Let me tell you: trying to get a hotpot / steamboat restaurant reservation with a popular brand name on a Friday evening is practically impossible unless you’d booked way way in advance or are willing to wait over two hours for a walk-in chance. That’s why last Friday, me and two birthday “babies” pals of mine ended up with the Seafood Madness Buffett (SGD78++) at Hotel Jen Tanglin instead. Which wasn’t a bad alternative at all if truth be told.
For instance, just this gorgeous rack of chilled golden tiger prawns and snow crab claws had me at hello. The prawns were meaty and tasty, the snow crabs juicy and succulent. There were a good few customers who piled up their plates with nothing but the snow crab claws, and not that we can blame them.
Also popular were the giant Boston Lobsters, which the staff had to keep replenishing as well. Personally I found the meat a tad too tough and my hope of having free-flow lobster had to be curbed for another day.
There was also a fabulous pot of chili crab, which was arguably more popular than the lobsters. The crabs were fresh and fleshy, and the gravy absolutely delicious, great for dipping bread or papadum (Indian crackers) into. Though a tad messy to eat in a public place (and at a hotel no less), I seriously couldn’t get enough of this.
Oysters were surprisingly “hidden” away at a far corner, just in front of the grilled counter where you can order lobster, prawn, salmon or anything else grilled. Needless to say, at most times, all you see is ice on the tray till it got replenished yet again.
The buffet also offers a wide variety of seafood-related items to choose from such as this giant seafood paella, lobster fried rice, bee hoon with fish slices, soups, etc.
This huge baked salmon was a sight to behold, but I prefer my salmon in sashimi style and there is a whole counter devoted to Japanese sushi items and loads of salmon sashimi. We ended up using the wasabi and soy sauce from here as our “chili” base for our chilled seafood choices as we couldn’t find one to our liking.
The buffet is not all seafood – roast items such as honey baked ham and beef steak were actually good. There is also counters where you can make your own rojak and kueh pie ti. My pals probably tried every item there was; as for me, my total focus was on prawns and crabs on repeat.
Desserts feature the usual suspects – fruits, cakes, pastries, chocolate fountain, etc. The durian pengat got us excited but nice as it was, we have tasted better (at a steamboat buffet at M Hotel).
The buffet ended at 9.30pm but we – and a few other tables – were allowed to carry on and eat/chat till we are done. I guess the days of 24-hour hotel cafes are long gone. For its choices, J65 Seafood Madness Buffet (Friday-Sunday) is value-for-money, especially if you simply indulge in everything seafood. There’s a discount given for online reservations, which makes it even more worthwhile.
I for one wouldn’t mind going back for another round. Maybe to see how different is their International Seafood Buffet (SGD88++) is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wednesdays is Lobster Rock ‘n’ Roll nights (SGD$129++). If you are big on seafood, this is one buffet worth checking out. J65’s daily seafood themed dinner promotion ends 31 August 2018.
J65 is at Level 1, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, 1A Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249716.