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Shima Teppanyaki Buffet, Goodwood Park Hotel

Worth a try.

Shima is synonymous to teppanyaki. I myself love a good teppanyaki (some food courts serve really good teppanyaki btw!) and when I heard Shima offers teppanyaki buffet, it was game on.

Went with my family and we got really good seats and a teppanyaki chef all to ourselves.

Although it’s a buffet, they would first serve you one serving of every item on the menu. You can then request for your favourite dishes thereafter.

For starters, they offer sashimi, tempura prawn and shisamo, and gyoza. I would say give these dishes a miss except for the salmon sashimi.

While you’re nibbling on your starters, keep your eyes peeled for the chef as he readies his tools. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the performance. Can’t help but notice the cute pair of goggles worn by the chef when he’s cooking.

All the food was already apportioned for my party of six before we arrived. So the cooking was rather seamless, one dish after another.

Chicken.

The chicken was well marinated in teriyaki sauce. It was juicy and tender, yet at the same time it was a little charred and caramelised.

Prawns and squid.

A quick way to tell how well trained a teppanyaki chef is, is to see how he cooks the prawns and squid. These two items get overcooked really quickly, and you wouldn’t want them to be undercooked. Glad to say the chef at my table was well skilled.

Salmon.

I have to say that my favourite dish at this teppanyaki buffet was the cooked salmon. The chef will first cook the salmon in a self made aluminium foil container laden with teriyaki sauce mix, before placing it into the cute little clam dish you see above. Again, the salmon was cooked perfectly, another testimony to the level of the chef.

Beef steak.

The heaviest item of the buffet is the steak. It also came the last, so if you’re a big fan of steaks, do save some space for them! I requested for mine to be medium rare, and it turned out perfect.

p/s they serve teppanyaki oysters as well but it didn’t look good on picture.

Lemongrass jelly with raisins.

After my meal I was whisked away to an empty table and served a cup of refreshing ice cool jelly. Would say that this ended my meal nicely as it cuts through all the grease of the teppanyaki.

At $59++ for a weekend lunch, I think it might be worth the while if you are a serious huge fan of teppanyaki, and a big eater. If not, you should probably spend your money on a decent international buffet instead. To be honest, I didn’t get any second servings apart from the salmon, just because it was so well cooked. Felt quite bo hua, you know?

Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, #01-00, S(228221)

Daily: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 1030pm

+65 6734 6281

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Weekend High Tea Buffet, Ritz-Carlton Millenia

No.

Surprise surprise. I left Ritz-Carlton feeling full, but very unsatisfied and unimpressed. Their Avant-garde high tea buffet just did not hit the correct flavours and balance.

Grand entrance to the place. Just wished they could have made better use of the layout as the tables were all rather close to each other.

Refreshing welcome drink to get your taste buds going.

Varied choice of tea and coffee with some unique flavours like Pai Mu Tan & Melon. Unfortunately, they limit their selection to one flavour per person. Erm, choose wisely?

From top right clockwise: Chicken Mayonnaise with Chestnut in Cranberry Roll, Egg and Cheese Sandwich with Forest Mushroom Mayonnaise and Garden Cress, Smoked Salmon with Sauerkraut in Carrot Bread.

From top, clockwise: Pan-fried Wagyu Beef Patty with Melted Cheese and Tomato Salsa, Pan-fried Vegetarian Gyoza, Filo Prawn Roll with Thai Mayonnaise Chilli Sauce.

Egg Cocotte with Mushroom Ragout in Onion Marmalade.

Hmm I had a bit of the expectation versus reality moment here. Egg cocotte sounds really sophisticated and I was all looking forward to trying this jar, but on first slurp, I wished they had used onsen eggs instead. Just didn’t get that full on creamy texture.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken with Orange Basil Sauce.

This is hands down the best item at the high tea fare. Juicy, flavourful and saporific.

From top, clockwise: Seared Tuna with Cauliflower Mousse, Quail Egg with Cocktail Sauce, Poached Pear with Roquefort Cheese, Goose Liver Parfait with Port Wine Jelly.

There was nothing particularly outstanding in any of the above bites, but the Goose Liver Parfait with Port Wine Jelly was the worst! Here’s a good example of Avant-garde gone wrong. Either that, or my poor man’s taste buds are to blame. Come on, foie gras should remain in its patty form, served warm. Not cold, and certainly not in a super dense mousse form. Urgh.

From top, clockwise: Olive Oil Biscuit with Rhubarb Moouse, Strawberry and White Chocolate Tartlet, Carrot Cake Verrine.

The Carrot Cake Verrine is a must try item here at the high tea. Who can resist something with a pretty little flower on top?

Assorted chocolate truffles.

The truffles were one of the best bites at this high tea I kid you not.

Ice cream and sorbet counter. They have Baked Alaska Flambe too.

I tried the Baked Alaska Flambe which was quite unpleasant tasting. They lighted the baked Alaska right at the counter, meaning you gotta carry the scorching hot plate all the way back to your table. Almost burnt my finger doing so. The sorbet that accompanied the dish had a super bitter taste. We couldn’t figure out what sorbet it was, but it definitely deterred us from taking a second bite.

From top left, clockwise: Dark Chocolate Mousse with White Coffee Chantilly, Pistachio Cream Citrus Tartlet, Mango and Raspberry Clafoutis, Banana Cream Pie with Milk Chocolate Chantilly.

There were also a couple of tarts that I didn’t get to try because I was too full and unmotivated based on track record, but my guests who tried them didn’t rave over them too.

I get that the food at Ritz Carlton’s weekend high tea may not resonate well with me, but when my party of 5 other guests feel the same, something is not quite there, right? The buffet costs $68 after taxes, not worth it in my opinion.

7 Raffles Avenue, S(039799)

Weekend high tea buffet: 230pm to 5pm

+65 6337 8888

Website with menu here

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Cafe Mosaic, Carlton Hotel

Worth a try (if you love oysters).

I fondly remember my experience at Cafe Mosaic’s dinner buffet over Christmas a few years ago, so when my husband jioed me to eat this buffet again I was pumped! He used the Chope 1 for 1 deal, equivalent to $88++ for 2 adults.

Was it worth it? Depends on whether you can eat a lot of oysters.

Oyster station.

Pick out your oysters and the chef will shuck them for you on the spot. I liked that the oysters were pretty big and fresh. The blue light from the station was quite blinding though. Probably their way of making you slow down on the oysters.

Crustaceon station.

I can’t help but think that buffets that put out the mini lobsters look alike are in fact just trying to increase the value of the buffet.

Sashimi and sushi station. The normal stuff here.

Rojak station.

I love a good rojak station where I can control the amount of spice and sugar I add into my rojak. This station wasn’t exactly fantastic, but it had the bare essentials.

Noodle station.

Uniquely, they serve Mee Sua which I enjoyed! Remember to add the vinegar.

Fried Carrot Cake.

This is one of the highlights of the buffet. When eaten hot, the carrot cake was super flavourful and satisfying. It certainly deserves seconds but unfortunately when I took my second serving they had already pre-cooked a lot and hence I didn’t get a piping hot one.

Cooked food station.

The cooked food station had the usual fare — sweet and sour pork, seafood in Thai style sauce, but what I liked from here (and was hot in demand throughout the night) was the crayfish!

Most crayfish at buffets tend to be really tough and tasteless, but this dish was really tender and juicy. I’m not sure if it’s because of the chef’s skill, or because they had to churn this dish so quickly that the meat wasn’t overcooked.

Dessert section.

Looking at my pictures now, I think I was so unimpressed with Cafe Mosaic’s desserts that I was uninspired to take good pictures. The desserts tasted as good as they looked, rather meh.

The ice creams were so much better! Apart from the usual strawberry and chocolate, they also serve Thai milk tea flavour. The ice cream counter definitely helped to raise the bar of the dessert space a little higher. My favourite was the lemon ice cream.

Overall, I thought that the buffet spread was too limited for the price I paid. Yes they had oysters and crayfish but that was pretty much it. What really irked me was they had one whole area (the long space equivalent to the cooked food counter pictured above) filled with fruits. It really gave the whole buffet a cheapened feeling, and I was super put off by that sight. This would be my last time at Cafe Mosaic for their buffet dinner.

76 Bras Basah Road, Carlton Hotel Level 1, S(189558)

Daily dinner: 6pm to 10pm

+65 6311 8195

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Beach Road Kitchen, JW Mariott South Beach

Go!!!

We can never have enough of good buffets, right? So when my colleague highly recommended South Beach Kitchen for dinner, I immediately said yes without even asking about the price. (It’s $78++ btw.)

Floor to ceiling glass panels are just a hint of what’s to come.

Introducing the cold room. Literally it’s a room with all your cold appetizers. You now the Heineken advertisement where the guys went crazy after stepping into a room full of beer? I had that same feeling here. Feel free to pick out lobsters, crabs, prawns, oysters (freshly shucked on the spot!!), sashimi, carpaccio and more.

Oysters are freshly shucked on the spot. Really fresh!

Their salad section is grown to impress. On the top shelf, you can use the scissors provided to snip off your favourite veggies for the freshest greens.

Right next to the salad bar is the noodle bar. Pick your noodles yong tau foo style and have it with their Laksa soup.

Roasted beef was good! Most places do not do their roasted beef right but Beach Road Kitchen passed my standards.

They have a pizza oven can you believe it? Sadly though, their famous truffle pizza was a total disappointment. No truffle taste at all.

Grill station! Grill your favourite dishes like seabass or promphet here. It takes about 15 minutes, so do order early.

If you can’t wait for the grilled fishes, go for the grilled meats! They use iberico pork and galbi beef. Very good textures for grilled meat.

Small but sufficient Indian cuisine station. At the very end of the station is the Hainanese Chicken Rice station with roast meat. I think you can give that a miss. The chicken was too dry and the taste was forgettable.

The following pictures are Beach Road Kitchen’s dessert station. It was super impressive.

There are so many variations of ice cream! Soft serve, ice cream in cups, cookie ice cream sandwiches… You will really be spoilt for choice here. If you had to forgo one however, skip the ice cream in cups. The flavours look tantalizing, but it was overly creamy. You’ll be done after the third scoop.

They also have a waffles and pancake station. Feel free to ask for bananas in your pancakes. Top it up with Nutella and you’re in heaven.

End off your buffet with coffee or tea. I liked that they use TWG tea, really fitting for the quality of the buffet.

Overall, I liked the presentation of the food and the layout of the place. The seating capacity is huge, so I would advise you to start your buffet as early as you can to avoid the crowd. There were more hits than misses, and in my opinion, Beach Road Kitchen is worth the money. Definitely within top 5 on my list.

30 Beach Road, S(189763)

Weekdays: 630am to 10am, 12noon to 230pm, 6pm to 10pm

Weekends: 630am to 11am, 12noon to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

+65 6818 1913

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Tea Lounge Weekend High Tea, Regent Hotel

Go!!!

How not to have your hopes up high when you see something like that greeting you as you step into Tea Lounge at Regent Hotel for their weekend high tea?

Fortunately, Tea Lounge lives up to the hype, and is worth every penny.

Tea Lounge’s weekend high tea is buffet style. While this means that you don’t get that atas feeling of being served little bites on a three tier fancy cake stand, but what you get in exchange is a whole selection of exquisite staples and sweets.

The Cold Dishes

Top left clockwise: Pistachio Crusted Tuna Salad with Avocado Cream, Pork Belly Salad with Anchovy Mayonnaise, Barbecued Duck Salad.

I liked the duck salad of the three. It’s wrapped in a thin slice of cucumber which makes the whole canape very refreshing.

Savory Bites

Top left clockwise: Roasted Wagyu Beef with Truffle Mayonnaise, Smoked Duck Breast and Mango Sandwich, Chanterelle Mushroom and Raclette Cheese Tart, Champagne Poached Tiger Prawn on Squid Ink Toast.

The Chanterelle Mushroom and Raclette Cheese Tart was mind blowing. The unassuming savoury tart was really flavourful and fragrant. On the contrary, the Smoked Duck Breast and Mango Sandwich was a little off. It was wrongly paired, and the components on its own were unflattering as well.

Caviar Station.

Surprise after surprise. Caviar madness! They have a good variety of condiments to go along with the caviar. I had mine with the raspberry dressing. Yums.

Local Delights

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.

From left: Kueh Pie-Ti, Braised Pork Belly, Fried

Laksa.

Wagyu Beef Rump.

Seafood Congee with Pork Meat Ball.

Surprise surprise. The best local delight was actually the Seafood Congee with Pork Meat Balls. Just look at the colour of the congee. Orange! Imagine the amount of prawns they had to put in to achieve this colour. So simple yet so delicious.

You can forgo the laksa. As tempting as it may look, the laksa wasn’t nice at all. I couldn’t bring myself to eat another spoonful of this.

Bonus dish! Char Siew with Passionfruit Sauce.

Halfway through the buffet the chef came out and started handing this dish out to everyone. The outermost layer was superbly well caramelised, and the fat to lean pork ratio was just nice. The Passionfruit Sauce cuts the oilyness very cleanly, making you crave for piece after piece.

Desserts

Yay, the highlight of any high tea — cakes!

From left clockwise: Poached Pear with Sugar Syrup, Citrus Cheesecake Tart, Caramel Apple Yuzu with Tarte Tatin.

From top left clockwise: Raspberry Lychee Religieuse, Cassis Montblanc, Tahitian Vanilla Caramelised Pecan Eclair.

From top left clockwise: Vanilla Panna Cotta, Passionfruit Vanilla Macaroon, Caramel Chocolate.

Sauces for scones and waffles (not in picture), Croquembouche, assorted macaroons.

Asian desserts and assorted fruits.

Vanilla Gelato, Raspberry Sorbet.

This is where I feel that Regent Tea Lounge’s Weekend High Tea Buffet is worth your every penny. Just the cakes alone is enough to impress. And true to my expectations, the cakes were multilayered, just like those designer cakes you eat outside.

The bill came up to be about $150 for two pax. I know, with this amount you can eat a full fledge dinner buffet at a proper restaurant, but just consider the amount of effort required to make the dishes, and the exquisiteness of it. I don’t think you can get such food creativity in a single place elsewhere in Singapore. At least I can’t.

Tea Lounge, Regent Hotel Lobby

1 Cuscaden Road, 249715

Weekends: 12pm to 230pm, 3pm to 530pm

+65 6725 3246

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Buffet Town, Raffles City

No.

This is the worst buffet I’ve ever eaten.

Buffet Town is located strategically at the basement of Raffles City. This means you can eat your fill and shop off the calories after that (actually maybe you wouldn’t want to do that). Long queues were already forming before they even opened for lunch. For that, I really wonder why. (picture below doesn’t capture the long queue which is on the other side of the entrance)

You have to pay before you enter, and an invisible stamp which is only visible under UV light would be stamped on your hand in case you need to leave and re-enter the eatery.

Seafood on ice. Oysters, prawns, mussels, crayfish. Nothing fantastic about this station, plus the oysters were rather tasteless. I usually start my buffet by taking four oysters, but I struggled to finish even the third one.

Sushi and sashimi counter. Don’t bother going for the sashimi. It didn’t feel fresh at all – texture was mushy and there was a slight bad smell to it.

Roasted pork collar. Unfortunately this was overly dry.

Baked chicken, fish and vegetables. They were over baked and their meat became too tough as a result.

Assorted pizza. I thought the formaggi (cheese) pizza was the best, but they all had soggy, oily crusts.

Grilled salmon fish head. Hits and misses for this. Sometimes it’s really well grilled, but sometimes it’s overly grilled. They don’t really control their timing and consistency.

Pork and beef satay. This was the best dish of the entire buffet! The pork always runs out though, and a queue would form just when the pork is about to be done. Slightly disappointed that the consistency wasn’t there. Took satay from two different batches and while one was well cooked, the other was overcooked and tough.

Teppanyaki. Not much of a choice with the ingredients, and the wait for this can get quite long sometimes.

Assorted tempura – prawn, long beans, mushroom, eggplant. The batter used to fry the tempura was quite heavy and lacked flavour on its own.

Chicken rice and laksa. Didn’t get to try their chicken rice, but their laksa was a little too heavy on the coconut milk. The laksa soup wasn’t strong enough.

Forget about the desserts. Skip this section entirely.

Actually, I started this post with “worth a try” because Buffet Town really has a decent variety and it’s not too pricey ($40 for weekend lunch). But after reviewing all the food above, I figured that you should spend your money elsewhere.

Perhaps it’s because of its variety and price, Buffet Town attracts bargain hunters – people who have that “kiasu” attitude and won’t hesitate to cut your queues and take more than what they need. This, together with the subpar food quality, greatly affected my dining experience.

Won’t be putting their details here because really, don’t go.

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Straits Cafe, Hotel Rendezvous

Go!

Straits Cafe at Hotel Rendezvous is no stranger to the fellow Singaporean. It’s buffets are well known for its selection of peranakan food and durian desserts. I visited them a few years back and left with a good impression, so when my friends jio-ed me for a weekday buffet dinner, I immediately agreed.

All stations in Straits Cafe buffet are rather small and limited, but thankfully the quality makes up for it.

Cold station. They’ve got oysters! The crabs were really fresh as well – Whole, large chunks of meat coming off after the shell is cracked. As for sashimi, they didn’t have salmon belly, which was a little disappointing.

Assortment of cooked food which had more hits than misses. The chilli crayfish meat was tough although the sauce was good.

Apparently, they claim their laksa to be award winning. Well award winning or not, the laksa was fantastic. I had two servings of this.

Beef hor fun. The hor fun had the wok hei taste which was pleasantly surprising. However, they precooked everything and only topped the sticky gravy over the hor fun upon order, so the dish wasn’t hot till shiok kind.

Make your own Kueh Pie-Ti. They didn’t have the sweet sauce which I thought was crucial to the dish!

Make your own Rojak. This was pretty good, except that the you tiao was a bit too dry and hard. I personally prefer the moist yet crunchy type.

Dessert station. Durian desserts are definitely the star of the buffet. The rest of the desserts were ordinary.

The ice cream corner was quite good though! Loved the black sesame and coconut ice cream.

My must tries:

  • Laksa
  • Durian pengat
  • Cold crab
  • Kung pao beef
  • Coconut ice cream

One thing I really appreciated was that they refilled their dishes very promptly. You know how there are buffets that take forever to refill their dishes, especially oysters, or limit each serving to a couple of oysters per person? Straits Cafe certainly doesn’t do any of that nonsense.

However, the buffet dinner (Mondays to Thursdays) cost $50 before taxes, which I’m not sure is worth the price given its variety. The buffet focuses on local fare, and unless you’re an oyster, crab and durian person, it’s going to be hard to make your money’s worth.

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Before I end, I would like to state my almost horrible experience with Straits Cafe. The restaurant had initially  arranged for a hard-to-maneuver, hard-to-eat-from corner sofa seat for my party of 4.

Since I was early, and seeing that the whole place was still empty, I requested to be seated at a proper table instead. To my amusement, the staff told me that everyone had also requested for a proper table and therefore they couldn’t move me to a proper table.

My first reaction was like whut is this guy talking about. You mean everyone who made a reservation called in to dictate that they didn’t want a sofa seat? (Or it so happens that everyone was eating with an elderly or toddler and remembered to tell the restaurant so they could make “special arrangements” which is of course is just a normal table seating). By the way there’s only ONE sofa seat in the restaurant so everyone knew to avoid that?

So after a couple of minutes of reasoning with him, he finally gave me a proper table while still insisting that I should have called in to state my demand of not wanting an inconvenienced seat (erm.. do you heard how ridiculous this is?). By the end of my meal which was two hours later, I still noticed empty tables around.

So guys, if you ever dine at Straits Cafe, make sure to tell them that you do not want the sofa seat.

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