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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feast @ East - A pretty decent Nyonya Buffet

We have been to the Sunday lunch time Nyonya buffet at Feast @ East (Grand Mercure Hotel) twice in the past month, primarily because of our Accor card which affords us a 50% discount on the buffet (about SGD45 for 2 of us with tax included).

The spread of food is nothing to shout about - in fact, I'll say that you would be sorely disappointed if you were looking for quality. In fact, the Japanese sashimi section is limited to just salmon.

The focus is on Nyonya food and on some days, they have Ngoh Hiang which is very good according to my Teochew in-laws and my CEB. However on other days they have lamp chop instead or poh piah. I've loved poh piah since young and could not wait to help myself to unlimited rolls of the good stuff when I spied the item at the food counter. However, the experience was disappointing because despite the superior quality of the skin used, the skin was hard and tasteless.

The buffet also serves Or Lah - Fried oysters in flour. I don't eat this dish at all but my mother and CEB both thought that the restaurant did a bad job on this one too.

So why the return trips? The Laksa. It's been a long time since all of us have had really good laksa and the thick flavorful gravy of the laksa had us coming back for more - round after round. I had 3 bowls one visit, and 4 the next! It was that good. The laksa does not come with prawns - just fishcakes, 1/2 a egg and clams but one can always add prawns from the cold spread (prawns, mussels, scallops).

It also helps that the restaurant does a pretty decent durian puree and serves slices of cheese cakes, chocolate brownies and durian cakes for desserts.

There is also a chendol and ice kachang machine in addition to tubs of ice-cream, and trays full of kuehs - the rainbow colored ones, the rice based ones (See pic above) and all sorts of sweets from the 80s. I had some of the Rabbit ones which I loved when I was a kid! The sago and corn dessert were also very good!

The Slog Reviews: 7/10. The spread of food is limited and the quality of the cooked food very average. Having a buffet here only makes sense if one wants to have Nyonya / 80s food to gorge on, or if one gets a one for one buffet.

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