We made reservations for a birthday dinner 2 days in advance, notifying the staff that my family and I were celebrating my dad's birthday.
There was no free birthday cupcake offered to us until we made a request towards the end of the buffet. And it seemed like none of the staff knew it was my dad's birthday, except for the restaurant greeter. When my dad finally received his birthday cupcake, which we requested to be packed, it was squashed into a rectangular tupperware as they had no other containers to pack it nicely into. So -1 pt for service, as I felt they lacked the 'human touch' and attention to detail.
In addition, plate-clearing was slow, considering the fact that the restaurant only had a couple of guests at the beginning of the night. There was one staff that was walking around aimlessly and didn't even come to our table until the manager instructed him to do so to clear our plates. Another -1pt for service.
When my dad requested for a finger bowl, the staff did bring us one but the water was COLD, which was highly unusual. I've had many buffets here in SG, and I've always been served with a warm finger bowl, never a cold one. So I figured that either the staff doesn't know what a finger bowl is, or she didn't really care and simply prepared some sliced lemons and cold water in a bowl. One last -1pt for service.
-1pt for ambience, as we were sat right next to the glass window, which faces the hotel lobby, where vehicles drive in and out from. I've been to buffets with a better ambience.
The food was really good, except for the mains, which I didn't really care for. So, -1pt for food.
The lamb with orange-peanut sauce and the ribeye, which were cooked to order in small portions, were excellent. I've never had lamb that good, accompanied with that kinda of sauce, and it was a match made in heaven.
The seafood, was great! Even though the amount laid out seems small, once it gets depleted, the chefs promptly replenish it. Fresh oysters (Tasmanian and New Zealand I think) shucked on the spot, juicy scallops, medium-sized prawns, perfectly-cooked mussels, sweet crab claw meat that comes out easily from the shell (a sign of freshness) and crayfish with its roe still intact! The spread truly surprised me, as I had always thought that the seafood spread at Melt Cafe in Shangri-La was the best in town.
The crepe station offered a variety of fillings, but I went straight for the durian crepe, which was delicious! Tried the strawberry one too, which was equally delish. You can go crazy with the toppings; from chocolate sprinkles and diced berries to fresh whipped cream and strawberry syrup.
The desserts were pretty decent, with a good mix of cakes, jellies/mousse/custard in shot glasses and a few local offerings (tau huey and cheng teng, if I remember correctly). The chocolate and strawberry macaroons were yummy, next to the coffee station. Only two flavours of ice cream were available, but I was way too full to try them (because I had three fairly large portions of awesome seafood).
Conclusion: All in all, if it weren't for the half-past six service that night, I'd rate the restaurant 4.5 out of 5. I would highly recommend the buffet to anyone looking to get some bang for their buck.
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