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[Review] The Alley - by Vikings

The Alley - by Vikings is a buffet place located at the 2nd level Phase 2 UP Town Center in Quezon City. It is one of the newest locations opened up by Vikings. The restaurant is buffet style but you can order specific dishes that take time to prepare and have it brought to your table. They offer a mix of Asian and western cuisine with the occasional Filipino street food stalls mixed in (a fishball and kikiam cart in one alley, a sorbetero cart in another).

A typical Filipino streetfood fare: deep-fried fishballs and kikiam

The whole layout of the restaurant is like a wide corridor with the food stalls (yeah it is arranged per stall - hawker or food park style, with each stall offering a particular cuisine and their own name and identity) located on one side with a few island type stalls in the middle. I am guessing that this elongated configuration inspired the name "The Alley".

Overall it was a very satisfying buffet lunch and the best part was one of us got to eat for free because it was his birthday that day (as long as the birthday celebrator is accompanied by at least one full paying customer). The selection of food items was very good although the seafood station was a bit of a letdown for me personally (the bread bowl seafood chowder was good though). However, I suspect that the diners are just that quick to grab whatever is prepared by the staff of that particular station.

Inside The Alley are different kiosks each with their own cuisine and identity

If you plan to go try this place out, I would suggest calling the restaurant first to secure a reservation. If for some reason you were not able to get one, go there early (around 9:30 AM for lunch service) and get yourself listed as a walk-in customer. Lunch service starts at 11 AM. We actually arrived around 10:30AM and we were already #27 on the waitlist! It was a Sunday and I suppose it was a particularly busy day with big groups waiting to be seated. I was starting to lose hope that we will be accommodated but fortunately, they called around 12:30 PM (we just patiently waited at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf).

Nord's coffee bar in the middle of the dining area

More photos of the place:

Sashimi and maki stall

Japanese food stall

Bread, salad, and dessert kiosk

Filipino cuisine kiosk

Bagnet and Batchoy

Rate chart

My general assessment is that The Alley by Vikings is just OK. The food is nice with a lot of choices but nothing really stood out for me. The dining space is a bit cramped. The staff is courteous and efficient. As for value for money, even though The Alley is positioned at a slightly lower price point compared to the other Vikings establishments, I think I still prefer SM North EDSA or SM Megamall Viking branches (being the 2 other branches I am familiar with). NIU by Vikings is also nice but I think it is too expensive.

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