UPDATE (11/09/2011): The restaurant at the branch given at the end of this review has closed down. The address of the only branch left is 180 Kitchener Road #05-05/06, Singapore.
Having heard (almost) unanimously good reviews, I finally went for this cheap buffet run by the Suki Group. It was indeed a wonderful dining experience. I took many pictures, but I'll only show a few of them. The rest are for you to imagine! Hmm, I guess I'll list down the weekday lunch (12 noon - 3.00pm) prices here. For more details, you may want to visit the website. As usual, I'll give the link at the end of the review.
Senior Citizen S$18.90
Sashimi & Seafood
That was my first plate of sashimi (Japanese raw sliced seafood). The food items were fresher than I thought they would be. Also, the salmon sashimi were sliced nicely without leaving any skins behind. The prawns weren't de-veined though.
You can expect a lot of variety of sushi when you come to this restaurant. Honestly I didn't eat too much sushi that day because I didn't want to get full so fast. Hmm, actually I don't really like inari sushi, but since I took it simply because they looked so nice. :P The beancurd skin was too sweet, but I'm sure inari sushi lovers would love it. Also, I find that the soft-shell crab sushi wasn't as good as the one in Nihon Mura, another restaurant run by the Suki Group.
I'm a fan of piping hot chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard). This one was alright, although I've tasted better somewhere else. Too bad there weren't any ginkgo seeds inside.
Cooked or uncooked, salmon is always delicious! But this one was a tad too sweet for my liking.
Salad & Chuka Kurage
The savoury sesame sauce went well with the salad. The jellyfish made me couldn't stop munching!
Smoked Duck & Cold Tofu
The smoked duck was okay, but the one I had from Indonesian Panggang @ The Deck in NUS tasted nicer. The cold tofu, despite its name, wasn't cold haha, but nevermind. It was smooth and silky.
Look at all the fried items! Don't they make you drool? Okay, I shall apply what I've learnt in JS2203 (Sound, Grammar and Meaning), a Japanese linguistics module, last semester. I rarely eat lotus chips, so I was really excited when I found them! They were really the embodiment of ぱりぱり (pari-pari) - they were really thin to the point that one bite using your front teeth would snap them. They were crispy and tasted authentic! I was also delighted when I could find salmon skin which was かりかり (kari-kari). They had the right degree of crispiness. Those were the two highlights, the rest were alright. However, I actually forgot to take their special jumbo ebi tempura (Japanese deep-fried prawns). which looked very much さくさく (saku-saku) - well-battered, airy, not moist but not too dry altogether. They ran out as soon as the cook put them on the table. Oh well, next time then...
I couldn't exactly remember what it was called, but anyway, the soup was kinda bland. A nice variety of ingredients put into one though, especially the enoki mushroom. If you'd like extra prawns, you could always take some from the sashimi section and dump them into the soup. Haha...
This was definitely one of the highlights of the day! The mushroom was really appetising that I went for a second serving! Gosh, I'm feeling hungry now. Alright, enough of appetisers and main courses. Let's take a look at the desserts and beverages!
You could expect one or two kinds of fruits you wouldn't normally find in some buffet restaurants, but sadly, they weren't too fresh. I guess that's because not many people took the fruits so that they had been left there for quite some time.
Cream Puff, Konyaku Jelly & Yogurt Pudding
Woohoo, who doesn't like free flow jelly and pudding? The cream puff tasted very similar to the one in Nihon Mura. These items were just a few of the many sweet treats included in the buffet. What do we have next?
Assorted Mochi & Dango
The green tea mochi (Japanese rice cake) tasted awesome! The dango (Japanese skewered rice dumpling) was really chewy, but the taste was passable.
More Sweet Treats #1
They tasted alright. Trust me, the green tea mochi in the previous picture is worth dying for. Hmm, I guess the light green mochi shown in this picture is supposed to be a kashiwa mochi. According to tradition, this rice cake wrapped in a Japanese oak leaf is eaten on 5 May every year to celebrate tango no sekku (端午の節句) or Boys' Day celebration.
More Sweet Treats #2
Well, there's one good news for chocolate lovers out there: CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN! Too bad I was already filled almost to the brim that I could only eat a few strawberry slices drenched in the sweetness of melted chocolate. :P
Alright, I'm really feeling damn hungry now so let's just talk about the beverages. Say yes to free flow of freshly prepared watermelon juice!
Lemonade & Fruit Punch
This is the last picture I'm going to show you today. Oh, there's free flow MILO too!
Melon's RatingTaste: 7.5/10
There was something which wasn't very pleasant, and that was due to the server. I noticed the guy's name, but I guess I'll not put it here. He just anyhow took our plates without saying anything. In fact, he took my friend's plate even though the plate was directly in front of my friend and there was still one prawn left there. Others were kind.
Overall, this is a really value-for-money buffet, and I'll definitely come back for more! Pika's advice: Show your Passion Card to enjoy a 15% discount (valid till 30 September 2011). Ahh, my stomach is grumbling, so let's end here. I shall grab some food from the fridge.
Momiji Japanese Buffet Restaurant
1 Selegie Road
#03-11 PoMo Centre
(Daily: 12 noon - 3.00pm, 6.00pm - 10.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 7% GST.
Have a nice meal,