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Hello! Why Cliff(y), you ask? Well, a lot of people I've met since primary school till now have always called me Cliffy! Unless specifically mentioned, I personally paid for whatever chargeable stuff featured in my blogs. Anyway, for every 50 posts I come up with, and every 25,000 pageviews, I'm donating a sum of money to the World Food Programme. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Monday, June 1, 2015

SIN: 1 Market by Chef Wan {CLOSED}

Halal Asian buffet with pretty good chicken satay!

UPDATE (20/08/2016): The restaurant has closed down.

The opening of 1 Market by Chef Wan, which offers a gastronomic spread of Asian cuisine, has added to the list of Halal certified buffet restaurants in the country. Have you heard of him before? I've got to know more about the Malaysian celebrity chef, who was actually born in Singapore, after watching his show - East Bites West - in the National Geographic Channel. 

Well, it certainly has been a long time since I last had lunch, let alone dinner buffet (but not breakfast buffet as I often travel and eat in various hotels in the morning), but I'd finally decided to have a small celebration with my BFF this afternoon as June holiday is here! BTW, Happy Vesak Day to our Buddhist friends! :)

The Buffet Lunch is priced at S$31.80 per adult from Monday to Thursday, and S$37.80 per adult from Friday to Saturday, eve of and public holidays. In the picture above, you can see the popular rojak (Malaysian salad with shrimp paste sauce) corner with a lot of ingredients, as well as a bowl for you to mix them up with their signature sauce. I didn't give it a try though as I don't really like it. Pika's advice: For S$2.00 less, you may want to consider their Buffet High Tea that's only available on weekends.

Assorted Crackers

What I wanted to keep coming back for was the free flow of fish and onion crackers that were consistently replenished to maintain the overall crunchy quality even till the ending time of the buffet.

Chicken and Beef Satay

I appreciated the fact that the each of the chicken and beef skewers wasn't that sweet to begin with, so that the overall degree of sweetness was just right when it was dunked into the smooth peanut sauce. The chicken satay triumphed over its beef counterpart, simply because the former was tender, while the latter could be more succulent.

Assorted Stuff #1

From the so-called Western platter I came up with on my own, the best item was the baked Mediterranean seabass, which flesh was firm and sweet. While the seafood items could definitely be fresher, they weren't bad at all, especially the hairy crab that was bursting with savoury roe. Anyway, the potato gratin that looked quite promising turned out to be rather insipid.

Assorted Stuff #2

The plate featured a mix of Malay and Chinese cooked dishes. The pineapple fried rice tasted like plain rice with a bit of the tropical fruit fragrance, but the fried noodle was good and moist. I found that the beef rendang (Malay spicy meat dish) was tender, but just a tad too sweet. The kung pao chicken with the usual Sichuan peppers was fragrant, but overly sweet for my liking. On the other hand, the spicy fish and the assorted vegetables with wolfberries were delightful.

Assorted Stuff #3

The Japanese items were passable in terms of freshness and taste, save for the soup that was surprisingly quite rich with salmon, tofu and seaweed swimming inside. What was perchance unique was the jelly-like salmon skin dish that was cooked in something like teriyaki sauce. The vegetable tempura (Japanese battered and deep-fried assortments) was kinda soggy.

Assorted Stuff #4

From the uninspiring range of Chinese food, I decided to try the kway teow (Chinese flat rice noodle), which apparently was bland. The glutinous rice dumpling was alright; it actually had tender chicken at the bottom of the cup. What was impressive was the sweet yam dumpling that was soft with a nice, velvety filling.

Assorted Stuff #5

Quite a lavish spread of dessert items, from traditional tidbits to modern cake slices was presented before my eyes. While the Indonesian kue lapis (lit. layer cake) wasn't sinfully rich, the steamed sweet potato cake, as well as the steamed glutinuous rice with pandan kaya, was delectable. I enjoyed almost all the modern offerings, especially the chocolate cake and the lemon tart with passion fruit cream on top of it. The bread pudding, however, wasn't interesting at all.

Ice Cream & Fruits

I was wondering what was the crowd about at one corner nearing the ending time of the lunch buffet. My mind shouldn't have been lazy to guess that the queue was formed due to the demand for ice cream, especially when there were many children. I managed to get the green tea ice cream and lychee sorbet, topped with chocolate chips and chocolate rice respectively. The grapes, watermelons and honeydews weren't that fresh.

Orange Juice & Water Chestnut Drink

The cold drinks were kinda diluted, but the water chestnut drink was still nice nonetheless. Hot drinks were available as well, but I didn't even want to touch any of them, given that the weather has been crazily sweltering these days.

Melon's Rating
Taste: 6.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Overall: 7/10

There were more misses than hits - the misses weren't too bad to the point of being inedible, but the hits were quite good. The balance of flavours of some dishes has to be fine-tuned. 

1 Market by Chef Wan

68 Orchard Road
#04-45/46/47/48/49 Plaza Singapura
(Mon-Fri: 11.00am - 2.30pm, 6.00pm - 10.00pm, Sat-Sun: 11.00am - 10.00pm

*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.

Have a nice meal,

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