Sunday, July 26

Cafe Biz

Hello! (:

Jeffrey and I decided to go to Cafe Biz, which is located inside Trader's Hotel, for buffet dinner ($45+/pax before discount) on his birthday a few days ago since they were having a birthday discount promotion. I absolutely LOVE discounts/ sales, especially if they are for good stuff like good food! (: There were a few other restaurants that offered birthday-treats/ birthday discounts but Cafe Biz seemed the most wholesome in terms of price and variety of food served, hence it wasn't a surprise that Jeffrey chose to have his birthday dinner there.

One thing that Jeffrey and I liked about Cafe Biz is the relatively spacious eating area. Cafe Biz adopts a split-level concept to separate the food and seating areas. With the exception of the daily special counter, the rest of the food items are located on the upper level of the restaurant. The seating area isn't overly cramped with tables and chairs and this gives patrons sufficient room to walk about. I think it's exceptionally important to have ample walking space in a restaurant that serves buffet because it makes the overall dining experience more pleasant. I don't think many people would fancy squeezing in and out of their seats as well as trying to squeeze past the narrow walkway in between two rows of backseats whenever they have to get more food. Also, the interior decoration of Cafe Biz is modern and homely. Unlike Carousel which played rather distracting music, I don't think any music was played at Cafe Biz, and I felt that the relative quietness made conversing much easier as neither of us had to concentrate too hard to hear what the other party had to say.

Part of the upper level, where all the food items are

The "Daily Special" Corner. Daily special items for that day were Indian naan as well as wanton mee

I like how the green and brown complement each other (: The choice of lamps is also worth mentioning because they look very IKEA-ish, and I like IKEA furnishings

Close-up shot of a lamp near our table

Table setting: clean, neat and simple. I like that they used fruits to decorate the table because the fruits seem to act like a visual-appetizer of sorts.

Things that occupied a corner of our table top: Cafebiz holder with green apple as decor, salt & pepper shakers, mustard sauce as well as sugar sachets

Cutlery and a small little white plate, presumably for us to place our used-cutlery for re-use


A glass of water. The only hotel that I know of to date that provides fizzy drinks/ fruit juices as part of their buffet menu is Marriot Cafe, I wonder why the other hotels don't do the same. I was having a sprite-craving by the end of the meal!

Perhaps I should say a little about the food at Cafe Biz before we move onto the photos of food that we took that night. Like Carousel, Cafe Biz serves predominantly Asian cuisine but it also has some international food items. Since both Carousel and Cafe Biz serve "Asian" buffets and they have similar price tags ($45+/pax for Carousel lunch buffet and $45+/pax for Cafe Biz dinner buffet), I think it's pretty reasonable to compare the range and quality of food served at both places.

Frankly speaking, if we hadn't eaten at Carousel the week before we dined at Cafe Biz, we would probably have thought that the food at Cafe Biz was pretty good and would have given it 7.5 out of 10. However, because Carousel superceded our expectations of an "Asian" buffet in terms of quality and variety of food (we would rate it 7.5 or 8 out of 10), we invariably adopted Carousel as a benchmark for "Asian" buffets and ended up giving Cafe Biz 7 out of 10. Undoubtedly, the range of food at Carousel was much wider than that at Cafe Biz and the quality of food at the former place was distinctly better as well. Nevertheless, Cafe Biz does have certain interesting and nice dishes that make the buffet worth going for. However, if one had to choose between Carousel and Cafe Biz, we'd surely recommend the former.

Crackers, salad, some sushi and potato&tuna salad
Lettuce, carrot stick, smoked salmon, crabstick salad and kueh pie tee
A think slice of yam cake (which was too dry), lor mai kai/ gluttinous rice and stewed carrots

Slices of yam cake, seafood siew mai (which Jeffrey said was absolutely delectable, and I agree!), fried long beans with sambal, stewed potato, stewed carrots, fried fish fillet with cereal and vanilla sauce (it's probably one of the most interesting and most tasty fish dish that I've ever had, definitely something that I'd eat again!)

There was a friendly and jolly Indian man going around the tables asking whether we wanted to try the different types of meat he had on his skewer. He brought a different kind of meat each type he walked around the restaurant! I think it's a great idea to have food served to you like that because you'll never run out of food.

The sausage that we got from him! (: Jeffrey said that it tasted a tad spicy. I think it's because it's cooked with some Indian spice(s) since the restaurant had an Indiany/ Chinesey theme that day for its daily special.

Two chicken wings that we got off the skewer! (: In Jeffrey's words, they tasted "soft and juicy". Unlike the sausage, these weren't spicy so people who can't take spiciness can choose to eat this instead of the sausage.
Although I wasn't particularly interested in Indian/ Chinese food that night, I couldn't resist trying out their daily specials: garlic naan with curry and chicken satay (top photo) as well as wanton with vegetables in a bowl of soup (bottom photo). Personally, I didn't enjoy the garlic naan because it wasn't very warm and I felt like I was eating plain prata instead of naan. Jeffrey said that the wantons weren't very nice either and I suspect it's because they weren't made on the spot? They look like prepacked wantons that we can get in supermarkets.
More seafood siewmais, thin slices of pizza and pieces of black beef. Jeffrey said that the vegetarian pizza slices were good! (:

More seafood siewmais, nasi lemak rice, more slices of beef, cereal prawns (which had shells that were extremely difficult to remove) and lor mai kai.
I didn't try cold soba at Carousel so I thought I'd give it a shot here. Frankly, I thought the soba sauce tasted pretty weird - it seemed a tad too sour and flat. Thankfully I only took a small helping otherwise it would've been quite torturous trying to finish the entire bowl.
Sushi platter with cold soba without sauce

DESSERT TIME! (: The dessert selection here was also very "Asian" so I felt like my options were halved because I didn't want to eat Asian desserts, which included nonya kuehs. My parents run a nonya kueh business so I get to eat nonya kueh whenever I like, which explains why I don't really fancy eating nonya kueh nor do I purchase nonya kueh when I'm out (unless I'm having a sudden craving for them). Also, Cafe Biz doesn't serve bread&butter pudding! =( It's alright since there are other desserts which I can indulge in.

Apple tart, waffle with maple syrup and azuki bean cake
Chocolate mousse (which was chocolatey enough but it was also harder than expected!) and a slice of blackforest cake

A scoop of vanilla icecream (which wasn't nice in my opinion)
Waffle with icecream

Chocolate fondue! I think the chocolate tasted rather flat =( It was neither creamy nor was it as sweet as it should be.
Asian desserts: a bowl of tapioca and a bowl of pulut hitam (black beans if I'm not wrong). The tapioca tasted normal but the pulut hitam wasn't sweet! I'm starting to wonder whether this is a buffet for health-conscious people!
To end the entire meal off, the thick-skinned me asked the waiter whether we could have a special slice of cake since it was Jeffrey's birthday! (: The waiter explained that they usually serve such special birthday cakes on weekends only but he offered to ask his supervisor, and his supervisor said ok to giving us a slice of birthday cake! (: I was tremendously pleased about it.
Jeffrey's oreo cheesecake/ birthday cake. The oreo cheesecake wasn't as smooth as it could've been and it tasted rather dry, but I choose to overlook this because I felt happy that the staff/ manager agreed to give us a free slice of birthday cake!
I hope that Jeffrey enjoyed celebrating his birthday over dinner with me! (: Happy birthday again, Jeffrey! (:

1 comment:

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