Every year, my family and I celebrate Christmas at home, and every year, the million-dollar question remains the same: “Order what ah?” Well, I’m happy to say that after trying How’s Catering’s self-heating festive mini buffet, I might just be able to solve my family’s annual dilemma.
How’s Catering was founded in 1991 and they’ve been dishing out catered buffets one after another for the past few decades. Not only are they halal-certified, they also offer a wide variety of buffet menus at super affordable prices.
How affordable (pun not intended), you might ask? Its Christmas buffet menus start at S$25 per pax (min. 40 pax), while its self-heating mini buffet lines start at S$238 and are meant to feed 10 persons. If you don’t want to order a full buffet, you can even go for platters such as its Meat Feasting Platter (S$188 for 5-6 pax) or Charcuterie Cheese Platter (S$168 for 4-6 pax), which are perfect for potlucks.
I was most impressed by How’s Catering ingenious self-heating mini buffet, which instantly solves the problem of having to reheat Christmas platters that were either delivered too early or were delivered cold.
There are three self-heating mini buffet choices, all of which are good for 10 persons: iHeat Bedazzle Soiree (S$238), iHeat Whimsical Soiree (S$328) and iHeat Enchanting Soiree (S$398).
Each of the hot items in the self-heating buffet comes double stacked— the food container is on top, while the tray below contains heating agent packs and water packs.
Just in case you find yourself fumbling during this process, there’s a useful “How to Use” leaflet that’s included in each mini-buffet pack to guide you through!
When you’re ready to start heating up the food, simply remove the food container on the top to reveal the heating tray beneath. Each heating tray should come with 2 water packs and 2 heating agent packs.
For the next step, pour the liquid from the 2 water packs provided into the heating tray. Then, remove the 2 heating bags from the plastic sheets and place it into the heating tray with water.
Note: Do not touch the heating bags with wet hands!
Quickly place the food containers back on top of the heating trays. Be sure to close the lids tightly, as the heating bags will expand and start emitting steam within the next 10 seconds.
Keep the lid on for about 15 minutes and let the steam do its work. And there you have it— piping hot food ready to be consumed.
Just a note of caution that the steam can be very hot, so be careful! Don’t put your hands over the steam during heating, and be careful when removing the hot lid.
What I tried at How’s Catering
How’s Catering’s iHeat Enchanting Soiree comes with a whopping 13 items, ranging from salad to appetiser, main courses in different varieties such as chicken, barramundi, seafood, beef cheek, your choice of carbs, 3 types of desserts to (of course) a log cake.
Each mini buffet also comes with a full pack of utensils, bowls, plates, tissues, sharing cutlery like large spoons and tongs, and even a table mat! This way, you really don’t need to worry about a single thing— except for how to finish the food, that is.
Kicking off the festive feast was the Winter Leafy Salad with Walnut, Pomegranate & Maple Dressing.
This was something I really, really loved. Packed with fresh greens, fruits and nuts, this was a real salad (as compared to others that might have more dressing than leafy greens) that was filled to the brim with healthy goodness that helped to whet my palate and also ease the fullness from the meal. I even spotted some plump wedges of mandarin oranges, which were refreshing and zesty.
Next, the appetiser— Baked Potato Salad with Miso Ponzu Dressing, Crispy Turkey Bacon.
The potatoes came in large, satisfying chunks, and were generously coated in a creamy layer of zesty and savoury miso ponzu dressing. The turkey bacon was a welcome addition that added that addictive salty touch.
I reckon this would be a definite crowd pleaser, especially for the kids!
The first main course, Salsa Cajun Marinated Boneless Chicken Leg, impressed me with the sizable, thick slices of chicken that were marinated really well. Each piece was tender and juicy, and came with a good amount of fatty skin for that gelatinous touch. The sauce was easily the star of this dish— tomato-ey, sweet and tangy, with just the hint of spice.
I also loved that How’s Catering didn’t skimp on the vegetables for this one, and added in bell peppers to even out the amount of meat in this item.
The one dish that my dining companions and I kept going back to was the 24 Hours Braised Angus Beef Cheek with Roasted Root Vegetable & Baby Potato.
Hidden underneath a layer of roasted root vegetables were layers and layers of braised angus beef cheek. Though they held up their shape well and I could lift them with the tongs provided, these were fork-tender and incredibly tasty slices of beef. Meaty and substantial, it reminded me of oxtail as it had a good ratio of meat-to-fat.
How’s Catering’s iHeat Enchanting Soiree comes with two seafood dishes, the first of which was the Oven Baked Locally Farmed Barramundi with Char Tomato & Capers Sauce.
This was really aesthetically pleasing, with layers of oven-baked barramundi being arranged nicely, and delectable soft onions being layered on top of it. This dish surprised me with the amount of smoky heat, which came from the charred tomatoes and capers, but I enjoyed how it went nicely with the barramundi, which was flaky and sweet.
The second seafood dish was the Seafood Crockpot with Lobster Milk, which came with a myriad of seafood such as thick chunks of fish meat, mussels, prawns and squid. Though the lobster milk sauce was a little oilier than I’d expected, the broth was light, briny and milky, and reminded me of lobster bisque.
Each set comes with your choice of carbs: South Western Steamed Rice with Sweet Corn & Black Bean or Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Bell Pepper, Mushroom & Cilantro.
For our festive feast, we went ahead and chose the classic aglio olio, which came with strong hints of rosemary and thyme. Trust me when I say that this is more than enough for 10 persons— this tray of spaghetti seemed to be never ending!
A unique take on the typical shepherd’s pie is How’s Catering’s Mediterranean Style Chicken Shepherd Pie, which came with kidney beans, corn and what looked like edamame. The classic combination of baked mashed potatoes, crispy cheesy crust and minced chicken meat never gets old. Meaty, creamy and super satisfying— I bet you the kids will love this one.
Finally, dessert! How’s Catering’s iHeat Enchanting Soiree came with three types of desserts, two of which were bite-sized tarts and cakes that were perfect for nibbling.
The Ginger Bread Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting were little nuggets of spiced carrot cake with thick savoury cream, while the Caramelized Almond Pear Tart were small, crumbly tarts that contained soft and sweet pear on the inside.
I saved the best for last. If there’s one thing that you should save stomach space for, it’s How’s Catering’s Warm Chocolate Molleux Pudding with Toffee Sauce.
Though the baked top layer looked firm, like a brownie, all it took was a jiggle and prod to reveal a molten pool of melted chocolate in the middle, which oozed out like lava. This is warm decadence with every bite— soft, spongey delectable bites of chocolate cake with molten, thick and rich chocolate. The glorious topper was the toffee sauce— sweet and thick, almost like candy.
This was easily the highlight of the entire meal, and it was enough to sell the whole buffet, such that I immediately texted my family saying that we should order this for our own Christmas. Not kidding!
To end off the feast, we dug into How’s Catering’s log cake: Opal White Chocolate infused Jasmine Tea Cake with Yuzu Passion Curd & Marmalade, Almond Nougatine, Pandan Coconut Sponge.
Its name might seem like a handful, but this was a really light and zesty log cake that lifted my entire palate. The first thing I tasted was the super unique floral scent of jasmine tea, and adding on to that lightness was the yuzu passion curd. Tying all of that together was an aromatic pandan coconut sponge, with a nutty sweet crackly layer of candied almond at the bottom.
I must say, the addition of curd is a fantastic choice for a log cake, as it counters all the spongy denseness from the cake. Though I was incredibly full, I seriously couldn’t help but keep eating.
From appetisers to main courses, and self-heating preparation methods to utensils, plates and sharing spoons, How’s Catering has really got the art of catering down to a tee.
The self-heating boxes ensure that every guest gets a fresh, hot meal. With the minor things taken care of, you’re free to fully enjoy the occasion, no matter how many guests you’re trying to feed.
Organising a party for 10 persons? Get the self-heating mini buffets. Entertaining a smaller group of friends? Try the Beef Tomahawk Grain Fed Set (S$188), which feeds 5-6 persons. If you’re hosting for a large group of people, How’s Catering even offers self-heating bentos (min. 20 pax) and full-fledged buffets for 20, 30 and 40 pax.
To check out How’s Catering’s Christmas menu, click here. Note that the festive menu is available from 28 Nov 2022 to 1 Jan 2023, and delivery and surcharges apply.
For more information, call +65 6852 2852 or +65 9830 3430 or visit their website.
Expected damage: S$25 – S$50 per pax
* This article was brought to you in partnership with How’s Catering.
Other articles you might like:
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
8A Admiralty Street, Food Xchange @ Admiralty, #03-20/21/22 , Singapore 757437
8A Admiralty Street, Food Xchange @ Admiralty, #03-20/21/22 , Singapore 757437