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Buffets To Binge On

Buffets To Binge On

Featuring The Pelican, The Line (Shangri-La Hotel Singapore), Manhattan Bar, SKIRT, Melt Café (Mandarin Oriental Singapore), 10 at Claymore (Pan Pacific Orchard), Cocobolo Poolside Bar + Grill, 5th Quarter, Tiffany Café & Restaurant, Tea Lounge (Regent Singapore)
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

H O S T E D
The best advice I was given (thank you @maria_hannah) was to clear my schedule for the rest of the weekend. Because after doing justice to the spread of food and free-flow of alcoholic beverages, simply rolling home to be a starfish was already an arduous task.
An adults-only affair, the Sunday Cocktail Brunch takes place between 12noon and ‪3pm‬ within the sexy, mirrored-ceiling space that is the Manhattan Bar. For the three hours we were there, my niece Amanda and I had a lot of fun discovering the wide variety of offerings from the food buffet and drink sections set up at opposite ends of the room, as well as trying out the mini-sized gourmet hot items from the menu.
Like every guest, we were first warmly welcomed at the entrance with a cocktail but our beverage choices escalated rapidly to include boozy milkshakes, a Mezcal-based Bloody Mary (you can choose to have it concocted with other spirits of course), gin and tonics, as well as a few cocktails (we started with the lighter “Diaspora” and ended strong with the “Fika”). All of them were made to order. What I particularly enjoyed were the two mind-boggling arrays of condiments we had at our disposal to dress up our drinks. That is how I ended up decking out my Bloody Mary in “bak kwa”, fresh herbs, sticks of cucumber and celery plus a dash of hot sauce, and Amanda’s G&T got prettied up with fresh fruit. I may have been rather minimalist decorating my raspberry-chocolate and hazelnut liqueur milkshake with Valrhona crunchy chocolate balls but Amanda didn’t play coy as she heaped nuts and fruit on her pineapple and almond liqueur version.
For food, the chilled seafood was our first stop. So pleased to see they had Alaskan King crab legs, Boston lobsters, Hokkaido scallops, oysters, ceviche and more. Next was the delicatessen section where we filled our plates with a few fresh mixed salads, cheeses (love the Taleggio and Brie most), excellent Italian cold cuts and marinated fish (the Drunken Gin Salmon and Marinated Anchovies were our top picks). It was the carvery after that. I zeroed in on the bourbon BBQ pork ribs as I am not into lamb but Amanda was happy to help herself to the mustard-crusted leg of lamb and whisky-infused Cajun lamb rack.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be delighted to know the desserts at this brunch can be a meal in itself. Apart from the line-up of mini cakes and pastries (don’t miss out on the American Cheesecake, an amazing light-as-air scrumptiousness), there is also straight-from-the-pan Crepe Suzette. Make sure to pop a scoop of the Tahitian vanilla ice-cream to enjoy it a la mode.

PRICING.
$163++ per person with free-flow cocktails, wines and beers.
$199++ per person with free-flow cocktails, wines and beers and Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne.

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On the second morning of our staycation at Shangri La Hotel, we chose the local-style breakfast served here. Although the format is a la carte on weekdays, during weekends and public holidays, it switches to a la carte buffet, which means besides picking a main course, there‘s a spread to help ourselves to.
There are six options for the mains, running the gamut from a Wanton Mee by Shang Palace’s Executive Chef Mok Kit Keung (pictured above), to signature dishes by a few famous Singapore brands like @thecoconutclubsg, @springleafprataplace that Shangri La has collaborated with. The buffet, though modest in scale, has gems representing Singapore’s multi-cultural society like Chwee Kueh from @jianboshuikueh, Putu Mayam, Mee Siam, Lontong and an outstanding Kaya Toast.

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H O S T E D
Back in the day, the Coffee Lounge at the Goodwood Park Hotel was one of the most popular post-clubbing supper spots. Crowds would flock there from whichever party venue they were at because there was nothing like comforting a belly sloshing in alcohol with some steaming hot porridge and a spread of dishes.
I am very happy to announce that even after all this time, the quality of said porridge, which is actually known as the “Taiwan Porridge A La Carte Buffet”, is as superb as ever.
Once seated, you will be given a menu with over 30 dishes to pick from. All but three of them (they are the pricier seafood of pomfret and prawns) are unlimited in servings, so you have the freedom to repeat those you love.
The dishes I enjoyed a lot would be the fried pomfret (every part including fins and tail are edible as it’s fried till extremely crispness), “chye por” omelette (a little oily but who cares), crunchy baby squid coated in sweet oyster sauce, sambal kangkong, beansprouts with salted fish, “mui choy” with pork, chilled beancurd with Japanese soya sauce and pork floss, and the pork belly braised in dark soya sauce.
Honestly, there were many more dishes I was dying to try but since there were only two of us (I went with a foodie friend), and we didn’t want to waste food, we did our best to not let our eyes-bigger-than-stomach tendencies get the better.
What we both agreed was the unassuming porridge was the vital component in this meal. Without its perfectly cooked consistency anchoring the flavour assortment before us, I think the two of us wouldn’t have been sighing so blissfully as we tucked in.
Not that either of us had belly space left to do it justice but there‘s a dessert spread included too. Comprising of local and Western styles that range from peranakan “kueh kueh” to Cantonese “tong shui”, from warm bread and butter pudding to ice-cream, there is plenty of options for a sweet ending.

PRICES:

From Monday to Thursday: $39++ per adult, $19.50++ per child.

From Friday to Sunday, and on the eve of and on Public Holidays: $42++ per adult, $21++ per child‪.‬

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The Miso Marinated Black Cod was my pick from the menu (the other options were yellowtail, halibut, salmon and two types of Japanese dried fishes) and it turned out to be indisputably superb.
Expertly grilled, the cod (and it was a nice large piece mind you) tasted amazing - its smooth and slightly oily flesh flaked apart easily under my chopsticks. On the platter with it was a neat little arrangement of half a baby potato, a small oblong of grilled cheese, pickles and grated radish.
Besides the all-you-can-eat salad bar which is in itself a big draw, every set meal here comes with rice served in a cute little traditional pot, an egg with a semi-hard yolk, pickles and a bowl of miso soup.
So although “grilled fish and salad” may sound like a light meal, it can add up to become a veritable feast.

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M E D I A T A S T I N G
If you are the kind of person who makes a beeline for the dessert section at a buffet, JW Marriott South Beach has a new weekday “Afternoon Tea” at Beach Road Kitchen that will fit you to T(ea).
Most likely it will be the two-part “Desserts Buffet” table with its eye-catching display that will grab your attention the moment you walk in. Take your pick from the pretty spread of pastries, fruit tarts, macarons, chocolate truffles, fresh fruit and more. Don’t miss out on their Signature Tiramisu that comes in a cup (it truly feels like a cloud in the mouth), the Apple Spelt Cake as well as the Mango Panna Cotta.
If you prefer to start your afternoon with savoury items, have a seat because these will be served to you at the table.
Everyone gets one serving each of the creative canapé-style creations: a Parmesan cheese cookie with truffle cream, a ginger orange muffin with smoked salmon, goat cheese herb cupcake and a toasted sourdough with prosciutto and ricotta cheese.
I’m pleased to say they also serve my all-time favourite tea-time delicacy: scones. In two variants as well of plain and raisins. Most importantly, you get butter, proper clotted cream, strawberry jam and marmalade to spread on them.
Granted this isn’t the hugest or fanciest of buffets (please don’t visit expecting “live stations”) but at the price, it is a very civilised affair with a decent variety of lovely bites in a comfortable setting. Coffee and tea is freeflow too.

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It’s been about two years since I was last at The Line buffet restaurant, so I picked it as the place to have an early birthday celebration with family last Sunday.
The layout of the food stations looked pretty much the same to me albeit with some minor tweaks in their offering. Like how they have stopped serving oysters some time ago. I didn’t mind it as I have always had a soft spot for crustaceans. Plus I feel they’ve balanced things out at the cold seafood area with amazingly good Alaskan King crab legs and lobster claws.
Overall, I think the buffet is still of a really good standard. Apart from the aforementioned crab and lobster parts, the standouts for me would be the freshly grilled satay, the roasts station (they carve the beef prime rib, roast beef and lamb when you want), the laksa (I recommend peeling a few of those lobster claws to throw in for a more luxurious bowl), the raclette (who doesn’t like hot oozy cheese melted over whatever the heck you choose, right?) and a wide array of cheeses from France, Italy and Spain in the Mediterranean section. Also, the entire Indian food section with irresistible design-your-own-curries and made-to-order pratas.
I have good news for dessert lovers because that whole category is a world in itself at The Line. Besides a table loaded with fresh bakes such as tarts of various kinds and the fine pastries displayed on glass shelves, there are trays of local kuehs, a chocolate fountain, made-to-order crepes, and gelato and ice-cream in assorted flavours to indulge your sweet tooth with.
We chose to avoid alcohol that day so it cost us $118++ each (inclusive of unlimited juices and soft drinks). But if you do like freeflow of champagne and wines to accompany your meal, it would be $178++ per head.

Lobster claws - the main rival to the Alaskan King Crab legs for my affection at today’s buffet lunch.
As you would expect, they taste very good their own but trust me, order yourself a bowl of laksa (I have always been a fan of the one here) and slide a few of these babies in for instant shiokness and #HighSES gratification.

H O S T E D
With 2018 being a milestone 90th anniversary for the iconic Fullerton building, Executive Pastry Chef Siddharth Prabhu has refreshed the well-known “Chocolate Buffet” at “The Courtyard in Fullerton Hotel” as part of their year-long celebration.
There’s now a small selection of savoury items (that still contain chocolate!) of Cocoa and Spice-rubbed Baby Back Pork Ribs, Lime Risotto and Bittersweet Chocolate Arancini, Empanadas stuffed with Wagyu Beef, Peruvian Chocolate and Poblano Chilli, as well as a Quiche with Trout with White Chocolate. These are nice when you want a break from rampaging through the rest of the sweetness.
Besides the spread of exquisite desserts from cakes to tarts to handmade fine chocolates (the matcha pralines are to-die-for), you can visit the new “live nitro station” to pick up a plated multi-textural dessert centered around a chocolate sphere, flash-frozen crushed meringue, sponge crumble and espuma. My dining partner-in-chocolate-crime, Burpple Tastemaker Vanessa Koh, liked this a lot.
For drinks, they offer cocktails, hot chocolate (pick from white, milk or dark and it’ll be boiled on the spot with your preferred seasoning) and their commemorative special, the “Milo Zero”. It got its name from the Fullerton building being “Point Zero” for measuring road distances in the past.
This buffet takes place every Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 11pm. The price for an adult is $45++ but they have higher tiers with different kinds of alcohol so do ask when you are there. Kids between 6 and 11 years can indulge for only $22++.

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H O S T E D
I loved this. If it wasn’t for the fact that a glazed donut stuffed with pulled pork and dressed in maple sriracha occupies prime real estate in the belly, I’d have ordered a couple more rounds of it.
Therein lies the (good) dilemma of having unlimited delicious appetisers served to you at Sunday Brunch. Knowing whatever you enjoy can be repeated is fantastic but having to save space for your choice of main course, the dessert buffet plus ALL THAT ALCOHOL (vintage wines included) does force one to prioritise.
Anyway, if you love a good Sunday Brunch that isn’t a copy of others, Origin Grill’s is worth checking out.

Here‘s the list of prices:
- Food & Unlimited Non-alcoholic drinks: $108++.
- Food, Unlimited Wines & Cocktails: $168++.
- Food, Unlimited Wines, Cocktails & Vintage Wine-pouring: $208++.

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H O S T E D
The newly launched Sunday Brunch here is unlike most other buffets and brunches as it is structured quite differently.
Thoughtfully divided into 3 sections, guests start off with an assortment of sharing plates prepared by the kitchen and served to your table. These include charred asparagus, glazed pulled pork donuts with maple sriracha, San Daniele prosciutto with mozzarella plus sourdough toast covered in roasted pumpkin, goat’s cheese, wild flower honey and pistachios (yes, those I favoured most of the lot). But here comes the best part: all of these items are unlimited! You can order the ones you like best again and again and again, and they would be sent over to you.
I‘d however, encourage some restraint because although you get to choose only one main course (this forms the second part of the brunch), the portions are massive.
I swear the piece of “35 days, dry aged John Stone striploin” we got was at least 250gms if not more. And it came with with creamy potato, sautéed greens and mushroom sauce. The “Origins Lot!!”, a classic big breakfast had the works: two eggs (done however you like), streaky bacon, pork sausage patty, fire-roasted tomatoes, house-made baked beans, portobello mushrooms and toast. I have to admit I couldn’t finish but that’s also partly became I wanted to feast on desserts.
This final part of the meal was presented buffet style. The “Earl Grey honey panna cotta” and “Granny Smith apple mousse” were the standouts for me. Oh, and the cheeses as well of course because who can resist a good cheese board. Made-to-order crepes are also an option so I asked for mine to be filled with Nutella and berries. Yums!
Prices for the Sunday Brunch (which takes place from 12noon to 3pm), are as follows:
- Food & Unlimited Non-alcoholic drinks: $108++.
- Food, Unlimited Wines & Cocktails: $168++.
- Food, Unlimited Wines, Cocktails & Vintage Wine-pouring: $208++.
I‘d say, this is a good option if you are looking to indulge over wonderful wines, very good food that never stops appearing and excellent service (it is in the Shangri La Hotel after all) in a space that is elegant and quieter than most brunch spots.

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For a seafood-centric restaurant (just check out that name), “The Pelican” does a really decent steak as well.
This “New York Striploin” was listed as one of the choices in their Sunday a la carte buffet menu, so we had to give it a shot. Smoky from grilling, it was tender and juicy and cooked right on the money of the medium rare we had asked for. It arrived sliced into pieces, so sharing was a breeze.

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My niece chose to celebrate her birthday here in the company of her closest cousins. I think the group of us really did justice to the Sunday Brunch done in the “A la Carte Buffet” format.
The teetotalers stuck to the option with freeflow of juices and soft drinks ($98++) while the rest went with the one that included Prosecco and wines on top of those drinks ($118++).
Now about the food. I kid you not - everyone had praises for every dish we ordered. As we tucked in, the quality and taste surprised with a level of excellence that surpassed our expectations. For eg. the oysters were fantastically fresh, plump, creamy while the prawns were sweet and springy. The beef sliders with melted cheese were perfection in their smokiness and the grease-free crunchy deepfried calamari were terrific with the lemon-tinged mayo dip.
Even the dishes I repeated from my first visit, turned out to be better tasting then before. To name a few, these would be the lobster sliders, striploin, the grilled lobsters from the seafood platter, lobster bisque and woodfire grilled chilli cheese corn.
I also stumbled upon one of the best onion rings I’ve had in ages here today. Loved that there’s real onion encased inside the thin and superbly crunchy batter. These were so impossibly addictive we got a second basket even as we groaned about being too full.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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