For lovers of crustaceans, molluscs and all things fishy, the latest buffet to hit Brizo at Park Hotel is a mediterranean inspired veritable feast that will satiate your seafood cravings. Available every Thursday to Sunday from 1 October to 27 December 2015, you can dine on some of the finest items offered up by the ocean.
Brizo is located within the lobby of Park Hotel, but don’t let that put you off. The restaurant itself is modern, bright and the large glass pane windows open up the space further allowing lots of natural light to flood in.
With over 20 dishes to choose from, including the new feature dish of ‘lobster in a pan‘, you’ll need to arrive on an empty stomach in order to try everything.
To start off, we dove straight in to the array of chilled appetisers that included salmon ceviche with avocado, a prawn cocktail with brandy hot sauce, french beans with smoked tuna tataki, freshly schucked oysters, tiger prawns and green lip mussels to name but a few. All of which tasted fresh and was a clean, light way to start our meal.
Other small nibbles to try before launching into the main course action included deep-fried battered prawns and a clam chowder. The prawns had a nice crisp exterior whilst remaining soft and sweet in the middle. However the accompanying tartare sauce was lacking a vinegary zing and really just tasted of mayonnaise.
The clam chowder was creamy and rich, though I would have preferred a greater depth of flavour. Bacon or some fresh herbs would have been a welcome addition.
By now, our appetites were whetted and the smell of the BBQ was wafting in from outside. There were three options on the grill: tiger prawns marinated in cajun spices and mackerel fillet and squid with sambal chilli.
The prawns were sweet and juicy, though the cajun spices unfortunately didn’t really come through. None the less, they were still tasty. The chef had done a good job with the squid, it wasn’t overcooked or chewy and the bbq flavour had permeated through the meat.
The mackerel fillet had been wrapped in a pandan leaf then again in foil to bake over the grill. The fish was fresh, soft and remained the predominant flavour despite the punchy heat from the sambal.
The provencal seafood stew was jam packed with mussels, prawns and clams, visually it looked a real treat. The shellfish were actually cooked nicely, the mussels and clams were plump and sweet. However, the broth was a little light for my liking and needed more depth and richness of flavour rather than the predominantly tomato base.
Our seafood paella was yet another visual delight and one thing is for sure – Brizo does not scrimp on the shellfish. The paella was rammed with prawns, squid, mussels and clams, all of which were cooked nicely.
The prawns in particular were super sweet and fresh. The rice was fluffy but could be better if it picked up the subtle flavour of saffron with a little more seasoning. For me, a paella isn’t a paella unless the bottom layer of rice is toasted with a nice crunch, which was sadly missing on this occasion. But given the difficulties of cooking this dish and for a mass crowd at a buffet, I’d say Brizo has done it pretty respectably.
Thecstar of the Brizo buffet is their signature ‘Lobster in a Pan‘ dish, which is limited to 1 order per table (size is adjusted based on how many pax at the table). When dining you can choose from two Mediterranean style sauces; garlic cream (cream, white wine, garlic, thyme, tarragon) or Cioppino (tomato, thyme, garlic, white wine, olive oil and basil). The lobster is cooked fresh and delivered to your table, along with a portion of refillable truffle steak fries.
Of the two, I preferred the garlic cream version. It had a more robust flavour and I thought the fresh herbs brought out the sweetness of the meat. Whilst the lobster was certainly fresh, by the time we got round to eating it the flesh had got a little chewy due to all the photo-taking.
I recommend you demolish this as soon as it hits your table otherwise it will continue to cook in any residual heat and spoil the joy of picking the soft flesh out of the claws.
Though not mediterranean, we were spoiled with two types of crab, the Brizo Signature Singapore style chilli crab and a salted egg yolk crab. Both were generously slathered in their respective sauces and whilst the crabs were undoubtedly fresh, they were a little on the small side.
We rounded off our feast at the desert table, there wasn’t a huge amount of choice here but given we’d eaten so much already that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. On offer was a trio of sweet cakes, Durian pengat, jellies, mousses and the obligatory chocolate fountain.
The buffet at Brizo is ideal for lovers of seafood as the variety and freshness of the produce is good. Considering crab and lobster feature on the menu, the $65++ price tag for adults is almost justifiable. Whilst I would have liked several of the sauces/soups to have greater depth of flavour, the shellfish itself was tasty and plentiful.
Damage: $65++ per adult / $32++ per child