Other than quality food, dining companions who can hold both their conversations and stomachs are definitely needed for a good buffet experience. And that was what I got when I visited The SQUARE at Novotel Singapore on the invitation from John, their marketing and direct sales manager, to try out the restaurant’s new enhanced buffet spread.
John graciously gave us a tour of the place and introduced the feature dishes of their current What’s the Big Deal? Promotion where every night a few supersized dishes will be available for diners (photos in a bit). The SQUARE rotate these dishes so it’s different every night! This promotion is currently on till end of June, together with a bonus special in celebration for Father’s Day – Dad dines free with every 4 dining patrons for weekends in June, 2 more weekends left people!
Many Singaporeans gun straight for cold seafood and sashimi but I was always taught to not eat cold raw food on an empty stomach so you will see me go for some cooked food first at a buffet.
The spread is standard international fare, with cold seafood like oysters and mussels, salad bar, sushi and sashimi. There is an Indian cuisine island with curries, stir-frys and prata. Feature ‘Big Deal’ dishes of the night include a Giant Paella, Honey Baked Ham and a 1 metre long Snail Sausage. I quite like the sausage, with some spices in the meat.
They also have some live cooking stations offering Laksa and Risotto (another one of the ‘Big Deal’ promo items)
We were served a Cheese Risotto, where they first start off cooking in the pan and finish it by tossing it in the giant Parmesan wheel. The risotto arrived well coated, complete with a full bodied flavor and bits of crumbly Parmesan in it. I liked that this is not as jelak as some of the risottos I’ve had, perhaps due to the lack of/less cream? The Laksa on the other hand, was run of the mill.
Their new French Chef, Chef Jean-Philippe Couturier, formerly with Novotel Bali, came out often to check on the food and us, plus convinced us to try one of the a la carte dishes not on the menu. I am so glad Chef overrode our protests of having a very full meal already as their signature Poached Cod Fillet with sauteed vegetables in Spicy Coconut and Prawn Broth, served with Chicken Rice ($34) was absolutely divine! Hands down my favorite dish of the meal.
The cod was fresh, tender and fatty as they should be, while the vegetables retained their bite. The star was undoubtedly the concentrated Coconut and Prawn gravy that was not only delicious, it was not too spicy and had sweet undertones from the prawn broth as well. It’s the kind of sauce that makes you want to eat more rice, and I did!
I actually think their dessert line up probably takes up half the area and I stopped at the table with the pink cake pictured above and just stared at it for a while too long, feeling like a kid again! There’s a Ice Kachang corner, Chocolate Fondue, Durian Pengat (!!) and various cakes, tarts, fresh fruits and dessert shots. I was recommended their Chocolate Mousse shot, which I found to be chocolatey-thick and smooth. Now, if only their Durian Pengat was a little thicker, I would have been completely satisfied.
Without an idea about their buffet line up previously, I cannot comment on how much The SQUARE have improved, but I can say that currently they are in very good hands. I also do not doubt that after June and the ‘Big Deal’ promo is over, the management will continue to find exciting things to entice customers, because they love what they do. I heard a new Brunch Menu is currently in the works by Chef Jean-Philippe and it will be launched in the near future, so keep a lookout for that brunch-lovers!
I had a very nice time talking about food and travelling experiences to like-minded people, thank you Novotel Singapore and John, for the kind invitation and warm hospitality!
Lunch: $45++ (Adult), $28++ (Child)
Saturday Dinner: $58++ (Adult), $38++ (Child)
Sunday Dinner:$48++ (Adult), $30++(Child)
177A River Valley Road, Novotel Singapore, Level 7
Opening hours : 6am-1030am/12pm-0230pm/6pm-10pm