Sunday, May 6, 2012

Buffet Lunch at Open House, Grand Park Orchard.

I've noticed that I don't go to hotel restaurants that often. I think it's because a hotel restaurant isn't one that you would go to by accident. What I mean is that you can be walking around in a shopping mall, come across a nice looking place and think "ooh, let's have lunch here." But you wouldn't walk past a hotel and think the same ... would you? Anyways, my colleague Ben very kindly lent me his Park Gold card, which gives 20% discount off F&B at any of the Park Group hotels in Singapore - which is how we ended up seated in the Open House restaurant over at Grand Park Orchard for their buffet lunch.

Instead of a huge buffet line, most of the food at Open House is cooked a la minute, courtesy of 5 food cooking counters. Place your order with the chef manning the particular station and he'll deliver the food right to your table after cooking it. Starting off with the roast meats station, with a selection of roasted char siu, siew yuk, roasted duck and roasted chicken. We thought that the meats were solid but not spectacular; the siew yuk for example was too lean for our tastes. And the skin wasn't crispy enough.

Moving on to the dim sum station where we place an order for some siew mai, har gao, wo dip and fried carrot cake. If you're wondering why carrot cake is called carrot cake (when the main ingredient is actually radish) - it's because the chinese word for radish is "white carrot."

The noodles station serves up taster-sized portions of laksa, prawn mee and wantan mee. We were quite disappointed by the prawn mee and wantan mee as it came out rather bland and tasteless.

It probably seems odd to have a Pizza station seeing as the rest of the food is generally Chinese; but upon closer inspection we spot a Singapore Chili Crab pizza on the menu. And promptly order it, which was also a disappointment as it took ages to arrive and tasted rather bad. There was way to little Chili Crab sauce, so it ended up being dry and tasting almost like a sauceless pizza.

The last of the cooking stations was for claypot rice & soup - at which we ordered waxed meats rice - which was pretty nice - and peanut soup. Soups don't taste good unless they're simmered / boiled for a decent amount of time to extract out all the flavours of the ingredients, and this soup very obviously wasn't simmered long enough.

The buffet also serves up salads/cold meats and desserts in your standard/typical buffet line style. We didn't think the salads or meats were anything special; but the desserts were quite nice - above average for buffet standards!

At SGD33.00 per person for the buffet lunch, we feel that the price we paid was "OK" on the value for money scale. There is perhaps less variety of dishes compared to a traditional buffet; which Open House tries to compensate for by cooking most of their food to order. Theoretically this should mean better taste; but there are some misses among the hits.

Open House Restaurant is in Grand Park Orchard - sort of "opposite" the junction from Takashimaya (along Orchard Road) and "behind" the Abercrombie & Fitch shop. Non-halal.


  1. heheh, that's quite a lot of dessert piled into that plate! guess you managed to save enough stomach space for the sweet stuff :D

  2. Headed there for dinner tonight. I'll have to lower my expectations a lot!