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Trust me, I've been eating buffets since 2001 and have tried almost all buffets. You name it, I ate it. Private Affairs takes the cake.
The service by cute NS boys was impeccable. When did I become a snob? for I love the exclusivity of the restaurant, able to sit only 40 people. Love the jazz music and the dark restaurant. The atmosphere was very relaxed.
Since I've tried almost ALL the food on the buffet menu, I'll do a break-down:
1. Buttermilk pancake: fluffy but rather bland
2. Sunny Essentials (include yoghurt, strawberry & raisins muesli, scones, chocolate-chip muffins): the yoghurt was acridly sour but everything else was wonderful! Love the muesli. The scone had an amazing basil cream companion. The muffin was good but not as memorable as the basil cream.
3. Scramble eggs and poached egg: I didn't want carbs so I ordered the scrambled, which was sad. My sister ordered the poached egg, which came with ham and bagel. According to her, it was delightful.
4. Oysters: Some strange sauces, which went very well with the oysters, but the oysters weren't very fresh.
5. Salmon carpaccio and Duck rilette - forgettable.6. Alaskan crab soup - One of the best soups I've drank. But too rich to take in copious amount.
7. hokkaido scallops - such a pity that the chef used curry powder to mask the taste of scallops. Good ingredients could have been plainly managed to bring up the taste.
8. Alaskan king crab cake - more potato than crab. Skip this.
9. kurobuta pork ribs - OMG, I couldn't stand the stench of this. It was revolting but when I put it in my food, it was crispy and sweet and fresh and chewy, none of the pork stench at all.
10. foie gras - Too oily but otherwise, very well-done. The accompanying apple espuma and caramelized apple are wins. 11. Monkfish: fresh.
12. Wagyu burger: again too oily but otherwise, this was delicious with truffle mayo.
13. Snapper fish (Sunday Special): I like this for its innovation, not taste. It's like sushi, the snapper was wrapped in egg, which is in turn wrapped in pastry. 14. Desserts (include passionfruit cheesecake, raspberry chocolate tart, sticky date pudding, green tea red bean mousse, sesame ice cream): all well-done but not exceptional.
The reason why this restaurant is good is because all the food are evenly good and of high quality, the chefs do not cut corners, unlike some buffets which have good and bad food.
rivate Affairs has chosen to go against the grain somewhat by locating itself away from most other high-end restaurants by placing itself in Joo Chiat Place. And so, as you walk towards the restaurant, you pass several excellent examples of hawker food and think, gee, I sure hope the Western meal I’m going to eat is not going to make me regret eating at any of these places. Does Private Affairs deliver? In my opinion, not really. The food is competent, and on the two occasions I was there, there were maybe one or two dishes that stood out (a beef appetizer from the brunch menu [well seasoned], the malted dessert from the a la carte menu [interesting riff from the usual chocolate desserts]). But did I regret not having the stomach space after the meal for the prawn noodles several doors down? Yes.
Even the location of the restaurant in a shophouse is a bit of a strange choice, in that the restaurant looks pretty much like any other. Not that you need to deck out the place with Peranakan antiques to reflect the shophouse-type space. Bar Stop and 53 come to mind as places that are able to achieve this, with the exposed brick and high ceilings respectively.
So, in all, I couldn’t quite understand the decision to locate Private Affairs all the way in old-town Joo Chiat, and while the food was perfectly fine, it’s not enough for me to want to come back.
Tried this place sometime ago, being brought there by my business partner; First impression of the place has very nice ambience, cosy and defintely looks high-class. Therefore, expectation is high. Service wise was ok, the kind of service you would expect from any restaurant. Being the only table for lunch, i cant imagine they serve the wrong dish i order. Thought of being mr nice guy to let this pass, as the food appearance does look good. However, they only look good, taste really horrible. I cant imagine there are still reviewers recommending the food here is good. And the rm who look a bit malay to me seem difficult to accept direct feedback, full of himself. Though my business partner foot the bill, but this is defintely a waste of time and money coming to this place. Try it at your own risk.