Iftar Ramadan Seafood Buffet at The Holiday Inn Atrium

Iftar Ramadan Seafood Extravaganza
Atrium Restaurant
Level 4, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
317 Outram Road
Singapore 169075
Reservations: +65 6731 7172

Remarks: Prayer room available from 630pm onwards!

27 May – 2 July 2017
Sun to Thu: S$90++ per adult | Fri to Sat: S$100++ per adult (before 1-for-1 discount)*
Child (12 years and under): $25++ per person

(*Enjoy 1-for-1 discount for every 2 adult diners! Dine in a group of 10 and receive a complimentary car park coupon!)

Hey guys!! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted anything up in forever 😦 I’ve been travelling quite a bit for both work and leisure so that usually throws my schedule way off. ANYWAY Ramadan kareem to all of you!! Can you believe it’s already Day 7?! Help I’m still not spiritually at my best UGH. But anyway I hope you guys are doing great. I’ve been trying to keep up my prayers, keep up the yoga classes/runs, and eat healthier sahurs (pre-dawn meal) — I try to be all healthy with overnight oats and blueberries but then my family whips out like freshly-fried popcorn chicken and it is GAME OVER. It’s #strugglecity outcheah.

Of course, the only reason I try to eat healthy for sahur is so that I can eat whatever I feel like for iftar – and that is exactly what I did this past Tuesday at the Iftar Ramadan Seafood buffet dinner at the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Promo_Poster

You guys, in all seriousness, there is SO MUCH seafood you guys will die. I know $90-100++ per adult sounds steep, but there is a 1-for-1 promo for every 2 adult diners so that’s like $45-50++ per diner, which is really a bargain.

Let me take you through what I had that night so you get an idea of what you’re gonna get!

I usually break my fast with a date, and they had a whole salad bowl of ’em:

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Dates

A must. Did you actually iftar if you didn’t eat a date?

After a date I moved on swiftly to the cold seafood starters, namely the half-lobsters, the fresh prawns, and some salmon and tuna sashimi!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Cold_Seafood_Starters

UGHHHH SO YUMMY I NEED TO GO BACK

So let me just remind you – lobster rolls at other establishments in Singapore can come up to an insolent S$68. Here you eat them fresh and you can have more if you want! I loved it. The prawns were also super juicy with a hint of sweetness and good bite. And seriously tho the sashimi portion is insane – just go up to the sashimi station and they’ll slice it for you!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Salmon_Sashimi

Can’t resist salmon sashimi plz help

Next I had some oysters which were so painfully delicious, just thinking about them now is making me drool a little UGH. The trick is to squeeze some lemon, add just a drop of tabasco and slurp up that deliciousness!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Oysters

I’m sorry I know they look gross but they are so yum!

Quick story – I went to France on exchange when I was 16 and my host family very generously bought some fresh oysters for me to try. I put one in my mouth and then had to run to the kitchen to spit it out! What a loser 😦 15 years later I have fully gone over to the other side, and to this day I still look back on that moment with regret ugh.

ANYWAY what I meant to say was – strong start with the cold seafood!

Things got way serious though when we moved on to the chilli crab and salted egg lobster claw!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Chilli_Crab

UNFFFFFFFFFFF deadddddddd

The juicy, fresh crab meat and the super fluffy mantou buns were really the star of this dish. I felt like the chilli crab sauce lacked a little something, like maybe it wasn’t as tasty as I wanted it to be, but it was still decent. Just remember to make space for the mantou buns guys they are WORTH IT.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Buffet_Lobster_Claw_Crab

I waited a while before eating my salted egg lobster claw, which resulted in it drying out a little as it sat on the plate. Boo! I would counsel that you guys eat it right away after taking it from the food station! I wish they had more salted egg sauce slathered on those claws though; that would’ve helped.

After stuffing my face with so much seafood I wanted to switch it up so I went to the Atrium Terrace right outside where these 2 guys were in charge of barbecuing whatever you picked out! – lamb chops, chicken thighs, otak-otak, corn (sorry corn ain’t nobody got time for you) – the works.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Outdoor_BBQ

Argh that view tho!!! It was perfect for sunset.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Grilled_Meats

I wish they had grilled lobster tho.

The lambchop was juicy but I wish the marinade was a little stronger/tastier. The otak-otak was good but also just a little dry.

No matter, because I moved on to the indoor meat station where they had some lamb marinated in its own jus, and you guys know I love anything with fancy jus in it (it just means juice in French).

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Lamb_Station

This is a terrible photo that does not do the meat justice, I’m so sorry. I’m the worst with photos 😦

OMG loved the lamb!! It was super juicy and tender, and went surprisingly well with the mint sauce, better than the mustard! YUM. I suppose mustard goes better with beef. Don’t skip the lamb guys.

I wanted so much to be greedy and stuff my face with more lobster and oysters and crab, but after all that food before, I was pretty much ready to move on to dessert.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Dessert

Clockwise from left: Earl grey tea (lol so step), Thai milk tea and cookies & cream ice-cream, fruits in chocolate fondue, marshmallows in chocolate fondue, and chendol which was very poorly made by me

They had SO much to offer for dessert! There was a chendol station with a DIY ice machine and all the ingredients like green chendol jelly, red beans, attap seeds, corn, gula melaka syrup and coconut milk in neat little bowls. Just take whichever ingredients you want, press the machine button and pile on the shaved ice! Then you can drizzle as much sizzurrppppp as you want.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_More_Dessert

A closer look at my anemic chendol 😦 I should’ve added more syrup

They also had an assortment of mini cakes, fruits (yuck get away from me I have limited stomach space) and a chocolate fondue with marshmallows, dried apricots, and apples. I REALLY liked the chocolate sauce omg it was delicious and I could’ve had literally 3 more bowls of it with marshmallows but I stopped myself ugh.

Oh and there’s also GELATO omg.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Gelato_Ice_Cream

Thai Milk Tea, Chocolate Rocky Road, Vanilla Pods, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cookies & Cream, Mocha Biscotti and Salted Caramel!

OK I LOVED my Thai Milk Tea ice cream!!! It was creamy and full-bodied and not overly sweet in my opinion (although, to be fair I have a sweet tooth). I didn’t try the rest except for my friend’s Cookies & Cream which is pretty standard, but I’m sure they’d all be equally good.

I left the buffet feeling so, so stuffed and satisfied. It was a very pleasant experience as the layout was pretty well-spaced and it wasn’t crowded. The food was always topped up and the staff were very attentive and always ready to clear plates or see to your request for ice (for the Bandung!) or more napkins etc. I might come back here again if I have time – I’d really like more of those oysters and the chocolate fondue UGH.

I’ll leave you guys with more photos of the buffet offerings – there was so much I really could not try more than half of what was there!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Salads_Sushi

Yum, assorted salads and sushi!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Salmon_Oyster

Salmon and squash YUM. Peep the oysters just chillin’ at the back.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Lobster_Prawns

The best

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Keropok_Crackers

FOUR TYPES OF KEROPOK omg the papadum was my favourite omg it was mad crispy and tasty.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Noodle_Station

A noodle station with assorted ingredients and condiments! I wish they had other types of noodles though I much prefer rice noodles to yellow noodles

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Lobster_Paella

HI THIS IS LOBSTER PAELLA

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Grilled_Fish

Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce! In hindsight I should’ve def taken this 😦 I might go back and if I do I WILL.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Aloo_Gobi

Aloo gobi, an Indian dish with cauliflower and potatoes in spices!

One last thing – there’s a prayer room called the Foyer Room just a few steps away from the entrance of Atrium Restaurant, for diners to catch Asar/Maghrib. Just ask the front of the house and they will be happy to guide you to it!  The room has both male and female sections, with hotel slippers and prayer mats. Unfortunately there is no adjoining wudhu area, but the restroom is also right opposite the Atrium Restaurant entrance. For ladies who require telekung, please bring your own as the room does not have them!

Iftar Ramadan Seafood Extravaganza
Atrium Restaurant
Level 4, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
317 Outram Road
Singapore 169075
Reservations: +65 6731 7172

Remarks: Prayer room available from 630pm onwards!

27 May – 2 July 2017
Sun to Thu: S$90++ per adult | Fri to Sat: S$100++ per adult (before 1-for-1 discount)*
Child (12 years and under): $25++ per person

(*Enjoy 1-for-1 discount for every 2 adult diners! Dine in a group of 10 and receive a complimentary car park coupon!)

Advertisements

J’s On Purvis Street (Permanently Closed)

***Edited to add: Hey guys, it is with a heavy heart that I say J’s restaurant has permanently closed! Boooo, so sad! But fret not, you guys can still get a dose of halal Mexican goodness at Afterwit SG or Fix!***

J’s Restaurant (Permanently closed)
7 Purvis Street, #01-01, S(188586)
Reservations: +65 6887 4787 or online here
Online Menu: Here

Opening hours

Lunch Sun-Fri: 12pm to 230pm
Mon-Thu: 630pm to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 6pm to 1030pm
Sun: 6pm to 930pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10

Average spend per pax: S$48

Js_Opening_Hours

I first went to J’s maybe about 3 years ago, and I couldn’t remember much about the food, except that the bread and butter pudding was a little off, but that the location on Purvis Street was the best. So I finally got around to going again so I could have a more accurate and current assessment of the place.

As far as I know J’s is the only halal Mexican place around, so that’s already a great unique selling proposition to diners looking for halal food that isn’t nasi padang! More attractive features: full service, mirrors everywhere, low mood-lighting and a warm inviting ambience! Behold:

Js_Ambience

We got seated almost at the last table at the back, so I felt like a runway model stomping down the aisle. It was great. I enjoyed that they didn’t trick the place out in cheesy mexican themed decorations, like sombreros or green/white/red colourblocks. They had nice colourful chairs, but also some random colourful wall tapestries.

Js_Chair

Js_Decor

Inexplicably, a Tree of Life tapestry on the wall. Eh, I’ll allow it!

So what’s for eating? Here’s a look at the menu:

Js_Menu_Cover

Js_Menu_Sides

OMG CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS?! YUMMMM.

Js_Menu_Mains

Js_Menu_Halal

Things I like seeing on a menu: the halal sign, and JALAPENO POPPERS!!!

Js_Menu_Drinks

My friend all but started hyperventilating in excitement when he saw Jalapeño Poppers (S$17), so that was an obvious starter choice for us.

Js_Jalapeno_Poppers

Mmm get in my bellayyy you plump little fatties!

Jalapeño peppers are medium-sized chili peppers originating form Mexico. They are usually picked and consumed when green, although if allowed to fully ripen, they turn a deep crimson red. The ones served at J’s are stuffed with mozzarella cheese and breaded.  The result is a warm, fat, juicy popper you can dip in either the hot sauce or the guacamole dips on the side. I really enjoyed J’s rendition of this popular Mexican dish, especially since the jalapeño pepper has just enough heat to make it interesting, and doesn’t have any strong sour taste some jalapeños can have. In fact, they were good enough to eat on their own without the help of dips! The coating was crispy, the pepper was firm, and the cheese was melty. Seal of approval for sure. 9/10

We also went for the Lamb Tostada (S$18), which is made up of a small crispy corn tortilla bowl sitting on a pile of sour cream, filled with slow-cooked lamb ragu, topped with melted cheese and served with some pico de gallo, which literally means rooster’s beak, but refers to a fresh salsa.

Js_Lamb_Tostada

We were initially at a loss as to how to eat it, as these packed bowls were the size of our fists. Eat the ragu out of the tortilla bowl? Cut it in half? Try to bite at it? In the end I just decided to break the whole thing down, and it was the best decision I’d made in a while:

Js_Lamb_Tostada_Closeup

Mmmm gooey meaty cheeeeeeese

I found this dish very delicious; the lamb was soft, tender, and was absolutely soaked in flavour. It reminded me a little of the Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja, which literally means old clothes, but which refers to a sort of shredded beef stew. The shredded lamb in this tostada had a sweet cheesy taste. The ragu I thought was very rich, the downside of which is that you get a little jelak/sick of it after a while, but the salsa sauce on the side helped refresh the palette. I didn’t care much for the tortilla, which I thought was not as crispy as it could have been, but I think this is a common problem you get with baked tortilla chips. This dish is a solid 8/10.

We decided to share 2 mains, one of which was the Paella (S$28), a saffron rice dish with marinated chicken and not just one but TWO types of fish, salmon and tilapia.

Js_Paella Js_Paella_Closeup

Yommehhhh. My friend and I enjoyed this tremendously. The rice was savoury, fluffy, moist, and soft. I will say here that my friend thought the rice was a little too moist, and he wanted his paella a little drier so that you have the crispy bits at the bottom. It’s a personal preference I guess – I prefer my rice moist and fluffy right to the bottom. No crispy rice bits for me! The bits that I DID love were the bits of coriander strewn around the paella; these were a delightful flavour-enhancer with every bite. The chicken was good, the tilapia I thought tasted a little fishy, and I thought the salmon was phenoms. It was so tender and flavourful! Fish is always a little tricky, but I’m glad at least for this batch that I’d gotten, the salmon was juicy and not overcooked. 9/10 for this paella!

Our last item was the Beef Quesadilla (S$24) which features a soft tortilla wrap with minced beef, cheese, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños and some guac.

Js_Beef_Quesadilla

I’m sad to report this was the weak link of all the items we had for the night. Maybe 10% of this had to do with the fact that we were reaching stomach capacity by the time we got to these bad boys, but objectively these quesadillas did not do it for me. The beef stuffing was just not as tasty as everything else I’d eaten, and something about the ground beef/cheese combo made it taste like I was eating regular cheese fries from KFC. I’ve definitely had better quesadillas in my life (Dos Caminos, New York City! Guzman y Gomez Fish Quesadilla at Asia Square! Sorry tak halal 😦 ) so this I found rather disappointing. I think with a few tweaks they could stand to greatly improve the recipe – perhaps if they use shredded beef instead of minced beef, and maybe add some lime or some coriander to the fillings to add a little kick to it! 6/10

All in all, I had a great time at J’s. Service was really friendly; the servers/restaurant manager seemed to be one big family. I saw the servers actually walk down the ‘runway’ looking intently at diners’ tables to see if there were any dishes to clear or water glasses to refill. Definitely a plus. I think because it’s not a typical halal cuisine, J’s would also be the perfect place for a business lunch or dinner, especially if you have Muslim clients to impress. Will definitely be coming back for more!

J’s Restaurant (Permanently closed)
7 Purvis Street, #01-01, S(188586)
Reservations: +65 6887 4787 or online here
Online Menu: Here

Opening hours

Lunch Sun-Fri: 12pm to 230pm
Mon-Thu: 630pm to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 6pm to 1030pm
Sun: 6pm to 930pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10

Average spend per pax: S$48