While I was staying at Furama RiverFront (read my earlier blog post -> FuramaKids Family Staycation @ Furama RiverFront Singapore), I had dinner at The Square @ Furama that serves up a sumptuous buffet spread of international cuisine, from fresh seafood and sushi to chilli crabs and BBQ pork ribs.
The lunch and dinner buffet prices are as follows:
Monday to Sunday
Lunch (12.00pm to 2.30pm): S$58.00++ (adult) S$16.00++ (child)
Dinner (6.00pm to 10.30pm): S$68.00++ (adult) S$20.00++ (child)
The hotel offers a 1-for-1 credit card dining promotion all year round which makes dining here a very value-for-money affair. This promotion is applicable to UOB, BOC & other major credit cards with up to a maximum of 8 persons per card but it’s not valid on Eves of and on Public Holidays. This promotion also applies to the hotel’s other restaurant, Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant that serves up traditional Balinese fare & fusion Indonesian food.
For the month of November (2016), experience a taste of the outback with gastronomic Australian cuisine, featuring classic Aussie delights like Anzac Day Digger’s Beef Stew, Blackened Salmon with Billy Leek Cream, Freo Chermoula Prawns and much more. Available daily from 1 – 27 November 2016.
For families with children, you can request for a table near the play area which is in a strategic location in the dining room so while you’re having your meal, you can also watch over the kids at the same time.
Little ones can be kept entertained at the play area (Tykes @ The Square) with cartoon video screening, free-play toys and activity sheets which is a plus point so parents can dine in much-needed peace. 😉
I visited The Square for dinner the weekend before so what I had was their usual buffet (not the Aussie-themed one). As that was right after their Salted Egg Yolk theme for October, I was delighted to see that there were still some salted egg yolk specials at the buffet.
Let’s now take a comprehensive look at the buffet spread that evening.
I think it’s kinda cool to provide these kopi (coffee) and teh (tea) guides so for those who are unfamiliar with our local Singapore coffee/tea culture, you can try making a cuppa for yourself and see which one you like.
There were also Hot Barley with Beancurd Stick and Longan & Red Date Soup behind this.
Warm and iced water were thoughtfully placed on all tables so we could just help ourselves.
I could never resist smoked salmon which seldom would go wrong. The ones here weren’t overly salty. Simply delicious.
The smoked white fish was surprisingly tasty too. I expected it to be fishy but it wasn’t. It had a firm, meaty texture and it was nicely marinated with sesame oil, sesame seeds and chilli which lifted its flavour although it was a little heavily seasoned.
Normally, I’m not such a big fan of cold cuts but I liked that they sliced up the different types of ham and tossed them up with vegetables to make a salad-like platter. The vegetables gave crunch and also cut the saltiness of the hams. Not bad.
From the pre-mixed salads section, I enjoyed the feta cheese with watermelon and mint leaves most. The sweetness of the watermelon cut that sharpness and saltiness of the feta cheese and the mint leaves just gave an aromatic note. A very refreshing salad to have. Made a great palate cleanser as well.
I tried gong-gong when I was in Kota Kinabalu and I didn’t really like it. This time when I had it for the second time, I still didn’t enjoy it. It just tasted bland and chewy.
On the other hand, the clams were fresh, big (not shrivelled up) and probably one of the sweetest lots I had ever eaten. The perfectly boiled prawns were also fresh, crunchy and sweet – the shells didn’t stick to the flesh at all.
The thickly sliced salmon sashimi was fresh and sweet but the tuna ones had a rather fishy flavour.
The Singapore Chilli Crab was one of my favourite dishes. The crabs were first lightly coated with flour, deep fried and then cooked in a spicy, sweet and eggy sauce. The first batch of crabs I had, they were slightly overcooked so some parts of the meat were a bit too soft (to the extent that they would melt in the mouth). The second batch of crabs I had were much better as the meat was still quite firm. The crabs were of a decent size and were really meaty (no hollow parts), fresh and sweet. The sauce was really tasty too but it was a pity there wasn’t any fried mantou to mop up all that piquant sauce.
By the way, when the service staff saw me taking crabs to my table, he immediately brought over a bowl of lemon water and a cracker. Very attentive service.
Another thing that I noticed was that the chilli crabs were regularly replenished even though we had gone beyond 2 hours of dinner service. This was worth applauding because some of the buffets that I went to previously would either change the crabs to something else (like crayfish or prawns) when the first and second rounds were served or there would just be no more. It was frustrating because other diners would just fill their plates with crabs and leave behind the remnants of shells and I wouldn’t get the opportunity to try because I was not fast or thick-skinned enough, lol. So while I was here, I actually took my time to slowly enjoy the crabs because there were aplenty! 😉
Another one of my favourites was the Salted Egg Yolk Prawn. It was fried to a perfect crisp and crunch that I could just devour the whole thing, head and all. Really had to eat the shells because they were coated in salted egg yolk and was just so full of flavour.
The steamed fish had a slight muddy taste but it wasn’t fishy. The sauce was similar to that of Cantonese steamed fish style and it was quite good.
The marmite pork had no bones in it though the meat was a bit hard and chewy. The flavour of the coating sauce was savoury and sweet. Couldn’t taste the original marmite flavour which was good.
The popcorn chicken was light, crispy and really fun to eat because it was so easy to just pop them into the mouth. I tasted salted egg yolk in the dish. It wasn’t intense but nonetheless it made a great accompaniment to the crispy chicken.
I couldn’t find traces of pork trotter in the bee hoon but it was still nicely executed dish as it had a lot of wok hei.
The vegetables were all nicely cooked with a crunch.
This second plate I had paled in comparison to the earlier first plate. Everything here was pretty much run-of-the-mill.
One unique thing from this plate was the roasted duck roll. Instead of using the usual white-coloured Chinese pancakes like those of Peking duck rolls, they used roti jala instead to wrap the duck meat. But as the rolls were pre-made and kept warm in dim sum baskets, the roti jala ended up with a soggy texture. I did like the provision of spicy and non-spicy Hoisin sauce on the side though.
This white turnip pork rib soup was sweet and full of flavour like those double-boiled soup we would get from elsewhere.
The seafood gumbo was a bit weak in flavour. It was like a mild minestrone soup with seafood in it. Not tomatoey enough.
I had a bowl of porridge after trying almost everything else and I almost couldn’t believe how comforting it felt while I was digging into this. This was purely simple comfort food. The porridge was beautifully cooked (Teochew muay style) so the rice grains were still separate. I added braised pork belly, pickled cucumbers, braised peanuts, preserved vegetables, cabbage & beancurd sticks and the combination was just flawless. There was also gluten which I didn’t take.
Next, it’s dessert time! In the past, I had never really been wowed by the desserts at most hotels’ buffets because they were just ordinary and nothing spectacular but after trying the desserts here (despite a small selection), I was quite impressed by some of the sweet treats I had tried. In fact, a couple of them had me coming back for seconds. 🙂
It was my first time trying a salted egg yolk cream puff. Didn’t know what to expect but when I popped one into my mouth, I had to close my eyes and go “hmmm” immediately just to savour that very moment, lol. The cream inside the puff would just ooze out and the whole experience in the mouth was a very balanced one – sweet and salty. I loved the additional salted egg yolk bits on top that really gave an extra kick. I wished I could steal the whole tray home! ?
And while I was still trying to get over that umai moment, I had a mouthful of that baked chocolate lava with custard sauce. That also blew me away! The cake itself was airy and moist and the chocolate sauce wasn’t overly sweet. I could really eat a few servings of that without feeling cloying. So yum.
The cherry apple terrine had a pretty mint green colour. It had a custardy texture and its flavour was predominantly evaporated milk which reminded me of bandung except this was green in colour.
Except for the agar agar (never really fancied it), I really loved everything else on this plate. The steamed tapioca was such a humble dessert but it was so good because I always like the flavour of tapioca anyway and this was really tender. The coconut sauce wasn’t overly rich too.
The chocolate brownie was very chocolatey and moist. The creme brulee was a bit dense (not wobbly enough) but the flavour was good – eggy and not too sweet. The oreo cheese bite was quite rich in taste and had a crumbly, moist texture – cheese lovers like me would love this.
There wasn’t a lot of chin chow in this ice bandung dessert soup but nonetheless I enjoyed slurping this up. Good old classics like this would never go out of fashion.
Made kopi-o kosong (coffee black with no sugar) and teh-si siu dai (tea with evaporated milk and less sugar). They were so gau (thick), lol. Sure to perk you up if you go into a food coma! I really liked that we could customise our own drinks so we could adjust the flavour according to our preferences.
And how could we not end the meal with some delectable cheeses?
All in all, this was an above average buffet. Price was very reasonable with the 1-for-1 credit card promotion which would work out to be about S$40 per adult after taxes. For this price, you could feast on unlimited crabs, prawns, sashimi, sushi, smoked salmon, hot dishes and desserts. Service staff were very helpful and also quick to clear plates from the table. It could get really busy on a weekend but the atmosphere wasn’t that hectic so I could still pretty much eat in peace.
While the quality of food was a hit and miss as with all other buffets, I would still recommend their Singapore Chilli Crab, Salted Egg Yolk Prawn, boiled clams & prawns on ice, smoked fish, porridge with braised dishes and of course, you must make room for the desserts too.
Oh, and I left the restaurant with an ice cream cone in hand. 😉
The Square @ Furama
405 Havelock Road
Tel: +65 6739 6468
Lunch buffet – 12.00pm to 2.30pm daily
Dinner buffet – 6.00pm to 10.30pm daily