The pillow menu at the Hilton hotels isn’t the only menu we’d plant our faces into. Though Checkers Brasserie still keeps its dated green and coral parquet floors, and its buffet menu continues to evolve: no buffet spread is the same on any day of the week - from Thai- to Mediterranean-themed weekday lunch buffets, to the Fridays-only seafood buffet and the a la carte Sunday champagne (Lois Roederer) brunch - it’s always an adventure for the palates. On weekdays, it’s a small variety of quality but fresh seafood, a medium-sized cold cuts selection, and nicely cooked roast meats. Egg lovers will want to save up for the Sunday brunch and have the eggs with wagyu corned beef hash, or the slow-cooked soft boiled egg with unagi, or both. For more buffet reviews, click here http://www.hungrygowhere.com/gallery/52-best-buffets-2014-*gid-033e3101/photos/#b0c60100
Noon to 4 p.m., a strange time to have "high tea" but who's complaining?! This is Singapore, right? When we want to have tea, we'll do it any which way. No need for "tea" time, heh! Anyway, a good time was had by all. We were satiated by the variety and quality of food, not to mention the really fresh make-on-the-spot fruit juices. The only dish I would give a miss next time would be the soup noodles - very average and the beehoon was a mite too hard. The murtabak and chicken curry were shiokest. I do recall that the Hilton poolside had the BEST roti prata in the world - but that was back in the 80's.
The ambience was pleasing and it wasn't too crowded so no need to push and shove at the buffet counter like a lot of high teas I've been to. Phew! Thank goodness, so it was really conducive for a relaxing time with family and friends, eating, drinking and yakking at leisure, for the three hours that we were there; one of the best things to do on a weekend, Mates! I'll be back for sure!
The Japanese buffet was fantastic and great with free flow of sakae! The rock oysters were fresh and huge and not forgetting the fresh juicy sashimi from varies kind of fishes and roe. Tempura and other cooked food were very tasty too.
I went for Checkers' buffet on Sat night, which was a Japanese buffet which came with free flow sake. There was both hot and cold sake to choose from, other than green tea for non alcohol drinkers.
The spread of Japanese food was good, including cooked food, tapanyaki, tempura, sushi, sashimi, Japanese noodles with 3 soup bases and 4-5 noodles and several condiments to choose from. This was complemented with a variety of dessert, including cheesecake, green tea ice cream, fruits, pudding.
What made the meal outstanding was the seafood. The sashimi included the usual tuna, salmon, octopus and they were fresh. The steamed cod, Tapanyaki which included scallop, salmon, cod, prawn were cooked just right, retaining much of the juice and sweetness of fresh seafood without being overcooked. My girlfriend and myself helped ourselves to a few helpings of those.
The venue is not packed with diners even on a Sat night, so it offers a comfortable setting to have dinner with your friends. The seats are also not too packed, make it a more comfortable dining experience. The waiters and waitresses also take the effort to top up our drinks regularly, remove our plates prompty and inquire if we enjoyed our food, making the experience befitting of a restaurant rather than just a buffet.
$53 pax is a reasonable price to pay for a good Japanese meal, including sake. I'm not a fan of Japanese cuisine, so I won't go for the high end restaurants which can easily cost more than $100 pax. So when I'm paying $53 pax for a buffet for good Japanese food with free flow sake, I would consider it a value for money buffet. I don't have a big capacity stomach, nor do I drink myself silly to make up for the cost of the buffet. Rather, in this instance, it will do justice for the buffet for the diner to simply enjoy the variety of food and savour the food which are well prepared by the chef.
I decided not to compare this buffet with Hanabi, because they are quite different. Suffice to say both are buffet which are value for money for Japanese food. The difference in price is justified by the quality, variety of food and the ambience.
After some pestering, I finally convinced Mr HB to go for a hi-tea buffet (making my second buffet in 1 week! OK, I am beginning to scare myself about my insatiable appetite.)
So today, after my class in the afternoon I immediately dashed home (literally) to changed and head to hilton for my hi-tea (read lunch cum dinner) which begins at 12pm till 4pm on weekends.
We reached a rather empty Checkers at 130pm and was greeted by the staff at the door who immediately "guessed" that we are here for the hi-tea buffet (perhap hunger was inscribed on my forehead or we looked like we haven't eaten in years?)
Not wanting to lose any more time, me and Mr HB head off in different directions in double quick time to survey our meal for the day.
There are 4 stations in all - 2 munchies and cooked food, 1 dessert and 1 fruit and juice bar.
The cooked food stations showcase a variety of finger food and munchies like bufflo wings, apple turnovers, pastries, different types of california rolls, smoked salmon and some rather exquisite appetizers like baby beetroots, some kind of mushrooms, neatly decorated tomatoes among others. One can find some jap tempura (which sadly tasted average only) and yummy mini turkey burgers with cheese and pinapple on this section. Over at the "action station", there is satay (chicken and lamb) which is rather chewy and the satay sauce is somewhat lacking in taste, pick-your-own-ingredients noodle bar featuring prawn stock, laksa and shanghai mince pork sauce, murtabuk (mushroom and lamb, both are ok) with veggy or chicken curries (of which the chicken curry is a little too salty) and 3 types of dim sum (which I did not try).
One good thing I like about the Hilton Hi-tea is the "Design-your-own sandwiches" where you get to choose from a selection of bread like ciabatta and foccacia together with 3 types of FRESH ingredients from a lot of meat, cheese and veggies like Alantic salmon, tuna, rare beef, chicken breast, curried egg and peanut (tasty!), root vegetables and avacado to name a few. The sandwiches are fresh, nicely crafted and presented to you on a little plate with some crackers and olive oil which is not in large portion thus allowing you to try the other dishes.
You also get to choose from a few types of tea to down your food. Coffee is also available if u are not a tea lover.
Coming to the dessert station, you can find the signature American cheesecake (which tasted really good), snicker cake (which is chocolate in nature and tasted like...u guessed it, snickers), a variety of puddings and creams in shot glases. Scones (with jams and whipped creams) are also available alongside mini chocolate and blueberry muffins. I am however a little disappointed at the types of cakes available, I was expecting more. Of course, the chocolate fondue to wrap up the tea. One big disappointment was the lack of ICE-CREAM. I still cannot believe until now that it is not available, a major minus.
Another plus thing I like about the Hilton tea is the availabilty of the fresh fruit juice where you pick the fruit you want and the juice it for you on the spot, the best part is you get to mix them...heh heh.
A little on the service. The service crew is polite and ever willing to oblige. Glasses are topped up quickly. However, more attention needs to be paid to empty food items. I had to point out to the chef that the satays have run out before it was replenished. And the uniform of the servers could use some re-designing (they look erm....like cleaners...)
It's one of the few places that offers a wide selection of food @ a pretty reasonable price ~ $50+ (without champagne) the last time we were there.
- Free flow of freshly squeezed fruit juices - feel free to design your own concoctions!
- 4 different varieties of fresh oysters - Aussie, Canadian, French & NZ
- Foie Gras
- Fresh sashimi - good variety as well as sushi
- Wonderful dessert spread - to die for!
Best of all, the place isn't over-crowded, so it's good for families / groups.