4th August 2012. Written by Xin Li.
It seemed that once you are out of army and you are older, buffets became a dreadful thing. It’s like you want to try everything in a candy shop but at the same time your mind would activate a “don’t eat too much!” alarm as you walk down the buffet line. And, buffets aren’t getting any cheaper, Carousel cost 46 – 50++ and Triple III sets you back at 45+ even after a 1-for-1 promotion for lunch.
I was back at Cafebiz after quite some time, because we wanted to celebrate my sister’s birthday and a buffet seemed to cater for everyone plus there is a one-for-one promotion going on for DBS, OCBC, UOB, Maybank and even SAFRA for brunch on Saturday.
There was an English Roast theme going on during our visit, but if not for the placard outside you probably wouldn’t notice the English theme, Roast Lamb, Roast Chicken, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings doesn’t make an international buffet any English, it is like having only borscht without beetroot in a “Russian” restaurant (when everything is chicken chop and steak).
Theme aside, the food was decent and the selection was just right. Not too many to tire out your taste buds and make up your mind on what to eat and not too few to feel as though it is not worth paying for.
Besides, the food was decent and some items stood out. But, I would start with those that failed first. The most obvious failure of the day was the har gaw with its skin so thick and prawn with a texture of a mash. The Crustacean Bisque was expectedly heavy and pungent like the last time I had it. The Roast Beef was too dry and the sushi is something you probably want to skip.
Other than that, the sashimi was excellent, both the Maguro and Sake were slightly sweet and does not have any sinewy texture.
There was Brown Congee with an array of condiments my mum seemed to enjoy it, along with the kueh pie tee station.
The seafood selection consisted of clams, mussels and prawns. My sister enjoyed her prawns thoroughly and commented they were very fresh.
Personally, I enjoyed the hot mains even though the fanciful names did not live up to what was expected. On that day, almost all the hot mains were infused with some kind of tea such as Peppermint, Ginger, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong etc. Honestly, of all the mains I tried, the tea flavour was either very subtle or there was barely any trace of it.
The Grilled Jumbo Chicken Sausage with Peppermint Tea infused with Raisin Compote has a faint mint flavour to it and the raisin compote was distinctly sweet in a pleasant way, imagine a savoury but fruity sausage.
The Beef Cheeks with Sautéed Parsnips were really good.
The Braised Chicken in Soya, Shitake Mushroom and Chai Tea was quite ordinary.
Pan Seared Fish with Ginger Tea Infusion, has a subtle ginger flavour and tasted rather like Cajun seasoned fish.
The Hong Kong Pan-Seared Fish was simple but very tasty, it is basically fish with quality soy sauce and ginger. However, I find it grossly oily.
Braised Pork Knuckle with Lapsang Souchong Tea was decent. No hint of tea though.
If you love creamy (and sweet) vegetables, you would enjoy the Sauteed Celeriac, Celery and Apple with Earl Grey Tea. Once again, I couldn’t taste the earl grey tea.
While the Crustacean Bisque was a major disappointment, the Pear and Duck Soup was really good, we (and other diners) had seconds of it. It was a clear soup with fruity sweet notes and at the same time very appetizing thanks to the duck meat.
No buffet will be complete without desserts. Cafebiz has quite a variety of desserts such as profiteroles and Nonya kuehs all in bite sizes including cakes like Matcha Cheesecake, Strawberry Shortcakes. The Durian Pengat was very popular.
I had the Mango Pudding which was more syrup than pudding but the Green Tea Panna Cotta will be a matcha fan’s favourite. It would be excellent had they added some red bean to it.
I also had the classic Chocolate Mousse.
The Weekend Brunch Buffet also includes drinks such as Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, tea and coffee. It was priced at 56.00++ for 1 person but with the 1-for-1 promotion it comes down to about 28++ for 2 persons on a weekend. Service was decent and there is even a playground outside for children.
For dining reservations and offers, please visit:
Traders Hotel Singapore
1A Cuscaden Road