Saturday, December 13, 2008

From the TV programme - Buffet Buffet

From Makansutra website.

The first episode:
For lunch buffet below $20, Geek Terminal at Market Street ( @ $13.90 per pax - think it's best for those working in Raffles Place & who want a light lunch. [Closed]

For lunch buffet between $20 to $30, Carnivore at Vivocity ( @ $28++ per pax - good for meat-eaters & those working in Vivocity vicinity.

For lunch buffet above $30, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts ( @ $39++ per pax - for those who can afford a leisurely lunch with international spread on a weekday at Orchard Road.

2nd episode on dinner buffets ... here are the details:
Below $20, Bombay Cafe Express at Suntec City Mall ( @ $14.90++ per pax - not sure if the buffet's only available on Friday nights since that was what the programme showed. There's also another Bombay Cafe around Tanjong Katong area. I have not tried their food, so any feedback from those who had?

Between $20 to $30, Harbour City Restaurant at PSA Building ( @ $27.80++ per pax, only on weeknights - ala carte buffet menu of 48 dishes but subject to minimum of 4 pax to enjoy the buffet. This buffet does really look like a great-value for money, but provided you don't mind travelling to the rather remote location. I had only tried the dim sum lunch once & a long time ago, but it seemed very popular with working crowd around there

Above $30, MELT - The World Cafe at Mandarin Oriental ( @ $70++ per pax, only on weeknights - add $25++ to enjoy free flow of alcohol. As expected, the programme showed this famous buffet in Singapore.

3rd episode on tim sum buffets ... here are the details:
Below $20, Lao Beijing at Plaza Singapura ( @ $10.20++ per pax – only for high tea on weekdays, 3 to 5pm. For weekends & PHs, the price increases to $15.80++, but the spread has slightly more choices as well. Check out their website for the full high tea menus. It’s worth a try if you like lots of Chinese carbs.

Between $20 to $30, Peach Blossom at Marina Mandarin ( @ $28.80++ per pax, served between 11.30am to 2.30pm, only on weekends & PHs - ala carte buffet menu of over 26 dishes. I haven’t tried it but am really tempted by the display of fried cornflake beancurds, deep fried enoki mushroom parcels and black glutinous rice with pumpkin paste dessert last night.

Above $30, Hai Tien Lo at Pan Pacific ( @ $58++ per pax, between 11.30am to 2.30pm, only on weekends & PHs – the spread looked good, but 4 out of 5 tasters on the programme commented that the price was a little too high for dim sum, which I tend to agree, what’s more with the recession looming over our heads now.

4th episode on breakfast buffets ... here are the details:
Below $20, Bistro Delifrance at various locations ( $9.90++ per pax – only on Fridays to Sundays & PHs, 8 to 10.30am. Check their website for the various bistro locations; under ‘Promotions Hot Deals’ for the breakfast buffet details. Not sure why the flyer on the website indicated that we can have the bakery buffet breakfast at $7.95 and will need to add $3 for an additional hot meal, which was different from what was telecasted last evening, showing unlimited helpings to both their hot & bakery items. Perhaps different bistro have different menus or the flyer is outdated? Did anybody know which outlet they showcased last night?

Between $20 to $30, Cafe Brio’s at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel ( @ $29.00++ per pax, served between 6.30 to 10.30am, on all days – the spread seemed very international, probably good for those staying nearby. I found the mention of dining al fresco alongside the Singapore River rather funny since the view is more like of a big canal, nothing spectacular.

Above $30, Olive Tree Restaurant at Intercontinental Singapore ( @ $36.00++ per pax, between 6 to 10.30am, on weekends & PHs – the spread actually didn’t seem as international as Café Brio’s, but is definitely more high end. They have an egg station that will freshly cook your eggs in whatever style you want, which is the norm for 4 stars hotel establishments and above. And boy, am I impressed with their selection of fresh tea leaves that are served in actual tea pots rather than cups to individual customers. The pan fried beef and cheese selection looks really yummy too. So if I’m to choose between Café Brio’s & Olive Tree, I’ll rather pay a bit more & go for the latter. After a most satisfying breakfast, we can then walk off our food by shopping to our fill at Bugis Junction.

5th episode on high tea buffets ... here are the details:
Below $20, Chilli Padi Nonya Café at North Bridge Commercial Complex ( $8.80+ per pax – there’s this other website -, but I’m not sure if this is the main restaurant’s website or even related to Chilli Padi Nonya café, thus I link up the hungry-go-where website which I feel has the best details & reviews. The high tea buffet is served on all days of the weeks, 2.30pm to 5.30pm, and I think it’s $7.80+ on weekdays, add a dollar for weekends. I was salivating over the spread on tv last night, especially the nonya kuehs, kueh pie ti, chwee kueh & chilled sago with gula melaka. Seems like they rotate their daily menus, thus you may get your favorites on certain days. The spread may not be huge but it’s definitely worth a try for that price. For your information, North Bridge Commercial Complex is just opposite Bugis Junction.

Between $20 to $30, Ellenborough Market Café at Swissotel Merchant Court ( @ $28.00++ per pax, served between 3.30pm to 5.30pm, only on weekends and PHs – needless be much said about this popular buffet with Singaporeans. It’s got a reasonably good spread, just don’t expect very nice ambience as I tend to think the café is always overcrowded. The cold chempedak dessert did look very tempting though.

Above $30, Tea Lounge at The Regent Singapore ( @ $36.00++ per pax, served between 1.30pm to 5.30pm on weekends – this is a classic English tea buffet, probably more suitable for ladies of leisure or bunch of girls meeting up for a get-together or couples wanting a quiet afternoon to cosy up to each other. Can you imagine a bunch of guys or big families gathering at this place? I think that explained why Terence Cao kept going over to join the other 2 female tasters last night since it would be a bit awkward for him to sit alone and sample English tea. Anyway, interesting items to try include the Yuzu tarlet, cherry trifle and macarons.

6th espisode on steamboat buffets
Zheng Fa Steamboat - Less Than 20 @ $18.90++, on weekdays. Website: (Chin Huat don't have their own website, so this is the best). I was surprised by the indoor decor as it really didn't look very nice outside. I found the uniforms of the staff rather corny, but overall, I wouldn't mind patronising this place with my family or a big bunch of friends so that we can share food & try everything. The desserts really looked interesting, and I am impressed by the fact that they don't only offer steamboat, but also grill/bbq & teppanyaki, & at such low price. I bet this place is going to get swamped from now onwards, & I regret not trying it before the telecast.

Chongqing Steamboat @ Tanglin Mall - Less than 30 @ $29.90++ on weekdays & $30.90++ on weekends. Website: The restaurant is more correctly known as The Magic of Chongqing Hot Pot, & you can find the extensive menu on the website above. I like their sauces a lot, and all the 1-serving Jing Chuan Dian Xin items are worth a try. The 8-treasure tea served is a bonus as it really aided digestion of food.

The Buffet @ M Hotel - Above 30 @ $38++ on weekdays. Website: The hotpot buffet showcased last night is really impressive, but I think more suited for seafood lovers since they focus their themes around seafood. I salivated over the drunken prawns cooked on the spot & mushroom varieties & chinese herbs that you can add all you want to your soup, and of course, the durian pengat.

7th episode on dessert buffets ...
Below $20, Mingles at Velocity (Novena Square) – ice cream buffet @ $14.90++ per pax, available for high tea everyday – no official website so please refer to this: The buffet offers 24 flavours of New Zealand Natural ice cream, with unlimited waffles (not served whole but in small slices) & 1 drink per customer. It may be too much to eat just ice cream unless you are a true-blue ice cream fan, so a suggestion is to go for their set lunches or dinners, which will give you main course, drink & dessert/soup. I tried this place a couple of times, & rather enjoyed their sausages & rosti. However, this place is definitely not meant for hanging out or big crowds.

Between $20 to $30, The Rose Veranda at Shangri-La Hotel - dessert buffet @ $28++ per pax, available between 3 to 6pm on weekdays. I actually think this is the most worthy of the lot showcased last night, I would love to give it a try when I can find time to take the afternoon off from work; have a leisurely high tea with my friends or other half. Being a female & tea drinker, I love the rose patterned crockery & am amazed by the 102 varieties of tea available. Apparently, they also serve tea cocktails, which are chargeable. Temptations include the crème brulee, mango; mint minestrone, lemongrass & chocolate mousse topped with crunchy chocolate balls, durian cake; chocolate fondue. They also have a selection of hot items for this buffet, which is great for those who are not die hard dessert fans.

Above $30, The Courtyard at Fullerton Hotel – chocolate buffet @ $38++ per pax, available Thur through Sat nights. Well, another well known buffet, so I’m not going to say too much. I have never tried it since I don’t fancy gorging myself on chocolate, not that I don’t love chocolate, but I just don’t wish to run at the sight of chocolate for a long time after that. The only items that caught my attention last night are the lychee tiramisu and white chocolate soup.

8th episode on brunch buffets ...
Below $20, Penang Place Restaurant at International Business Park – not exactly brunch buffet but more like lunch buffet @ $19.80++ per pax, available daily from 11.30am to 2pm except on Sundays when they close – I tried this before, & have to say that I really enjoyed the spread. It is always very crowded though, so you definitely need to make reservations, even on weekdays. You can refer to the website for the buffet items.

Between $20 to $30, The Pearl River Palace Restaurant at Suntec City Convention Centre Level 3 – ala carte Cantonese lunch buffet @ $28++ per pax, available between 11.30am to 2.30pm on weekends. Being such a traditional Chinese establishment, they do not have their own website, but you can get good reviews at It seems like a good central venue for family get-together makan sessions on weekends with the usual Chinese restaurant fare, tim sum selection & desserts, & as usual, being able to shop after a heavy makan session is a plus point.

Above $30, Checkers Brasserie at Hilton Singapore – Sunday champagne buffet @ $160++ per pax, available from 12pm to 3pm. Without free flow champagne, it’s $70++ per adult & $25++ per child.;jsessionid=17BE3DCE5A2E6071BC2B21DAF1E7FCAB.etc73#2. It sounds crazy to pay that kind of $$ for champagne plus lunch, especially when the atmosphere isn’t exactly leisurely or relaxed with a kids’ corner on the same premises. It also seemed so crowded and noisy in the show but if you have the cash to spare, can try for the seafood, western hot entrees like roast beef, foie gras (WOW!) & Yorkshire pudding, Indian cuisine like lamb kebabs & naans, Chinese selection like crepes with Peking duck and of course desserts.

9th episode on supper buffets ...
Below $20, Café Windsor at Hotel Windsor – Teochew porridge buffet @ $10.80++ per pax, available from 5pm to 11pm on weekdays – I didn’t even know that this hotel exists but upon checking its website, realized that it’s a small establishment located in a not very ideal location. However for the price & nice environment, may be can go try with your mate or friends. Featured items include Teochew braised duck, cornflake prawns, steamed pomfret, la la, beancurd skin with wolfberries, braised pork belly & of course, sweet potato porridge. The only dessert that they seem to serve is ice cream. Anyway, with that kind of timing, one can go for dinner instead of supper.

Between $20 to $30, Maifan Stone Healthy Steam Boat at 17 Sims Way (along Lorong 5 Geylang) – steam boat buffet between $20 to $25 depending on the soup base you choose, available between 5pm to 3am everyday, if I’m not wrong. Not much can be found about this place on the internet, but this Chinese website offers some information at least: They have 11 kinds of soup bases & you can select a 2-combination hot pot, but I’m not sure how they charge then. Examples of soup bases include fish head, milk & vegetarian (with mushrooms). The variety of ingredients, hot items & desserts seem ok only. It’s just one of those many steamboat restaurants that are everywhere & manned usually by a Chinese staff, so personally, I wouldn’t go all of the way to try this place unless I’m a die-hard steamboat fan.

Above $30, La Terrasse at Orchard Hotel – Teochew Muay buffet @ $28++ per pax on Sundays to Thursdays, 6.30pm to midnight; $33++ on Fridays, Saturdays; PHs, 6.30pm to 1am. This is a rather well-known porridge buffet place, being located in an established hotel in the heart of Orchard Road. Good place to bring your entire family, young & old, for a lighter pig out buffet option. Featured food included claypot sea cucumber, cold crab, cold prawns, braised pork belly buns, Teochew braised duck, freshly cooked lean pork & pork liver porridge, selection of vegetables that you choose on the spot which they will then cook for you, & the usual condiments that accompany porridge like salted egg, different kinds of preserved veg & cai poh egg.

10th episode on japanese buffets ...
Below $20, The Pasta Shop by Sakae at Tiong Bahru Plaza, #01-48 – available for high tea between 3 to 6pm on weekends @ $19.90++ per pax. There’s no official website or any that wrote much about this place, so I believe it’s still new. For an official write-up on this place, refer to . They have at least 55 types of pasta on their menu, probably similar to Pasta de Waraku. Tonight’s program featured items like Yakiniku beef soup pasta, seared tuna avocado pasta, salmon with ikura pasta, prawn and bacon kimchi soup pasta, and the one dish that I would seriously like to try – Japanese style braised pork pasta. I guess the prices are similar to Waraku as well.

Between $20 to $30, Curry Favor Japanese Kitchen at Novena Square, – ala carte lunch buffet @ $22.80++ per pax, available between 12pm to 4pm on weekends & PHs. - refer to their website for the buffet listings with photos to tempt you. A very comprehensive website, which you would expect of a bunch of young entrepreneurial bosses who furthered their studies in the States. Their flagship outlet is at Stamford House. I was rather impressed when I saw that they offer soft drinks, root beer, lemon tea, lychee cooler & oreo milkshakes, though I’m not sure if they are free flow. They also seem to offer this buffet for dinners on Fri, Sat, Sun & PHs, but best to call them to confirm.

Above $30, Himawari - Robatayaki at Alexandra Road – weekday lunch buffet @ $30.80++ per pax, available from 11.30am to 3pm. They also provide buffet dinners at $34.80++ per pax. Add $4 for weekend lunch or dinner buffet. The same buffets are offered at their other 2 outlets at Safra Mount Faber and Neil Road. I’m actually quite surprised to find a website with very detailed buffet listings and items at . Refer to the bottom of the page for the Alexandra branch’s exact location. Well, I don’t know if I’m suaku or what, but I have never heard of this restaurant, but am quite keen to try their buffet after seeing the show. Recommended items include shabu shabu (requires at least 2 to enjoy), assorted sashimi, grilled salmon head, fried soft shell crab, grilled cod fish, shisamo tempura and rosu katsu etc. Slurp …

11th episode on BBQ
Below $20, Yuki Yaki at Marina Square – available for lunch between 12 to 5pm on weekdays @ $19.90++ per pax. They also offer the buffet for dinner, and weekends & PHs only need to add $2. Refer to their official website for the buffet details: . I’m not really impressed. The restaurant reminds me of Seoul Garden, and I always feel that the Suki group’s restaurants don’t offer quality food. Sorry, personal opinion.

Between $20 to $30, Ju Shin Jung at East Coast Park, – lunch buffet @ $29++ per pax. No official website, so refer to this for a good idea of what they have: . I don’t mind giving this restaurant a try despite the limited meat choices, only 4 items, 3 pork and 1 chicken, since the meats look like good quality stuff, and they do have a lot of side dishes and good selection of vegetable appetizers. The restaurant environment also seems like a very good choice for gatherings of colleagues or friends. Boba – guess u should really go try the west coast branch since the east coast branch would likely be very crowded for a while.

Above $30, Yakiniku Daidomon at United Square – weekday lunch charcoal bbq buffet @ $43++ per pax, & weekend and PH buffet @ $48++. Refer to their official website for the full buffet menu: . You can also go for their ala carte menu if you don’t fancy their buffets, which seem rather expensive to me, and also if you are a non-beef eater since their buffet menu offers lots of beef items.

12th episode on festive/holiday buffets
Below $20, Waffle Factory at the Singapore Post Centre – $8.80 per adult and $6.80 per child (below 12 yrs old), 10am to 10pm daily. When I googled for this restaurant, found another waffle place with the same name at Downtown East, so not sure if it is another branch or they have shifted from there to Spore Post Centre. The flavours come in sweet or savoury and include white chocolate Oreo bites, M&M White Chocolate, Cheddar Cheese, Strawberry Chocolate, Sarawak Pineapple and D24 Fresh Durian (limited to 1 order per pax). The buffet also comes with 1 drink and you can add $3 for a main course like spaghetti. Probably worth a try for parents with young children if you are around that area, but beware the limited space in the shop. After this telecast, I really don’t know how they are going to cope with the sudde influx of customers.

Between $20 to $30, Tiffany Cafe at Furama City Centre – weekend high tea buffet @ $28.80++ per pax, between 12pm to 5pm (only for the month of Dec). Their official website is at . They are offering some Christmas items like roast turkey and chicken ham, but main stuff are mostly local & familiar international spread like mee rebus, satay, seafood, sushi and desserts. I have actually tried their buffets a couple of times a few years back, and recalled that the variety and quality is acceptable, but somewhat greatly enjoyed by my parents, so it’s again a good place to try out for a big and long family pig out session.

Above $30, Café Biz at Traders Hotel – weekend dinner buffet @ $52++ per pax (for the month of Dec only, and not available on Xmas eve and day). Their official website is at: . You can also refer to for some review on their holiday buffet. Popular items include American oysters (which really looked yummy!), roast turkey with unusual sauces like sweet-sour pineapple and Sichuan mala, drunken prawns, grilled and cold seafood, sashimi, brazilian churrasco and desserts like durian pengget. Overall, a spread that looks good …

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