The only time I’ll be at Vienna International Seafood & Teppanyaki Buffet Restaurant is when my mum is craving for it. Of the three times I was here, it was with the family. The last time I was here, was years ago, when I was still in school (my, I’m quickly aging). Nothing drastic has changed yet. It is still as crowded and cramp, located on the basement of United Square, Novena. Aisles are maxed at a tight two-way traffic, and it can get frustrating trying to get in and out of your seat, depending on where you are seated. It is also quite absurd that photos are disallowed at the buffet line. I really wonder what dirty little secret(s) they are hiding from the media. In view of that, I only managed to snap photos when I get them to my plate.
Plus point here is, juices and soft drinks are inclusive and free-flow. One of my pet peeves of dining at a buffet restaurant is that it doesn’t serve drinks. I get annoyed; I think I’d rather them remove one of the not-so-popular items in the buffet line and include drinks instead.
Soup :: This one-portion-per-diner soup is reasonably so because of its involvement of relatively higher-class ingredients like sea anemone and mini scallops. However, the seemingly thoroughly boiled soup did not impress as I expected it to. I cleared its ingredients and left half the soup alone.
Appetizer Counter :: Prawn salad, seafood tofu and abalone salad are some of the appetizers available on one side of the buffet line. On the other are the usual suspects, octopus, salads and the likes. Nothing in particular left a deep mark.
Japanese Cuisine Counter :: Its ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ Counter comprises just a small selection of sushi, but is established more in its sashimi side. Not surprising though, it wasn’t the freshest lot I’ve had, but I guess sufficient to satisfy the mandatory Japanese cuisine time in buffets.
Seafood Counter :: Though they all tasted bland, I was excited to see the array of shelled sea creatures they offer despite only charging slightly before $50 before taxes. They don’t taste bad; You just need to find the right condiments / gravy to go along with it.
Canadian Oysters :: You will most likely see the sign, ‘Canadian Oysters’ without actually seeing the gem. Because they only serve the freshly shucked oysters once in a while, you can actually see a queue form just at the counter. It is such a disgusting scene to see though, when the oysters make an appearance and the diners just stretch out their (now longer) hands, like in desperation for some food. Really. The oysters aren’t the freshest, like most of their other items, but well enough to eat and satisfy oysters cravings.
Chili Crab :: You can skip this one, or grab one to share amongst the table. The gravy is passable, but the meat was way too soft and weak to have a good bite through it. I am throwing a guess that it was over cooked. If the meat was firmer, it would be plausible for the crab to be a star dish.
Meat Counter :: Besides the ordinary-tasting Roast Beef with Black Pepper Sauce, they also serve local delights such as Satay. In case you are wondering, yes, you do your own carvings. Very limited counter, though.
Teppanyaki Counter :: Grab a plate, fill them up with however big or small portion of the Teppanyaki dishes you want. From Dou Miao and Beansprouts to beef, chicken, fish and lamb, you’re most certainly able to find something that tickles your fancy here. Be warned though, don’t take too big a portion. Its vegetables weren’t salted enough, the beef was way too salty, the salmon was heavily flavored by the mustard, and the lamb was alright. It was late into the buffet that I was still searching for something I would go back for. Not here as well.
Dessert Counter :: Don’t be expecting too much for their dessert. You can probably find three cakes, a few pastries, and three flavors of ice cream (but with ice cream cone and Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. One thing commendable is that they are equipped with a Chocolate Fondue, albeit rather ordinary, taste-wise. All these thoughts come with the price in mind.
Prices can be found on their website here.
Service was prompt but poor. They clear plates fast, sure, but they aren’t the friendliest persons around. Which makes me think again; I’d rather spend twenty odd dollars more for better quality of food in the buffet line, approachable staff, and a more spacious and better laid out restaurant.
Address: 101 Thomson Road, #B1-01 United Square
Telephone: 6254 6686
Opening Hours: 11.30pm – 3pm (Lunch Daily); 5.30pm – 10pm (Dinner Daily)