Chicken rice, chilli crab, kaya toast... the real taste of Singapore lies beyond the usual suspects, and in innovative dishes found everywhere from hawker centres to upscale restaurants. Here are 52 dishes to whet your appetite(53 photos)
From 'free flow' dim sum to 'stack em up' oysters - we scour the city's best buffets to bring you the best, all 52 of them.(52 photos)
We scope out the hottest new places to eat, drink and be seen at.(11 photos)
ÜBER-LUXURIOUS INTERNATIONAL BUFFET | Be bowled over by the sheer volume and variety of the buffets (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at The Line (Buffet hours: Daily 6-10.30am, noon-1.30pm, 6-10.30pm). A modern, minimalist 400-seater restaurant at Shangri-La, their buffet has 16 stations that offer worldly fare, from pesto spaghetti cooked on the spot to satay skewers aplenty, sashimi, Indian curry and a carvery. Get some creamery style ice-cream with the toppings mashed up, and finish with a freshly-brewed flavoured cappuccino at the barista bar. If you’re a diehard seafood fan, go for the marine harvest special on Tuesday and Thursday nights. All 16 kitchens will transform into seafood stations serving up a mix of traditional and new creations featuring fresh catches like Boston lobsters, king prawns and crabs. Desserts are also a dream with choices such as ice cream teppanyaki (iron-griddle cooked food) and piping-hot soufflés. The Line also does a great Sunday brunch, but if you're brunching at the Shangri-la, give The Waterfall café a try. Price: Dinner: Tue & Thu $102.64 with unlimited sparkling wine; Mon, Wed, Sun $84.24 with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks; Fri-Sat $91.26 with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks
AFFORDABLE SEAFOOD BUFFET AT MARINA BAY | The dining options at MBS come with sky-high prices, but you get the most bang for your buck at Todai (Buffet hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 5.30-10pm; Sun 11.30am-4pm, 5-10pm). This all you can eat spot's forte is their cold seafood counter. Piled high with snow crabs, oysters, clams and shrimp (depending on seasonal availability); this counter alone makes this buffet worth it. The sashimi selection is fresh and regularly refilled as are the sushi, nigiri and maki rolls. Among the hot food counters, there’s a good rendition of Singapore chili crab, garlic steamed fish and local favorite – laksa. Wait, there’s more; dim sum, noodles, salad, Korean and Chinese food, so pile those plates high and make multiple rounds. We had little room for desserts but the tower of macarons could not be ignored. Prices: Lunch: Tue, Thu & Fri child $30.42, adult $53.82; Mon & Wed child $30.42, adult $67.86; Sat, Sun, eve of public holidays and public holidays child $30.42, adult $74.88 | Dinner: Tue, Thu & Fri child $30.42, adult $79.56; Mon & Wed child $30.42, adult $66.86; Sat, Sun, eve of public holidays and public holidays child $30.42, adult $79.88.
HALAL, INTERNATIONAL BUFFET THAT REQUIRES STAMINA | This one is for the serious ‘buffetarian’. Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts (Buffet hours: 6.30-10.30pm) has a big buffet spread for every meal, but their dinner is the biggest and baddest. There is an eye-popping array of seafood – prawns, shellfish, lobsters and a whole Atlantic salmon; sushi, sashimi, a live teppanyaki (iron-griddle cooked food) station and shabu-shabu (thinly sliced beef dipped in broth/sauce). There is a small mezze selection and a large salad bar, a rotisserie and Middle-Eastern chicken kebabs. Have your pasta cooked à la minute and paired with their freshly baked bread and halal cheese. The European selection has a decent beef bourguignon and carrot au gratin. There is Asian and Indian fare and separate stations for noodles, dim sum and even one for Hainanese chicken rice with all the condiments. We recommend coming on a (very) empty stomach to get through this. Price: Mon-Thu $72.54 (adult), $44.46 (child); Fri-Sun $87.75 (adult), $49.14 (child)
BOOK A TABLE | A BAY SIDE BRUNCH BUFFET | Forlino (Buffet hours: Sat-Sun noon-2.30pm) weekend à la carte buffet features three appetisers, three pasta dishes, two mains, three desserts and unlimited refills. Chef Kentaro Torii rotates the dishes regularly, but past menus have included a cream of mushroom soup, straccetti with beef ragout, white tuna with lemon butter sauce, homemade ice cream and sorbet. The buffet is available at a hard-to-beat one-for-one offer until June 2013. Bay views and fine Italian cuisine is how we want to spend our next weekend. Price: $102.96 for two
ELEGANT, ALL YOU CAN EAT, DIM SUM | Cherry Garden (Buffet hours: Sat-Sun 11am-1pm, 1.30-3.30pm) with its dark wood decor and intimate Oriental courtyard ambience is the most desirable setting for a dim sum buffet. The main dining hall overlooks the Marina Bay and can accommodate only 70 people at a time, making this weekends-only lunch experience cosy and exclusive. What to eat? The gold dusted (yes – edible, powdered gold) steamed bamboo pith and prawn dumplings or the poached garlic pork and mushroom dumplings in spicy Thai sauce. Move on to the meats and try the flawlessly glazed Kurobuta char siew and silky-skinned braised soy chicken. For dessert, we recommend the cream of avocado with walnut ice cream and the exotic watermelon chutney with aloe vera, crystal pears and lemongrass jelly. Prices: $79.56 (adult), $46.80 (child)