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

Reasonably priced food options at Millenia Walk? Inconceivable. But what if I told you that there’s a Japanese hotpot buffet there that won’t break the bank?⠀

Gyu Jin Shabu Shabu has a Supreme Black Angus beef shabu shabu buffet that runs for only $32.90++. That’s mad decent value, especially considering that the beef served ain’t no bargain bin bovine, nossir. It’s acceptably marbled with fat, and the Black Angus beef is free flow for 70 minutes, backed up by thin slices of pork belly & collar, and chicken. Yes, cow, chicken and pig are all free flow. Now that’s what I call massive bulking power!⠀

The soup bases are delightfully delicious too. I picked the yuzu dashi & the tomato dashi. The tomato dashi was deeply redolent, and a little sweet & sour from the tomato and satisfyingly salty from the dashi stock. The yuzu was a little salty, with a citrusy zest to clean out your palate. Perfect for ensuring that you last all twelve rounds with the meat, as the yuzu will slap your tastebuds awake after a protein induced haze.⠀

I can’t stress this enough, but I really, really, love my pot hot & smoking. Yes, I’m a pothead. Better yet, it’s rainy szn in Singapore now, so that’s essentially nature’s way of telling you to patronise the (hot)pot dealers in town. Go my child, go forth and 🅱️laze it.⠀

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Not gonna lie, @oasis_sg post-lockdown BBQ buffet dinner was pretty disappointing. At $88++ per head for the free flow booze & buffet, it’s a hefty investment that didn’t quite pay off for me. Served à la carte style course by course, the first round was the sustainable seafood on ice, which featured a modest duo of poached prawns & rock oysters. Yep, that was it for the seafood appetisers. While the oysters & prawns were acceptably appetising, the selection left much to be desired.⠀

Next came the absolutely addictive grilled ciabatta bread that had been lavishly lathered with a glorious garlic herb butter, alongside a trio of caesar salad, kale tabbouleh salad, and an Asian slaw. And finally, for the meat of the matter, the wood fired BBQ sharing platter was built upon some barbecued beef rump steak, Aussie lamb, chicken thigh, barramundi, and some chorizo sausage.⠀

Rump steak is one of the cheaper cuts of meat, which is why I was taken aback when I realised what cut of steak it was. Normally a tougher cut like rump would be slow cooked instead of being grilled, and it came at medium doneness. It was a little too chewy & dry. The lamb, on the other hand, fared a whole lot better. The gaminess was fairly well mitigated, and the meat was considerably juicer than the steak.⠀

The barramundi was a tad dry in certain spots, but the smokiness of the wood was thoroughly infused into the fish, giving it a delicious smokiness. The chicken, while superbly smoky, was lacking in any discernible Thai flavours from its advertised Thai marinade. As always, sausage always satisfies, and the chorizo definitely delighted with its sensational spiciness & sapidity.⠀

If the buffet was sorely lacking in variety, then why do I refuse to consider it a complete write off? Simple. The stellar service staff were always close by to ensure that your wine glass was always topped off, or to serve you more food. They really turned on the charm with their jovial, amicable attitudes, always ready to engage in a little banter as they attended to your whims. Secondly, free flow booze. Free flow wine, Prosecco & frozen margaritas? Sold.⠀

Well, it ain’t all doom & gloom.

Yep, this is the $7 add on to every hotpot buffet order at Guo Fu, the Male Vitality Soup. Which I’m just gonna call the Super Male Vitality for the memes, and if you get it you get it. So the Super Male Vitality makes a man long, strong, and ready to defeat the shadowy globalist cabal out there...or at least it’s supposed to.⠀

What I can confirm, however, is that this soup base is free from chemicals that would turn the frickin’ frogs gay. Instead, it’s fully loaded with an entire traditional Chinese medicine hall’s worth of herbs, and it’s a little harshly herbal at the beginning to prove its herbal heritage.⠀

Once you boil down some corn, and cook off your meats, the Super Male Vitality transforms into an unctuous, umami broth with a decent body & enough herbal qualities to make you feel extra healthy. I’m sold on this being a superb soup base for your hotpot, but I’m still not sold on this being able to morph you into an alpha Chad that eats globalists for breakfast.

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All I’m sayin is, y’all had no idea how delighted I was when the hotpot buffets reopened. Sure, there ain’t no more sauce bar thanks to the corona, but you get a waitress coming over with a condiment cart at the press of a button. I ain’t pressed, I actually quite like the tableside service.⠀

Guo Fu Steamboat has been on my must try list for the longest time, and my gaaawwwddd it’s the perfect first post lockdown hotpot buffet. The lunch buffet is reasonable enough at $25.90++, and you get free flow EVERYTHING for two hours straight. Yes, even the xiao long baos. Of course, some things are far more worthy of your stomach’s real estate than others, and the special pork on the left & the premium beef on the right are undeniably worthy. Just look at the marbling, man. That’s decent quality right there.⠀

Unfortunately, the soup bases incur an additional charge, and my choice of the (Super) Male Vitality Soup was an extra seven bucks. Still, service is stellar for a hotpot place, and Guo Fu’s individual hotpots are certainly the new meta during this coronavirus chaos. They don’t really heat up that well, but they are ideal for enforcing social segregation so you don’t get the big coof.⠀

Sure, $25.90 is kind of a lie when you slap on a soup base that starts at $3, but it’s within reason, and it certainly ain’t as extortionate as places like Beau-*COUGH**COUGH**WHEEZE*

So, tomorrow’s the day we’re back in business boys. After the gym, imma demolish an unfortunate buffet, and Kumo Japanese Dining is looking real good right about now after doing time in jail-uh, I meant it looks real good after a couple of months in lockdown.⠀

Of course, any Japanese restaurant worth their soya sauce would have stellar sashimi, and Kumo certainly delivers on that side. The salmon, swordfish, squid & tuna sashimi I went for was fantastically fresh and gluttonously gratifying after a quick dab of wasabi & soya sauce. The cuts are a bit on the thick side, but you won’t hear this boy complaining.⠀

I sampled their mini katsudon as well and I was quite taken by it. It’s hearty, simple yet savoury, and it’s comfort food at its peak. The tempura vegetables were expertly battered & fried, but the prawns left something to be desired. The size was rather considerable, but it wasn’t fresh and it really showed. The bacon yakitori is, as expected, quite unctuous, but as a whole, the yakitori didn’t impress.⠀

To be fair, Kumo’s menu selection & quality is more than satisfactory considering its entry price of $39.80+ for both lunch and dinner. Slam the sashimi and you’ll most definitely get more than your money’s worth, trust me.

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The world’s your oyster? Nah fam, not anymore. Not with this ‘rona lockdown. Many independent & chain restaurants have the option of turning to islandwide delivery to soften the clobbering their profit margins are taking, but club & hotel restaurants have no way of mitigating the absolute bodying they’re taking right now.⠀

It’s kinda sad, because certain dining establishments at clubs or hotels, such as @one15marina Latitude Bistro, dish out some truly titillating fare. Oyster Rockefellers may be seen as some to be so last century, but they’ll always have a preeminent place in my heart and in my stomach.⠀

Latitude Bistro’s oyster rockerfellers, which are actually a weird hybrid of oyster rockerfeller & oyster mornay, are absolutely ambrosial. A P H A T oyster swaddled in spinach, soaked in a ridiculously rich butter & herb sauce, and smothered with a beautiful blanket of golden brown melted cheese. Extremely exquisite doesn’t even begin to cover just how strikingly sumptuous these shellfish were, and you can take that to the bank.⠀

Great, now I’ve gone and done given myself a mighty craving I can’t quell until June. Congratulations, I played myself.

King’s Laksa hotpot buffet is decently affordable $26.80++, and while the quality of the free flow meats aren’t the best, they’re serviceable. But, their deep fried prawn paste chicken is perfectly piquant, and that’s free flow too (I think). Bear in mind that the stock bases are charged separately from the price of admission, so the actual cost is closer to $35 per head.⠀

The laksa soup base is $3.90, while the simple sounding chicken bone soup is a much cheaper option at $1.60. However, my dad & I ended up being far more impressed with the stellar sapidity of the chicken bone soup, while the laksa broth fell flat due to it being a bit diluted. While it wasn’t as creamy and satisfying as it could’ve been, it still packed a spicy wallop.⠀

King’s has a little more tweaking & improving to do before they can rightfully claim to be hotpot nobility, but they’re definitely on the right road to redolent regency.

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I have been reliably informed that one of the best dishes at Beach Road Kitchen’s Indonesian Specialties, their breathtaking Babi Guling, was a very unfortunate opening night only one night stand.

A whole redolent roasted pig that’s perfumed with all kinds of sapid spices sounds good enough, but it don’t stop there. The hefty hog is pulled into a portion of your preference before being tossed together with a luscious curry sauce and fried shallots just before it lands on your plate. And that is the final, ultimate evolution of the babi guling, and on God it is absolutely delicious.

However, maybe, juuusst maybe, if enough people head down to Beach Road Kitchen and ask about the succulent Babi Guling before it all ends on the 27 of July, @jwmarriottsg may just cave into sky high consumer demand and roast up another whole hog. Maybe. Perhaps. But you definitely didn’t hear this idea from me.

While the buffet is rather dear at $80++ for weekday dinner and $90++ for weekend (Friday inclusive) dinner, it’s worth every dollar put down. Trust me fam, treat yo’self. You’ve earned it.

A sincere shoutout goes to @jwmarriottsg for the generous hospitality, and to @burpple for organizing the whole shebang!

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I have been immeasurably excited for The Carvery’s Great Meat Feast since it first started years ago, but it was only this year that I managed to find a willing wingman to attack this buffet with me.

At $78++ a person for Monday-Thursday dinner, we savored cuts from a Tajima Wagyu chuck roll, Tajima Wagyu tri-tip, a bone-in rib of Beef City Black (yes, the WHOLE rib), an Ana Paula Black Angus ribeye, and a bit of rotisserie chicken. Of course, the rest of the normal buffet is also available to you, and I would definitely recommend the wonderful western section with its respectable lineup of delectable delights, the stellar seafood selection which was fantastically fresh, and the divine dessert display. Oh, special mention must go out to the splendid Yorkshire puddings at the meat carvery. They were airy, light and modestly buttery, a true joy to devour.

But let’s get to the meat of the matter, shall we? My favorite bovine of the night was arguably the Ana Paula Black Angus ribeye. Grilled on a salt block to a perfect rare with a stunning brown crust on the outside, it had the perfect fat to meat ratio, and the beef was like butter. It was so tender, so juicy and so smooth every bite was an immeasurable delight.

Coming in at a close second would be the Beef City Black tomahawk rib with its butteriness and tremendous tenderness. Cooking the whole rib on the bone paid off handsomely, as all the flavor trapped within the massive rib bone was unleashed into the succulent beef wrapped around the bone. It was sparingly seasoned, as with all the other cuts of beef. The Carvery has a self service seasoning & condiments station so you can customize and season your meat to your hearts content.

The wagyu tri-tip was narrowly edged out to third with its juiciness and succulence despite it being a lean cut of beef, while the wagyu chuck roll was definitely the letdown of the quartet. It had been cooked to rare in some parts, but the inner parts were still a touch raw, and there was a fair bit of undercooked fat running throughout. I got a piece that was full of gristle, and as a result, the chuck roll was the only cut that didn’t get a second visit from me.

The quality is of the meats is undisputedly top shelf stuff, and on weekends for an extra $10 per head, The Carvery puts out a cut of Yukimuro Snow Aged Wagyu Beef. While the weekday buffet is already excellent, I’d advise waiting till the weekends and splashing out that extra $10 to savor even more meaty goodness.

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Lime’s western selection is undoubtedly top quality, with piquant prime rib roast, oyster Rockefeller, and pulled pork knuckle sandwiches between fried mantou. Those are the only three selections available for the western spread, however.

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While I have heard of Lime at the Parkroyal at Pickering, my main interest was with the form of the building itself, being an architect and all. But the boys and I decided to give Lime’s buffet a go one night, and while it wasn’t the worst, it certainly wasn’t the greatest either.

So, what’s the bad news? Well, the buffet selection is laughably limited. There are several stations: salad, bread, soup, seafood, western, oriental, and dessert. Sounds like every buffet in Singapore ever, but the thing I’m Pick-ering (ahem) on is the lack of choices within the stations.

The seafood station is reasonably well stocked, with the usual suspects of assorted sashimi, shellfish and crabs residing in that station. I was disappointed that there weren’t any oysters, but the Alaskan king crab legs did somewhat alleviate said disappointment.

The salad and bread stations were relatively unremarkable with all the usuals, and the oriental station was slightly underwhelming. While there was carrot cake fried to order on offer, there wasn’t much else there in all honesty. The soup station was an underrated star however, as there were serving up an utterly unctuous herbal chicken soup on the night I paid a visit alongside several other stellar soups.

The biggest disappointment was definitely the western station with its very limited selection. The carving station only had a beef chuck roast, and the other selections were either Oyster Rockefeller, or crispy pulled pork knuckles stuffed into a small mantou bun.

Now, what’s the good news, you might ask? While the selection was disappointingly limited, the quality of all the food on offer was undoubtedly excellent. The seafood, as well as the salmon, tuna and scallop sashimi were exceptionally fresh, the oriental food was undeniably delicious and authentic, and the three components from the western station were quite titillating.

The real MVP was definitely the dessert station. That was the one station with a healthy variety, and everything from the durian pengat to the chocolate mousse cake was excitingly enjoyable and exceptionally executed.

If you don’t mind a little less variety in exchange for quality in your buffet spread, Lime is definitely the place you want to be Pick-ering. If you’re more keen on variety, park your royals somewhere else.

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Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves here for a diddly darn minute, shall we? Without Burpple Beyond, the overwhelming majority of Burpple users would never even take a second look at quite a few of the places on #burpplebeyond due to the sheer cost.

Tenkaichi Yakiniku Restaurant is one such establishment, as a 90 minute meat maelstrom will set you back by a minimum of $70.88++. However, with Burpple Beyond’s 1-for-1 premium buffet set ($114.90 before taxes), there’s quite a bit of savings to be had.

My dad and I quite enjoyed the slices of wagyu beef ribeye cap on the left of the plate, which was lean(er) and majestically meaty, and the marvelously marbled wagyu short rib, which was rather fatty but oh so sinfully sensational. The kurobuta karubi (black pork belly) was also rather redolent, and is a nice primer for the heavyweight that is the wagyu beef. All that meat was gone in short order, as it should be.

Skip the subpar sushi rolls and cooked items, and save your precious stomach capacity for all that marvelous meat.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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