Blue Jasmine at Park Hotel Farrer Park II

Blue Jasmine
5th Floor, Park Hotel Farrer Park
10 Farrer Park Station Road
Singapore 217564
Tel: +65 6824 8851
Online Reservations: Click here
Nearest MRT Station: Farrer Park (NE8) Exit A

Opening Hours: 1130am to 10pm daily
Dinner Buffet Hours: 630pm to 10pm on Thu-Sat

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7/10 (for the Anchan Buffet)
Recommended dishes: Rendang Prata, Banana Cheese Prata, Durian Sticky Rice
Remarks: The Anchan Buffet is available Thu-Sat at S$42++ per pax.
Introductory Offer: Enjoy 15% off from now till 30 Dec 2017!

Hey guys! How is everyone doing? Sorry I’ve been pretty MIA from my blog – I just haven’t had time to do a proper entry – work and social life have been pretty crazy. When I come home most nights, I really have to muster up all the energy I have left to wash up and then watch some Rick and Morty on Netflix to de-stress before sleeping lol. Have you guys watched any of this animated series? PLEASE GO TRY it’s so so great and funny and kooky. I’M PICKLE RIIIIICKKKK.

Anyway I’m here to talk about the newly-launched Anchan Buffet at the Blue Jasmine restaurant at Park Hotel Farrer Park! As you guys might have read, I was there last month in September trying out their à la carte menu and REALLY liked most of the food (click here for that review).

Let me take you through my experience this time around for their dinner buffet 🙂

I) Ambience

OK so this was my second time here and I KEEP forgetting to take photos of the interior, sorry! The inside seating is really cosy with beautiful floor tiles and well-spaced out tables. The real star of this restaurant, though, is the beautiful outside seating!! I love the outdoor ambience of this place, for real! It gets super romantic especially at dusk – just look at my unfiltered photos right here:

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Ambience

Dreamy

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Al_Fresco

Gosh this restaurant would be the perfect venue for a really intimate wedding reception or like an anniversary party book-out.

Ambience verdict: 10/10

II) Starters

They had a decent spread of starters – a mix of cold and hot ones. From the cold starters I only tried the mango salad, which I love! I mean you really gotta strategize when you’re at buffets and try to load up on food that you truly want, so I skipped some starters.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Mango_Salad

I love mango salad!!

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Salads

The two salads I did not try LOL

For warm starters there was the pandan chicken, the amazing tom yum taro chips, prawn in popiah skin, tom yum soup and also fried chicken wings.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Starters

A lil bit of errthang. Clockwise from left: Tom yum soup, pandan chicken, fried chicken wing, tom yum taro chips, prawn in popiah skin, mango salad and some prawn crackers!

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Sauces

All kinds of sauces and dips for your food!

Starters Verdict: I was not terribly impressed with the starters – there were a number of fried items which were not crispy anymore by the time we had them, as they had been left out in the open for a while. I spoke to the Manager and she told me that they had prepared the food early and hence the food had been sitting for about an hour or so. Disappointing, but she says they have tried to rectify this issue so the starters should be fresher by the time you guys try! Also the taro chips are the bomb tho, don’t skip those. 5/10

III) Live Station – Prata and Beef Noodles

So besides the spread inside the restaurant, the Anchan buffet also presents you with a live station out in the al fresco area. They had the Thai Beef Noodle Soup which the staff would cook for you on the spot. You can then customize it with a whole set of condiments including chilli powder, fried garlic, some basil chilli sauce, and coriander.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Live_Station_Noodles

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Noodle_Condiments

Condiments for the heaping 💯

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Thai_Beef_Noodles

Voila! The final product. That beef ball is evvvvrything.

The noodles were unfortunately undercooked, which is really quite a basic thing to get wrong, so I was a little peeved. Thankfully the soup broth itself was pretty tasty! It was a little on the sweeter side as it follows the northern Thai cuisine style, so I would recommend more chilli powder if you want your broth spicy. The beef slices were a little tough, while the beef ball was surprisingly good and succulent.

Let’s not forget they also had a roti prata station serving Roti Prata with Rendang Curry, and also Roti Prata with Banana & Cheese unfffffff.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Prata_Menu

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Prata_Rendang

LOOK HOW CRISPY THE PRATA ISSSSSS ARGH 👅💦

The prata was a flaky marvel – crispy outside yet fluffy inside. The rendang was really tasty and rich, but the beef they used was rather tough, which kind of ruined my enjoyment argh.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Banana_Cheese_Prata

Literally my favourite of the lot. For real. I cannot deal with writing about this and seeing it on my screen.

OMG GUYS the Prata with Banana and Cheese was the bee’s knees for real!! I mean, could I easily make this myself? Yes. But would I pay to eat this outside so I don’t have to make it myself? Also yes. I mean if you’ve already paid for the buffet, why not be utilitarian about it and go for whatever makes you happy regardless of whether “I can make this at home” or “but this would cost next to nothing at the hawker centre”. Anyway if I come back for this buffet I’m probably making the prata station my main stop!

Live Station Verdict: I would def recommend trying out both the noodles and the two prata flavours! My favourite is fsho the Prata with Banana and Cheese tho 💯 For the beef noodles perhaps tell them to cook the noodles a breath longer next time. On a separate note I think live stations and cold stations are the best parts of any buffet – you get your food freshly prepared for you in the former, and in the latter they don’t need to be heated/warm to taste good! 9/10

III) Mains

I counted 5 mains of varying proteins to go with the blue jasmine rice – roast chicken, fried seabass, lamb massman, prawn curry, and wok-fried vegetables  Did you guys know they dye the rice naturally with the dye from the blue jasmine flower?! Pretty cool eh.

Take a look at the photos of the mains here:

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Rice

I reeeeaallly like this colour on the rice haha it’s so pretty.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Mains2

An army of mains waiting to be eaten lol

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Esarn_Roast_Chicken

Mmmmm roast chicken with that delicious northern-thai dried chilli “nam jim jaew” dipping sauce

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Roast_Chicken

One more roast chicken photo for good measure

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Fried_Seabass

What is Pae Sah style?!

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Massman_Lamb

Massaman Curry

OK so a break in the photos here to talk about the origins of the word Massaman – I just read this on Wikipedia:

Massaman or matsaman is not a native Thai word. It is generally thought to refer to the Muslims, with earlier writers from the mid-19th century calling the dish “Mussulman curry”; Mussulman being an archaic form of the word Muslim.[2][3]

Other theories contend that massaman is a southern Thai dish, influenced by Malay and Indian cuisine,[5] or that its name is derived from the Malay word masam, which means “sour”.[citation needed]

I live for random trivia like this lol. Anyway more photos:

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Prawns

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Wok_Fried_Ridge_Gourd

So I got a little bit of everything on a plate to try them like nasi padang lol:

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Mains

A little of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side (Basically a bit of everything)

Mains Verdict:  In all honesty, I much preferred the mains from the a la carte menu – probably because they’re freshly prepared instead of being cooked in batches for a buffet. Very, very surprisingly, I think my favourite of the lot was the Wok Fried Ridge Gourd!! The gourds were super juicy and tasty, yet light, which balanced out the heaviness of the other mains well. The roast chicken and yellow curry prawns were decent components, but the seabass and lamb unfortunately were not memorable for me. I would def load up on the prata and maybe go with 2-3 dishes for the mains if I went for the Anchan buffet the next time. 6/10

IV) Dessert

Ahh, dessert. There was quite a variety of cakes and kuehs on offer, as you can see below:

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Cakes

Again, I took a bit of everything and honestly all of them were pretty yummy, especially the kueh tako (extreme left) and the brown/coconutty thing that looks (and tasted) like kueh kaswi (below the tako)

 

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Coconut_Panna_Cotta

Panna cotta texture was a little too creamy for me but otherwise okay

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Coconut_Soft_Serve

DIY coconut soft serve!! I love.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Coconut_Ice-Cream

Please don’t be like my lame friend who made us one cup each but NEGLECTED to add peanuts/toppings to our coconut soft serve. They really enhance the whole dessert!

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Fruits

Fruits which I truly did NOT touch at all lol I was SO full by the end.

The pièce-de-résistance though was the Durian Sticky Rice, which was an irreverent take on the more ubiquitous mango sticky rice dessert:

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Durian_Sticky_Rice

UNFFFFFFF YASSSSSSSSSSSS

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Outdoor_Station

The Durian Sticky Rice station, with the thick and delicious durian sauce on the left, and the two bowls of sticky rice in blue jasmine, as well as brown rice colours. You can spot the refreshing lemongrass drink on the right which helps quench your thirst/cut the sweetness of everything.

Blue_Jasmine_Buffet_Teh_Tarik

Ultra-sweet teh tarik (ahem the way I like it) from the teh tarik station where the staff pulls the drink right in front of you!

Dessert Verdict: OK so I think the desserts were quite delightful, and of course my absolute favourite was the Durian Sticky Rice. I’m not usually a fan of eating durian outside the home, or for that matter eating durian derivatives, but this was really quite scrumptious and comforting. I do wish they would serve like Thai Ice Tea ice cream or something lol 8.5/10

Overall verdict: I would recommend you guys try the Anchan buffet if any of these things that I’ve just talked about appeals to you. After the introductory discount and factoring in GST and service charge, it’ll only cost you guys S$42 all-in to try all the food on offer! Otherwise, I would definitely encourage you guys to check out my review of the à la carte menu here and go for that instead 🙂 7/10

Blue Jasmine
5th Floor, Park Hotel Farrer Park
10 Farrer Park Station Road
Singapore 217564
Tel: +65 6824 8851
Online Reservations: Click here
Nearest MRT Station: Farrer Park (NE8) Exit A

Opening Hours: 1130am to 10pm daily
Dinner Buffet Hours: 630pm to 10pm on Thu-Sat

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7/10 (for the Anchan Buffet)
Recommended dishes: Rendang Prata, Banana Cheese Prata, Durian Sticky Rice
Remarks: The Anchan Buffet is available Thu-Sat at S$42++ per pax.
Introductory Offer: Enjoy 15% off from now till 30 Dec 2017!

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Hararu Izakaya at Bussorah St

Hararu Izakaya
16 Bussorah St
Singapore 199437
Tel: +65 62915373
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu (no prices tho): Click here

Operating Hours
Mon-Sun: 12pm to 11pm (Last Order @ 10pm)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: S$44 (omg why do we spend like kings)
Recommended dishes: Hotate Turkey Bacon (Scallop) (S$6), Gyuniku Nitsuke (Stewed Beef Ribs) (S$18), Negima (Chicken & Spring Onion) (S$5)

OK you guys I finally tried Hararu Izakaya at Bussorah St a couple of weeks ago! (edited to add: ok it’s now become a couple of months ago because I am just the worst and I sat on this review with about 20% to go and it just remained in drafts FOREVER).

Some of you might know I went to Tokyo on holiday in May this year, and came back literally 2 days before Ramadan began. I had an amazing time there eating my absolute weight in sashimi, sushi and even life-changing lobster rolls from Dominique Ansel Bakery (OK lah I’m not so strict which is why I *need* to keep a halal blog to encourage myself to find halal options). Unfortunately I only had time to visit one halal ramen place called Naritaya near the Asakusa shrine, prior to attending the Sanja Matsuri festival. (P.s. it’s not great, but it’ll do if you’re looking for halal food in the area!)

So you can imagine how happy I was at the opening of Hararu Izakaya in late April 2017, the first halal izakaya in Singapore! We’re still some ways away from like, a halal Shinji or even a halal Teppei for that matter, but still this is a welcome step in the right direction! You can read more about the restaurant founders in this article I found online here.

So hilarious fact: Hararu is how the Japanese would pronounce the term “halal”, just like how in Southpark, the (Japanese) people at Sony had a meeting to discuss their “serusu report” (sales report) for the new PlayStation and the launch of their Brack Friday Bunduru (Black Friday Bundle) LOL I died. Loved this episode.

Also, in case you guys didn’t know, the term izakaya refers to a Japanese gastropub, and has its origins in sake shops that allowed its customers to stay and drink on-site (‘”i” means to stay, and “sakaya” refers to sake shop.) So okay lah not super halal origins, but why should seekers of halal food be denied those delicious grilled skewers, right?

Hararu_Izakaya_Foreword

Hararu_Izakaya_Mural

Located on Bussorah St right next to Kampong Glam Cafe and opposite the now-defunct Vintage Delicafe, Hararu Izakaya occupies 2 floors of the shophouse. I made reservations about 5 days in advance and was ushered to the more pleasant upstairs seating – sweet! We were asked to remove our shoes to sit on the tatami mats (don’t worry there’s a depression “moat” in the floor around the table so you sit on the edge and put your legs in, so you’re effectively sitting on a bench instead of cross-legged and risking accidental indecency if you’re wearing a skirt lol). I was so thankful I wore sandals that could be slipped off and on with ease instead of, say, shoes with buckles UGH. Or like sneakers with ratty sockettes lol. Y’all have been warned.

Hararu_Izakaya_Decor

You sit on the floor and put your legs in the “moat”!

Hararu_Izakaya_Wall

I assume all mountains in Japanese drawings are Mount Fuji because I don’t know any other names help omg let me read up more so I don’t stay ignorant ugh

We ordered from a digital menu on an ipad attached to the table – I can’t tell you how much I love this. This iPad ordering system is prevalent in Japanese izakayas as it facilitates ordering skewers gradually and incrementally. Love it. Plus you don’t have to keep calling the waitress over to take your order. It’s great, 10/10.

So anyway we started off with the Hotate Turkey Bacon (S$6 for 2 skewers), which features grilled scallop wrapped in turkey bacon. You can choose the version with shio salt dressing or teriyaki sauce dressing, and we tried both:

Hararu_Izakaya_Scallop_Turkey_Bacon

Hotate Turkey Bacon on Teriyaki sauce (S$6) – 9/10

Hararu_Izakaya_Scallop_Turkey_Bacon2

Hotate Turkey Bacon in shio salt (S$6) – 9/10

YUM I really liked these! The scallop tasted fresh and was flavourful, while the turkey bacon really helped raise the umami quotient. I’m a little torn with regards to which dressing is better than the other; it’ll really depend on your mood as the teriyaki dressing can be a little sweet for some but also more juicy than the salt. I’d say a solid 9/10 for both of these.

We were deciding between udon or soba noodles, and eventually decided on the Zaru Soba (S$8). Here’s a definition for you guys taken from Just One Cookbook:

Zaru Soba is a chilled noodle dish made from buckwheat flour and served with soy sauce based dipping sauce called tsuyu (つゆ). The word zaru means “a strainer” in Japanese and the name of the dish was derived from the way the noodles are served over a bamboo strainer during Edo Period.

So I always thought I was more of an udon girl; I find the chewy texture of the thick noodles in hot broth very satisfying and comforting. However, in the past year I’ve been dipping my toes in the proverbial cold soba waters (this metaphor does not work but go with me on it) and I’ve come to really like cold soba as a refreshing, light dish.

Hararu_Izakaya_Zaru_Soba

The ones at Hararu, unfortunately, were not great. The soba was too starchy, while the good-quality ones were more refined with a springier, lighter texture. The dipping sauce was just fine, but the noodles are really the star of the show, and to have them be mediocre is a little disappointing. I hope they tweak the texture next time! 5/10

We also had the Negima chicken thigh and leek skewers (S$5 for 2 skewers):

Hararu_Izakaya_Chicken_Thigh_Leek

Negima Chicken Thigh and Leek Skewers (S$5)

YUM. Happy to report these chicken thighs were juicy and well-seasoned, yum! I even ate the leek which had a slightly charred taste yum and wasn’t super oniony YES. Definitely a staple skewer for me. 9/10

We tried to be all healthy and included the Shiitake Negi (S$4 for 2 skewers) in our order so we can say alright we had some vegetables:

Hararu_Izakaya_Shitake_Negi

Shiitake Skewer (S$4) – 6.5/10

I confess I am not usually the biggest fan of shiitake, especially in stir fries, but I don’t mind them grilled! That being said, I still found these were pretty average – a little dry and rubbery, although I honestly don’t know if they would’ve been better elsewhere. 6.5/10 I guess!

We also had to try the Gyu Kushi Ponzu (S$10) which were the beef skewers in a citrus + soy sauce glaze (bonus: click here for ponzu recipe):

Hararu_Izakaya_Beef_Ponzu

Gyu Kushi Ponzu beef skewer (S$10) – 8/10

You will not believe how many times I accidentally typed Ponzi (as in Ponzi scheme) instead of Ponzu in this review lol. Anyway these skewers were just a smidge tougher than I would have liked, but I did enjoy the citrusy-umami flavour of the ponzu dressing. A little steep at S$10 but worth a try if you like your red meats like I do. 8/10

Moving on from the skewers, we tried the Yuzu Miso Tebasaki Chicken Wings (S$12 for 6 pieces):

Hararu_Izakaya_Chicken_Wings

Yuzu Miso Tebasaki Chicken Wings (S$12) – 7.5/10

These grilled chicken wings (tebasaki literally means wing tips) were not bad – they were savoury and lightly sour, with additional flavour from the sesame seeds and seaweed garnish! While the meat was succulent, I thought the skin could have been either a little juicier, or crisper instead of in-between. 7.5/10

Finally the pièce-de-résistance was the Gyu Nitsuke (S$18) featuring stewed tender beef ribs in some sweet-savoury sauce.

Hararu_Izakaya_Beef_Ribs1

Gyu Nitsuke beef rib (S$18) – 10/10

OMG GUYSSSSSS this was really good!!! The beef was really so, so tender, and juicy, and packed with flavour!! I swear, it was super succulent and the meat slid right off the bone and onto my chopsticks UNFFFF YASSSSS.

Hararu_Izakaya_Beef_Ribs2

HNGGGGGGGG gasm.

OK full disclosure – towards the end, it did get just a little bit jelak because the sauce was a little sweet, but thankfully the dish came with some sort of dip on the side which had a hint of wasabi, helping de-cloy the flavour. I’d still rate it 10/10 though!

All in all I had a good time at Hararu Izakaya, although I do think there is room for improvement in the quality of the dishes. Nothing some tweaks and continuous fine-tuning wouldn’t fix. I LOVE the ambience of the 2nd floor seating, and I love the ipad ordering system. I do however wish they would serve more like sashimi stuff (OKAY I KNOW this is a yakitori place ugh I’m sorry but I love sashimi help please send me some).

Also I hate that they do not serve water, and a drink costs you like S$3-6 at this place. I def got a sore throat the next day because of all the skewers and not enough water (my fault for being too cheap to buy mineral water) so either come with a water bottle of your own or be prepared to pay for water (mmmm I just do not agree with paying for water ugh).

Still, looking forward to going back and trying that amazing Gyu Nitsuke beef ribs ugh.

Hararu Izakaya
16 Bussorah St
Singapore 199437
Tel: +65 62915373
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu (no prices tho): Click here

Operating Hours
Mon-Sun: 12pm to 11pm (Last Order @ 10pm)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: S$44 (omg why do we spending like kings)
Recommended dishes: Hotate Turkey Bacon (Scallop) (S$6), Gyuniku Nitsuke (Stewed Beef Ribs) (S$18), Negima (Chicken & Spring Onion) (S$5)