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Review for Asian Market Cafe

2.6

Eatability rating

34 reviews

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AsianChineseEuropeanHalalInternationalItalianModern EuropeanNonya / PeranakanPeranakanWestern
Address: Level 2, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, 179103
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+65 6884 6884
30 Oct 2012
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Decent food marred by bad customer experience

As a group of 11, we were impressed with the wide spread of dishes laid out (and continual replenishment) for an Asian buffet.   Don’t typically have high expectations of food freshness and quality at a buffet (especially marketed as an Asian one) but I would say the food I had was decent though I am fencing on a hit-and-miss on some.   Misses: dim sum (i.e. yam cake, har gow, chicken siew mai – being a halal restaurant) Hits: Clams, Salad bar, fried rice, sashimi (not the freshest, but kudos on the continual replenishment), durian puree   Now for the following 2 bad experiences one after another: 1)      Bill payment – we were aware of the AMEX/DBS promo (15% off for max 8 diners) which was why we decided to give this place a shot. We were not told upfront of the caveat that promotion is applicable per reservation and hence unable to split the bill into 2. Fine, I accept that the restaurant R&R/policies go by the book in all true local culture. Bill came out to ~80 per pax, and honestly I rather top up a little more and head to The Line at Shangri-La for the same if not better buffet spread and good service. 2)      Poor attitude of restaurant manager (Shankar) – for a restaurant in a 5-star hotel, I would expect much better service and attentiveness to customers rather than some mickey mouse attitude rendered by the restaurant manager. To be fair the service staff (i.e. waitresses/waiters) displayed humility which in my opinion is very important in service industry and enhances the overall experience. After the boo-boo and slight commotion from the bill payment, we asked for the birthday cake to be brought out along with some side plates. We were then served with styrofoam plates and plastic forks - SERIOUSLY??!!! That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Forget all the talk of being environmental friendly, was it difficult to extend courtesy to an already irritated group of customers by serving up proper glass/pyrex plates which you already serve at the restaurant? Not sure for the rest, but sure was humiliating to be served with disposable ware. Confronted the restaurant manager to be given proper ware, he failed to properly address/acknowledge the issue (customer service 101!!) and replied with – “I went to this movie screening….”. I had to interrupt him because I was not going to hear his experience which I suspect is related on the same account and probably inspired his attitude. I do know that service line is tough and sure hope service staff especially if you face off directly with the customers are taught the basics on handling customers. In this case, the restaurant manager could have acknowledged the issue, apologized before going on with his movie screening explanation though I would still think is a weak explanation. Give a better reason, mate. Pushing the blame onto other establishments just do not cut out.    

Average Spend
$80 for 100 pax
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More reviews of Asian Market Cafe

Overall
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Lots of food, all delicious

This cafe was my regular place when it was part of Westin, but I kinda forgot about it for a while. Re-discovered it recently and how much it has changed, quantity of food and price too. Dine only when you get 50% off.

Ambience: It's set up like a high class air conditioned kopitiam. It was unique in the earlier days, but many coffee shops have now dolled up their premises and service counters to look like this. Comfortable tables, but all rectangular.

Food: I shall start from the left counter, moving up and then doing a U turn to the right. Cold starters: oysters, prawns, flower crabs. The flower crabs were delicious, so long as you've the patience to peel it open, these small sized crabs. Then the salad counter with fresh salmon sashimi which I ate a lot, fatty stomach part and all. There was a lamb counter but it was pretty tough, ate the seafood selection: chili sting ray (not fresh), BBQed prawns - tasty, Satay (chicken n beef), freshly prepared with a tasty satay sauce, a mountain of chili crab, was good quality, fleshy and fresh, not powdery to the touch. The dessert counter is at the top of the U service counters, One dish I recall from before is the creamed durian "pengat" or paste. It was outstanding and it is still outstanding. Before I talk about the dessert, let me walk you through the right side of the food service - there were three stalls there, serving chicken rice, laksa (very delicious, highly recommended) and lastly Indian food. The prata was v good for hotel standard. Onto the dessert, I only managed to try the pineapple crumble, jelly in soy bean and fresh fruits - plus the durian I mentioned above. Very full after that.

Value: Reasonable, $55 ++ is a lot to pay for most of the stuff you cannot eat unless you're a glutton.

Service: Good but staff kept very busy.

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Not worth the price

All I can say is that it wasn't worth the money. The management should improve on the variety and the standard. I was disappointed.
Management response from Asian Market Cafe, published 29 Jan 2016
Dear IMAFOODIE, Thank you for taking the time to review our restaurant. We truly value the opinions of our customers and we regret to learn about your disappointing experience. We appreciate your feedback with regards to the food and would review accordingly with our F&B team to further improve our standards. Have a great day and we hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the near future. Yours sincerely, The Management Asian Market Café
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Lousy food expensive place.

The staff were polite and welcoming, but they could not makeup for the poor quality food and ambience.

1. Tables and chairs were old. My mother scratched herself on an exposed nail while helping my grandma out of her chair. The rattan seat of my chair was frayed and I had to change it myself.

2. Poor food quality. The staff were proudly proclaiming that they serve delicious chilli crabs. The crabs were big, but the flesh was dry, indicating overcooking, or it was mushy, indicating frozen crabs. The naan was tough and tasteless. The egg drop soup tasted full of msg and frozen vegetables, it doesn't have a fresh taste to it.

3. Tasteless food. The beef rendang and mutton curries looked fantastic with lots of spices, but the meat was tasteless indicating poor marinating, and the texture .was coarse and rough indicating insufficient cooking time.

4. Saving graces. The durian penyet used durian of the fantastic bittersweet variety and was excellent. The boiled cold prawns were sweet and juicy.

5. Value. Not worth the expensive price tag at a 5star hotel.
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not up to standard

like the title said its not up to standard they don't refill food when theres nothing already food is not fresh too
Management response from Asian Market Cafe, published 24 Jun 2015
Dear Koh Yam Sim, Thank you for taking the time to review our restaurant. We truly value the opinions of our customers and we regret to learn about your disappointing experience. Quality and freshness of our offerings are equally important to us and we will direct your feedback to the relevant departments for a thorough review. We hope have the opportunity to serve you again in the near future. Yours sincerely, The Management Asian Market Cafe
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Not bad I guess but standard dropped...

Have not been here for a number of years and the food has deteriorated. This is upsetting especially for a five star hotel location. Still, kudos to the service staff there. They were friendly at least. Food needs to be updated or changed. Undecided to give a thumbs up or thumbs down but for the staff I guess, yes.