Carousel scoops fifth win as best buffet restaurant

At the AsiaOne People's Choice Awards yesterday were (from left) Carousel's food and beverage manager Abraham Tan, its executive sous chef Darren Ong and Royal Plaza on Scotts general manager Patrick Garcia Fiat.

SINGAPORE - The people have spoken: Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts is the best buffet restaurant here for the fifth year in a row.

Winners in 28 categories were announced at the sixth annual AsiaOne People's Choice Awards yesterday, with more than 200,000 votes cast by members of the public over three months.

The awards, now in their sixth year, also saw Apple get the nod for its tech devices in three categories and Canon for cameras in two categories.

Any winners that pick up the award five times are inducted into the news and lifestyle website's People's Choice Award Hall of Fame.

Carousel is only the third winner to do so, joining SIM Global Education, in the best private institute category, and the POSB Everyday Card, in the best credit/debit card category.

The latter two, which were inducted last year, won again this year in their respective categories.

Mr Patrick Garcia Fiat, general manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts, attributed Carousel's success to its constant willingness to listen to its customers, while keeping its menu fresh.

His staff even put on a "birthday symphony" every night after customers told him that hearing the original Happy Birthday song all the time was becoming disruptive.

"They came up with the birthday symphony," said Mr Fiat. "At 8.15pm every night, all service, even the kitchen, stops. The staff all get together and they start singing Happy Birthday: It is a bit jazzy, a bit Broadway."

The restaurant also constantly tweaks its menu. Mr Fiat said Carousel, which introduced a teppanyaki counter last year, will start offering Asian-style tapas in July and have a reinvented dessert counter by the end of the year.

AsiaOne editor Adrian Tay said the award winners demonstrated two traits - that their brand was in consumers' minds, and that their products delivered.

He added that the hall of fame awards were introduced to spotlight consistent winners.

"For a brand that can reinvent itself and keep getting the top spot - that is quite a feat," said Mr Tay.

Other notable wins yesterday were Din Tai Fung for best Chinese restaurant, DBS for best bank and City Square Mall for best suburban shopping centre.

The three categories received the most votes from the public.

This article was published on April 24 in The Straits Times.

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