char, guillemard street

good caramelisation, great flavours, but very fatty meat at this upmarket version of your typical roast-meat stall.

straight up, it’s pretty expensive – you could argue that a slab of pork in a restaurant would cost much, much more, and you would be right. but value is relative, and the comparison is more accurately made with singapore’s (gradually less) plentiful good-and-cheaper hawker stalls.

but the flavours are worth a visit – if only just to see the hype – and you’d be eating in a modern bistroesque environment with air-conditioning.

n.b. all Chinese and dialect spellings are mere illustrations and may not reflect their true pronunciations (though they certainly reflect my imperfect grasp of the language).

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cafe brio’s buffet, copthorne kings hotel

small buffet at the grand copthorne waterfront hotel along zion – this is going to be a short one, because while the buffet isn’t outstanding (pretty much at all), I thought it worth a shout-out for its quite reasonable price and decent spread.

I find buffets to be a good manifestation of the diminishing returns quandary – although there are fantastic, fantastic, large buffets that are priced equally exceptionally (by which I mean high), how much food can you really eat – and more to the point, how much do you want to pay for it?

this place is pretty much mid-priced, but I think its crowds on the weekends (especially at dinner, when there is a barbecue pit fired up serving up all sorts of meats and seafood) are testament to the fact that it feels pretty much worth its lower price (especially if you get the ala carte card, with which there is a further discount).

there isn’t much here that is fantastic, although I enjoy the roast beef when they have it, and can consume a pretty decent amount of cold prawns (usually fresh and meaty). the sashimi is more than edible, the sushi is quite lamentable, but the cooked food dishes (usually chinese and peranakan) do a good job of filling stomach space.

the dessert table is often questionable – sometimes you get a decent chinese dessert amongst the rather okay cakes, and there’s always fruit, fondue and ice cream, if you’re so inclined.


the tldr version: cheaper than your average buffet, but decent for a family meal.

Café Brio’s Buffet
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Singapore
392 Havelock Rd, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
Singapore 169663
tel +65 6233 1100
$$: 48++ onward (depending on lunch or dinner, weekday or -end)

prime gyu-kaku, chijmes

decent bbq-it-yourself wagyu (and more) at this newly-refurbished outlet of the gyu-kaku chain at chijmes.

the once-chapel has been redone, with a long stretch of mid-ranging japanese restaurants serving a range of specialties, from ramen to tonkatsu. this one specialises in beef, of course, with the marbled styles dominating a menu broken up with sides and a couple seafood options.

it’s easy eating – a comfortable casual-ish environ and good slabs of meat. and is it just me, or can you stare at that meat-flipping gif forever?

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ssikkek korean grill bbq, novena

caution: lots of raw meat up ahead.

decent food-court-style buffet at united square – like a ever-so-slightly more sophisticated version of the secondary-school hangout that is seoul express.

I’m saying sorry upfront for only taking photos of the multi-colored bits of raw marinated meat – it was a large communal lunch not quite amenable to taking photos, and really – any pause in laying meat (and claim) to real estate on the grill results in someone swooping in under your nose to take your place.

plus, I was too busy eating to remember photos. but you know what cooked meat looks like, right? (full of excuses, I know.)

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of a barbecue at sunset

I’ve aching arms to show for a game of squash, a big smile on my face for friday-night-date-night, and some photos to show you of the magnificently belly-busting barbecue I my parents hosted for some friends last night.

cooking duty went to the partner and parents, so I had absolutely nothing to do the supreme duty of snapping photos as the night went on. we had a beautiful dusky sky, giant squid-killer king prawns-lemongrass pork-sausages-‘n’-wings with a good spread of greens – and finished with bowls of grass jelly and a slice of coconut cake (recipe coming soonish!).

I hope your weekend’s shaping up just as nicely – and if not, you’ve got one more day to make it awesome!


p.s. boiled eggs are a surprisingly good filler while you wait for real meat to come off the grill.

p.p.s I’ve included some numbers after the jump just in case you were thinking of holding your own party!

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melt – the world café, town (part 2)

this is literally and metaphorically the sweet section of a review on the buffet at melt. part uno on the savouries here.

rather fantastic desserts at this buffet in the mandarin oriental. if you’ve been hanging a while here – why hello there – then you know I have a sweet tooth. the long of the short is that the desserts here span cakes, mousses, little mignardises and modernesque dessert-in-spoons, fruit and a cheese board. and a waffle maker.

fresh on-the-spot when-you-want-it piping-hot waffles from a live waffle-maker. why, hello there. 

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melt – the world café, town (part 1)

probably the best buffet I’ve had in singapore – in spread and overall food quality . buffets are a tricky beast to photograph – so many things on offer, and the whole public exposure factor involved in toting a camera to every dish. too daunting – but I tried my best.

this is a photo post – largely because of the sheer volume, but in short: high quality food – not the best in themselves, especially if considered separately  – but very good for the fantastically large range on offer. even better than the line at the shangri-la, which has seen standards dwindling in the past years. heavy sticker on this one too, but we walked waddled away overstuffed and happy – so perhaps an occasional treat?

oh, and I haven’t mentioned their fantastic post-dinner sweet section eh? very impressive, this one – more on that in a later post today here!

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the home grill

some photos from a recent home dinner – mum’s a great cook, and while I wish I had the opportunity to cook more now that I’m home, it’s difficult to put up a convincing argument (even to myself) when the food’s so good.

this is another post dedicated to our multitasking george foreman grill, and it does an amazing job with crayfish, squid, sausages and pork; and we had loads of leafy greens and mash to go with. it’s a rainy sunday here in singapore – a crazy-heavy curtain of grey outside – and so a nice one for being indoors. see you guys tomorrow!

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ito-kacho, town

really good, really really good japanese grill-it-yourself hidden away in the mandarin gallery – which has a surprising number of decent restaurants (note to self: go back and have a look). my parents first came here on their silver wedding anniversary – gosh! – and were so enthralled with the food they brought us along the next week, and for very good reason. for all you fans of marbled, fatty beef, this is your place.

the prices here are on the steep side: you pay for the quality of the meat – it comes appetizingly dark, sliced just precisely so – for the great service and the quiet ambience for the restaurant, but it’s easily justifiable – just create find an occasion to come.

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