Best buffets under $50 in Singapore

Best buffets under $50 in Singapore
PHOTO: Burppler Yvonne Lo


This article was originally published on burpple.com.

Sometimes, a regular menu just isn't enough to satisfy your bottomless stomach. Whether you're craving for endless sashimi, a meaty feast in a hotel or just looking for a reliable international buffet in town, gather the hungriest of friends and hit up one of these places on our list - they are all under $50!

The RiceTable

Photo: (Burppler Christabel Tan)

For excellent Indonesian buffet in Orchard

At Indonesian restaurant The RiceTable ($17.90 nett for lunch; $28.50 nett for dinner), there's no scurrying around to fill your plate, nor is there a time limit to adhere to. Instead, they follow a unique Dutch style of enjoying Indonesian dishes called 'rijsttafel' (meaning 'rice table'), where samples of many different dishes are served. Once you take your seat, steaming white rice is dished onto your plate, and 11 (at lunch) or 20 (at dinner) refillable small dishes are brought out and arranged neatly on the 'reschaud', a narrow raised table that acts as a food warmer in the middle of the table. It all happens within seconds, so you can start digging in almost immediately. Portions are adjusted according to the size of your group, such that everyone will have one piece of every item. Decide which dishes you love most and order them again! Look out for the stellar deep fried sweet and sour fish, flavourful curry chicken, tauhu telur and super-meaty chicken satay that our community loves. Pro tip: Even if you're dining solo, you will still be served the entire range of dishes with the option to refill, making it a perfect choice in town for a satisfying yet affordable lunch if you're flying solo, or with groups of any size.

Average price: $20 per person

TungLok Seafood (Orchard Central)

Photo: (Burppler Elvina Alim)

For under-the-radar dim sum buffet (with free-flow sashimi!)

Read also: 12 places for exciting free-flow food in Singapore

This particular Tung Lok Seafood outlet at Orchard Central offers a lesser known Chinese and Japanese lunch buffet that might just be right up your alley. For just $26.80 on weekdays and $28.80 on weekends, there are fresh, thick cuts of salmon sashimi for the seafood fanatics in your family, comforting dim sum for the folks and the crowd favourite of salted egg yolk fish skin to munch on in between changing plates. It's best to gather a larger group for this (there's also a minimum seating of four persons) so you can try more items on the menu! Other note-worthy items include the Crispy Eggplant with Pork Floss, Fried Beancurd Skin Rolls with Shrimps and Deep-fried Prawns with Crispy Oats. End your meal with the refreshing Herbal Jelly with Honey - if you still have space, that is!

Average price: $35 per person

The Carvery

Photo: (Burppler Amber M)

For amazing roasts in the West

Meat lovers, you might want to take note of this value-for-money deal. The next time you and your friends are planning to bulk up on meats, head to this all-you-can-eat concept at Park Hotel Alexandra (just next to IKEA). The Carvery's dinner buffet ($52 on weekdays, $62 on weekends) temptingly includes oysters and pork, but the affordable priced lunch buffet provides excellent value. At $38 (with a 10 per cent discount for Citibank cardholders!), you get unlimited servings of premium roasts and cuts like House Aged Beef Ribs, Rotisserie Chicken and Lamb - all freshly sliced at the carving station. Start with a plate of healthy greens at the salad bar and then move on to the hot foods. Load up on carbs at their pasta and pizza counter. If not, end your meal on a (very) sweet note with their wide selection of desserts and go for the homely Apple Crumble if it's available - it's like a hug on a plate!

Average price: $45 per person

Shaburi & Kintan Buffet

Photo: (Photo by Burppler Hilary See)

For tasty grilled meats or Japanese shabu in the West

This recently opened restaurant on the third floor of JEM houses two concepts under the same roof - Japanese shabu (hotpot) or kintan (grilled meats). The concepts are kept separate, meaning your whole group must choose between having hotpot or grill, and each table must select the same buffet type. Make sure you come to a decision before stepping in. For both concepts, skip the Regular Buffet ($24.80 for Shaburi, $27.80 for Kintan) and go for the Special Shabu ($29.80) or the Kintan Buffet ($34.80) - the meats come from better quality cuts. Maximise the 90-minute feeding frenzy, for there are many stations to conquer. Dining at any of the two concepts gives you access to the cooked food, vegetables, drinks and soft serve stations. Make your own seaweed, curry or spicy fries with the powders provided, or stuff yourself silly with smooth chawanmushi, freshly fried chicken or lightly battered tempura. For your last fifteen minutes, head to the soft serve counter for milky vanilla soft serve, sprinkled with your favourite toppings.

Average price: $40 per person

Pete's Place (Grand Hyatt Singapore)

Photo: ( Burppler Hilary See)

For an authentic Italian experience in town

Come hungry for the ultimate carbo-loading at this cosy Italian restaurant in the heart of town. Hidden in the basement of Grand Hyatt, Pete's Place oozes rustic charm with its lovely checkered table cloths, wood-fired oven and bare brick walls. They serve great pastas and pizzas for dinner, but it's their pocket-friendly lunch buffet you should come for. Go for the buffet with mains, ($35, there's a soup and salad only option for $28) where you get unlimited helpings of their excellent thin crust pizzas and simple yet flavourful pastas, on top of soup and salad. The soup, pizza and pasta flavours rotate daily, so you'll get a refreshed spread each time you're back here. Help yourself to their freshly baked breads, breadsticks and cured meats before moving on to soups. The selection may not be as extensive as others, but rest assured you're getting quality over quantity at this feast. When the carbs prove too much to handle, try the cooked food like the tasty Chicken Balsamico and Braised Beef, and end the two-and-a-half hour buffet with a treat or two from the dessert table!

Average price: $40 per person

Ikoi Japanese Restaurant

Photo: (Burppler Ap Kong)

For endless sashimi and tasty Japanese eats

When one serving of sashimi just isn't enough to sate your craving, head to this crowd favourite for one of the more affordable Japanese buffets along Havelock Road. Located within the grounds of Hotel Miramar, Ikoi Japanese Restaurant ($38 for both lunch and dinner) is fully booked most of the time, so be sure to make reservations early! Regardless of whether you're here for lunch or dinner, the spread and the price remains the same. The fresh, thick and chunky slices of salmon, yellowtail and swordfish sashimi may be the stars here, but don't neglect other offerings like yakitori, grilled salmon or mackerel, soba, udon and rice bowls. The salmon skin handroll is a must-order, as is their comforting, tummy-warming oden or zosui.

Average price: $45 per person

Shabu Sai (Changi City Point)

Photo: (Photo by Burppler Yvonne Lo)

For Japanese shabu with unique soup bases

Affordably priced from $22.99 for dinner and conveniently located in malls like Suntec City, Causeway Point and Orchard Central, this chain restaurant specialising in Japanese shabu is the one to head to when your soup craving strikes. Unless you intend to chow down on unlimited servings of sushi, skip the Orchard Central outlet (dinner from $24.99) and save the extra bucks to add on $1.99 for free-flow soft drinks and ice cream. Choose two out of six soup bases - play it safe with sukiyaki, tonkotsu shoyu or yuzu collagen stock, or try the monthly specials like assam curry or herbal chicken and barley. Every broth is flavourful and not watered down, and the refills are the same as the soup stock you get in the beginning. The catch? You only have 90 minutes to eat, so act fast. We recommend ordering more of the thinly shaved beef - it cooks fast and tastes similar to the one from Yoshinoya (you know which ones we're talking about). Then, head straight for the mussels, clams and DIY meat balls on bamboo sticks - much like the ones from Tsukada Nojo, except you get to make your own here! There is a large variety of dipping sauces at Shabu Sai, with plenty of condiments to complement.

Average price: $30 per person

Talay Kata

Photo: (Burppler Raine Liu)

For pocket-friendly mookata in Orchard

This fully air-conditioned mookata restaurant on the eighth floor of Orchard Central is perfect for your next get-together session with friends you haven't met in a while! Prices start from $18.80 for lunch and $28.80 for dinner with free flow of drinks. Choose one of four soup bases - bonito, chicken, tom yum or salted egg yolk (more of a dip than a soup base), before loading up your plate with king crabs, bamboo clams and slipper lobsters. The unagi, beef cubes and scallops are great for grilling and dipping into their housemade sauces like the lip-smackingly good green seafood sauce. If it's your first time handling slipper lobsters, get the friendly Talay Kata staff to guide you in cracking open the shell, so you don't waste time trying to cook the meat with the shell still on (...like we did). The stellar spread of meats and seafood is more than sufficient to feed everyone; but if not, there's always the DIY Som Tum and shaved ice dessert stations to turn to! Pro tip: From Mondays to Thursdays, students and National Servicemen enjoy 15 per cent off their bill when they flash their student or NS card!

Average price: $35 per person

Buffet Town

Photo: (Photo by Burppler GastronomySG Kyzrael)

For a reliable international buffet spread

Gather your hungriest friends and fill up on a four-hour frenzy of all-you-can-eat oysters, sashimi and crabs at this Raffles City Shopping Centre mainstay. Located in the basement, this sprawling restaurant's affordably priced buffet (from $26.80 for lunch, $36.80 for dinner) features a spread of Western, Japanese and local delights for all types of diners. Stuff your face with fresh sashimi, sweet poached prawns, freshly shucked oysters, scallops and Alaskan crab legs, before moving on to the heartier mains. Skip the chili crab and go for the flavourful braised pork belly, comforting laksa and smoky satay to satisfy your craving for local delights. If you still have room for dessert, end your meal with as many scoops of ice cream as you want on a warm waffle or crepe!

Average price: $40 per person

K.COOK Korean BBQ & Steamboat Buffet (Westgate)

Photo: (Burppler Ang Ming Kang)

For wallet-friendly Korean BBQ

This popular Korean chain restaurant is one for meat lovers. They offer unlimited quantities of well-marinated meats, from beef ribeye to pork belly and spicy chicken, as well as a modest seafood selection that includes fresh prawns and squid. The no-frills chain restaurant offers lunch at $19.90 and dinner at $29.90, making it a great place for penny-pinching students, or large groups who want to feast without burning a hole in their pockets. There is a two-hour time limit, so pace yourself and eat till you drop! If you need a break from the meats, go for cooked dishes like japchae, Korean rice cakes and Korean pancakes. The Orchard Central outlet on the seventh floor often sports a long, snaking queue and is mostly alfresco seating so if you prefer to cook in comfort, head to their new outlet at Westgate instead - it is fully air-conditioned!

Average price: $35 per person

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