Very Average Buffet (Citibank 1 for 1) @ Olive Tree on 15Jan2014

crayfish & scallops

crayfish & scallops

6 of us went to olive tree for the citibank 1 for 1 S$68pax weekday buffet on 15.1.2014. i had not been to this place for umpteen years, so thought gave it a try. the evening was fun but the food was very average, not expensive at S$34pax=S$40nett, but i agreed with my “fussy” friend = no need to spend S$40 on average food even though price was ok. 🙂

snails & flower crabs

snails & flower crabs

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the cold crayfish & scallops were not sweet (or like tasteless?) but quite ok if you add the hot sauce & tabasco (which means…)…the same with the cold flower crabs (nothing like teochew cold crab)..i took them with wasabi so it was ok..

the snails were good & oysters good too (i had 3 of each)..but 2 of my friends had bad tummy afterwards though i was ok.

sashimi (kajiki, sake, tako)

sashimi (kajiki, sake, tako)

the biggest letdown was sashimi! the photo above looked great, and i was telling my friend who didn’t take sashimi much that kajiki (swordfish) was 1 of my favourites & got him to take 2 pieces from my plate, but as it turned out it was the worst, completely tasteless! likewise the salmon. tako was average, not the good sweet ones.

chicken sausage risone

chicken sausage risoni

prawn salad

prawn salad

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cold pasta & salad station

the cold pasta & salad station was among the best. but this was also a station that most people gave a miss w/o trying.  the spicy prawn salad was great & the chicken sausage risoni as well.

prawn noodles

prawn noodles

prawn noodles station

prawn noodles station

the prawn noodles station was self service which suited me fine as i took very little noodles & a lot of bean sprouts, prawns & fishcake & just enough of soup. i liked the very intense soup & had a 2nd helping, but i agreed with my “fussy” friend that the soup was too salty. 🙂

i also had some nasi padang dishes. the beef rending sambal chilli & ikan bilis with peanuts all quite average.

lamb, duck & dory fish

lamb, duck & dory fish

i skipped most cooked food stations in buffet (& that’s the reason i prefer semi-buffet places like the excellent one ninety, equinox & basilico where the main courses are served separately as fine dining dishes.

for olive tree though, i must say i liked all 3 main courses = braised lamb, duck & dory, all good dishes.

rojak

rojak

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cheese

cheese

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there was self service rojak station as well. i liked this too. & i had a helping of cheese. there was kikarangi, a light kiwi blue cheese i used to like. today somehow it was not so pungent, perhaps i have forgotten the taste..my “fussy” friend added – everything was not quite right..haha…we do all affect each other. 🙂

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dessert

i not much dessert person so i found nothing in the wide array of dessert. the coconut & durian ice creams were very good though!

the restaurant was sadly only 30% full on a wednesday evening, so many of us were saying the cold seafood & sashimi were left-overs. anyway it sure looked like a lot of wastage!

the ambience was great except an untimely lion dance, which 1 friend described as louder than MS in a tennis grand slam (that was supposedly louder than a airplane landing). fortunately it was over in 10minutes.

the service was very good though. we were first seated in a corner & like all kiasu singaporeans we decided to park ourselves next to the cold appetiser station, but the lady server rearranged the tables to let us sit near but slightly off the station which was better.

the buffet also came with coffee, cappuccino, camomile tea etc.

i would rate this buffet below The Edge, but this was substantially cheaper at S$34 (only with the 1 for 1), but for me like my friend, the price was ok i won’t really come back here for this. equinox & one ninety are still the (semi) buffets for me. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

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Expensive Average Buffet Great Ambience @ The Edge Pan Pacific Singapore on 24Jun2013

grilled aussie beef tenderloin (medallion)

grilled aussie beef tenderloin (medallion)

my dining quartet had this sudden spell of interest in hotel buffet. for this round, our hostess selected The Edge @ Pan Pacific Singapore, which had last year undergone a major renovation. lunch was S$58pax and there was an ongoing 3paying 1 free promotion for various credit cards, so the price worked out to S$43.5++pax. 🙂

i (& i think in fact all my dining quartet friends) had no fondness for buffet – yet there we were! I always thought buffet main courses “sucks” (pardon the language) & if I went to buffet I would just take very selected items from the appetizers or antipasti & the cheeseboard if they had.

The only buffet I thought worth going was the semi-buffet lunch at Equinox which served a selection of good fine dining main courses & great appetizer buffet/cheeseboard at S$59pax (so S$29,50pax for 50% Feed at Raffles discount for 2pax). Lately I have added One-Ninety @ Four Seasons, which I now think serves a higher quality semi-buffet than Equinox and at S$38pax w/o main course suits me fine (S$48pax with main course). 🙂 The other very good buffet is Basilico at Regent Hotel. I went during RestaurantWeek in 2012 & the antipasti was excellent. I think I should go back there to try again soon, talking about not having too many buffet..haha.. 🙂

I had tried The Line st Shangri-la & Carousel at Royal Plaza at Scotts but sad to say I didn’t think much of them even at 50% discount! I saw The Edge’s menu and didn’t think it was going to be any different.

kajiki (swordfish) sashimi with pickled ginger

kajiki (swordfish) sashimi with pickled ginger

the sashimi section was very limited for lunch! the kajiki (sword fish) sashimi was good, the salmon was ok, just average same as other buffet & not the best ones. I went back for a second helping of kajiki w/o the salmon. real nice! 🙂

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there wasn’t much to pick in the sushi section so I just picked 1 maki (one of my friends liked the inari aburaage sushi though). that’s quite the same in most buffet. In Equinox I would pick a unagi (eel) & a ika (squid) sushi, and in One Ninety I had smoked duck but that’s about it.

chinese station - laksa was very good

chinese station – laksa was very good

the laksa at the Chinese station was very good – gravy was excellent only regrets no “hum” ie cockles.

roast duck & roast chicken at chinese station

roast duck & roast chicken at chinese station

I also took a slice of roast duck (very crispy skin & flavourful), & also 1 slice of roast chicken (good but ordinary, the ginger sauce was good)..

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I did not take any from the malay/peranakan? station. there was a beef rendang and my friend thought the steamed rice (basmati?) was “super aromatic”. 🙂 I took 1 stick each of beef & mutton satay (above right photo). One friend thought the mutton satay was very good. it was kind of average ordinary to me. there was no pineapple sauce with the satay gravy.

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there was salmon and grilled aussie beef tenderloin (medallion) at the western station (above left photo).

I asked the station chef who replied that the beef were medium to medium well. I ordered rare & he grilled on the spot for me.  it was super (top photo) – very sweet, tender, flavourful, well beyond my expectation of buffet main courses, even though tenderloin not my favourite. 🙂

I skipped most of the Italian station – the pasta, pizza & pork rib. My friend who bought lunch thought the rib was good & healthy lean. the other friend thought it was too dry. The 1 item i thought was excellent was the roast pork. I had 3 slices. 🙂

oysters, scallops, prawns

cold entre=oysters, scallops, prawns

my plate of oysters.scallop, prawn salad

my plate of oysters, scallop, roast pork, prawn salad

& not forgetting the cold entre station. I took 4 oysters (very sweet) & 2 scallops (good). the station chef told my friend the orange ones were female & tasted better than the all white male ones..lol. 🙂  i skipped the prawns but took the prawn salad – it was kind of  limited selection.

dessert - 9 layer cake & angkukueh

dessert – 9 layer cake & angkukueh

the dessert station was quite ordinary, and included chocolate fountain & nonya cakes.  i took my fav the 9 layer kueh (good) & angkukueh (not good – don’t like the shaved coconuts flakes, that one better for tutu kueh). I also helped myself with some brie at the cheese section & we all took quite a bit of nuts (macadamia, walnut, pistachio, pine nuts, sunflower seeds etc).

the ambience was great. there was good drinks like calamansi juice with sour plum, very good coffee & also tea selection. it was a fun lunch, food & company & trying out a new place (it was first time there for all of us).

At S$43.50pax after 25% discount, would I come back though? regrettably answer is no or very unlikely!

c.h.e.f andy