“Seafood Buffet smack on Orchard Road”
Makan@Jen is the main dining restaurant of the Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway. Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway is situated smack right in the middle of the Orchard Road “shopping and makan” belt. The restaurant is located on the 10th floor of the shopping complex (Orchard Gateway).
On Friday and Saturday evenings, Makan@Jen offers a seafood buffet for only $60++ per pax. The restaurant can be described as vibrant and eclectic; offering a fusion of local specialties and international classics for their buffet spread. There is also an ala carte menu for diners with smaller appetities.
The seafood buffet spread consists of a salad and sushi bar, fresh seafood counter, prawn noodles and other local cooking stations, many local favourites and familiar international dishes such as Chilli Crab and Seafood Paella respectively.
The main dining hall of the restaurant is spacious and very brightly lit. Makan@Jen offers both indoor and alfresco dining with full glass panels from ceiling till floor along one side of the restaurant.
This allows diners to enjoy the beauty of the city’s panoramic skyline. We really liked the ambience of this place. It is suitable for big group gatherings, family outings (the baby chairs here are uber cool and looks very futuristic) and casual romantic dates (tip: do make reservations and ask for a table next to the glass windows – a good scenic view gives an extra boost to the romance factor)
Salad and Sushi Bar. Diners can make their own salads with several choices of salad dressings. The taste of the cold soba salad was different and slightly unusual – cant really quite make out what was the dressing used in the salad. Nevertheless it was refreshing but we did wish the soba was not cooked so soft.
The sushi selection was pretty decent however perhaps due to the exposure to air-conditioning; the sushi was slightly too cold and the rice abit bordering on the hard side.
Time to rejoice and enjoy for the real seafood lovers at this buffet! You will find quite a spectacular array of fresh seafood such as lobsters, whole mud crabs, snow crab claws, oysters, tiger prawns, clams, mussels and sashimi.
The tiger prawns were really very sweet and juicy whereas the oysters were small in size and not very plump. The mud crabs and snow crab claws were a delight to taste as the freshness and sweetness of the crab meat was simply mouth lingering. Please do ask the service crew for crab eating tools – trust me….. you will need the tool as these crustaceans have some seriously tough shells.
What is more satisfying and comforting than a bowl of piping hot prawn noodles? Well, definitely a hearty and delicious bowl of piping hot prawn noodles! The chefs at Makan@Jen totally nailed this dish! This has to be one of the best prawn noodles we have tasted within Orchard Road area.
The soup base was robust and intense yet not overly thick; the prawn broth was very tasty, non oily and did not taste of MSG at all. It’s no wonder we went back for second and third servings.
We did enjoy the overall taste of the seafood paella with its fragrant stock. However, the paella rice was slightly overcooked and a gentle suggestion to the chefs that paella needs to be served hot. Perhaps the heating lamp or the food warmer was not working very well as we had rather lukewarm and lumpy paella.
Seldom do we see Hong Kong style roast meats served at buffets but at Makan@Jen, diners will find roasted pork and roasted duck amongst the buffet spread. The meats tasted relatively decent (not die die must try though).
Besides the seafood dishes, the desserts selection most definitely is the highlight of this buffet. Compared to other hotels’ buffets, the desserts choices at Makan@Jen are plentiful and quite interesting.
There are 8 different flavours of ice-cream to choose from and many different toppings to play around with too. Not to mention another 8 choices of cakes and tarts plus a decadent chocolate fondue with 3 different marsh mallows to try out. The red bean tart is highly recommended. There are also some choices of local kuihs for those who do not like western style desserts.
So what’s our verdict on the seafood buffet at Makan@Jen? We reckon it may not be the most extensive and special buffet spread around but it’s worth considering and trying out if you are in the Orchard Road vicinity. Pricing is mid range, we would consider this a relatively good deal (do find out if they have any on-going credit card promotions). Try out the buffet and let us know what you think!
Expected Damage: $60++ per pax
Makan@Jen: 277 Orchard Road Singapore 238858 | Website | Tel:+65 6708888
*Photos by Tiara Lim