Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Restaurant review: Lunch buffet @CafeBiz (Trader's Hotel), Singapore

I miss December already! For me, December is the month that all other months aspire to be It is probably the only month where even going to work feels like fun! Me and my colleagues (aka BFFs) usually plan a special outing in December but this year, most of us were out of town on different occasions so getting everyone together was a colossal challenge (we eventually ended up going to the prosaic Thai Express for a New Year's lunch). We also usually have an office Christmas party but this year that didn't materialise either in the wake of a massive-scale renovation and moving at the workplace. But to compensate for what we missed out on, we managed to sneak in a lunch outing at the start of the month before people started jetting off all across the globe for the holidays. So, as part of our christmas celebrations at the office, my boss took me and my colleagues out to lunch at CafeBiz, Traders hotel. 

A few of my friends had been to the restaurant at Trader's hotel before and they spoke highly of the dining experience. The restaurant had a 1-for-1 lunch buffet promotion for UOB/OCBC/DBS card holders (which is an awesome deal by the way). We were 16 people so it made sense for us to avail the promotion. To be on the safe side, I made a reservation a 3 days in advance. The restaurant management called me the previous day to confirm the reservation so the seating was well taken care of. 

Trader's hotel is located behind Tanglin mall. It isn't very accessible from the MRT station so we shared four cabs to reach our destination. There was a giant Christmas tree in the main lobby which imparted a cheery, festive feel to the ambience as soon as we entered the hotel. The restaurant is spacious, well maintained and has brilliant lighting.

The layout of the tables is clever in a way that manoeuvring around the restaurant is easy and there is also a sense of privacy. 

Since we had caught sight of the massive spread within minutes of entering the lobby, we were eager to partake in the chow down! There is something about all-you-can-eat buffets which make big eaters like me go quite mad

I can't resist good bread and it always features on my plate at any buffet. And my bread is never far away from good ol' butter which I lovingly slather on. Good stuff I tell ya! There is a choice of soups to dunk the bread in which makes things even better.

Of course, there is a pasta corner. Who can resist pasta? A crowd pleaser if there ever was one.

This section had some local favourites, mainly Chinese and Malay dishes.

And much to my surprise, there was quite an extensive Indian section. I had no plans of eating Indian that day but looking at how nicely presented the dishes were, curiosity got the better of me! They had naan, curries, rice, pappadam and some condiments. 

The Japanese counter seemed the most popular with people flocking towards it. By the time I got around to taking pictures, many of the serving dishes were looking quite empty. 

After polishing off a chunk of buttered bread dunked in soup, a small portion of salad, a serving of pasta and some rustic potatoes, I greedily headed to get me some Indian. The dishes were good but not great. The naan was quite nice though. 

My super skinny friend made me feel like an absolute pig when she came back with a plate laden with colorful veggies and healthy Japanese food and sat nibbling away at it! Humph! 

The fruit counter looked very colorful indeed!

And don't let me get started on dessert! There were so many delectable treats to choose from. Right from assorted cakes, pastries, pies, tarts, puddings to regional favourites like chwee kueh, lapis and mochi. You name it and it was there

And the pièce de résistance was definitely the chocolate fountain! There were marshmallows, cream puffs and assorted fruits on wooden skewers that you could dip into the fountain. My eyes were as wide as saucers when I caught sight of this bad boy! However, it was a bit of a let down. The consistency of the chocolate was quite runny and it was basic milk chocolate. Being a recent dark chocolate convert, I did miss the rich intense flavour and aroma over of dark chocolate. I think I'll stay on the dark side

There were also interesting, colourful and crunchy sweet garnishes for the different flavours of ice-cream (which I forgot to take a picture of by the way).

After devouring my main meal, I headed over to get some fruits and cheese. There were three different kinds of cheese (Edam, Camembert and Bree) served alongside crackers and I sampled all three. They were absolutely divine and I wish I hadn't filled up so much on the main so I could enjoy more of the cheese. If you are a cheese lover like me, I highly recommend that you don't miss the cheese. 

After eating all that I described so far, how could I not go for dessert? Presenting my awesome looking dessert platter below! Some of the desserts were sublime and some not so much but you know how some women can be when it comes to their dessert.

Psssst....I finished all of it!

Most of us even managed to grab a cup of coffee. It may have helped us stay awake as we were feeling ridiculously sluggish by then.

We had a lovely time at CafeBiz. To sum up our experience, the restaurant has a lovely ambience with an impressive selection of dishes encompassing asian, international and local cuisines. The food is decent and the desserts in particular, very impressive. I suggest you first take a good look around before you dart towards the first counter that meets the eye because you never know what you might miss! Regarding the service, it was faultless. The staff were polite, we were shown to our table quickly, our plates were cleared in a timely fashion and the payment was handled efficiently. The 1-for-1 promotion made the dining experience value for money as well. Keep in mind though that the number of diners capped per card is six so we had to use three cards. If I'm not mistaken, the final bill (after taxes) amounted to around 28 SGD per person. I hear that they have this promotion for dinner as well which gives patrons greater flexibility in dining options. 

My rating for this restaurant is 3 stars out of 5

1A Cuscaden Road
Singapore 249716

Phone: (65) 6831 4374
Website: Click here
Hours: 6.30am to midnight

Note: This is not a sponsored review

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