Last Updated: September 10, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a battle we’re still facing, and the main leisure activity we all miss has to be travelling. With that, I’ve noticed numerous F&B businesses sprouting around our island and their birth couldn’t come in a more timely fashion as Singaporeans fall back on their #1 favourite pastime, eating.
We know that Singapore isn’t short on places to eat, but have you ever come across a 6-in-1 buffet spread? Yes, you heard right. Six concepts in one place, all for one price. Yi Zi Wei (忆滋味) has two outlets, one in Peace Centre and the other in Geylang Road, and it’s recently been getting traction for its unique buffet format.
If your first thought is, ‘Wow, a 6-in-1 buffet? Must be expensive!’, you’ll be elated to know that their free-flow Lunch Buffet is only S$19.90+, while their free-flow Dinner Buffet is only S$29.90+. Yes, you read right—free-flow.
What do these six concepts include? There’s Lok Lok, Steamboat, Mala Xiang Guo, Korean BBQ, Korean Army Stew, and Mala Soup. When you’re seated at your table, staff will come to you with a lean menu, where you can choose from a selection of marinated meats and the soup base for your Korean BBQ and Steamboat, respectively.
I chose the Mala Soup and Chicken Soup as the two broths, along with a variety of marinated meats, including some unique choices such as Beef Spencer (also commonly known as ribeye), Fennel Mutton, Yi Pin Beef, and Heavenly King platter (pork cuts marinated in different spices such as mala, honey, si fang, and black pepper).
To go along with that, I also tasked the staff to pick a selection of seafood (for the Steamboat) and Lok Lok skewers as they wished. Given that self-serve stations are not allowed during Phase 2 of dining, you will have to ask the staff to assist to help you pick from their large fridge of chilled ingredients. You can certainly request for particular ingredients if you like, or be like me and give them full reign.
The only two aspects of this free-flow buffet I didn’t experience were the Mala Xiang Guo and Korean Army Stew, but I’ve heard that they pack a punch! Nevertheless, the amount of food I’d selected was more than sufficient for a casual lunch.
What’s a BBQ without some sauces? Just like their chilled fridge stocked with raw ingredients, you can also ask the staff to create a variety of saucy creations, be it garlicky, spicy or nutty.
While waiting for the meats to be grilled, the lok lok skewers were deep-fried and served to our table, accompanied by a peanut sauce. The skewers arrived hot and crunchy, and the peanut sauce served to enhance the crisp batter that coated each and every skewered ingredient.
I noticed the variety of lok lok ingredients—as I’d allowed the staff to select them on my behalf—and was pleasantly surprised to see the range of ingredients they served. There were crab sticks, sausages, beancurd skin, broccoli, mushrooms, and even whole garlic cloves!
The peanut sauce reminded me of satay sauce, minus the creaminess, but it sure carried the same addictive flavour, and we easily polished off at least half of the lok lok skewers are we patiently waited for the other ingredients to cook on the grill.
If you ask me which meat plate is the most worth your time, it would have to be the Heavenly King platter. With four different marinades in a single serving, you’ll not only be able to sample a variety, but also have a better idea of how on-point their marinades are.
Their Pork Belly was exceptionally succulent and fatty, with just the right meat-to-fat ratio, and the marinade was mildly sweet. This certainly accentuated the fattiness of the pork cut, which we all know we love and enjoy for its generous fattiness.
If the marinades still aren’t sufficient for your palate, their DIY sauces should do the trick. I was served a spicy sesame number, and ohhh, I couldn’t stop dipping every morsel of meat into it. But let’s not forget the seafood that’s been simmering in the steamboat broths!
Of course, I had to throw in a few meat pieces into each broth just to make it more robust, but that didn’t take away from the richness of each. The Mala Soup had some bite to it, but not overwhelmingly so till I couldn’t appreciate the sweetness of the seafood.
Speaking of seafood, my personal picks would have to be the bamboo clams and mussels; they were plump and tender even after shrinking down a few sizes from being boiled. The crustaceans here are undoubtedly fresh, but being a meat-lover, the marinated meats really stole the limelight.
On the other hand, the Chicken Soup was comforting. It was made even more robust the more I added chunks of beef and pork into it. However, I must add, personally, given that the marinades for the raw meats were already so well-executed, I would recommend sticking to grilling them (rather than cooking them in the steamboat).
Between the two cooking methods, the grilling really does the meats justice and you’ll get to savour the smokey char as well.
Yi Zi Wei’s free-flow buffet is at such a wallet-friendly price, there’s no need to emphasise on how appealing it is. But more than just its price point, its offerings will also exceed your expectations. Nothing here is muted or dull—just take their marinades, for example.
The fact that they offer six concepts for a single price isn’t just a gimmick; they deliver in both service and quality, and I only hope more patrons will be curious enough to check them out. It took me some time to hear about them, but now that I have, I will definitely add them to my list of steamboat/BBQ places to visit when I feel hungry enough to eat a cow.
Expected Damage: S$19.90+ for Lunch, S$29.90+ for Dinner
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Y Zi Wei (忆滋味).
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Yi Zi Wei (忆滋味)
1 Sophia Road, Peace Centre, #02-01/02, Singapore 228149
1 Sophia Road, Peace Centre, #02-01/02, Singapore 228149