that first photo already screams buffet, does it not? and this is the hotel buffet of the novotel at clarke quay, a small one located up on level 17.
it’s a little difficult to talk about buffets, just because the format translates to far too many dishes to talk about, and very few that actually warrant that attention.
so I feel sorry about small buffets like this one – which need to go down the popular route and serve items like cold seafood (decent), sashimi (unfortunately mostly tuna) and sushi (really quite a sad selection – and also differentiate themselves.
on that latter note though, this place shines a little brighter. it has a peranakan bend, with dishes like babi pongteh (lean like I like, with lots of soft carrots) and rendang, and my favorite dish of popiah (quite delicious, but could be kept hotter).
there’s also a more than decent selection of kueh and buttery pineapple balls at the dessert section too, if that’s up your alley.
in deference (purely my suspicion) to their caucasian customers, there is a surprisingly decent salad bar – with plenty of smoked meats and pasta salads, an intriguing condiment bar, and even a parmesan wheel for tossing salads.
did you catch that doner kebab off on the side? such a strange addition to the buffet, and a little out of place – but quite tasty otherwise.
they also have a couple of intriguing things here – like a an upscale take on the mos burger rice patty, served here with a juicy beef patty. very filling, especially with those thick rice patties, and I wouldn’t usually load up on carbs during a buffet – but the sauce that goes with the patty is really quite good.
the chef also cooks up an interesting dish of oysters fried in a chewy batter and doused with a piquant sauce. this is surprisingly tasty – especially seeing as how I don’t usually eat oysters – and very reminiscent of that chewiness you get in an oyster pancake at the hawker centre.
but perhaps the best dish, and one worth getting if you come here – is the risotto. cooked when you order, and of a slightly wetter consistency, the rice grains are soft but separate, and the cream is rich without overpowering you with too-much dairyness. interspersed with tender cubes of zucchini and mushroom, I’d have done more of this if I had the space.
they do try hard here to differentiate themselves, and its a valiant effort (and much-needed, given their rather out-of-the-way location), but it’s really best suited to your purposes if you’re staying in the hotel or you’re looking for a mid-priced buffet.
7th floor, Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
177A River Valley Rd
tel +65 6338 3333
thanks to hungrygowhere for the invite to a meal here!