Category Archives: review

Beauty in the Pot, The Centrepoint

Go!

Opened by the brains behind your colourful multi flavoured Xiao Long Bao, Paradise Group has once again expanded its fan base with Beauty in the Pot. To give a quick summary, my friend referred to this as “an alternative to Hai Di Lao” — great food, great service standards. I haven’t tried HDL before because I really don’t fancy the idea of queuing indefinitely but I’ve definitely heard raving reviews about the service and quality of food. So when I heard that this was an alternative, I was hopeful! Best thing about this place is that they have two seatings for the dinner crowd so you can make a reservation for either 530pm or 8pm. 

Look ma, no more tapping toes and waiting endlessly for your turn (I.e., you can go gai gai until 8pm). I got my table at 8pm sharp.

Long table of sauces.

Let’s start with the sauces. You’ll be charged a condiment charge of $3.50 per head so why not make the most out of it right? Before you go on and say “huh so ridiculous to be charging for sauces pfffft”, I want to let you know that Beauty in the Pot takes their sauce business seriously. 

Instructions on the board that will teach you how to make the best combination sauces. I liked their crispy garlic! 

Spoilt for choice? Not confident that you’ll be mixing correctly? Their service staff will volunteer to concoct one for you. 

(Left to right) Spicy pork broth, tomato with sweet corn, cooling coconut, shark’s cartilage (also known as the famous collagen broth).

Beauty in the Pot allows you to choose up to four soup bases. Of course, each soup base is priced differently, and whether you choose 1/4 portion or 1/2 portion, the pricing is proportionate. 

On first sip, the cooling coconut was most mediocre but by the end of the meal, my friends were all going for the cooling coconut. They felt that the rest of the broth were too thick after boiling for so long. I personally preferred the tomato with sweet corn. 

Meat platter. Pork and beef slices with beef cubes.

An assortment of pastes. 

I liked the one with the fish roe one the most. It’s chewy and “Q”. Do ask the service staff for help to scoop these into your soup.

Dumplings, meatball with cheese, Chinese cabbage.

No idea what this is, but it was so good! The trick is to dip this into the pipping hot soup for just three seconds. What you’ll get is a soft yet crunchy texture with a souperlicious mouthful of soup. So awesome we ordered another helping to share.

Mushroom platter.

 Don’t forget to eat your fruits!

Yuzu crushed ice, complement of Beauty in the Pot.

I was told they rotate their desserts. I really like yuzu so I’m going to count myself lucky. Don’t be shy to ask for more than one serving!

My experience at Beauty in the Pot was great. For the amount of food above, we paid in total about $200. Slightly pricey, but for the quality and service, I would say it’s worth it.

Beauty in the Pot is currently running a promotion. You’ll get a 20% discount on all food orders if you order after 1030pm every night. Be sure to make your reservations in advanced though, I called at 9pm on a Saturday night to make reservations but was told that the next available table was only at 1230am. Haha, my friend remarked that I had until 6am to try… (the Centerpoint branch is open until 6am whut.)

176 Orchard Road, #05-16, S(238843)

Daily 1130am to 630am

+65 62353557

Website here

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Himawari, Alexandra Road

Worth a try.

Himawari is one of the better quality ala carte Japanese buffets in Singapore. Its menu variety is extensive, but there are little pockets here and there which I thought could have been done better.

Sashimi platter. Large chunks of fish.

Natto Maguro. Remember to season it with lots of soy sauce!

Agedashi Toufu. Very light batter, but the sauce could be more flavourful.

Teriyaki Salmon. This was good! I think they added something to their teriyaki sauce. It’s not the commercial teriyaki that you can find outside.

Chicken Katsu Toji. This was good too.

Mixed Tempura. Lightly battered which made it really crunchy and not jelat at all.

Beef fillet. Skip this. It was too beefy and cold when served.

Amaebi. All time favourite.

California Roll.

Crab Patty.

Sukiyaki. The sweetness was not too overwhelming, which kept us asking for more beef.

Sukiyaki beef. Yums!

They offer sushi as well and I know what you’re thinking. Why eat sushi at a buffet right? I forgot to take a picture but their sushi is done Japanese style, meaning, toppings are more than the rice. I get super frustrated with Singapore sushi because the rice is always more than the topping so I was quite pleased with Himawari’s sushi.

Himawari at Alexandra also serves Shabu-Shabu and Teppanyaki but we were too full to try their Shabu-Shabu. As for the Teppanyaki, you have to proceed to an outdoor seating area and dine there. Visiting for lunch, it was scorching hot and not a single soul went outside for the Teppanyaki. Time for Himawari to rethink their Teppanyaki?

For the lunch time price of $57 after taxes and service charge, I felt that Himawari lacked that premium feel to its buffet. Though the variety was arguably excellent, the whole buffet felt very basic. The sashimi variety was very limited, no ikura (salmon roe), no cha soba, no fancy sushi rolls, limited grilled dishes, budget ice cream, and more.

What irked me really was how they would impose a tonne of additional charges on you if you chose different options. For example, if you wanted to change your Shabu-Shabu soup to a better flavoured one – additional 5++. Fresh wasabi – additional 1.50++. Free flow soft drinks and one scoop of premium ice cream – additional 8++. Even wanting a cup of coffee would set you back by another 4++. Any desire to visit Himawari a second time has been killed by this.

991B Alexandra Road, #01-08/09, S(119970)

+65 6272 1110

Daily 1130pm to 230pm, 6pm to 10pm

Website here. You can download their buffet menu from there.

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Rise Buffet, Marina Bay Sands

Go!

This post is going to be a picture spam. Rise buffet at Marina Bay Sands Tower 1 is well stocked with full stations that makes your buck worth every penny. It’s a feast for both your eyes and taste buds.

Freshly shucked oysters. The oysters were big and juicy. While it was a feast for the eyes, the oysters lacked the sweet tinge of seawater. A pity, but compensated for by the size.

Prawns were really fresh!

Sashimi counter. Bellies in my belly.

Noodle station (laksa and prawn mee) plus cooked food at the far end. The laksa lacked the oomph. Prawn mee was good. Cooked food was unremarkable.

Roast meat station. They only had roast chicken. The meat was a little dry, but overall not bad.

Loved their pasta with homemade meatballs. Homemade meatballs, as easy as it sounds, can definitely go wrong. I’m glad Rise did it well. The sauce however, had a burnt texture. I think it’s because of the constant heating throughout the night. Ayee I should have taken of the end product. The pasta was served in a very nice plate. Definitely feels atas. haha.

Do not miss the bread counter. There’s more bread at the back! 

I don’t normally go for the chocolate fountain at buffets, but this, is pure fun. Cleaning this monster should be an enormous task though. 🤔

Desserts! Their creme caramel was not too bad. Do try their lemon tart with meringue. 

Bread pudding and ice cream. Try their bread pudding. I also had passionfruit banana sorbet, which was too sour for my liking. Would have tried the rest of the ice creams (they also had apricot sorbet) but I was a goner by then. If only I had a third stomach for desserts.

Cotton Cindy! Tell me this buffet isn’t winning. 

What I liked about Rise is that they have the luxury of space and creativity to play around with their flavours and sauces. Apparently their dinner buffets are themed and for Wednesdays it was supposed to be American theme. Don’t think they made a big deal about it because all the food there were pretty expected international buffet food, except maybe for the buttermilk fried chicken which was sitting at one corner…
Every now and then they run credit card promotions, so do call and enquire about the deals. For me, I applied to be a Sands rewards member on the spot (free membership) and they gave me a 30% discount for the table. Bill came out to be about $60 per pax. Really worth it.

10 Bayfront Avenue, S(018956)

+65 66885525

Daily lunch buffet: 12pm to 230pm

$52 per adult, $24 per child

Daily dinner buffet: 6pm to 1030pm

$72 per adult, $38 per child

Very informative website here 

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Burp Kitchen & Bar, Bedok Reservoir Road

Worth a try.

Make sure you have enough time for a stroll after your meal. Even better if you’re there during the evenings. Burp Kitchen & Bar is strategically situated right next to Bedok Reservoir, so you get greats views with affordable dining.

Indoor seating is limited, so do make reservations if you’re coming on a weekend for dinner.

Triple Cheese ($15). American cheese, mozzarella, cheddar cheese on a patty topped with bacon on a charcoal bun.

Beefy Shrooms ($16). Sauteed mushrooms on a patty topped with truffle mayo.

Both burgers come with a side of potato chips.

I blame media reviews for my over-expectation of this place. Yes the scenery views are good and the interesting variety of mains are a bonus, but my burgers weren’t that fantastic. The meat patty was not as juicy as I hoped it would be and the burger tasted rather bland even with the toppings. The potato chips are just snacks you can pick off the supermarket shelves.

Wide variety that looks super tempting but I was too full.

I am disappointed with their burgers, but maybe their quesadilla, tacos and pasta are a different story?

740 Bedok Reservoir Road, #01-3165, S(470740)

Closed Mondays.

Tuesdays to Fridays – 4pm to 12midnight

Saturdays and Sundays – 12 noon to 12 midnight

+65 84284722

Facebook here

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Gudetama Cafe, Suntec City

Worth a try.

For such cutesy cafes, it’s the experience and ambience that counts, never the food. Look at this! I’m no big fan of Gudetama, but see this already I also want to go in. Plus it’s pretty hard to miss, given its close proximity to the convention centre taxi stand.

The pictures on the walls can move! Hmm, what’s that on the top left hand corner of the picture?

A Gudetama waffle!!! Design effort maximum points!

Haha, the table next to mine had a “Bo chup” with Gudetama slacking under the egg shell.


The menu is playfully designed. 

Big “Nua” Breakfast. Food looks similar to pic! Kawaii ne. The bread was pleasantly sweet. Other than that, this was a pretty normal dish.

Messy Chicken Salad. Look at the yolk. Tsk. Sorry I forgot to take down the cute name that comes with it!

Lobster bisque with egg. They did somethingto the egg to make it look so round and perfect. The soup was too heavy for my liking, but I liked the crusty bread bowl. 

Chocobanana. Quite nice! I thought the bananas were only at the top but the drink had them blended in as well.

Okay la, I was very impressed when I stepped in for the first time but once the novelty wore off, I was back to my nua self. Oh, don’t be shy, take pics with the Gudetama figures! I paiseh and left the cafe without taking any. Sigh. Regret!

3 Temasek Boulevard, #01-361, Suntec City Mall, S(038983) 

Monday to Thursday – 9am to 10pm

Friday to Sunday – 8am to 10pm 

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Fart Tartz, Expo

Try it!

This beautiful place sits at a corner of Expo (it’s so far but I think there’s a Chinatown branch so fear not!) and I’m so glad I chanced upon it. The outdoor garden themed cafe makes your day cheerier if the full length windows by the seats haven’t already done so.

Why say no to something so pretty?

I didn’t come here for desserts unfortunately, but they have very interesting stuff on their menu.

Bulbous Oriental ($14.90). Spaghetti with smoked duck and fish roe.

At first impression, smoked duck doesn’t sound like it would go well with fish roe so I was skeptical of the combination but it was surprisingly good! I mean, look at that amount of fish roe!!! Crunchy fish roe in every bite.

Goldie Salted Egg Chix ($15.90). 

First time I’m trying a salted egg sauce that’s mixed with mayo. The mayo makes the overall dish texture fuller and creamier. I don’t really know what’s the dough like pastry complementing the chicken, but it’s light and fluffy so you wouldn’t feel jelat at the end of the dish. 

Overall I would give it a thumbs up. Not only for the food, but for the cosy setup that obviously took a lot of effort and thoughts into making this place the way it is. 

1 Expo Drive, Singapore Expo, Max-Atria (Foyer 1), #02-04, S486150

+65 64932901

Monday to Thursday 9AM to 6PM

Friday to Sunday 9AM to 8PM

Website here

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Talay Kata, Orchard Central

Edit: I tried this place end May 2017 and the verdict? No. Avoid at all costs.

Original post below. Let me describe what has changed. 

1. The meat selection. I dropped by for dinner and was surprised that the meat spread had dropped in variety. No more pork jowl, and the beef chunks were so rubbery that I couldn’t chew them completely.

2. The scallops. Once big and juicy, it’s now miserably tiny and doesn’t look fresh. 

3. The prawns. It was really fresh in the past. This time round it was powdery, and some even disintegrated while peeling.

4. The sauces. Looking at the pictures below, I realised there were 5 sauces in the past. Only three sauces left now. They got rid of the peanut sauce and the black sauce.

5. DIY papaya salad counter. This was more if a hygiene issue for me. The papaya slices and condiments were swamped with flies. Swamped. I should have taken a video. YUCKS.

6. Chicken broth. It was tasteless.

7. Dessert counter. This was my next biggest disappointment besides the drop in variety of meat. Used to be able to do your own ice kachang. Now?

Some rice cakes which looked so unappetising that nobody touched it the entire night.

8. Lastly, the drinks dispenser. 

I am pretty sure those greenish black spots aren’t rust. Separately, actually I saw something blackish at the bottom corner of the ice box when the ice was running low. I ignored it because I didn’t want it to spoil my meal. On hindsight I should have alerted the restaurant to this.

I don’t know if they are running into debt issues, because it certainly seems like it given the cuts ain variety and quality. At this poor baseline they are running, sooner or later they would be forced to close down.

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Original post:

Nested within the buffet spreads of Kiseiki and Shabusai on the 8th floor of Ochard Central, Talay Kata is a new expansion to what I call the international ring of buffets in Orchard Central. Mookata in Orchard. Fancy!

I went for lunch though, and therefore understandable if the buffet spread looked a bit short on variety. 

Meat selection includes pork belly and an assortment of other parts such as pork jowl! Pork jowl makes for really good BBQ meat. When BBQ-ed it is crisp on the inside and moist on the inside. So I was pleasantly surprised here. There’s chicken slices as well, but unfortunately no beef. 

Seafood selection really wasn’t spectacular, but the fish slices were thick and chunky.

Great assortment of processed food like sotong balls. There’s the usual lobster and cheese balls too.

Don’t forget your vegetables, which come in a metal basket like this:

Talk about authenticity!

Sauce counter! Get your usual mookata spicy fixes here.

Make your own papaya salad. I really liked this counter because I can decide what goes into my salad (like lots of peanut) and what doesn’t (like dried shrimps). I made myself 3 servings of this.


They have cooked food too so if you want a break from the non stop BBQ, have yourself a bowl of soup or some cooked vegetables. The tomyam soup could be a little more spicy though.

My mookata pot. A special mention goes to the chicken broth. It is the best broth I’ve ever tasted for a mookata! Definitely no MSG because I don’t recall myself drinking more water than usual. So if you’re ever there, do try the chicken broth. It’s super yummy.

DIY ice kachang or fruits to end off your meal. For the inner child in you, they have ice creams too! 

Free flow drinks including lemonade and hot beverages.

At a very affordable lunch pricing of $18.80++, this Thai Mookata joint in town could do a little better in terms of meat variety, but is definitely worth a visit. Now I’m just wondering what they have for dinner…

181 Orchard Road, #08-04/05, S(238896)

+65 6634 0551

Mon – Fri 11:30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

Sat, Sun, Eve of PH & PH 11:30am to 5pm, 6pm to 10pm

Website here

 

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