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2015-03-30 356 views
Cafebiz @ Hotel Jen is the place to go if you want a relaxing atmosphere to have a nice meal with your friends in, with a palatable spread.My family and I visited CafeBiz @ Hotel Jen on the 3rd of March for a weekday buffet dinner to celebrate my elder sister's 19th birthday. My resourceful younger sister was the one who had learnt of the buffet and its good reviews, so I owe that one good meal to her! We arrived just about the start of the buffet dinner, so everything pretty much was still....
My family and I visited CafeBiz @ Hotel Jen on the 3rd of March for a weekday buffet dinner to celebrate my elder sister's 19th birthday. My resourceful younger sister was the one who had learnt of the buffet and its good reviews, so I owe that one good meal to her!
We arrived just about the start of the buffet dinner, so everything pretty much was still.... 'intact' . Lucky for me, I was able to flit about snapping delicious photos of the food there before the others could attack them. Fruits! I've always had my doubts about casually picking a fruit out of the fruit bowl and eating though... What if they are mere decorations? Fresh seafood, which sadly lacks oysters. They were good nonetheless. Closeup of the prawns for you prawn fanatics out there A whole salmon to mutilate feast on Sushi platter! Thank god for the array of sushi and the cha soba on the opposite end Japanese/Korean Side Dishes Braised Duck Indian Briyani (Saffron Rice for non-Asians) Stir-fried prawn (left) and clams (right) Dim Sum for pastry lovers! Clockwise from top left: Fried pork bun, spring rolls, unknown (and flavourless) cake-like pastry Other pastries available at the Dim Sum counter Sauces for the Dim Sum! Japanese Broth (the name of which I have forgotten)
Some other soups were available there, but sadly I forgot to snap some pictures Bread basket with a wholesome variety of butters! Me being adventurous and trying all four kinds of homemade butter.
Left to Right: Garlic, Sundried Tomato, Anchovies, Olive
The taste of the garlic butter with the bread (as a spread) was really really strong, but it was the fragrant kind of strong, so it is not a bad thing. It's meant to be spread lightly on bread and toasted anyway, so I'd say that this garlic butter was well-done.
The Sundried Tomato one was my favourite - It had this special taste, almost like butter and ketchup mixed but without that vinegar taste... and a little bit more tomato-ish taste. The after taste was tangy and delightful. The problem was I had accidentally spread a bit too much on the bread, so it was almost overkill.
The anchovies butter was a special one. It was salty. Very salty. And it had that fishy taste at the end that was rather off-putting considering how this is a spread. I felt that it would be a good butter to fry food with, but not so much as a spread.
The last one - The olive butter was just appalling. It was disgusting. Now, I have absolutely nothing against olives, and olive butter is actually something we see everywhere, don't we? Well for one, I think this is the real deal - genuine butter made from 100% olive, and secondly I think the real deal is eew. I'm not even going to begin to describe what a horrible after taste it left on my tongue.
Overall verdict: Get the Sundried Tomato one. Save your appetite for something better. North Indian Cuisine Counter!! Snacks to pair the various sauces behind with Closeup of the sauces. Clockwise from top left: Chicken curry, apple chutney, green chutney, unknown (I should really start asking if I don't know :x) Fish Curry and Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes)
I think I would go as far as to say that the North Indian cuisine was the highlight of the buffet. Of course, this is coming from me, an avid fan of Indian food. Masala chicken, curries, prata... You name it, I savour it. But this is also because of the beautiful pots in which the food were kept. If you were surveying the restaurant, I think that would probably be the first thing you'd see. And most definitely, the food was good! What more to expect? Desserts Counter!! Chocolate Fountain, majestic as always. I'm still looking for a dark chocolate fountain. 'Condiments' to dip in the chocolate fountain! The puffs to the right were surprisingly light (think plastic bag) and crispy (I hope it's not because they were stale -.-) More desert. Left to right: WAFFLES, Portuguese Egg Tart, Muah Chee More starchy dessert for those who like it filling
Clockwise from top left: Nyonya Kueh-Mueh, Strawberry Roll, Kek Lapis, Pandan Cake Chinese new year goodies at the background!! And again, more cakes. An amazingly comprehensive drinks counter A separate counter for hot drinks
What I really liked about the buffet, was that they had beverages. Not just plain water or the soft drink dispenser you might find in other buffets like Kiseki / Sakura, but REAL refreshing drinks such as the following: Cranberry Juice Cocktail (MUST TRY!) and Lychee Tea
I loved in particular the Cranberry Juice Cocktail because it was so flavourful! I don't usually drink Cranberry juice because it's always too sweet with a powdery after-taste (anything to do with it being from a packet?) But this one is special! The sweetness is mild so it does not spoil your appetite, and the slight sour taste can help whet your appetite for the large spread in the restaurant! Plus points for the adorable presentation on a mini chalkboard
And did I mention?? There's even a bubble tea machine for you to seal your plastic cup!! Now THAT'S a first. Another bonus for creativity! How novel! A bubble tea machine in a buffet restaurant! With all the accessories, too! Clockwise from top left: Clam, Cooked Salmon, Prawn
The seafood was rather disappointing mainly because there weren't any oysters, but that's just me acting up on a no-oyster fit. The clams were tasteless, which was quite disappointing, but I think you had to pair them with some sauce... which I didn't because I like my raw seafood plain. It's all about savouring the sweetness! The cooked salmon was rather tasteless but it tasted really good with the sauce I grabbed from the side. Was it ranch??? I'm so clueless when it comes to condiments. Salmon sashimi and sushi
I'm surprised I didn't take more salmon sashimi. I did take another two more plates after this photo but it was certainly not my usual 'appetite'. Looking back I regret not having relished more sashimi, because that is probably the best seafood that came out from the buffet.
The sashimi was fresh, and the sushi was good. I suggest not eating too much sushi though as it can make you feel rather full in the long run. Cheese and Crackers!!! Failed artistic closeup. I really need a DSLR and some photography lessons
This came from the counter that I forgot to snap a picture of :'(
As usual, the cheese never failed to disappoint my tummy. The crackers were great on its own, but the brie made it 100x better. I LOVE BRIE! Or was this Camembert? I can never tell the difference.
The cheddar cheese that I got tasted a bit 'meh'... Probably because I only had it after relishing my brie, so it seemed bland to me. Clockwise from top left: Mutton sausage, pork sausage, chicken sausage, Briyani, roasted potatoes, Chicken coq au vin (french dish of chicken braised with wine)
THE SAUSAGES WERE SO GOOD! I really liked the chicken one. It spurt out juice even when it was cold (I'd left it at a side because I was busy talking to my family) and it was so good I made my grandmother and father try it on the spot. Cut, feed, cut, feed. I was raving about this chicken sausage all the time.
The mutton one was really good too, but it doesn't taste like mutton to me. Maybe it was some other meat.... It was delish nonetheless.
The pork sausage however was just mediocre. It paled in comparison to the other two sausages I had, which were really flavourful!
The briyani was rather bland (again, maybe I should have paired it with some gravy) and I felt that it was a waste of stomach space (especially when you can save them for those chicken sausages *salivates*)
The roasted potatoes were nothing to shout about - I felt they could have been spiced more, maybe a bit more salty? No harm having a few just for the experience though.
The chicken coq au vin was a special dish (my first time trying it I think). On one hand, I liked how the taste was not overpowering yet on the other hand, I think the dish is meant to have a strong taste... So I'm not too sure how to critique this dish. Then again, I'm not a gourmet. I only eat. And that alone makes me happy Clockwise from top left: Apple chutney, fried char siew bao, Dhal tarka, Naan bread, spring roll
Usually I am not a big fan of char siew, but the char siew bao was really rather delicious. I think the pastry was what made me like the dish as a whole, but the filling was decent too! The spring roll was normal, just like any other you'd find at a hawker centre. I suggest taking just one for the sake of it. Any more and you'd be wasting your stomach space. The apple chutney was life-changing though! It tasted exactly like the filling from a McDonald's Apple Pie, only perhaps without the cinnamon and slightly more sour. The texture was definitely more fluid to be a sauce, and it was such a great combination with the naan bread! Fans of apple pie, go grab that apple chutney when you visit! The naan bread was not as fluffy as I wished it would be, but still great when I dipped it in the dhal. Durian Pengat Muah Chee
I really like how the buffet included local delights such as the above. The durian pengat does not need any further advertisment - I think the name itself already attracts truckloads of visitors to Cafebiz and the only thing I can say is, "Go there now." It was cold, fragrant, creamy... The best dessert to have at anytime! The muah chee was mediocre, but nevertheless the great addition to the buffet. If you like sweet food, I am thinking that this would make a good appetizer. Top to bottom: Pulut inti and Kueh Dadar
The kueh-mueh is a must try if you are a fan of nyonya food. The pastries were fragrant and I liked these two especially. Lime sorbet with toppings (cranberry and candy stars)
After a while I decided to go try out the dessert because I was getting rather full. Being a fan of sorbet I was gladdened to see that there was sorbet there. It is, to me, very important to add in a sorbet into the array of ice cream because not everyone like creamy ice cream, and most of the time I am one of them.
My sister and I decided to get funky and make our money's worth, so we created what we thought would usually cost a hefty $15.00++ in a cafe:Tada!! High class waffles served hot and cold Closeup of the dessertThis would easily cost $15.00 at a desserts cafe!
My sister and I got a slice of waffle as a base and spread durian pengat all over it. We then sprinkled pumpkin seeds on top and topped it off with vanilla icecream. Then we had some chocolate sauce on top to finish the look.
And mind you, it tastes delicious! This is my favourite thing about visiting buffets where you get to walk around and take food. No waiters to judge you by the amount of food you eat, and you get to do crazy stuff like these!
Overall, this buffet was a great experience and I would not hesitate to visit again if there are any events to celebrate. Upon some research I realise that Cafebiz does offer oysters, but only during weekend dinner. That is going to cost me a bomb so I shall put this away till my birthday when someone would hopefully treat me to a nice dinner
We caught this buffet when they were offering a one-for-one promotion, so it was a great deal for us. On other days, here are the prices:
Weekday Lunch - Adult Price - S$47.00++
Weekday Dinner - Adult Price - S$60.00++
And my rating for Hotel Jen's Cafebiz is:
Service: 3/5 (waitresses were not very responsive even when we thanked them for refilling our glasses... where's the smile and "you're welcome"?!)
Overall: 21/25 --> 84%
I hope this review has been useful to some! I must say I am getting tired of my own post.
Other Info. : Great place for family gatherings(The above review is the personal opinion of a user which does not represent OpenRice's point of view.)