Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saltwater Cafe (Changi Village Hotel)

A decent lunch buffet spread of tasty Asian dishes for just $36++.
Who's in for it? I AM!

Just that there's a little travelling to do, unless you stay near Changi Village Hotel where you can find the hidden gem - Saltwater Cafe.

See a familiar face in the picture above?
Saltwater Cafe is headed by a celebrity chef who had appeared on many television shows in Singapore - Chef William Soh.

The buffet area is rather small but there's a Chinese saying that goes 麻雀虽小,五脏俱全, which roughly means.. Though it is as small as a sparrow, it possesses everything. Well, at least most of the usual suspects of an Asian buffet could be found here.

I photographed about 90% of what was available during lunch buffet.
(Click on image to enlarge.)

Let's feast!

Visit the decent salad bar for healthier moments in between the carnivorous meal.

I quite like the cold dishes section. The tofu salad and mango chicken surprised me. The taste was so refreshing and really appetizing. Good way to start my buffet~

Though I was a little disappointed that there were no sashimi, but there were the usual prawns and scallops and some limited choices of sushi.

Dessertssss! Wasn't there a saying that says - desserts go to a different stomach? Hahahahaa~~

Do it yourself! Make your own lor mee and prawn noodles~~ add as many ingredients you want. They are all for you to eat.

You can make yourself some kueh pie-ti as well.

Toss and turn and mix up a good rojak for yourself! I like mine with more you tiao and sweet sauce. Extra peanuts for the crunchiness!!

The above picture was not photoshopped! The chef just happened to stand behind the roasted chicken. Hahahaa~~ There's char siew, roast pork, roasted chicken and duck! I like the char siew as it was tender and moist. The sauce was sweet and thickened just right.

The chef at this live station was not as friendly as I thought so I only took this photo. The roti prata was thin and errrr.. didn't tasted like roti prata. It tasted like carrot cake! LOL..

There were different curry to choose from, such as chicken, fish and mutton curry, to go with the prata or briyani.

The live station for satay (chicken, pork, mutton & beef) is at the outdoor area.

Also at the outdoor area, you can make your own teh tarik. No kidding, you can "pull" your tea from one tin container to another until it's very foamy. (^O^)

I found something! Kachang puteh corner! Many people just passed by this as it was lower than our eye level and all the containers weren't open. So, keep your eyes open!

The following would be what many people had described as hawker centre dishes:

Sambal prawns: very succulent and tasty. I kept refilling my plates with these.

Black pepper sliced beef: the texture was just right. It was not too tenderized. The black pepper sauce was not too overpowering. I got no complain about this standard tze char dish.

Chilli sotong: MY FAVE!! There's no fishy smell and taste. It was deliciously sweet and mildly spicy. For those who prefer spicy hot food, feel free to add more chilli available at the make-your-own-noodles counter.

Sweet & Sour pork: Skip this! Really. It was rather soggy and almost tasteless. The coating was badly done. It was floury when I chew the cubes of meat... which reminds me, the cubes of meat were soooo small.

Sambal fish fillet: What happened to the hotness and spiciness of this dish? Furthermore, the texture of the fish fillets suggested overcooking. *cries*

For those who can't do a meal without soup, here goes:

Cream of Pumpkin: was not creamy enough BUT I preferred that it was not that creamy.. Hahaaa.. which fits the occasion of buffets. Imagine gulping down a bowl of heavy creamy soup, anyone would be quite full already.

Bak Kut Teh: either they placed the tag wrongly or they brought out a half-done soup. There was no peppery taste, the distinctive feature of bak kut teh!

My first few plates:

I love to start with some salad and appetizers.

The staff was going around the tables, asking customers if they would like to try the popiah. Well, it was not fantastic but not too bad either. Just that there was not enough peanut and sweet sauce to my liking.

The start of my carnivorous adventure~~

Needless for me to say, you can see from the photo, the satay was moist and nicely done. It was almost effortless to bite off the meat from the stick. The sauce was very nutty and close to authentic Malay-style satay sauce. Let me reiterate, "close to".

Pardon my lack of skills in making a good prawn noodles, as you can see, my prawn noodles has more prawns and fishcake than noodles. Hahaha..
One thing weird was that the prawn soup was spicy! Really, I didn't add any chilli to my prawn noodles but it was spicy enough for me to take sips of water.

Durian Pengat is not the regular durian pengat. It was more like creamy durian paste with sago. The durian taste and smell were not distinctive at all!! Though it fell short of my expectations, it was not too bad.

Everything on this plate were gooooooooood! Gosh, if only I had more space to stomach more food, I would have taken another two servings of all the cakes and puffs!

(What's not photographed: Teh tarik, bandung, soy bean milk, ice cream, red bean soup, nyonya kuehs, curry, stir-fry veggies and char kway teow)

What I liked:
- The ambience was kinda relaxing. The swimming pool was right outside and you could see the Changi golf course. I felt like I was away from the city (which I really was) and time just slows down.

- The attentive and friendly staff were prompt in refilling my glasses and clearing my table. Good job!

- The chefs kept the buffet counters very clean! Also, some of the chefs were very very friendly and willingly to chat with customers. That's nice~

- When I collected food at the outdoor area, I was holding my plate of satay in one hand and a cup of teh tarik in another. Then I realised, I had to pull open the door. NOT PUSH! If only it could be pushed, I could do it with my hands full. Fortunately, there was a nice lady who opened the door for me.

- Travelling all the way to Changi Village could be a hassle for some. It took me more than an hour to get there on public transport.

- No sashimi! I was pretty disappointed because even some cheaper buffet restaurants offer salmon sashimi. However, I admit I'm being biased here.

Overall, I thought that the buffet spread substantiates its affordable hotel buffet price. The quality of the food was quite decent in general. It's a buffet place recommended for family and especially for those with elderly members in their family.

Saltwater Cafe
Address: Level 1, Changi Village Hotel, 1 Netheravon Road
Tel: 63797018
Opening hours:
Sun - Thu: 06:30 - 23:00
Fri - Sat: 06:30 - 00:00

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