Sakura will be launching their first ever Seafood in a Bucket in their buffet concept on 14th November (mark the date!) and I was at their media tasting session yesterday to have a taste of it. This is one of the first buffet concepts to offer this item on the menu. You know how restaurants that specialize in such concepts are so expensive and sometimes you still feel hungry after spending a bomb on it? Well.. at Sakura, the Seafood in a Bucket is available as part of your dining experience in unlimited servings. Yes, unlimited!
Read on to find out more :)
First up, we were greeted by the cold food section. This is the France station, featuring seafood on ice and a salad bar. Offerings include boiled prawns, steamed green mussels, and steamed white clams. To start off your meal, you can make your own salad here and there are a couple of salad dressings and toppings to choose from. If this kind of salad is not to your liking, you can hop off to the Som Tam DIY Station where you can make your own Thai papaya salad.
Other DIY stations include making your personalized bowl of laksa. Add whatever ingredients that you desire! Top the laksa off with a scoop of sambal chilli for extra spiciness.
Besides DIY laksa, you can customize your own beef noodles soup too. The beef soup is so intense in flavours by itself and I also added chilli padi into mine for a spicy kick. There are unlimited servings of beef briskets and beef slices for you to add too. Have yours without noodles if you are feeling too full for carbs.
Moving on to the American station.. There are some fried snacks such as chicken popcorn, breaded fish fingers, and straight cut fries to choose from. Complement those bite-sized snacks with different condiments such as chilli sauce and tartar sauce. My favourite is of course the hot cheese sauce, which goes well with everything!
At the Italian station, there is lasagna, pizzas, and pasta.
There are also roast beef with black pepper sauce, freshly baked potato, tomato meatballs, and BBQ sausages. I like how the do-it-yourself pasta station allows you to choose your desired type of pasta and sauce, and also the ingredients that you want to add. Their meatballs have a gamier flavour while the BBQ sausage is a tad hard. There isn't anything memorable about their Italian offerings though.
At the Japanese counter, there is a range of nigiri sushi to choose from. For sashimi, they have salmon, tuna, and wild argentina prawns while their cold selection includes tofu with cray fish salad topping and teriyaki sauce, and cold soba.
As an aburi sushi lover, I went straight for their aburi mentaiko nigiri.
Ebi mentaiko nigiri!
We also had the ebi fry, katsu chicken, teriyaki chicken, and saba fish with teriyaki sauce. Among them, their katsu chicken is worth mentioning as it is so crispy and lean. The saba fish has quite a bit of bones in it though.
On the table: sashimi, aburi mentaiko nigiri, cold soba, imitation shark fin chawanmushi, imitation shark fin soup, lasagna, dried scallop porridge, italian meatballs, seafood pizza
Local delights include shrimp paste chicken, chicken satay, beef satay, chicken rice, poached white chicken, and imitation shark fin soup. Their shrimp paste chicken wing is so rich in flavours, which is a sure sign that these wings have been marinated well.
Food porn right there!
The Hong Kong station has got to be one of my favourites! I had tried their liu sha bao at the Yio Chu Kang outlet before and they were pretty legit so I was looking forward to them this time round. Free flow liu sha baos for the win! The liu sha bao has so much salted yolk custard in it and it is so flowy, although I will prefer if it is a little less oily. Other than that, it is one of the best salted yolk custard buns I've had.
Another hot favorite is their signature freshly-baked Portuguese bird nest egg tart. Their egg tart will be even better if it is less sweet. The egg custard has a melt-in-the-mouth texture, especially when it is consumed hot. The pastry is buttery, flaky, and goes well with the soft custard.
They also offer other kinds of assorted dim sum such as siew mai, meat dumplings, and fried beancurd roll. Try their dried scallop porridge and add in green onions, fried anchovies, and fried onions to enhance its taste. The porridge's texture is just nice, not too watery or gooey, with a homely taste.
Fully equipped with an apron for the star dish of the evening - Seafood in a Bucket :D
The chefs specially created their own version that caters to the local palate. Enjoy this seafood bucket with your family and loved ones as you bond over food :) This dish is brought to you fresh upon order and is so value for money considering that they give an entire lobster claw to you.
Ingredients include corn on a cob, scallops, clams, potato, carrots, octopus, mussels, and live Boston Lobster.
The Seafood in a Bucket comes with two dipping sauces: spicy saucy and classic garlic herb butter. We wiped the garlic herb butter sauce clean because it was that good and so addictive. The creamy texture and combination of buttery and salty flavours complement well with the seafood. For the spicy saucy, there are 7 or more chilli sauces that go into its concoction but it is not overly spicy and very manageable.
Last stop for the belly - desserts.
Make your own waffles at the dessert station. The belgian waffles are a new addition to their DIY counters.
Please pardon my failed waffle haha.. The waffle has an enticing aroma as it is being cooked but it falls short of taste. While the texture is light and fluffy, the taste is rather bland and lacks the rich flavour that can be found in belgian waffles. Aside from that, the fun part in making your own waffle is that you can customize it the way you want. Add your favourite ice-cream flavours and top your creation off with rainbow or chocolate rice toppings, and indulge it together with some peanut butter!
Their dessert station also has local favourites such as durian puffs, mango sago pomelo, snow fungus soup, and bubur cha cha.
Their selection includes the vanilla cream puff, chocolate eclair, dark chocolate mousse, linzer tart, dark chocolate cake, and peanut mochi. Unfortunately, their cakes pale in comparison to their chocolate lava cake, and didn't leave a deep impression on me. The peanut mochi's skin is too thick for my liking although it is very chewy, while the peanut fillings are a little dry.
Their molten lava cake served with a scoop of Haagen-Daz belgian chocolate ice-cream is still Sakura's best dessert offering. Think intense, rich dark chocolate! If I had these right from the start, I'd finish off 2 servings easily.
Although their range of food offerings is not as extensive as their Yio Chu Kang's outlet, it is sufficient to keep one's belly satisfied. While there are hits and misses, Sakura International Buffet is one of the more affordable buffets around that offer a wide range of cuisines. Their seatings also cater to big groups and celebrations, which are good options for family dining and large groups of friends.
Prices range from $16.80 to $19.80 for kids below 12 years old (or below 1.4m); $25.80 to $38.80 for senior citizens; and $25.80 to $42.80 for adults.
Address: 93A Clementi Road, 129781
Opening hours: 12pm - 230pm; 6pm - 930pm
Thank you Jana and team, and Sakura for the invite and kind hospitality.