Bountiful Buffets

Bountiful Buffets

Buffets are the go to happy hunting ground for many a glutton looking to maximize their bang for their buck, but alas, there are far too many appalling buffet places that waste both the cash and calories of these gluttons. This list aims to separate the gold from the dross, so tuck in, and get ready for a bounty of blissful buffets.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

In the run up to Chinese New Year, I was wondering where to have a nice new year family dinner. Google decided to throw me a bone and suggested @tunglokgroup A La Carte Deluxe Seafood Buffet, which offers an impressive all you can eat selection of Chinese staples at $59.80++ per person. The variety on offer on the menu was incredible, but the individual dishes themselves didn’t inspire the same level of awe.⠀

Each table gets one serving of several special dishes, which includes Tung Lok’s famous chili crab. The crab portion is tailored to the number of patrons per table, so since it was only my dad & I, we got a claw, two legs and a whole lot of chili crab gravy. Pro tip: pull up to Tung Lok’s buffet with a big group for maximum crab. I’m not sure if it’s a difference in the standards between outlets, or if there was a drop in standard, but the chili crab wasn’t as sumptuous as I remember it to be. The gravy was a little watery, and it was lacking a bit of salt. Fortunately, the crab itself was fantastically fresh, so that’s a bit of a save.⠀

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the Braised Whole Abalone With Vegetables in Oyster Sauce and the Sautéed Scallops and Broccoli in XO Sauce were downright delish with flawlessly fresh & expertly cooked seafood starring in both dishes. The two most impressive dishes to feature from the buffet menu were the stellar Salmon Sashimi and the Deep Fried Sea Bass with Light Soy Sauce, and I wasn’t expecting either to be such a hit.⠀

The salmon was sliced to a tasteful thickness, and it was so breathtakingly fresh it puts sushi restaurants to shame. I never expected Tung Lok to serve up such sublime sashimi, but I’m glad they did. As for the sea bass, there was a distressing lack of sauce, but the fish was fantastically fried and remarkably fresh, boasting moist, firm flesh that was just begging to be devoured.⠀

Even though the dishes aren’t particularly superb, the extent of the spread alone makes the $59.80++ price of admission fairly worth it.

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I know, desserts are distractions designed by the buffet to divert you from where the money is, the meat & the seafood, but I can’t ignore these seemly sweets. I can’t, I’m not strong enough. Besides, everyone has a magical dessert stomach that manifests only when desserts are ingested.⠀

Colony’s dessert lineup might just be the most comprehensive one I’ve seen so far in Singapore. The Nyonya sweets like ondeh ondeh, rainbow kueh & ang ku kueh all earned the ultimate Asian accolade of ‘not too sweet’, but were all unremarkable otherwise. The real stars of the dessert were the chocolate bars, the refreshing orange sorbet, and the assorted pastries.⠀

I reckon that the chocolate bars are created in house, and I’m pleasantly amazed that they can actually compete with the established chocolate confectioners. As charming as the chocolate was, it paled in comparison to the perfection of the pastries. The Green Tea Raspberry was definitely the most aesthetically appealing one, and it was suitably sweet to boot. The sweet green tea filling & the raspberry glaze coexisted in harmony on a buttery, crumbly tart base, and the sweet balances with the sour superbly.⠀

As a chocoholic, I was smitten by the Chocolate Passionfruit Tart. The passionfruit was the zesty streak that enlivened the rich, mildly bitter dark chocolate tart, creating a decadent dessert that did tasted & felt oh so right. However, my favourite dessert of the night simply has to go to the breathtaking Baked Fruit Tart. The tart shell was beautifully buttery & captivatingly crumbly, and the sweet yet tart berry and assorted fruit filling was perfection. Sticky, sweet without going overboard, with a tinge of tartness from the berries to restrain the sugars, this tart is a tremendous treat to end the buffet.⠀

My body is so ready to get my stomach colonised by Colony again.⠀

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And now we get to the meat of the matter, Colony’s sweeping spread of meaty marvels. The third meat that deserves special mention are the delightful Dukkah Spiced Baby Lamb Ribs. Thanks to the dukkah spice, the tremendously tender lamb ribs are stunningly savoury with a little smidge of sweetness, and the lamb itself bears only the slightest trace of gaminess. While the traditional mint jelly condiment is suitable for the lamb, the herby & subtly spicy chimichurri was a much better accompaniment to the luscious lamb.⠀

Of course, there are a lot more mouthwatering meats in Colony’s boundless buffet, and I’ve made myself hungry while writing this. And now I want-no, I NEED to go back to Colony soon.

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And now we get to the meat of the matter, Colony’s sweeping spread of meaty marvels. My unexpected favourite of the night, however, is the Wok Fried Pork Rib in Aged Black Vinegar with Lychee. Despite the deceptively dry appearance, these juicy pork ribs slid right off the bone like a seasoned stripp-I mean, like butter off hot pancakes. The aged black vinegar, lychee and other seasonings combined to form a glaze that tasted similar to sweet & sour pork, but less sweet, with the sour edge slightly less sharp and more salty. ⠀

Of course, there are a lot more mouthwatering meats in Colony’s boundless buffet, and I’ve made myself hungry while writing this. And now I want-no, I NEED to go back to Colony soon.

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And now we get to the meat of the matter, Colony’s sweeping spread of meaty marvels. Every self respecting buffet makes a cut of beef rib the jewel of their meat lineup, and Colony certainly knows how to show off. ⠀

Their behemoth bone in grilled ribeyes are showcased splendidly, and the beef does the presentation justice. It’s rather juicy despite spending some time under the heat lamp of death, and flavour wise, that’s where the supplemental sauces shine. The standard whole grain mustard, Pommery mustard & horseradish are there to balance out the rich fattiness of the beef with their heat, and they’re quite a capable condiment. The pinot noir morel sauce was smooth, rich and full of umami morel mushroom bits, but I feel like it could’ve been a touch saltier to make the ribeye truly tremendous. Oddly enough, I found myself gravitating to the strangely satisfying onion marmalade to accompany the beef with its sweet & jammy attributes. ⠀

Of course, there are a lot more mouthwatering meats in Colony’s boundless buffet, and I’ve made myself hungry while writing this. And now I want-no, I NEED to go back to Colony soon.

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The answer is simple: we grab Colony’s stellar Singapore Chili Crab from the Chinese section and marry it to the lobster. The Singapore Chili Crab is already sufficiently sublime by its lonesome, with the succulent, sweet & soft crabmeat inundated with that dreamy deluge of sweet, spicy & savoury chili & egg gravy that breathes life into everything it touches. However, generously scoop the gravy all over the luscious lobster, and you have an indescribably indulgent seafood sensation. The sweet & savoury qualities of the thick gravy amplify the mild flavours of the lobster, and the firm texture of the lobster holds up to the thick eggy gravy superbly.⠀

An unlimited supply of grilled Boston Lobsters and sumptuous Singapore Chili Crab is more than sufficient to make Colony’s seafood dinner buffet ($112++ per head) worth every last penny, but wait, THERE’S MORE!

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It’s exceptionally easy to eat more than your money’s worth at Colony, especially when they offer up swanky seafood like Grilled Boston Lobsters, grilled à la minute. They don’t grill it to order, but they put out a few grilled lobsters, and slap a few more on the grill. I was a little skeptical at first, but after witnessing how extraordinarily quickly all the lobsters got snapped up by ravenous diners, I was convinced. The crustaceans simply don’t stay long enough on the line to lose their freshly grilled appeal!⠀

The lobsters are grilled to utter perfection, boasting a firm, dense, slightly springy yet tender texture. The flesh was not even remotely mushy, a testament to the freshness of the lobsters served. They were simply seasoned with clarified herb butter, chives & some salt, which was enough for these luscious lobsters to satisfy. However, we’re at Colony, we’re here for hedonism and excess. So how do we make a luxe dish even more opulent?⠀

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So I recently got blessed with a dinner at the legendary Colony buffet at @ritzcarltonmilleniasingapore , and I fully understand why all former patrons couldn’t stop singing its praises. It was the dinner buffet instead of the fabled Sunday brunch buffet, but I was more than thrilled by the luxurious spread.⠀

Once you’re done with your seafood diet, pick out some delightful charcuterie & cheese to please your palate. The air dried Wagyu beef & chorizo are the standouts from this stellar selection of cold cuts, and I even came back for seconds. But the most indulgent item here is certainly the fabulous foie gras terrine. It’s silky smooth, fantastically flavourful and flat out heavenly. It’s perfect on its own, and it’s also perfect when spread on one of Colony’s freshly baked breads.⠀

The scale of Colony’s extensive buffet is impossible to cover in one post, and the buffet has well & truly colonised my stomach space.

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So I recently got blessed with a dinner at the legendary Colony buffet at @ritzcarltonmilleniasingapore , and I fully understand why all former patrons couldn’t stop singing its praises. It was the dinner buffet instead of the fabled Sunday brunch buffet, but I was more than thrilled by the luxurious spread. There were so many options to start my opulent onslaught with, but I opened with the spectacular seafood bar. ⠀

The stellar snow crab was flawlessly fresh, and is probably the closest you’ll ever get to a crab fresh from the ocean without catching it yourself. The succulent snow crab flesh was stunningly sweet, and mixed with the natural brininess, it was tasty enough as it was. But of course, we’re here to overindulge, so squeeze some lemon, and either light up the night with dashes of Tabasco, or up the luxuriousness with the impossibly flavourful cocktail sauce. ⠀

The surprise of the night were definitely the langoustines, I certainly wasn’t expecting them to be as superb as they were. The texture of langoustine is firmer but less bouncy compared to a regular prawn, and it’s basically a supersized shrimp. The flesh was sumptuous & sweet, and was the perfect pair for the scintillating spicy citrus soy dressing.

The scale of Colony’s extensive buffet is impossible to cover in one post, and the buffet has well & truly colonised my stomach space.

1 Like

So I recently got blessed with a dinner at the legendary Colony buffet at @ritzcarltonmilleniasingapore , and I fully understand why all former patrons couldn’t stop singing its praises. It was the dinner buffet instead of the fabled Sunday brunch buffet, but I was more than thrilled by the luxurious spread. There were so many options to start my opulent onslaught with, but I opened with the spectacular seafood bar. ⠀

The oysters are Fine de Claire no. 3s (the smallest ones), these mollusks aren’t particularly satisfying, but they are still tasty. Mildly briny, clean and creamy, a dash of lemon & Tabasco is what they need to truly shine.⠀

The scale of Colony’s extensive buffet is impossible to cover in one post, and the buffet has well & truly colonised my stomach space.

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I finally scheduled a visit to @lajiangshanhotpot recently and I must admit that the hype is well warranted. At $18.80++ for the base BBQ & hotpot buffet package, an additional $2.80++ for the hotpot broth and $2.30++ for free flow drinks & ice cream, you can easily gorge yourself stupid for under thirty bucks a person. If you’re looking to go a little more bougie, you can splash more cash for a more premium buffet at $28.80++.⠀

The basic package is serviceable, with offerings like cumin chicken, black pepper chicken & pork, pork belly, thinly sliced beef, sausages, cheese tofu and all the usual stuff available. If you’re interested in pure quantity, you could do a lot worse than La Jiang Shan’s basic buffet. The premium options are mighty tempting though, with wagyu beef, garlic pork belly, premium fatty pork, squid, scallops and even xiao long baos, so I’ll definitely be back to splash the cash.⠀

If you’re a first timer to La Jiang Shan like I am, squirt some of the oil in the squirt bottle that can be found on every table onto the metal hotplate, and then put the grease paper on top. I didn’t realise this hack until I was close to two hours into stuffing myself, when a guy took the table next to me and did this. Not only did the grease paper stick to the hotplate, his meats cooked astonishingly fast compared to my unlubricated meat. Cue my brain exploding from this three hundred IQ technique, and me introducing my face to my palm for not realising this earlier.⠀

Well, now that I know better, it sounds like I need to go for round two to correct my mistake.

Make no mistake, @holidayinnexpresssuitesnovena Festive and Lobster Buffet is all about the seafood smorgasbord, especially those luscious lobsters. Sure, the other dishes on offer are pretty palatable, but they are just a sideshow to the seafood main event.⠀

As you might expect, the lobsters are in high demand and get snatched up incredibly quickly. While waiting for Express Café & Bar to top up the lobsters, snack on some scrumptious Wasabi Prawns. These springy shrimp are coated in a crisp tempura batter, deep fried and coated in a creamy & nose tingling wasabi mayo, and are absolutely addictive.⠀

Thank you so much for the warm hospitality @holidayinnexpresssuitesnovena , and thank you for the invite @esth3r_esth3r!

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol. Insta: @okwhotookmyusername

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