four restaurants in the hotel (Benjarong, Umu, Tosca and Basix).

The Sunday Brunch Buffet still features the same international cuisines: Japanese, Italian, Thai, and Continental, but it’s a crossover between the first floor restaurants Umu and Basix so that people don’t have to go up and down.

The Thai food of Benjarong is featured in Umu, and the Italian selections of Tosca are featured in Basix. Also, they added more emphasis on Filipino cuisine in Basix by including Lechon and Fresh Lumpia. This time, breakfast fare is added to the Basix spread to truly make it a brunch affair.

More focus has also been placed on kids’ entertainment and family fun, hence the name Family Brunch.

Some foodies debate that the old format is better, but some like the streamlined crossover approach.

Here’s our Family Brunch experience to give you an idea on what’s new and different with Dusit Thani’s Sunday Family Brunch Buffet…

Related Blog Post: Best Buffets in Manila: Dusit Thani’s Crossover Sunday Brunch

Best Sunday Brunch Series 2013:


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Our favorite in Dusit Thani’s buffet is UMU because of the interesting Japanese selections, the Teppanyaki, and the Asian-inspired ambiance overlooking the garden.

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We love to sit in this corner, with the wall of Japanese characters.

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For a big family celebration, make sure to reserve the family private rooms overlooking the gardens.

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You can start with the freshly made Sushi and Sashimi rolls…

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We love the Salmon head…

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…with the different Asian sauces you don’t typically find in buffets.

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We like to start off with the Yakitori…

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…and the sweet Teriyaki Chicken.

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I like the Japanese spread because of delicious finds like this Baby Octopus.

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For soup, we like the Tom Yum Goong, which has lots of plump, fresh shrimps. 🙂

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One of the highlights of the buffet is the authentic Pad Thai cooked by the Thai chef in Benjarong.

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It’s better to just let the chef mix it for you, but you can ask to have certain ingredients added.

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The Teppanyaki section is one of the yummiest features of Umu.

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My favorites are the Scallops…

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…and Shrimps.

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They cook and serve it with vegetables, but I suggest asking for separate platings of seafood, meat, and the vegetables so that their flavors don’t mash up.

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These thin beef slices go into…

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…a freshly prepared Sukiyaki, cooked right in front of you.

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I love that they cook the Shrimp Tempura while you wait. They’re best eaten while hot!

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For drinks, you can order hot or cold Green Tea.

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Prosecco is available for adults.

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It’s a dry sparkling wine from the Veneto region in Italy. It’s a good aperitif — not too strong and has a refreshing feel.

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The dessert spread in Umu is limited but…

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…we love the Thai iced milk desserts, especially the one with crunchy sago. 🙂


Family Fun Entertainment

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We appreciate the fact that Dusit Thani wants to attract young families and provide entertainment for the kids during the Brunch Buffet.

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They set up a neat play area for the kids where they can watch cartoons, play with puzzles and toys,

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go bowling,

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try kiddie golf,

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or play basketball with the mime.

(Suggestion: The idea of a play area section is nice, but it can be improved by having unique, interesting and good quality toys.)

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I like the tattoo artists who use water-based colors for the tattoo instead of the glitter, which is messy and tends to be girly.



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For this brunch, I prefer making UMU my homebase, while just getting some main dishes from Basix. If the buffet is not too crowded, one strategy is to transfer to Basix for the second round and dessert.


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One of the additions in the Brunch Buffet is the Breakfast spread of Cereal,

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Muesli, different Yogurts,

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Waffles with fresh fruits,

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…and freshly baked Bread.


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Basix is where you go for the carved meats like…

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US Prime Rib of Beef…

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…and Bone Ham.

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You can also check out the skewered Tandoori meats,

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cured Salmon slices,

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…and baked fresh Oysters. 🙂

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They have a limited selection of Cold Cuts, Sausages and Cheese.

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I like this unique assortment of Pate.

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Check out these Tomato Puree shots.

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They have a good variety of Pasta from Tosca.

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One of the highlights for me is the freshly cooked Seafood Paella!

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Lechon is now included as part of the Sunday Brunch Buffet!

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I think it’s great that Dusit decided to highlight this Filipino favorite. I love how it’s becoming a mainstay in Sunday Brunches to attract the Filipino families, especially those with balikbayan or tourist guests. 

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I also love the fresh Lumpia station where they create the wrapper from scratch.

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For drinks, they have the different juices (even vegetable juice) as part of the buffet.

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Prosecco is also available in Basix.


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For dessert, you have a variety of sweet treats and chocolate fondue.

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Our favorite Filipino dessert — Halo-Halo!

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Home-made Ice Cream 🙂 

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You can treat the kids to some Cotton Candy, 

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Sorbetes, and…

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…Vanilla Strawberry Milkshake for a delightful finish!

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Overall,  this is one of the Best Value Sunday Brunch buffets in Manila. 🙂

I like the UMU Japanese Buffet and the Benjarong Thai Buffet, which give them a yummy, competitive edge versus other Sunday Brunch offerings in the metro. I’m also pleased with the addition of the Paella, Lechon and the focus on Family Fun entertainment.

The buffet is now more manageable with the use of two restos only on the first floor, and great selected dishes from the different cuisines available in the hotel.

I must admit, though, that many foodies loved the idea of hopping from one resto to another for variety and for help in digesting the food. Although the food offering is technically the same (but with better selection), having only two restos gives the impression that the food is reduced.

Lastly, I do hope they upgrade the kids’ area with better quality of toys and different interactive booths.

Check out the new Sunday Family Crossover Brunch and let me know what you think in the Comments section.

Sunday Family Crossover Brunch
Dusit Thani Manila Hotel
Every Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Adult: P1,800 net per person
Children from 6 to 12 years of age: 50% discount; and
Children 5 years old and below are free of charge.
Note: Inclusive of unlimited beverage featuring each restaurant’s signature refreshment.

Best Sunday Brunch Series 2013:


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Full Disclosure: Our Sunday Family Crossover Brunch Buffet was courtesy of our friends from Dusit Hotel. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don’t accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog. 

P.S. Check out the new Dusit Club on the 17th floor (topmost) of the hotel.

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I love the 1-Million-Peso Isabel Diaz Floral Painting that greets you as you enter the club.

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The Dining and Lounge area is much bigger…

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…with an awesome view of the Ortigas skyline. 🙂

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They have a new Dusit Club Board Room with a view of the Makati skyline.

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For more intimate meetings, there’s a new Library section that you can use.

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There’s also a Meditation room in one corner of the floor, and…

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…a Private Dining room, which you can use for small gatherings or business meetings.

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