BiTES guide:

[Halal] Certified halal
[NPNL] Does not serve pork or lard
[Kid] Kid-friendly facilities

21 on Rajah Sunday Brunch Egg Station

21 on Rajah [Halal, Kid]

For eggs done à la minute and a kids’ activity corner

Sunday brunch (12-3pm, $38++) is a hearty feast of seafood on ice, with their signature slow braised lamb shank and beef meatballs, a live carvery station, local delights and eggs done à la minute. When we visited, they were serving laksa that might give Katong’s a run for its money. For dessert, load up on waffles, kuehs and cakes. Then take a break from the buffet table by posing for photos with their resident art deco statue ? (ji), or Fortune in Chinese, which it resembles; while keeping little ones entertained at the supervised kids’ activity corner.

Lobby Level Days Hotel Singapore at Zhongshan Park, 1 Jalan Rajah Road. Tel: 6808 6847


Coleman’s Cafe

Modest budget spread at City Hall

We spotted a number of older folks here, probably due to its Senior Citizen’s price ($28++, age 60 and above). There’s the usual seafood on ice and local favourites like durian pengat and Singapore rojak, but what caught our attention were oxtail, a cheese corner and sandwich counter. In the chafers were also cheese mussels, fried carrot cake and a generous pulot hitam dessert. A short five-minute walk to Raffles City, Coleman’s Cafe is your best budget buffet bet for the area (Sat-Sun, PH 12-4pm, $38++).

Level 5 Peninsula. Excelsior Hotel Singapore, 5 Coleman Street. Tel: 6416 1132


Fern Tree Café

A peaceful weekend near the Singapore River

For a quiet respite from snaking buffet lines, pop into Fern Tree Café with your folks (Fri-Sun 12pm-2.30pm, $38++) and spend a Sunday afternoon savouring Asian dishes and East-meets-West creations, like the seafood laksa pasta. Don’t miss out on grilled salmon fillet with pesto cream, beef shepherd’s pie, freshly shucked oysters and cold cuts. Pay a visit to the “chicken rice stall”  styled station which doles out roast duck and pork which you can pair with plum sauce. For dessert, there are assorted ‘shaky jellies’, pecan pie, homemade soy bean and red bean with sago.

Lobby Level Hotel Miramar Singapore, 401 Havelock Road. Tel: 6631 3021


Katong Kitchen [Halal]

A spread to rival the food choices around Katong

The area is famed for good food–the de facto 328 Katong Laksa, Eng’s Noodles House, Puteri Mas Durian Puffs, Penny University–so why settle for a hotel buffet? We were impressed with the spread here, from sticky date pudding, gong gong (pearl conch or sea snail), spanner crab and English beef stew to international salads (daily 12-2.30pm, $38++). The 101-seater restaurant is often packed with diners savouring the flavours of Nonya, Macanese, Asian, local and western cuisines, so reservations are in order.

Level 4 Village Hotel Katong, 25 Marine Parade Road. Tel: 6551 2141


Zenden Restaurant

Comfort food with attentive service

At first glance, you’ll find the spread modest (daily 12-2.30pm, $36++). However, each dish is delicious and redolent of hearty soulful flavours. On the afternoon of our visit, we tucked into seafood on ice, lamb with mint sauce, moreish har lu (Cantonese dry-fried) prawns and blueberry pastry. Housed in the trendy Gallery Hotel, the restaurant can go through over 100kg of fish in just a weekend. They also do 1-for-1 tie-ups with credit cards and a deal site, so this is an affordable gem if you’re in the area.

Level 4 The Gallery Hotel, 1 Nanson Road. Tel: 6849 8699