Do you picture yourself throwing fabulously effortless home or office Christmas parties… only to realise you lack the culinary skill and time needed to prepare a massive turkey, meatloaf, roast beef and what-have-you?
Do yourself (and your guests) a favour and leave the food to the experts. Christmas buffet catering in Singapore, as well as takeaway sets for smaller parties, really doesn’t cost as much as you might think.
In this article, I’ll cover the most 10 value-for-money Christmas mini buffets and (cooked) takeaway sets, prioritising those that offer a full suite of traditional Western Christmas dishes.
CHRISTMAS CATERING SINGAPORE 2019 - TOP 10 CHRISTMAS PARTY SETS & BUFFETS UNDER $28/PAX
|Catering service||Christmas buffet / set||No. of pax||Price per pax|
|Cold Storage||Lavish Christmas Feast||8 to 10||$15.99 to $19.99|
|Neo Garden||Christmas Party Pack||Min. 20||$18.18|
|Grain Catering||Christmas Mini Buffet||Min. 20||$18.19|
|Bakerzin||Festive Feast B||8 to 10||$19.68 to $24.60|
|Four Seasons Catering||Catering in a Box||18 to 20||$20.75 to $23.06|
|Rasel Catering||Christmas Menu||Min. 40||$23.54|
|Eatz Catering||Frosty Favorite Mini Buffet||Min. 15||$24.53|
|KG Catering||Santa’s Delight||Min. 25||$25.46|
|Chilli Api Catering||Christmas Party Set B||Up to 15||$26.25 onwards|
|The Soup Spoon||Love Festive Set||15||$27.67|
COLD STORAGE (HALAL OPTIONS)
Cold Storage is practically synonymous with Christmas in Singapore – even heathens like me can appreciate the Tanglin Mall Marketplace outlet in full festive glory. (In my colleague Jacq’s words, “you haven’t lived until you realise they stock like 10 different types of eggnog!!!”)
For Christmas, Cold Storage sells a la carte cooked items, like some of the cheapest whole roast turkeys in town. They cost $59.95 to $64.95 whereas most other places charge at least $100.
For convenience and value-for-money, it’s hard to beat their Christmas sets. This year’s classic Lavish Christmas Feast set comes complete with turkey, ham, roast beef, cranberry sauce, gravy and a bottle of wine, and will feed 8 to 10 people for $159.95.
The halal Hearty Christmas Feast set is even cheaper at $89.95 for 6 to 8 pax. There’s no whole roast turkey in this set, though, only rosemary chicken, turkey ham, roast beef, sausages and brown sauce. There’s a halal rosemary roasted turkey ($59.95) but it’s only available a la carte.
The whole procedure is painless as well – you place orders online, make payment and arrange to collect your loot at the Cold Storage outlet and timeslot of your choice.
NEO GARDEN CHRISTMAS PARTY PACK
Neo Garden is a popular household name in the catering business and they’re known for dishes like chicken curry with potatoes and thematic decor.
So don’t expect their Christmas party sets to be overtly European, but they’ve tried to introduce some dishes like rosemary oven roasted chicken and chocolate fudge yule log cake in the Petite Party Poppers set. You can even get turkey in the Christmas Gala set.
For small groups between 8 and 10 guests, choose from Mini Festive Feast A and B.
The Mini Festive Feast B costs $20.32/pax for a minimum of 15 pax and comes with a choice of either honey glazed chicken ham or gourmet chipolata sausage as its highlight.
No turkey, rosemary oven roasted chicken, or log cake in these mini sets though; that would bust our budget. The highlight courses are somewhat Christmassy nonetheless, and the flexibility to select Asian cuisines might help please the more traditional Asian types at a family Christmas party.
Mini Festive Feast A costs $18.18/pax for a minimum of 20 pax and comes with one additional course: garlic beef with capsicum or Christmas sushi platter.
Don’t forget to add in a transportation fee of $40.
GRAIN CATERING (HALAL)
I was totally expecting this slick boutique catering outfit – which counts Facebook and Google among its clients, no less – to be grossly overpriced, but that’s not the case at all with Grain Catering’s Christmas menu.
Smaller groups can opt for the 8-course Christmas mini buffet ($18.19/pax, min. 20 pax) or 9-course one ($21.40/pax, min. 15 pax). Delivery costs $32.10 and there’s no table setup.
The bigger buffet packages are also reasonably priced, starting from $19.26/pax for 50 pax and $24.61/pax for 30 pax. Be sure to factor in the delivery and setup charge of $64.20 for full buffets.
However, the menu items are not exactly traditionally Christmassy. Grain focuses on healthy meals, so all our favourite Yuletide calorie bombs – butterball turkeys, giant hams, log cakes and heavy creamy mashed potatoes – are conspicuously missing, and replaced by
inferior healthier substitutes like Christmas spiced rice, wild mushroom pesto pasta, cranberry meatballs with roasted zucchini and holiday walnut cake.
Surprisingly, Bakerzin’s Christmas menu has not just sweets like log cakes and gingerbread cookies, but also savouries like roast chicken, ham and shepherd’s pie.
The Christmas goodies are sold a la carte, but you can purchase them as a Festive Feast set. It’s most worth it to get the biggest set, Festive Feast B, which is the most “complete” with glazed ham, chicken mushroom shepherd’s pie, chocolat de beau, aged fruit cake, orange cinnamon capon and gingerbread cookies.
At $196.80 (20% off) for 8 to 10 pax, it should feed your crew for around $20 to $25 to per head.
Delivery is free for orders above $250, otherwise it costs $35 for the Christmas season. However, Bakerzin doesn’t do specific delivery timeslots between 18 Nov to 31 Dec 2019. It’s better to arrange for free self-collection from their Maju Ave, United Square or Tai Seng outlets.
FOUR SEASONS CATERING (HALAL)
I’m not a big fan of the big catering services like Stamford Catering and Neo Garden Catering for Christmas, because I find that they sneak items like fried bee hoon and white fungus soup into their Christmas menus. (Don’t get me wrong, I live for bee hoon. I just don’t think it goes with log cake.)
Halal caterer Four Seasons Catering is one of the few popular buffet caterers that don’t do this. Although their buffet sets don’t include the traditional roast turkey, I’m more than willing to compromise given the small price tags.
Small groups can go for Catering in a Box or Deluxe Catering in a Box. Catering in a Box is good for 18 to 20 pax and priced at $415.16 nett. For approximately $23/pax, you get pan seared chicken, baked fish fillet, seafood snacks, classic chicken Shepherd’s Pie, Penne Aglio Olio and chocolate eclairs.
Delivery costs $53.50. It’s waived for orders for 60 pax and up. Add $10 for CBD and Orchard locations.
You can also self-collect at 171 Kampong Ampat #05-17, KLA Foodlink, Singapore 368330.
RASEL CATERING (HALAL)
Quite unlike some of the more mainstream caterers who have simply added a few slices of turkey ham to their regular Asian buffet menu, Rasel Catering’s Christmas menus are totally European.
For example, their cheapest Christmas buffet ($23.54/pax, min. 40 pax) has items like fisherman casserole in crustacean milk, slow baked chicken, Moroccan saffron pilaf rice, log cake and mixed fruits pudding.
Turkey is not included, but there’s a workaround: order by 15 Nov 2019 (min. 50 pax) to get a free whole turkey!
Otherwise, the pricier $28 Christmas buffet ($29.96/pax, min. 50 pax) includes the traditional whole turkey, as well as more premium items like beef stew, baked white snapper and “mistletoe sweets”.
Delivery costs $64.20, and there’s a $10 surcharge for CBD addresses.
EATZ CATERING (HALAL)
Like Rasel Catering, halal caterer Eatz Catering doesn’t half-ass it with the ang moh food.
For smaller groups, there are 3 Christmas and New Year mini buffets to choose from. The best value one is the Christmas Mini Buffet A ($24.53/pax, min. 15 pax) because it has the requisite whole turkey, 1 salmon dish, Hungarian lamb ragout and bratwurst. It’d be perfect if there was log cake too, but at under $25 a pop, you really couldn’t ask for more.
For larger groups of 30 pax and up, there’s a whole slew of full Christmas buffets to choose from, but I still think the mini buffet is more worth it.
Delivery costs $23.10 (mini buffet) / $53.50 (buffet) on normal days. During the peak period of 20 to 25 Dec, it costs $37.45 (mini buffet) / $64.20 (buffet).
KG CATERING (HALAL)
If you’re catering for a finicky bunch with people who insist on Asian representation in their buffet lunches, halal caterer KG Catering is one of those who actually seem to do the East-meets-West thing pretty well.
Their Santa’s Delight buffet menu coherently mixes Western dishes like beef stew and roasted veg casserole with more familiar buffet fare like salted yolk prawns and baked tilapia fish. More importantly, it features the Eurasian dish devil’s curry – traditionally Christmassy and completely local at the same time.
It’s also very affordable, costing only $25.46/pax with a minimum of 25 pax. The delivery charge of $30 is also nice and low for a catering service too. Note that the fee goes up to $50 on PH/eve of PH, however.
CHILI API CATERING
Christmas buffets are the last thing I’d associate with Chilli Api Catering, which is best known for excellent Peranakan food. Yet, among the mainstream food catering services in Singapore, they have some of the most appealing Christmas mini buffet menus.
Their Christmas Party Set B ($393.76 for up to 15 pax) has the key items you’d want in a good face-stuffing session. Roast turkey? Check. Roasted potato? Check. Christmas fruitcake? Check. Plus there are unusual dishes like cream cheese salmon puffs, tea smoked duck and miso edamame pasta for a bit of an Asian vibe.
Delivery costs a reasonable $37.45 to $53.50, depending on which area you’re in.
THE SOUP SPOON
I had no idea The Soup Spoon did Christmas party sets for takeaway, but it makes perfect sense since warming stews are such a good fit for the chilly season. Ordinarily the festive sets are quite pricey, but there’s a hefty 20% off until 30 Nov which makes them good value. Enter promo code XMSEARLY19 to enjoy.
There are 5 sets to choose from, but the most worth-it one is the biggest Love Festive Set, which feeds 15 pax for $415.16 after discount ($27.67/pax).
No big ol’ turkey here, unfortunately, but there’s a stuffed roast chicken with Yorkshire pudding, seafood paella, beef bourguignon, shepherd’s pie, Tuscan baked seafood, drumlets, pasta salad, 2 large soups and a log cake (plus free brownies until 30 Nov). Worth the money, I say.
There are 2 options for delivery. Self-collection is free and can be done at the Paragon, Novena Square, Raffles City, Changi City Point or Waterway Point outlets. Delivery costs $48.15, but it includes a food warming service so you really needn’t even lift a finger.
This article was first published in MoneySmart .