A spontaneous decision for a get-together with gal pals of TMS. Coincidentally, one of the gals just had her birthday a couple of days back.
We were thinking of 'buffet' for the varieties and also to accommodate or vegan fren. Carousel's too expensive. Guess Sakura @ Downtown East it is (very close to home!).
One thing I learn about coming here - keep expectations low. VERY low. There's very poor chance that the food (esp. the seafood) here is fresh. And taste-wise.... well, if you're pessimistic, just stick to the safer choices.
from the sushi bar
It's a great risk that I'm taking, taking slices of sashimi. One bite tells me that I should just forget about it.
My colleague told me that a few slices of FRESH sashimi, esp. the premium ones from authentic Japanese restaurants should be fine. But this...?
I just savour the seaweed roll w/ prawn tempura and the california roll with unagi. That mussel in the foregroud was from the grilled-food section. Mussels topped with this sweet, orange-coloured creamy sauce (I can't figure out what). That was decent.
Photo taken of the belated-birthday gal's first plate. Fried stuff, mostly. I was kinda' disappointed to see all that breadcrumbed stuff. I was hoping for some tempura, esp. since they were having this 'Japanese Food Promotion'. Was I asking for too much?
from the salad bar
Now this is what delighted me. The reason why I love buffets is because of the array of salad greens and cold dishes.
There were several cold dishes that had tuna in it. I just took a couple of those. These's something that looks like cold yakiniku. The chuka idako (Japanese seasoned baby octopus) was really starchy/gooey.
Wish I could have taken more of the alfalfa sprouts. I LOVE, love them alfalfa sprouts. But I read somewhere that pregnant women should hold back on consuming them because the way they are grown, there's a high chance of them harvesting a lot of bacteria.
Shucks, I know.
And on the top-left corner are 2-halves of boiled slipper lobster (aka crayfish) which was really cold and bland. Even the various sauces didn't perk up the taste. Sheesh.
my plate of cooked-food
I tell myself that the cooked food didn't look that very promising so I just try to go for 1 round of it.
Got the chawanmushi (bland), deep-fried vietnamese rolls (nice), a couple of dim sum (there are like 4-5 varieties but all the fillings looked the same), some breadcrumbed prawns & crab-claw.
From the grilled-food section, I got the teriyaki chicken (very dry - should top the meat with more sauce, post-grilling), more of that mussels and grilled prawns that's topped with the same orange-y sauce (doesn't taste that fresh).
I actually went for a 2nd round of the fried foods because I just spotted the wasabi mayo (my weakness!). But the wasabi taste was sorely lacking. Should have taken the actual wasabi from the sushi bar and mix it in!
I realise that I didn't even bother to try the food on the cook-upon-order section. Stuff like hot-plate grill, soups and teppanyaki. I was tempted to try the teppanyaki wagyu beef but something held me back.
one of my faves
Fried salmon skin! Nom nom....!
little pieces of cakes ~
background (L-R) - blackforest, oreo cheese, choc. truffle
midground (L-R) - choc. fudge brownie, choc. mint
foreground (L-R) - marble cheese
After the disappointment with the food, the desserts were thankfully, a saving grace.
Especially the marble cheesecake. They were just topping up on that one when I was at the fridge (must be popular!) so it was refreshingly cold to the bite, just like cheesecake ice-cream. And tasted just nice, not too sweet nor creamy.
The letdown was the blackforest for there was no hint of a cherry flavour. Just like a normal choc. cake. The mint in the choc. mint was lacking, too. The oreo was too overpowering because the proportion of it to the cheesecake was like 3:2.
The choc. fudge brownie & truffle cakes were decent. pretty nice, actually.
All in all... the foods aren't really THAT worth the $27. I noe there are other places out there that serve better food for a little more.