Buffets, buffets, buffets. We love them. We hate them. They make us fat. They make us satisfied. Looking at the crowds packing buffet restaurants… Yes, they have a place in our hearts, and bellies.
What makes a good international buffet restaurant? The selection of food comes first definitely – the options have to be varied, fresh, delicious and presentable. For some Singaporeans, the availability of crustacean delights like juicy prawns, oysters, and crabs mean Everything to them.
A part that sometimes go unnoticed – the ‘feel’ of the restaurant. Yes, the vibes, ambience, and energy that it gives. Some restaurants are like jostling market places where you just don’t feel like taking part in the hunger games, literally. Some are like mazes, where the only things in clear sight are the fondue and the exit.
A factor that is crucial to many of my Singaporean friends when you hear “Worth it or not?” The value for its money aka how much quality food you can consume to get your hard-earned money’s worth. (With that said, I go for buffet surely ‘lugi’ one.)
These are my personal 5 Best Hotel International Buffets, plus one extra for your consideration. Take your pick. If your favourite is not included, just comment below, but don’t hold it against me.
Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road, Tel: +65 6213 4275
Opening Hours: Breakfast 6am-10:30am (Mon-Fri), 6:00am-11:00am (Sat), Lunch 12-2:30pm (Mon-Fri) 12pm-3pm (Sat-Sun), Dinner 6:30-10:30pm Daily
The Line at Shangri-La Hotel is a shoo-in for the Top 5 Buffet restaurants for many. It is the vibes, the dynamism. Walking in, you will be presented with this white stylish clean restaurant, accented with orange lighted panels. There is ‘buffet energy’ in the air that makes you want to take a plate immediately to navigate a few rounds.
16 theatre kitchens prepare your food à la minute. 16. With a few hundred items presented, you may get overwhelmed. When lost, go for the freshly shucked oysters at the seafood station, thick cut sashimi at Japanese station, laksa at the noodle station. Save the best for last with all the cakes at the dessert station – a colourful array of puddings, cakes, cookies, pies, nonya kueh ofevery popular kind. While some of the sections are kind of like food-court quality, the seafood and dessert sections are generally fabulous.
Lunch: $55++ adult, $26++ child (Mon-Sat)
Dinner: $72++ adult, $36++ child (Mon, Wed, Sun), $95++ adult, $36++ child (Tues & Thurs Marine Harvest),
$82++ adult, $36++ child (Fri, Sat)
Sunday Champagne Bunch: $138++ adult, $98++ adult w/o champagne, $26++ child
Melt the World Café
4F Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797 (City Hall MRT) Tel: +65 6885 3500>
Reserve Online Now
As the name suggests, Melt the World Café allows you to dine around the world in its multi-cultural culinary feast. A successful buffet restaurant is also about how the space is organized. After the entrance, you would be presented with this huge dessert space almost immediately. A smart tactic I tell you. The other sections further in are neatly organized. Even though the restaurant is almost always crowded, you would not feel the ‘buffet rush’ at Melt as diners seem to take it easy.
Recommended must-tries include Melt’s Royal Tandoori selection with sumptuous marsala prawns, tandoori oven-baked chicken, mutton curry, served with freshly baked chutney and naan. Other international menu highlights include the Carpaccio of Beef Tenderloin Fillet, Thai Green Curry, Hainanese Chicken Rice, and homemade waffles and ice cream. An alfresco barbecue terrace is available dinner from Thursday to Saturday. The juicy wagyu beef burgers, lamb racks and tenderloins are calling out to you.
Breakfast (Mon to Sun) – $46++ (Mon-Sun)
Lunch: $68++ (Mon-Sat)
Dinner: $82++ (Sun-Wed) , $88++ (Thu-Sat)
Sun Brunch: $108++
The Kitchen Table
W Hotel, 21 Ocean Way, Tel: +65 6808 7268
Opening Hours: 6:00am – 11:00pm (Mon-Fri), 6:00am – 12:00am (Sat-Sun)
The Kitchen Table W Hotel’s buffet restaurant serves up “Food from the Heart”, with 6 live cooking stations of international selection, using fresh seasonal ingredients to prepare the menu for the day. Surprisingly, there was a huge proportion of Asian and local cuisines such as Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Tandoori dishes and an assortment of Dim Sum when I visited. My favourite section was the Italian pasta where there are bowls and bowls of pasta of various sorts, seafood and ingredients, 4 types of sauces where you would customise the Italian dish.
There are daily specials which include Singapore Chilli Crab (Sun), Jumbo Prawn Laksa (Mon), Tandoori Lobster Tail (Tues), Hamachi Sashimi with Mint Sauce (Wed), Slow- Cooked Lamb Leg (Thurs). Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s Bubbly Remix… all of the above. While this buffet does not give the impression of wide, massive and huge, it suits those wishing to have a lazy afternoon taking bite sized portions of everything. Shhhh.. Access of the W hotel swimming pool is given if you opt for the Sunday’s Bubbly Remix with champagne. $148++ swimming session, anyone? (Read: The Kitchen Table W Hotel)
Lunch: $65++ (Mon-Sat)
Dinner: $65++ (Mon-Sun)
Sunday Remix Brunch: $108++ w/o champagne, $148++ with champagne
Carousel Buffet Restaurant
Lobby Level, Royal Plaza on Scotts 25 Scotts Road Singapore 228220 (Orchard MRT) Tel: +65 6589 7799
Opening Hours: 12:00pm-2:00pm (Lunch), 3:30pm-5:30pm (High tea), 6:30pm-10:30pm (Dinner)
Reserve Online Now
Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts has always been the company function, bring foreign friends, corporate gathering, birthday kind of buffet restaurants. Very popular amongst locals and foreigners, especially since the food is halal. Special mention must be made of the personable service, as most of the staff always are friendly and personable. If you have a friend celebrating a birthday, alert the staff and be prepared to enjoy their birthday song and cheers (Did I give the surprise away?).
The buffet serves a huge variety of sweet treats with not one but three dessert counters. If you can have only one dessert, then the bread & butter pudding please. Carousel’s Japanese food items are quite popular, such as the Hot Pot section with Shabu Shabu, Kimchi Tofu hot pot, or Oden Hot pot and Teppanyaki where the chef will fry Tiger Prawns, Garlic Fried Rice, or Bean Sprout with Spring Onion personalised to your taste. (Read: Carousel Royal Plaza on Scotts)
Lunch: $46++ adult, $28++ child (Mon-Fri), $50++ adult, $32++ child (Sat-Sun)
High Tea: $38++ adult, $24++ child (Mon-Fri), $43++ adult, $28++ child (Sat-Sun)
Dinner: $62++ adult, $37++ child (Mon-Fri), $75++ adult, $42++ child (Sat-Sun)
7500A Beach Road, PARKROYAL on Beach Road (Bugis MRT), Tel: +65 6505 5710 email@example.com
Opening Hours: 6am – 12am Daily
While PARKROYAL on Beach Road is no 5 star hotel like the rest (and is quite old in hotel age and not often in the radar), its buffet restaurant Plaza Brasserie impresses with its value-for-money and quality food. $38++ for hotel buffet lunch is a hard-to-find in Singapore. Led by Executive Chef Jackson Goh and team, some of the must-have are the Soft-Shell Crab (get the mayonnaise sauce), Laksa, Tempura, Roti Prata (take the durian or chocolate) and Cantonese Roast Meats.
Food wise, there are some hits and misses, but the Chinese/Asian selection and those prepared in the live stations are generally of reasonable quality. They have seasonal buffet themes such as the Seafood or Crab Buffet (just ended) which proves to be a bit hit with Singapore diners. 8 different kinds of crabs in a buffet – where to find? (Read: Plaza Brasserie PARKROYAL on Beach Road)
Lunch: $38++ adult, $23++ child (Mon-Fri)
High Tea: $39++ adult, $24++ child (Sat-Sun)
Dinner: $52++ adult, $31++ child (Mon-Thurs), $55++ adult, $33++ child (Fri-Sun)
10 at Claymore
Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road, Tel: +65 6737 0811
Opening Hours: 6:30am-10:30pm
Special mention. 10 at Claymore at Pan Pacific Orchard (don’t get confused with the Somerset or Marina hotels) may not be the biggest in size, variety and selection, but it offers a one-of-a-kind ‘Plates of Pleasure’ à la carte buffet concept. You can literally eat the buffet without leaving your seat.
Order their specialties presented in smaller petite portions and they will be served to you. New Zealand All-Natural Beef Tenderloin in Burgundy Reduction, Penang Style Rich Aromatic Assam Laksa, and the award-winning Char Kway Teow with Pacific Blue Crab Meat prepared by Chef Andy Oh. (Read: 10 at Claymore Pan Pacific Orchard)
Lunch: $39++ adult (Mon-Sat)
Dinner: $59++ adult (Mon-Thurs), $62++ (Fri-Sun)
Sunday Brunch: $68++ (Sun)
Note: All prices are correct at the time of publishing. Please check with the restaurants for updated price lists. The author is also not responsible for weight gain this holiday season.
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