there's nothing spectacular about tongs, think open-air gerry's grill. the biggest attraction for the restaurant is their very reasonably priced buffet at Php 180. even the buffet is nothing spectacular except that they served oysters.
topped with garlic and cheese then baked, blanched then dipped in a spicy vinegar concoction called pinakurat. these are the usual preparations that the patrons enjoy. for manilenos where a plate of six oysters can cost you triple the cost of the buffet, the oyster feast is enough to mark tongs as must-visit place.
never mind the fact that of late, the oysters have shrunk and shriveled to global recession sizes. that or the oysters sometimes resemble re-hydrated prunes. even more alarming are a number of stories about adventures to loo land that happen after a visit to tongs.
nevertheless, people go back for more and the lunch and dinner buffet lines are usually long.
it was a surprise then to see the place boarded up and walls torn down. am not sure if they're doing any renovation, on the other hand with pino recently offering oysters as part of their buffet in a ultra chic and classic setting as well as oysters that actually look and feel fresh, tongs must step up and offer something better.
for now, if you're looking for your oyster fix, visit pino for their lunch buffet.