Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quality Cafe @ Quality Hotel Marlow: Quality asian cuisine at a quality price

In my opinion, it takes quite a bit of guts to include the word "quality" in your brand name considering how it would likely invites scrutiny of self praise if anything at all were sub-par. It takes even more guts then to be the first to invite a pair of amateur bloggers for a food tasting session. Quality Cafe is one such Restaurant/Hotel which dares to do such things; and having accepted their invite, I can only say that the "Quality" in their name is not one of self praise or cockiness, instead it feels more like a founded confidence, one which I thoroughly enjoyed in my dining experience.

There's not too much to say here. The Restaurant's layout is everything you would expect from a hotel, a clean, classy design finished with warm lighting. The main buffet spread is concentrated right in the middle of the Restaurant with ample walking space. There is also a side counter which served freshly made Laksa and Popiah. 

Feels like a hotel hallway decoration but its actually a piece on the Restaurant wall

Neat Layout

Quality and Taste:
Quality Cafe serves a large variety of Asian dishes in a buffet format with a certain emphasis on their authentic Taiwanese porridge.

I started the buffet with a bowl of porridge and some side dishes. The porridge was not what I expected it to be. It did not carry that subtle sweetness that truly makes a bowl of porridge Taiwanese. It's texture was done right though, with a good ratio of rice and water that made it light easy to swallow. 
Porridge and some sides

There was a huge selection of condiments which included traditional favorites like the salted egg and pickled vegetables to very Singaporean choices like Ikan Bilis, these complemented the lightly flavored porridge well.
Top up with whatever you prefer

As for the Other dishes, the Restaurant does a generally decent job with them. The Mutton in particular was especially tender and flavorful and the same goes for their braised duck. I quite liked their Popiah too which had a good balance of crunch and softness in its texture. Surprisingly, for a buffet of such low prices, there was also chilli crab available, although it was not nearly as good as those served by even the less popular seafood Restaurants. The crab was not inedible per say but not quite fresh and the taste of the chilli sauce was unapparent and weak.

Caution! tasty popiah creation in process
Its really quite good
Mediocre chilli crab
One specific dish made me quite upset. Their chicken, which was done ala chicken rice style had that peculiar stench common of such styled steamed chicken which had been left out for too long or not freshly prepared. Although this may not be a problem for everyone, the more sensitive will likely be put off by it too. 

The Buffet which I went for, the Taiwan Porridge Buffet Dinner is priced at 20.80 for adults on weekdays and 22.80 on weekends. Considering the variable spread of dishes available (those I have mentioned consists of less than 50% whats available) and decent quality, the buffet is a steal. You will likely be quite satisfied with your experience eating here.

In general, Quality Buffet has a spread that is above average in both quality and variety. It's definitely not the best buffet around but its probably amongst the top few I have tried in Singapore for such a price range. It will serve well for a family meal and the average foodie. It may not be the best place to go for a large group gathering due to the quiet vibe of the Restaurant even when it was fully packed.

Quality & Taste(75%)
Some inconsistency but dishes were generally above average.
Value (15%)
A heavy hitter for such a price range
Ambience & others (10%)
Lives up to Hotel standards
A good restaurant that's worth a try

Address: 201 Balestier Road Singapore 329926 (Within Quality Hotel Marlow)

Opening Hours:
Lunch from 1130hrs to 2.30hrs
Dinner from 1800hrs to 2000hrs Supper from 2030hrs to 0030hrs

Have you eaten here before? What was your experience like? We're interested -do share with us in the comments below!

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