There's no doubt that Singaporeans love buffets. You hear about it. See it on TV programmes. And even participate heartily of course.
But what makes a buffet popular?
While this cow was grazing at the well-received PARKROYAL on Beach Road's Cafe Brasserie, I've noticed a few traits that seem to appeal to the palate of Singaporeans.
#1. The buffet should ideally be in a hotel. Most people tend to associate hotel buffets with better than average quality.
#2. Feature local favourites. The laksa here was pretty yummy with a rich, lemak broth.
Many people here like their Chicken Rice too. Decent stuff.
#3. Must! Have! Sashimi!
#4. Live stations. It's more interesting to watch and food is usually served hot. An Indian chef whipping up prata adds perceived authenticity to the dish.
There was also a Fried Oyster Omelette station.
#5. Variety. It's not only the spice of life but hey, everyone loves to be spoilt for choices at a buffet, no?
Pay one price, try more, eat all! Moohahaha.
#6. Have chefs around. Their presence alone assures quite a few. :p
#7. Feature seafood items. Diners see them as more expensive and hence are drawn to them to "get one's money's worth". Plaza Brasserie's Drunken Prawns were fresh, and I like the fortifying herbal soup- perfect for the recent chilly weather.
#8. Do a meat station. Unless it's a vegetarian buffet, meats are prized and alluring! Brings out the inner caveman in most.
#9. Be seasonal! With Christmas just round the corner, the above meat station became...
This! Awesome Roasted Honey Glazed Ham. The Roasted Turkey was also pretty good and moist.
And it has 12 types of sauces! I particularly liked the Tong Gui Herbal Sauce for its pleasantly bitter notes, Thai Mango Sauce for its perky, fruity flavours and the Sichuan Sauce for its savoury-tangy, mildly spicy taste (though it could have been cranked up a few notches for Singaporean's spicy-loving tongues).
#10. Have a board with some cheeses and condiments. Despite a good proportion of the population being lactose-intolerant, there seems to be a growing number of diners who love their cheese. Also for the ang mohs lah. Afterall, they came up with Who Moved My Cheese. This cow would have just named it Oei! Where My Cheese Go? Moohahaha.
#11. D for desserts! While some people have an extra stomach for sweet stuff, this is the main course area for the even more hardcore ones. The above shows just part of the dessert spread. I've seen bread and butter pudding, green bean soup, chocolate fountain, fresh fruits, ondeh ondeh, cheesecake etc. This festive season expect log cakes, ginger bread, Christmas fruit cake and puddings.
#12. Have signatures to bring people back. Plaza Brasserie's Chocolate Cake had a creamy mousse and sponge with a nice chocolate flavour. Studded with rum-soaked raisins too. Hic.
#Don'tKnowWhatNumberAlreadyLah LOL. Have a big bunch of food-loving people with you! The joys of eating with good company can't be over emphasized. (Group photo courtesy of GourmetEstorie.)
Thanks to Karen Chang of PARKROYAL on Beach Road for the invite and for hosting this cow.
Click here for the festive buffet pricing.
PARKROYAL on Beach Road
7500 Beach Road
Tel: 6505 5710
Chew On This: Heads up kiddos! Santa Claus will be making an appearance on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to give out goodies to children and the forever young.