Sakura, Delicious Buffet

Sakura is a sushi and grill buffet style restaurant.  Typically, when a person says a restaurant is not to be missed it’s really classy or has a great signature dish, but in this case Sakura is all around great food at a reasonable price.  You pay 25 SGD at the door, are shown to a table, and then you’re free to pick and choose from everything that’s on display.

There are rows of sushi, cooked shellfish, soups, grilled items, and desserts.  There’s enough to choose from that you couldn’t sample everything in one sitting, even if you were frugal with your servings.  I haven’t found anything there that I haven’t liked either.

One of the interesting things about Sakura is their grill system.  Your table has a little stand on it with numbered clips that correlate to what table you’re sitting at.  You take these clips with you to the grill and then clip them to posts next to example dishes.  Later, you food will be brought to your table when they’re ready.

I’ve been to both the Orchard location and the Pasir Ris location, which is where we went this time, and I have to say that the Pasir Ris location is more appealing to me.  The Orchard location has a darker ambiance and might be better for a date, where the Pasir Ris location is more brightly lit and seems more suitable for large groups of people, parties and groups of friends.  It also has a children’s area with toys and a TV playing cartoons.  I could see the TV from where we were sitting so I was able to enjoy some Tom & Jerry episodes with my dinner.

Like I said before, Sakura offers a great deal on the price for what you’re getting.  The food is all good quality.  Also, if you pick and choose right, you’ll likely end up eating more than your money’s worth.  That brings me to something funny that happened during our trip there.  My wife told me to enjoy the sashimi but to go light on the sushi, since it’s coupled with rice and rice will fill you up fast.  It’s good advice.  If you’re going to an all you can eat buffet, why fill up on a staple food when you can instead enjoy the better food that’s on offer?  While I was standing at the bar thinking about what to get another lady was reminding her son of the same thing: “Don’t get a bunch of rice!  We can eat that at home!”  Oddly enough, I did see a woman pile up two plates with nothing but fried rice.

Here are a few pictures of what’s on the menu.  Pardon the quality.  I forgot my camera.

A shot of some of the sushi to be had.

The roast duck with the sauce on it is great!  Also, that skewered thing in the back was one of my favorites. It’s fried squid (or octopus) legs.  I’m not sure how they get them so crunchy, but I could eat them all day.

Black pepper lamb from the grill.

Wagyu beef from the grill.

Skewered octopus leg.  It’s great when dipped in the sauce it comes with.  Also an item from the grill.

The shellfish in the back right is slipper lobster.  I’d seen them before on TV and in aquariums, but I’d never actually had one before trying it at Sakura.  It’s not bad at all.  I wish I’d had some coctail sauce for dipping it though.

I can’t recall the name of this veggie, but it’s delicious.  I think it’s fried in butter and garlic.  It must be pretty popular because when my wife went to order it from the grill there were a lot of clips on its post.

A small plate of dessert to finish off the meal.  By the time I started eating this I was so full I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish it.  The cheesecakes at Sakura are some of the best I’ve had in Singapore.  I suppose it’s because they’re so similar to what I’m used to in the US.  The mochi were great too!  If you’ve never had mochi, I don’t know how to explain the taste to you, but it’s well worth it to try them.  My favorite was the pinkish one.  It has a red bean paste inside.

Do You Know What You’re Eating?

Sometimes I sure don’t.  There’s a buffet looking hawker stall near where we live.  I’m sure there’s one in almost every hawker center.  Anyhow, there is a wide range of choices, but there aren’t any labels telling you what the foods actually are.

You just have to look, guess, hope and point.  Sometimes you make good choices, sometimes you don’t, but maybe that’s half the fun of eating the stuff?

What prompted this is that a few nights ago my wife and I were eating and I chose food from that particular hawker stall.  When I sat down, my wife said, “Oh!  What’s that!” And, I had to admit that I had no clue!

Luckily, most of it tasted good.

Seoul Food!

Yup. That is in fact spelled right. I’m not talking about traditional black American food.  I’m talking about a restaurant chain in Singapore named Seoul Garden!

On Sunday afternoon we went out for a movie, and then afterwards we decided to have dinner at Seoul Food.  It was a group decision.  My wife and I had often seen the place but had decided not to eat there.  We just didn’t care much for the way it looked, and this picture of the goat in the window deterred me:

Some of you may remember me posting this photo before.  Well, I guess I gave in.  I ate the poor goat.

So anyhow, the place was pretty surprising as far as quality of food goes.  When you first walk in your put at a table that has a griddle and bowl of broth in the middle.

It’s up to you to decide your fate:

Some of the items are raw, like the meats in the second photo, and some are precooked and just need to be heated up, like the items just past the person barely visible in the first photo.  There’s also an array of veggies that you can either turn into a plain salad (no dressing) or dump into the pot or onto the hot plate.

It’s all really good, and it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, so you can sit down, take your time, relax, and chat with your family and friends (and eat more because you’re eating slowly and get more for your money).

The photo above is mainly about that small yellow bowl and what’s in it.  One of the people with us prepared it from the dessert buffet area.  I’m not sure what all of the ingredients are, and either I really misheard what she called it or I just can’t find it on the internet.  She seemed to enjoy it, but I passed on that for ice cream and little pieces of cakes.

The place is a pretty good value for your money and it’s located (the one we went to anyway) on the same floor as the movie theater in Tampines Mall, right in front of you when you come off the escalator.

Last, but not least… a random shot of the table:

If you make it over there, enjoy!  Oh, and from what I saw in the Google search suggestions, there are Seoul Gardens located all over the US as well, including New York City.