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I am not a typical fan of buffet-style meal but I am happy to have it once in a while. And specially when the group is large, I can rest assured that each of them will find something fanciful among the 8 self-help stations. This is achievable, given the mega spread Kiseki is offering. Not sure if its a blessing, but close to 40% of the range are non-Japanese cuisines. While the Japanese dishes still make up the majority, I am one of those weirdo who only eye for that fluffy looking deep pocketed batter cake resting on the iron rack. For all you know, I am dotty about waffles.
In my view, a buffet feast equates a marathon participation. Just as the gun sounded, I find myself derailed and taking shortcuts to the finishing line – dessert station. There, my eyes are fixed at the lady behind the waffle maker, counting the number of waffle wedges she is dishing out and eye balling frantically for condiments for a switch up. Fresh fruit dices -nope. Candy rice – nope nope. Jellied puddings, mochi and Daifuku – nope nope nope. Until I reached the chilling box with 6-8 flavours of gelato – yes; black sesame, green tea & vanilla checked. Then that chocolate fondue drizzles – again marked! They are invited to join me at my table.
Not to worry if waffles didn’t wow you, there are bite-size green tea azuki and cheese cakes to make you smile too.
After the off-track, I joined the rest on the official route – pacing up and down the counters, examined each food items closely. I picked a few sizable tempura from the Agemono sub-section – ebi, kani stick & yasai (broccoli), all tasted fresh and crunchy of which, I liked the vegetable most. Okay, crowned me a vegan if you like.
Then slightly to the right, there are Teppanyaki & Robatayaki where you find monstrous grilled salmon fish heads, shishamo, baby tender chicken teriyaki sticks and grilled plumply shitake mushrooms. Towards the end of the row, I ordered some wok fry assorted vegetables, mostly bean sprouts with a few stringy choy sum – not bad though I’d prefer marche’s. My girlfriend ordered a portion of Teppanyaki pork collar in ginger sauce which I thought was pretty delicious, moist and very tender, not fibrous and the seasoning was just right. The cook done it better than the garlic beef steak which tasted leathery. Oh, please bring along those table-numbered mini file clips found on your table when ordering so that the wait staff could send the food when it’s ready.
Walk around the bustling see-through kitchen, another row of food items revealed. At the left-hand corner, you could order Italian pasta of 3 choices – Wafu vinaigrette dressing, creamy carbonara or konkase tomato sauce; alternatively, pick up a ready thin-crust pizza with teriyaki chicken, Japanese curry or seafood toppings. Potato-goers could give the Rösti a shot, its shredded surface was pan-roasted to crisp but it lacked that robust buttery flavour I used to know.
Stroll along and you get to reach out to more fried items like potato ebi rolls, cheese crab balls, seafood Croquettes, Haru Maki (spring roll) seafood. Next, I flipped open the steamer cover and help myself to the hearty winter dish – Japanese oden with plentiful of squishy quail eggs, fish cakes with hidden popping fish roe, perfectly stewed daikon, glutenous konjac (greyish starch corms) and the most delightful Kinchaku pouch - deep fried bean curd wrapped with fish cake. I enjoyed the light soy sauce broth that makes everything taste homely.
While I skipped the egg plants and roasted chicken, I took a bite on the Japanese curry udon placed along the next counter. I am glad that the udon didn’t taste overly soggy but the curry seasoning was a bit loud, somewhere didn’t fare quite right. I heard the pork shabu ramen did better. Well, I was unlucky then.
You may want to try out Chawanmushi or Tamagoyaki in the bamboo tray plus a bowl of steaming hot seafood soup. Or simply walk to the adjacent counter for some cold seafood selections – chilled prawns & mussels or clams, salads, soba, sushi and sashimi.
With so much to offer, what else could make my people über happy? I don’t know.
Date of Visit: 2012-10-23