Tuesday, 23 July 2013

[CLOSED] 1 Market by Chef Wan – Average Food with Overwhelming Crowd

1 Market is Malaysia Number 1 Celebrity Chef, Chef Wan first foray in Singapore restaurant scene. Located in Plaza Singapura, this place opened with much fan fare and publicity in Singapore and across the Causeway. This buffet restaurant is filled to the brim everyday, so if you never make a reservation, your chance of getting a table is very slim. Reviews on this establishment on food review websites has not been positive, however it did not stop me from suggesting this place for a catch up session with our friends.


Let me start describing our experience from reservation. It actually took me two days to get through to get a reservation. First, I make a few calls during the break time in hope that the staff will be lessen their work stress in taking reservation during their busy period. Unfortunately, it went unanswered. Later I found out from their FB page, they only take reservation during their operation hours. So I tried the next day and by luck, managed to get through and place my reservation for our big group. The person on the other line was courteous and give me the details on pricing, especially for kids under a certain age.

Come to the D Day, we arrived on time and was shown to our table. Luckily they already allocated the table, so as long as someone come on time, they will allow you to be seated and the rest can come a bit late. Normally you need to pay before you enter, however as we are in a big group, they actually do the final count at the end and we can pay the bill before the end of our meal. Kudos to them for allowing this flexibility.

The Crowd
So once you enter the restaurant, can see their food selection starting with cold seafood, Japanese section, Rotisserie section, Asian Home cooking, Grill Section and deserts. So how is the food.

Cold Dish Selection

We start with the cold dish section. The prawn and blue swimmer crab are quite reasonable in size, but not fantastically fresh. The cockles, clams and mussels are over cooked, and the meat actually shrinks. To accompany the seafood, you can choose their Thai Chili Sauce mix, but according to the Little Devil, it is not spicy enough. Got no KICK!!

The Condiments
Food the cold dish section
For the Japanese section, the selection is quite limited. For sashimi you will have the Salmon, Tuna, Octopus. It is not the best cut, but it is all right. The same can be said on the sushi and maki selection.

Sashimi

Come to the rotisserie section. Two options of meat, roast chicken and beef rump. The service staff tried her best, however it is difficult to de-boned and sliced chicken on the spot where you got a long queue of hungry customers. Both the meats are very dry and it was not well-seasoned. Disappointing.

The Beef Rump

The Beef Rump - sliced

The Roast Chicken - sliced and a bishop

Come to the Asian section, Laksa Lemak, Kueh Pie Tee, and Rojak. The lemak gravy is quite thick and you can feel the lemak (coconut fat). Rojak. The rojak here is DIY (Do It Yourself), so you can mix and match the ingredients. The dressing is quite well balance, where you can taste the ingredients of belacan, tamarind and black bean paste. Can't comment on the Kueh Pie Tee, it seems we miss out on this.

The Laksa Counter

Laksa Lemak

Rojak
On the home cooked Asian section such as Chicken Belado, Lamb Stew, Thai Prawn and Tumeric Crab. All the dishes are quite flavourful, however nothing really pop up to be highlighted.

The grills section. Probably the best part of section of the restaurant other than the desserts section. The Satay, you can choose chicken and beef complete with the condiments, ketupat and satay sauce. This is fresh from the charcoal grill, you can taste the charcoal burnt part with the thick satay sauce. The meat was well marinated but slightly chewy. The ketupat is all right but not fragrant. Their grilled sotong / calamari is a must-try. It is nicely grilled and tender and you have to be quick as both dishes flying off the serving place at an extreme pace.

The Satay Master!!!

Satay
Last but not least, the desserts section. They have a numerous selection of deserts, however the most popular is the waffle with ice cream. It is so good, if you leave this till the end, you can expect long queue until you want to give up. The sago, pandan pudding, peach pudding, jelly are average. So don't miss the waffle. The drinks are free flow.

Waffle with Ice Cream

Sago, Pandan Pudding, Lychee Pudding

1 Market has a modern decoration, bright and well space in between tables. Service is average, but our table got cleared before any noticeable stack of plates.


Overall we find 1 Market provide another choice for Halal buffet. The food is average but I was really amazed by the popularity of Chef Wan as the number 1 celebrity Chef in Malaysia. This place continue to be packed, packed and packed. I personally feel that if you never been to this place, you should try at least once. Just keep your expectation in check and have a good time with your friends. So Selamat Makan!

Food & Drink: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 7/10.

1 Market by Chef Wan
68 Orchard Road
#04-45 to 49. Plaza Singapura
Singapore 238839

Tel: 6341 9159 (Only call during op hours)
Op Hours: Daily 11.30 – 14.30; 18.00 – 22.00
Pricing available on facebook page.


PS: Apologies for the pictures, as we were more focus on catching up with friends then taking photos :)

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