Friday, August 21, 2015

Kyushu/ Okinawa Japanese Buffet @ Kuishin Bo, Suntec City

We don't go for buffets as often nowadays, but when we do, we make sure the calories count by eating delicious, and good quality food that can make our bellies very, very happy. You can see some tips on how to eat at buffets without guilt when you're on a fitness training plan here.

From now until 27 Sep 15, Kuishin Bo is having a Kyushu and Okinawa food fair and is offering mouth-watering delicacies from the area so we went down to their newly reopened outlet at Suntec City to have a feast and celebrate our 149th monthiversary!!

The boy and I have traveled pretty extensively in Japan, but have only been down to Fukuoka in Kyushu, the southwesternmost of Japan’s main islands. I really hope to visit Okinawa prefecture one day as I heard that the beach is ammmmmaaaaaazing~!!

Kuishin Bo's Suntec City outlet reopened just about 3 months back and looks pretty awesome. We had a family dinner there once a few years back and I remember it was pretty dark and cramped then. The revamped design boasts a sprawling interior fitted with wooden beams, quirky sake barrel-shaped booth seats and vintage beer posters.

It reminds me of those retro izakayas {casual Japanese bars}, but not so packed and without the stench of cigarette smoke :P Decked with colourful banquet seats and pretty paper lanterns, the mood is casual and vibrant, yet cosy and welcoming.

Our first stop was, of course, to the Kyushu/ Okinawa buffet table. Each item is accompanied by an educational card elaborating on the history and inspiration behind it... so you know exactly what you're eating, and can teach your kids something fun about the dish too :)

Savoury picks include Mentai Takana Chahan; a dish of fried rice with pickled mustard leaf, sesame seeds and cod fish roe that hails from the coastal prefecture of Kumamoto in Kyushu, Chicken Nanban; free-range chicken from Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu that is deep-fried then garnished with a special tartar sauce, Rafute; meltingly tender Okinawan comfort food of pork belly stewed in soy sauce and brown sugar, and Taco Gunkan, a sushi roll of Japanese rice, taco-flavoured ground beef, cheese and tomato salsa inspired by a Tex-Mex "taco-rice" dish that was popularised in the 1960s among American soldiers based in Okinawa.

There's also sweet satisfaction in the form of the famous Okinawan brown sugar, which is made from sugar cane and used in traditional desserts like Sata Andagi; fluffy doughnuts with a lightly crisp exterior, and Chinbin; soft, rolled-up crepes.

Chinbin was one of my fave dish of the night. It was so soft and chewy like mochi, but just had a tinge of sugar that wasn't sickly sweet. A very light and appetising snack.

As part of the fair, there was a 10-15 mins demo by the Head Chef on the mini stage at the back of the restaurant on how to make Chinbin. Yay!!

They gave the recipe too and I want to try and make it at home :P I heard that these demos are held only on Saturday and Sunday, and include Mochi Tsuki {rice-pounding ceremony} and Sata Andagi-making demonstrations.

The seasonal food fair items are on top of the already extensive range of quality seafood, sashimi, sushi, kami-nabe {japanese paper hotpots}, grilled and fried food, and delicious desserts.

Love the free flow of fresh salmon sashimi, Zuwaigani {snow crab} and prawns!! I love them lightly cooked like this... without any flavourings or sauces to hide their sweet, natural taste.

There's a few varieties of kami-nabe hotpots to choose from. You just have to order from the staff there, add your own garnish then bring it to your table. Another staff will come by to light the fire for you. It's safer this way I reckon!

Highlights from the grilled food counter are grilled Teppan Beef, Australian Angus Sirloin Beef, and Barbecued Lamb Garlic Miso, all cooked and replenished in small batches to ensure maximum freshness. They were very tender and certainly satisfied our meat-lovers' tastebuds!

I wish they had more grilled kushiyaki dishes though like yakitori, mushrooms, bacon with asparagus, pi-man, atsuage-tofu etc.  

I didn't eat much fried food, except for the fried salmon skin which still had a thick slice of meat attached.

I find that fried food doesn't really taste good at buffets since they get soggy pretty easily so I usually don't bother to try. The boy said that the fried food at this buffet were still hot and crispy though. They had the usual tempura and Japanese croquette.

There is a Kids Haven that is exclusive to Kuishin Bo Suntec City. Here, rows of vivid-hued masks depicting well-known Japanese cartoon characters like Doraemon, Pikachu and Hello Kitty line a feature wall while colourful lanterns and Sakura flowers hang overhead.

The tables are thoughtfully-designed to be low enough for young kids to reach and Lil Pumpkin was happy to pick out kid-friendly dishes like Chicken Ragout Spaghetti, Chicken Kaarage and Potato Smiley Faces to eat. She also tried the Japanese Curry Cream Baked Rice which wasn't too spicy actually.

I think if they had a kids play corner here within the restaurant it would be even better!! I'm sure it will appeal to lots of families with young children. Kids don't usually eat as much as adults during buffets and can finish their meals pretty fast. It'll be so helpful to have play corner to entertain them while the adults slowly enjoy their food ;) 

The thing that Lil Pumpkin liked most about the Kids Haven was the popcorn machine!! :P She just looooooves to eat popcorn! It's right next to the DIY ice-kachang area but she wasn't interested in that.

No matter how much we ate, there was always space for dessert and I was not disappointed with the choices! It is filled with an assortment of chocolates tarts, cakes, biscuits, mochi dumplings and ice-cream. Sadly, I was too slow to eat their maccha ice-cream and they replenished it with strawberry flavour :(

Had a nice bowl of chocolate ice-cream though, with a generous topping of molten chocolate from the Chocolate Fondue Fountain.

It was a really enjoyable family night-out and I like the good variety and fast top-up of the dishes, even the popular ones like the fresh seafood and sashimi. The service staff were also attentive and quick to clear our empty dishes on the table, even though it was full house.

Great as it meant we had more space to bring in new food to the table haha.

Oh if you go, don't forget to listen out for the familiar "dong dong dong" jingle which alerts guests to house specials of limited quantity. We were at the restaurant from 6 - 8pm and heard the bell around 7.30pm. Our special dish for the night was a dainty piece of baby abalone with a unique sauce.. not sure what it was made of though.

If you reserve a table by 3pm on the day of your dinner session, each adult will also receive a special cheese slipper lobster dish that's not on the menu. I'd prefer to eat it without the cheese topping, but the lobster was really juicy and moist. Wish we could have had more than one!!!

Kuishin Bo, Suntec City
#03-334 Suntec City {North Wing, Tower 2}
Tel: 6341 9200
Lunch: Daily, 11.30am - 3pm {last order at 2.30pm},
Adults {S$36.90++, Weekdays, S$38.90++ Weekends & PHs}, Child 12 & below {S$18.90++}
Dinner: Daily, 5.30 - 10pm {last order at 9.30pm}
Adults {S$54.90++, Weekdays, S$58.90++ Weekends & PHs}, Child 12 & below {S$18.90++}
* Senior citizens 55 years old and above receive 10% off adult prices.
* Family Affair packages available during weekend afternoons at S$84++ {2 adults + 1 child}
* 60 Minutes Lunch special available during weekdays at S$24.90++/adult
* Also available at #B1-47/51 Jurong Point Shopping Centre

P.S. We celebrated our 7th marriage anniversary yesterday and I'm hosting a Glitter Glam giveaway for the joyous occasion, 7 winners for S$70 worth of vouchers each! Do pop by if you like the matchy-matchy outfits I have with Lil Pumpkin ;)

* Disclosure: This is a review for Kuishin Bo Authentic Japanese Buffet. All opinions are my own.



mail4rosey said...

The jingle is a nice/fun touch. Everything looks really good. And I hope you make it to that beach sooner rather than later (Okinawa). 😊

Masshole Mommy said...

I love Japanese food. It's one of our favorites!

Fairlie - said...

Wow. That looks like such a fantastic buffet! I shouldn't read posts like this before lunch... :)

An Apel a Day said...

Everything looks so yummy! Little Pumpkin looks grown up a little more in the photos of this post.

Ai Sakura said...

Mail4rosey: I hope so too! ;)

Masshole Mommy: You'd love this buffet spread I'm sure :P

Fairlie: haha... oops sorry. I hope you had a wonderful lunch.

Alissa: Ya I know what you mean. Sometimes I suddenly look at her and go woah.. how did she get so big suddenly??? :P

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I feel hungry now after reading this and seeing your lovely pictures. What an amazing looking buffet! :-)

May said...

Haha Wah that's a lot to offer! I'll burst through my seams if I went. Gotta wait till I'm done with nursing. Skeptical about eating raw fish while nursing still. Salmonella lurking in there!

The Loving Mum said...

Must go try this out one day with my gfs. Doubt I be able to enjoy all they have to offer at one sitting cos my tummy kinda shrunk man. Eat a bit and filled already!

--andy-- said...

Your photos are telling me that I should plan a date night with my Mrs again! We used to visit KuishinBo before the kids came out :)

cheers, Andy

Phoebe said...

The last time we dine at Kuishin Bo was ages ago!! After all these years... i think its harder to take in buffet. :) At least you still have your workout... I felt even more guilty putting on weight and not doing anything!! hahaha

Waiwai said...

My colleagues and I went there long time ago, it seems that there are more varieties of food now!

Bumble Bee Mum said...

149th monthiversary?? Like that also can??

Lil Pumpkin is just like my boys.. Love the popcorn machine, ignored the ice kachang machine. I ALMOST wanted to go there again for lunch today! But my friend who was pregnant told me not to make her miserable. Wahaha...

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this nice buffet place, will keep it mind for my sec sch gatherings as we are always looking for new and worthwhile dining options for big groups :) We would love to visit Okinawa too (after reading a certain BumbleBeeMum's rave travel reviews)!

Theresa Mahoney said...

We only have one Japanese restaurant here, and the food is amazing, but it's sooo expensive. We usually save our visits for special occasions like birthday and anniversary. BTW, Happy Anniversary, again!

Stacy said...

That last special dish looks like it's worth the price of the buffet already! Unless it's really very, very small in real life.

Grace said...

YUM! I love Okinawan food! And you can't go passed Spam sushi rolls! LOL! I love how they're big in Hawaii too!

Susan said...

Haha when I saw Kuishin Bo, their jingle came to mind! And I agree that a kids play area would be perfect for adults and kids alike.