There are a few options for a brunch body like me in Manila. The endless hotel buffets are one option, but they tend to be too big, too heavy, too long, too pricey, too too. And as one friend said in passing, she's not into having sushi for breakfast.
The few places that friends have suggested in the past include Lumiere, the M Cafe, and Sala. Over the last two weeks, I've had brunch at 2 of the 3. I will leave my reviews till I complete the triad.
However, here's something to say about the amount of alcohol imbibed at brunch. If some people feel that sushi or lamb chops are not standard breakfast fare (and I have more to say about that below), what about all the alcohol these brunches encourage one to have? At one of the three brunch houses above, the meal comes with a choice of champagne, mimosa or coffee/tea. The other place we had brunch has a limitless champagne selection (our group topped off at 8 rounds of champagne), with choices of cassis, peach or orange infusions. My favorite was the peach.
I'm not sure I agree with drinking all that much at such an early hour. It makes me feel a bit like a lush. And with the lack of the alcohol digestive enzyme inherent in Asians, a glass or two of champagne is enough to make me feel unpleasantly hazy the rest of the day.
Finally, the different opinions on what to expect on a breakfast platter. Growing up in Asia, you get used to having a motley selection of food: western eggs/bacon/pancakes, continental bread and butter, filipino toci/longsi/tapa-log with the necessary garlic rice, or a more chinese inspired dimsum selection or a bowl of congee with pickles. I say, diversity is good for the soul! I'm willing to go from a bowl of hot chocolate with a piece of fruit one day, to fried fish and rice the next. I'll even have oatmeal in all different styles, plain, with fruit, mixed with cinnamon, loaded with nutella, dried in a muesli with yogurt. I hate sticking to one format all the time. The colors, smells, textures, are what make breakfast a fun meal. Whoever said breakfast was boring hasn't lived right. And from the nutritional pov, we should have breakfast, a well balanced one that lets us work long and hard till the sun is high up in the sky when we break for another lovely meal. If I had a legion of maids at my beck and call, breakfast would be the only meal I'd demand from them: a smorgasbord of meats, sweets, breads, and liquids (the champagne can be for a birthday breakfast). What a glorious way to begin each day.