Eat-All-You-Can

Eat-All-You-Can

Bursting waistlines with Buffets.
Siming T
Siming T

It had been a while since I last hung out around the Rendezvous Hotel area to realise that most of the establishments along the ground floor had a touch of Korean theme. And 90 Minutes offered a fuss-free Korean Tteokbokki Hotpot Buffet, with adult prices at $15.90 / S$23.90 / S$24.90 across various timings. Concession rates were also available for Children, Students and Seniors categories.

Once seated, the crew assisted with bringing the sauces to mix into the soup base, and it appeared that the Red Hot sauce (which ironically was a non-spicy sauce) was well-received by many and less likely to disappoint.

After that, it’s all up to me to decide what ingredients goes into the hotpot, so I had to queue up at the buffet line to pick the foods I would like. Other finger foods such as Korean Fried Chicken and the additional Crispy Cheese Corn Dog (S$4.50) were also available to complement the meal. On hindsight, it could be a pretty anxious affair, because the queue might be long and that would eat into the dining period.

The round of Cheese Ring (S$9.90) around the hotpot was a nice to have, but the heat was not meant to last, so it could be done without. But do remember to pick up some Kimchi from the buffet bar to add into the fried rice at the end of the meal, just to give the carbs extra flavour.

And a tip shared by the staff regarding the free-flow soft drinks, to mix JusCool Sparkling Peach with Kickapoo Joy Juice for a pleasant surprise.

Given the pricing and the quality of food, there was seriously little to complain about, but the best experience would usually happen when the restaurant was not operating at full capacity.

#BurppleEatup
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At S$58.00 per adult, and a minimum of 2 pax to admit, Man Fu Yuan’s Weekend Dim Sum Buffet was a 90-minute affair over two seatings (11.30am — 1.00pm and 1.30pm — 3.00pm).

The a la carte buffet featured a wide selection of Dim Sum and main dishes, and I was really excited to taste some of them as I browsed the menu. Though we arrived before the second seating, we only managed to be seated almost at 1.40pm. Thankfully, the restaurant was not rigid about sending us out, so we still had sufficient time to savour the food after the last order, so it wasn’t so bad.

Service was great, by the way. And maybe because it was not full house today, the first round of food came pretty promptly. I liked their Poached Prawns with Chinese Herbal Broth, Chinese Wine (better known as Drunken Prawns), Crispy Prawn Bean Curd Roll with Wasabi Mayonnaise, Baked Mini Egg Tart, Spinach Prawn Dumpling, Braised Cod Fish, Honey-glazed Pork Belly and Chilled Cream of Mango with Sago Pearls, just to name a few of the more impressionable items.

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Most people would love a sumptuous meal at a hotel buffet during the festive season, for the spread would include things like roast turkey, roasted beef and other festive delicacies like fruit cake and stuff.

But these were just one part of what M Hotel’s Café 2000 had to offer in their Festive Seafood Extravaganza Buffet, available from 24 November to 30 December 2019. Having the table reservation through Eatigo, two persons could get up to 50% discount to the usual price of S$78.00 per pax. Much of the items there would include seafood, but I also saw many people swarming the buffet line for satays and other meat items. And then, I realised that it was actually very gratifying to scoop lots of Durian Pengat into a coffee mug, and eat it like a boss.

While it might be quite a value-for-money thing to book a table via Eatigo, I was a bit turned off by the way the diners wiped out the more popular items by forming mountains of food on their own plate. As much as food was replenished quite promptly, it could only mean that one would either need to stay vigilant to watch what was being topped up from afar, or that he would just have to approach the buffet line like a typical “kiasu” Singaporean. And because the restaurant appeared to be fully booked, the crowd could have taken away any peace and quiet ambience if that was to be expected.

Cheers to having a platter of raw fish in an eat-all-you-can setting, and that was what Shin Minori could offer in their Omizu Buffet menu. The assortment might vary depending on the availability, but would usually come with 6 kinds of Sashimi if you would take all of them. Otherwise, the Sashimi could also be selected to your preference, ranging from salmon, spicy seared tuna, tuna, yellow tail, octopus or cuttlefish.

The most satisfying thing about this item was that the seafood were cut to the right thickness, and one could tell its freshness easily (I simply liked eating it with a bit of Wasabi). I would say that this item made a fantastic start to my meal, though I might also consider eating a few rounds of Sashimi as my meal too.

Thankfully, Burpple Beyond had my weekday dinner buffets covered as one of their deals, so for S$49.90 I could indulge in a Japanese feast for 2 pax. Awesome, isn’t it?

#BurppleEatup
#BurppleBeyond

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It was a Wednesday night, and I felt like I needed a buffet dinner to sum up the hump day. Beach Road Kitchen happened to be one of those places that came to my mind, as I had not been here since its opening.

The layout of the dining area and the food stations was quite clean, and all the paper placemats had the floor plan printed on, so navigating the restaurant was not challenging. The staff were friendly and definitely helpful, which also added some pluses to the dining experience.

On the other hand, the quality of the food that were served was just underwhelming for me. The oysters were grainy, the grilled meats were barely lukewarm (probably having a slower turnover due to the 40% full dinner service), and the paella did not taste like it was cooked with any seafood stock. Coming from a restaurant belonging to a five-star hotel, I would have expected more authenticity in the flavours for some of the dishes, but they just did not seem to deliver for me. For S$80.00 per adult during weekday dinners, my apprehension built up as I sat through my meal.

Just to make the experience more balanced, I was actually pleased with their pizzas, grilled fish and desserts station. If I would come back again, I guess you would know where I would camp at to make my meal satisfying.

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The experience at Alley on 25 for a buffet dinner on a Friday night was a little confusing because of the different islands of food counters located at various parts of the dining area, but the food was decently affordable given the price point of S$49.00 per person.

If you were like me, who would typically skip the salad bar (featuring some superfoods there), go straight to the fresh seafood and grab some Fine de Claire Oysters with lemon wedges and be awed by their freshness.

Among all the food options here, the next most impressionable section would be their desserts, with a self-service soft serve machine with lots of chocolate decorations available, and I also somehow liked how they did their bread pudding.

Not forgetting the far end of the restaurant where the grilled meats were found. I enjoyed having their sausages and the slow-cooked Sticky Pork Ribs, but thought that their Australian Angus Beef Short Ribs were sliced too thinly for my liking, as they also tasted a little dry.

Additional fees would apply (from S$40 onwards) if you would like some alcoholic beverages to go with the dinner, and if coffee or tea were something that you tend to order during a hotel buffet dinner, they do not serve them as complimentary.

Located at the third storey of the hotel, Royale had another run of the Rasa Sayang BBQ Seafood Buffet, which would last till 9 December 2018.

Apart from their usual range of local foods such as Laksa, Bak Kut Teh, Rojak and Prawn Paste Chicken, the highlight of the buffet would definitely be the BBQ station which was located at the small balcony area by the corner. The grilled squid and Japanese scallops with minced garlic would be the crowd favourites, among other seafood selections which were prawns and mini crawfish. To maximise the use of the BBQ counter, the flame-grilled 12-Wonder Beef they served was really juicy and succulent. Unfortunately, inclement weather set in and they brought the cooking in their kitchen, which comparatively lost smokiness from the open flames.

Nonetheless, seafood lovers could also indulge in chilled seafoods like prawns, clams and mussels. On top of that, there was also a deep fried sea bass with fruits which was quite delicious too. And for those who were already thinking about the desserts, the Durian Pengat and Yam Paste should not be missed.

On the whole, the buffet offered a variety of local flavours, but I somewhat felt that they could have invested more variety in the seafood to make the seafood BBQ buffet look more attractive (maybe with grilled oysters too?). For S$68.00 per pax, the overall spread might seem a bit lacklustre, but saving the stomach capacity for more seafood, beef and the two dessert highlights, as mentioned above, should make up for the damage.

#BurppleEatup

During the festive season, Edge came up with the Chinese New Year Lunch and Dinner buffets, which serves a variety of festive specials.

Say for example, they replaced their Rojak counter for diners to make their own Yu Sheng (just remember to get your fresh seafood from the seafood or Japanese food counters). There was even a pizza with Chinese sausage and Bak Kwa, roast suckling pig and Nian Gao (rice cake) dessert available at the buffet. At the same time, the favourites of the restaurant, such as Laksa, Chilli Crab, grill bar, Satay and Durian Pengat are still served.

My buffet dinner on a Monday night is priced at S$92.00 per pax, but honestly given the quality and variety of the buffet line-up, I strongly feel that the dinner was worth the splurge.

When Golden Mile Complex houses so many Mookata shops, this one is probably the most appealing to me. At a nett price of S$29.90 per pax, the charges cover everything at unlimited portions, including their mozzarella and nacho cheese dip, meats, seafood, frozen foods, vegetables, rice, noodles, drinks and ice cream. It is just so comprehensive and basically one is not allowed to say that they leave this place feeling less than bloated.

I felt that some of the marinated meats are really tasty, and the bland foods are just meant to be dipped into the cheese or satay sauce dips. However the satay sauce was really not fantastic, so I did not pay much attention to it.

If there is really a downside to dining here, I can only say that this downside applies to all Mookata restaurants over here: be prepared to feel grimy and smell oily.

One of the highly sought after high tea buffet places in Singapore is The Rose Veranda, where weekday (Monday to Thursday) high tea happens from 11.30am to 5.00pm. That is more than 5 hours of eating, drinking and catching up with friends if you stay through the whole high tea service.

Other than a wide selection of premium teas (each patron is entitled to two types of beverages, additional charges may apply), I was spoiled by the range of food, including soups, sandwiches, rice, laksa, sashimi, dim sum, cheese, desserts and fruits. Though some food may taste pretty average, the variety was enough to keep my plates piled and my stomach bloated, not to mention that some food are just heavenly (points to desserts).

For stepping in early, I was in no hurry to try everything. Basically, it is a more-than-ideal place to have a date or small-group gathering, with a scenic view of the greenery outside. If you would ask me, I say that spending S$54.00 for a long high tea is a steal.

Just do note that reservation in advance is strongly encouraged, and that they offer a 3-hour complimentary parking for dine-in guests.

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Be amazed by how so many people choose to go for a buffet to have their last meal of the year!

Shin Minori Japanese Restaurant offers 163 buffet items to choose from their ala carte buffet menu. Other than the standard sashimi platters that most people will opt for, I like the fact that they also have a grill counter in their open kitchen, where the chef skilfully grills the skewered stuff to a complete crisp without adding in the char. It was super shiok to eat an all-crispy chicken skin skewer with that crackling sound.

And if there is one item I say is a must-order during the buffet, it has to be the Gyuniku Shogayaki, because the “wok hei” of the beef simply reminded me of a mouth-watering beef hor fun.

But really, I was also hoping for them to consider just throwing in some drinking water as part of the buffet. The prices that you see on their ala-carte buffet cover price does not factor in any beverage.

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Sukiyaki is just another type of authentic Japanese fare, and Shabu Shabu Gyu Jin also offers the Sukiyaki option. With different types of meats such as beef (prices are tiered according to the type of beef), pork belly, chicken thigh and pork loin to choose from, one can have a quick all-you-can-eat buffet with complimentary vegetables bar, Japanese curry rice and ice cream. Personally I think their sliced American beef and pork loin tasted pretty good with the Sukiyaki. Plain water (free) is the perfect beverage to wash down the rich flavours of the sukiyaki sauce.

I could not make it for their 60-minute lunch buffet (from S$24.90, available 11.00am - 3.00pm), but their 70-minute Standard Course (S$31.90) was also a pretty good deal. Go ahead and order more trays of your favourite meat to make your money's worth.

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First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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