Despite the limited variety, this is definitely a value for money buffet. We spent $20 nett per person for a lunch buffet from 12-3pm. I would recommend a weekday lunch because it is cheaper than the dinner buffet and there isn't much of a crowd.
For $35 (after ++) a person on a Friday evening, do yourself a favour, take the money elsewhere. Heck, top it up a little bit for quality food and have a better night out.
We dined from 8:15-9PM, half of the 'spread' was empty every time we made a turn for it.
Japanese "chicken" curry - only left with thin curry soup in the pot throughout the entire time we were there. Tonkatsu Ramen was without the tonkatsu, only noodles, a piece of radish and very salty soup. Lotus root tempura - lotus was hard to the bite. Sashimi - slimy and mushy. Salad bar - did not get to try, bowls empty or filled to 10%. The rest (which, actually is not a lot), nondescript.
Saving grace was the kong bak. But for $35? No thanks.
Um... well there isn't very much else to say about this place. Except that we will never be going back again.
No doubt the stark whiteness of its chic exterior and entrance looked very inviting, and the restaurant is spacious, serving very affordable buffet at just SGD$29.99 per head for dinner plus SGD$1.99 for free-flow drinks.
I took a walk around the place to check the buffet counters out - a little assortment of sushi, sashimi, shabu shabu items, different soup base and some desserts, that was about it, in this vast, spacious restaurant.
Tonkotsu and Shoyu soupOur hotpot was boiling prettily with the ingredients we had tossed in - golden mushrooms, vegetables, shiitake mushrooms etc. While the Tonkotsu soup was tasty in a more gentle manner, the Shoyu soup was literally as its name implied - robust. The saltiness stunned us awake literally.
Shrimp Pasta and Seafood soupWe changed soup base just to try the other two - now Prawn Paste base and Seafood. The staff did not help to change so we had to DIY with hot water and more bowls. Our second pot of soup began sizzling in heat again, and it was time to dump the ingredients in. The Prawn Paste soup was scrumptious but very salty as well. We solved the issue by adding in a glass of hot water. The Seafood soup was delicious as well, with the right level of saltiness.
I also had a platter of Salmon Sashimi, Swordfish Sashimi, Squid and Sushi in Tofu Skin - the latter was rather nice but then the recipe was idiot-proof. The sashimi was disappointing - not fresh at all, and really hard.
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Been here once before and went back recently, but they previously had a free flow of salmon sashimi, and now there is nothing but a small measly plate of 5-6 slices. Disappointed at that but overall still acceptable as they do have a spread of variety to cater to all tastes
With $20 per pax for the buffet and an additional $2 for free-flow of drinks, it is not advisable to keep your hopes too high up for Chiso Zanmai. But for that price, the quality of food offered, despite its relatively limited variety, makes it relatively value for money.
What's more, for the month of August, they have a promotion of free hot-pot which usually comes at an additional $5, so why not? The soup base is more than decent although again relatively let down by the poor variety.
If you are looking for a fantastic time out for a buffet, Chiso Zanmai might not be the place for you. If you want good, pay more, it's a simple equation.
Otherwise, I would recommend this place for the price.