Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Dong! Dong! Dong! 1, 2, 3. Suntec City Level 3.
It's no secret that we Singaporeans love Japanese food. Maybe it's because Jap food is seen as trendy. Or because it's promoted as healthy. Or because we just simply like the way it's beautifully plated and presented. Whatever the reason, there is no denying that we love our sushi, sashimi, tempura, udon, teriyaki, yakitori, miso...
Those who want to combine their love for Japanese food and buffets should really try Kuishin-Bo. It's my favourite Japanese buffet restaurant and I like the fact that the buffet items are fresh, tasty and have a certain standard. Of course, don't compare it to high-end Japanese restaurants. But it certainly is a notch above more common family Japanese restaurants found in most shopping malls.
The spread is good and everyone can find something that he likes. While I'm certainly not going to ramble off the whole list of goodies offered at the buffet, I'll post about certain highlights and this should give a fairly good representation of what to expect there.
There is a teppanyaki counter offering salmon, dory, beef and chicken. Take your pick, clip the small number clip provided to the plate and return to your seat. Once teppanyaki-ed, your food will be brought to your table. I like the beef. It wasn't scrawny scraps of dead cow. What they offered were cubes of ribeye. Once cooked, they were juicy, tender and beefy. The salmon was also nice and the dory fillet, unlike many fishy versions out there, was fresh. But I found the chicken pieces too fatty for my liking.
Kaminabe is available here and seems to be a favourite among many. The Japanese paper steamboat comes in a choice of seafood, beef and chicken. I asked for the beef option and was so satisfied with it. Feeling that the beef slices were insufficient, I later skipped to the teppanyaki counter and grabbed more of that glorious ribeye cubes. And to the steamboat, I added them. The soup base was miso and became fiercely beefy as the soup boiled over time, fuelled by the solid fuel that seemed to last forever.
The sashimi, sushi and seafood sections were side-by-side. For sashimi, there was salmon, tuna and snapper. Perhaps I'm biased but I found the salmon sashimi the best. The tuna and snapper were fresh and firm but nothing beats the smooth, oily texture and slight sweetness of salmon. The sushi available ranged from basic cucumber, pickles to popular salmon, egg, prawns, tuna and... I can't remember all of them. I should hightlight the tuna belly battleship. Yes, that's what Kuishinbo named it. Fatty pieces of tuna belly were minced and set on rice, wrapped round with seaweed to complete the sushi. I haven't had this before and so felt it was rather unique. From the seafood section, I fed most on the crayfish (Alaskan crabs are available for dinner). They were of average size but their flesh was fresh, firm and sweet. The ever popular edamame was also part of the buffet spread. (Refer to picture at the start of this post.)
For hot food, I ate shishamo (the delicious pregnated fish), tempura prawns, softshell crabs and veggie, yakitori and tonkatsu. The grilled squid was especially good. A small whole squid skewered on a wooden stick and grilled lightly. The basting sauce was salty and savoury. Yum! The tempura prawns and veggie (sweet potato slices and lady's finger) were good. No disgusting rancid oil aftertaste or soggy batter. The softshell crab was too oily for me but luckily I had a cup of chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard) which instantly made me feel much better.
This is actually beef udon in a very small claypot although it looks deceptively like a regular claypot in this picture. The last-minute splash of egg white made this look messy and hardly appealing. But they actually tasted quite good. And the tiny portion comes in handy for those who want to eat a wide variety but get filled up fast.
For desserts, the green tea ice cream is a must eat! It's more like softserve (aka 7eleven's Mr Softie type). It melts fast so be quick to spoon, lick and swallow before it melts into a pool of green cream. Smooth, not too sweet and with the clean, refreshing green tea flavour showing, this is a great way to cool down after all the teppanyaki and tempura.
Be creative and do what I did by adding the green tea ice cream into a glass of Sprite and ta-da. Green tea float.
Mochi is also available at the dessert counter. These soft and chewy glutinous rice balls give the selection more variety and are more interesting than the chocolate fountain (yes, they do have one). For those who cannot get enough of green tea, there is also the rather unique green tea cheesecake.
Kuishin-Bo is one of those buffets that has left me satisfied and wanting to come back for another round. The price may be a little steep for a non-hotel buffet but considering the quality and variety of food served, I think it is well worth it.
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: $25.80++
Fri, Sat, Public Holiday Eve & Public Holiday: $39.80++
Suntec City Tower 1
Chew On This: Worried about the GST increase? Let Kuishin-Bo soothe your worry as they'll be asborbing GST for those who dine from Mondays to Thursdays. Currently, civil servants will only have to pay $28.20++ (4 pax & above) or $26.80++ (10 pax & above) for dinner on Tuesdays. And the Ladies will smile about Wednesday dinners as it's Lady's Night and they'll be charged $25.80++. So come and eat before the promotion ends.