Every now and then I crave loads of seafood and that is when I start looking at hotel buffets offering the best menu. I remember eating at Mandarin Orchard at Triple 3 restaurant for their seafood buffet but the space has long been taken over by Estate

During Christmas last year, my sister treated me to the dinner buffet at Estate for my birthday and it was my first time visiting them after Hilton took over the hotel space

Located on the 3rd floor of the new Hilton hotel, Estate has adopted a Colonial-styled residence design which is inspired by the early years of Orchard. The moment I stepped into the restaurant, I felt like I was entering a rich man’s estate with multiple rooms and areas

The restaurant’s furnishings are very aesthetically pleasing with different rooms and sectors of the restaurant set up differently; the living room area tables are matched with plush sofa seating and the dining area where the usual dining table and chair setting is seen. The main food area is like the kitchen and chiller area. Once you enter the restaurant, you will see this nice corridor with different concept rooms on both sides of the corridor

Most of the cooked food is located within the centre portion of the restaurant which is like the ‘kitchen’ section of the residence. There was an overwhelming array of food available; from Chinese dim sum, Chinese soup and noodle live stations, pasta live stations, their famous black truffle roast duck station as well as Indian and Mediterranean cuisine in heated pots. Their sashimi, sushi, salad and dessert offerings are located at the walk-in chiller and dry pantry area so the food stays chilled and fresh

The seafood station is located right at the back of the restaurant closer to the ‘ dining room’ section of the restaurant. There is also a small juice counter leading to the backroom or you can ask one of the servers to help you with it. The variety of cooked chilled seafood is quite substantial with freshly shucked oysters, clams, crayfish, shellfish, mussels, snow crab legs and prawns

As a seafood monster, I love seafood to the max and I can go to a buffet just to eat their seafood so I was quite pleased with the spread at Estate. The oysters were freshly shucked and were very juicy and creamy. There were a variety of sauces like lemon slices, tabasco sauce, ponzu sauce as well as thousand island sauce for dipping your seafood. The oysters were refilled almost immediately once customers take them so there was hardly any downtime. I concentrated mostly on the oysters, crab legs and prawns which were succulent and full of umami flavours from the sea. I had at least 3 plates just full of them

The sashimi and sushi in my opinion were quite mediocre, while they were fresh, the quality was ok only, something similar to what you can get from supermarkets or even foodcourts. I had 1 plate and decided to give it a miss

The soup station had fish maw soup as well as some other beef noodle broth so I opted for the seafood fish maw soup which was starchy and slightly bland in flavour

For the cooked food stations, the one that stood out to me was the pasta station and the Indian cuisine section. The food was authentic in flavour and texture and if I had more stomach space, I would have gone for 3rd helpings. As I visited during the Christmas period, there was a Christmas station serving an entire turkey, ham, roast beef, roast chicken and roast pork. The turkey was dry but quite flavourful and the roast pork was gorgeous with a crackling crispy skin and juicy fatty meat

The other stations with grilled skewers and satay were generally pretty decent but nothing too extraordinary. The black truffle roast duck was supposed to be a highlight but I felt it was ok and not the best roast duck I have tasted. While it is different from other roast duck because of the tinge of truffle flavour in the skin, I felt that the texture of the duck was not juicy and this could be due to the fact that the meat was sliced up and left on the counter as small portions which could result in the meat drying up

By the time for dessert, I was stuffed but I still took a couple of the popular ones for tasting; the cheesecake was nice as of Hilton’s standards with a creamy, rich and thick consistency. The passionfruit and berry dessert served in these cute glass jars was really nice as a closing dessert as they were light with a semi-sweet and tangy flavour

Overall, the service of the restaurant is great and the staff was very attentive and the atmosphere of the ‘residence estate’ design was very comfortable and relaxing as it really felt like you were dining at a rich friend’s house. The offerings were also great in variety and while some dishes were good and some were just mediocre, it is still a nice place to enjoy a decent buffet

Address: 333 Orchard Rd, Level 5, Singapore 238867

Operating hours: 6.30 am to 10 pm

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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