2005 saw many of the hotel restaurants renovate and revamp their buffet spreads. With each competing to bring us bigger and better concepts, there is now a large range of hotel buffets offering gourmet delights. Here’s where to go when three courses just ain’t enough.
The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square, 6877-8128.
Lunch $38-42; dinner $38-48.
The Spread: There is a modest spread that includes sashimi, sushi and extremely fresh seafood, as well as hot dishes that change daily. Two counters are devoted to desserts with servings of local and western cakes and fresh fruits.
The Highlights: We highly recommend the very fresh sashimi, lobsters, tiger prawns, and a wide selection of fresh oysters from Tasmania, France and Canada.
Point of Difference: Though the selection may be typical, the quality and standard of food plus the service are excellent. ★★★★✩
Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Rd., 6213-4275.
Lunch $43-68; dinner $68-88.
The Spread: There are an extraordinary 12 open-kitchen counters serving fresh seafood, sashimi and sushi, salads, grills, Indian, Hong Kong style noodles and three dessert counters with teppanyaki ice cream.
The Highlights: The seafood is the freshest we’ve seen in a buffet with everything sweet and succulent. Baked pastas are magnificent, the grilled meats are delicious and the Indian curries and breads are fantastic.
Point of Difference: This is high quality food that would rank well even on an a la carte menu. Everything is fresh, and the service is excellent. ★★★★★
7/F, Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore, 177A River Valley Rd., 6433-8790.
Lunch $32; dinner $38.
The Spread: The Square offers a humble range of international cuisines such as French mussels and sashimi, as well as changing themes such as Flavors of Asia and Seafood and Sauvignon.
The Highlights: The French mussels accompanied with chips are fresh and well cooked, the sashimi is similarly good and all the chocolates are hand-made.
Point of Difference: If you’re in Clarke Quay entertaining for business, this has good quality food. ★★★✩✩
Traders Hotel, 1A Cuscaden Rd., 6738-2222.
Lunch $32; dinner $42-48.
The Spread:The seven counters include the popular show kitchen shared by Chinese Chef Wan and Indian Chef Dinesh. Other counters consist of Japanese appetizers, hot soups, dim sum and diverse international mains.
The Highlights:The show stealer is the la mian with beef stock, which the international fare pales in comparison to. The refreshing cucumber yogurt shots score on originality.
Point of Difference: Although the varied cuisine is standard in taste, it is reasonably priced for a hearty lunchtime retreat. ★★★✩✩
M Hotel Singapore, 81 Anson Rd., 6224-6128.
Lunch $30; dinner $38.
The Spread: This steamboat buffet consists of a healthy range of faves like seafood, vegetables and yong tau fu. The dessert counters are home to pastries, colorful tarts and cakes.
The Highlights: The fresh Norwegian salmon oozes perfection when doused in steaming tom yum soup, and don’t miss the drunken prawns. The variety of sauces complement the hot pot experience excellently.
Point of Difference: With the choicest ingredients to pick from, this is a satisfying hot pot dinner. ★★★½✩
G/F, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Rd., 6416-7114.
Lunch and dinner $38.
The Spread: Singapore’s favorite local dishes are celebrated here. Noodles and stir fries, steaming soups, roasted duck and chicken rice, spicy curries, and traditional desserts.
The Highlights: Straits Kitchen has managed to refine its skills so that they have specialties across most of our local food types. Its rojak is crispy, its roast duck notable, its roti prata is freshly baked.
Point of Difference: Food is prepared a la minute (when ordered) so it’s always fresh and hot. We feel proud of our culture eating here. ★★★★✩
G/F, Conrad Centennial Singapore, 2 Temasek Blvd., 6432-7481.
Lunch $39; dinner $43-55.
The Spread: Oscar’s offers daily buffet spreads with seven sections that feature a mix of local and international dishes.
The Highlights: Must-tries include the a la minute Caesar salad that’s tossed in an impressive bowl made of cheese, the large variety of ingredients for 30 kinds of salads and the made-to-order waffles.
Point of Difference: Just the sheer variety and the impressive spread of healthy salads make this hotel buffet stand out. Great for business entertainment.★★★½✩
4/F, The Oriental, 5 Raffles Ave., Marina Sq., 6885-3082.
Lunch $42; dinner $52-58.
The Spread: One of the most popular buffets in town, especially during dinner time when it’s perpetually packed. Choose from a whopping 12 counters from Indian to local food to sushi to desserts.
The Highlights: The food here is uniformly good, but the stars are the top notch Indian counter and arguably the best waffles in town.
Point of Difference: The variety is impressive, while the attentive service of the staff here earns Melt extra points. ★★★★✩
G/F, Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Rd., 6737-2233.
Prices vary from $33-48 for various nights.
The Spread: For small eaters looking for an eclectic selection, Checkers is the one to visit. The concept here is themed buffets—including Thai on Tue, Japanese on Wed and Sat, and Indonesian on Thu.
The Highlights: Less is more as the narrower selection means high quality. The sashimi cuts are top notch, but our personal favorite is the noodles counter, where fresh ramens and sobas can be found.
Point of Difference: For the weight conscious and fashionistas who frequent the boutiques at the Hilton, Checkers is a good bet. Prices are affordable too. ★★★✩✩
The Meritus Negara Singapore, 10 Claymore Rd., 6737-0811
Lunch $29, dinner $39-42.
The Spread: The buffet offers salads, cold seafood and meats, and a choice of soups served at your table. There’s also a pasta section and a main course section with a modest range of stews, meats and sides.
The Highlights: The meats in the churrasco are tasty, juicy and cooked just right. We highly recommend the chocolate fountain. The range of dippers is excellent—fresh fruit, dried fruit, marshmallows, biscuits.
Point of Difference: Come here for the churrasco. It really is good quality. ★★★★✩