67%

(Above Average)

Chiso Zanmai Hot

 
(9 Reviews)
6221 3177   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Website   5260   14   0
#02-17 6 Eu Tong Sen Street Singapore 059817
 
farshafarsha http://www.thesmartlocal.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/64x64c/e5/c8/56/425_17feb2013-50-1363796634.jpg
Listing created by farshafarsha on April 13, 2012    

At this Osaka-originated all-you-can-eat, 100 varieties of kaiseki-sized dishes are crammed into 8,000 sq ft of space, spanning from sashimi and sushi to shabu-shabu. Specialities include a salmon hotpot with miso soup and okonomiyaki (savoury pancake). Cost: adults $14.90-$29.90; children (below 1m) $9.90-$14.90; seniors (above 60) $12.90-$27.90.

Additional Details:

Opening Hours:
12pm - 11pm
Speciality:


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User Ratings Summary

User rating summary from: 9 user(s)

Food / Beverage: 
 
3.3  (6)
Ambience: 
 
3.7  (5)
Service: 
 
2.8  (4)
Value: 
 
4.0  (5)
Overall Score: 
 
3.3  (9)
I've been to Chiso Zanmai four times now, although I can't say the food was what brought me back.

Chiso Zanmai is clever in trying to get customers to return. It offers relatively low prices for a seemingly 'posh' buffet restaurant and a reasonably large buffet spread for its price. There are, of course, quite a few catches.

While the buffet spread is admittedly impressive in terms of quantity, the quality of the food isn't great. Simple dishes like their pork cutlets and chawanmushi fail to impress, while other dishes such the pork belly were fantastic. The cold food section was pretty sub-standard, with dishes like tofu and cold soba noodles. They did however, have sashimi! That came as quite the surprise as you wouldn't normally expect sashimi for such low prices. One other condition that they 'forgot' to mention was that free-flow drinks were an extra $2 per head. Seriously?

Now, one of the main reasons why I kept going back to Chiso Zanmai was the fact that the ambiance there was simply amazing, especially for it's price. The decor is mainly white in colour and the restaurant has huge glass windows, which keeps the place extremely well-lit during the daytime. It does, however, make the place a little warm. The food is laid out and plated nicely, and the dessert section was well-organised, with the toppings arranged neatly. The desserts themselves were also quite tasty! To top it all off, there was also a ramen counter, which was really just a table with a guy pouring soup into bowls, but impressive nonetheless.

All in all, Chiso Zanmai offers a good buffet spread at affordable prices, and plain food masquerading as up-market fare with help from the restaurant's fantastic ambiance.
Overall Rating:
 
70%
Jin Rong Tay Reviewed by Jin Rong Tay on November 29, 2013
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""Paying for the ambiance""

I've been to Chiso Zanmai four times now, although I can't say the food was what brought me back.

Chiso Zanmai is clever in trying to get customers to return. It offers relatively low prices for a seemingly 'posh' buffet restaurant and a reasonably large buffet spread for its price. There are, of course, quite a few catches.

While the buffet spread is admittedly impressive in terms of quantity, the quality of the food isn't great. Simple dishes like their pork cutlets and chawanmushi fail to impress, while other dishes such the pork belly were fantastic. The cold food section was pretty sub-standard, with dishes like tofu and cold soba noodles. They did however, have sashimi! That came as quite the surprise as you wouldn't normally expect sashimi for such low prices. One other condition that they 'forgot' to mention was that free-flow drinks were an extra $2 per head. Seriously?

Now, one of the main reasons why I kept going back to Chiso Zanmai was the fact that the ambiance there was simply amazing, especially for it's price. The decor is mainly white in colour and the restaurant has huge glass windows, which keeps the place extremely well-lit during the daytime. It does, however, make the place a little warm. The food is laid out and plated nicely, and the dessert section was well-organised, with the toppings arranged neatly. The desserts themselves were also quite tasty! To top it all off, there was also a ramen counter, which was really just a table with a guy pouring soup into bowls, but impressive nonetheless.

All in all, Chiso Zanmai offers a good buffet spread at affordable prices, and plain food masquerading as up-market fare with help from the restaurant's fantastic ambiance.

Optional Information:

Best Part:
Ambiance and sashimi!
Branch Location:
The Central
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Chiso Zanmai is priced rather affordably especially so for a Japanese buffet.

The spread - I would say that this is pretty average. Except that most of the dishes look unappetising and unappealing and I didn't really consider helping myself to a serving of it.

The taste - For those that I tried, the food just tastes cook? Like a piece of meat that is cooked and edible and you can just eat it, similar to how I would describe my own cooking, just edible for sustenance. Except that this is a business and a restaurant and the food is supposed to taste good! The sashimi is just alright, not very fresh. But hey it's sashimi and look at the price you are paying for a seemingly endless supply of sashimi (which is generally expensive in Japanese restaurants)

I would highly recommend this for those with an enormous appetite because it will definitely be worth your money. And for those of us who are more concerned with quality than quatity, this is not the place to be.
Overall Rating:
 
50%
SophiaSeen Reviewed by SophiaSeen on November 27, 2013
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"Cheap but not that good"

Chiso Zanmai is priced rather affordably especially so for a Japanese buffet.

The spread - I would say that this is pretty average. Except that most of the dishes look unappetising and unappealing and I didn't really consider helping myself to a serving of it.

The taste - For those that I tried, the food just tastes cook? Like a piece of meat that is cooked and edible and you can just eat it, similar to how I would describe my own cooking, just edible for sustenance. Except that this is a business and a restaurant and the food is supposed to taste good! The sashimi is just alright, not very fresh. But hey it's sashimi and look at the price you are paying for a seemingly endless supply of sashimi (which is generally expensive in Japanese restaurants)

I would highly recommend this for those with an enormous appetite because it will definitely be worth your money. And for those of us who are more concerned with quality than quatity, this is not the place to be.

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I was there on a National Day public holiday with some friends for dinner. We intended to go for a buffet on that day and decided on this as the price was attractive.

We paid a total of around 112 bucks nett for 3 after ++, which we thought was okay considering it was a jap dinner buffet during a public holiday at that. Though the variety wasn't magnificent, the quality more than made for it in my opinion. Rather than quantity, this place had the quality for most of the food items. The desserts like the cakes and puddings fared better than a holiday buffet which had 3 tiers and all I went to previously. The brownies stood out exceptionally.

Their matcha items were hell good too, the green tea taste really standing out.

All in all, I would really go back because of the price and overall the food.
Overall Rating:
 
90%

I was there on a National Day public holiday with some friends for dinner. We intended to go for a buffet on that day and decided on this as the price was attractive.

We paid a total of around 112 bucks nett for 3 after ++, which we thought was okay considering it was a jap dinner buffet during a public holiday at that. Though the variety wasn't magnificent, the quality more than made for it in my opinion. Rather than quantity, this place had the quality for most of the food items. The desserts like the cakes and puddings fared better than a holiday buffet which had 3 tiers and all I went to previously. The brownies stood out exceptionally.

Their matcha items were hell good too, the green tea taste really standing out.

All in all, I would really go back because of the price and overall the food.

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I had a gathering with my colleagues here because it was a cheaper Japanese buffet and also because of the central location. The first time I was there, we were given seats facing the famous bak kut teh shop.

You needed to pay an additional cost if you wanted to have drink with your buffet. They have quite a selection of drinks and the drinks are free flow. Take the sjora drink, that drink cost a lot when you buy from food court and those came with a lot of ice. Here, you can have it without ice and as many glasses as your bladder can take.

The food quality was not that good and the variety was also not that much. But given the price, it should still be considered as value for money. I had a lot of the squids in the small bowl, it tasted nice and it was not too filling so I could take many bowls.
Overall Rating:
 
70%
wangkh Reviewed by wangkh on March 28, 2013
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"Cheap Japanese Buffet"

I had a gathering with my colleagues here because it was a cheaper Japanese buffet and also because of the central location. The first time I was there, we were given seats facing the famous bak kut teh shop.

You needed to pay an additional cost if you wanted to have drink with your buffet. They have quite a selection of drinks and the drinks are free flow. Take the sjora drink, that drink cost a lot when you buy from food court and those came with a lot of ice. Here, you can have it without ice and as many glasses as your bladder can take.

The food quality was not that good and the variety was also not that much. But given the price, it should still be considered as value for money. I had a lot of the squids in the small bowl, it tasted nice and it was not too filling so I could take many bowls.

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The best thing about this place is the ambiance. It overlooks the busy main street and gigantic ERP sign. The decor stands out as sparkling new and the place is spacious. I just wish the food was better. Because we went during dinner, it wasn't exactly cheap either.

They have two entrances, one through the swanky G.O.D shop. But there was no one standing there attending to people walking in and there wasn't any signage either. So it was confusing especially since they require you to pay first.

The variety is actually alright for what you pay for but food quality wise it was the worse Japanese buffet we have been to. Sushi selection was terrible, ramen was bad, raw sea food felt like the frozen boxes kind. Dessert was definitely below average for a buffet. My partner was actually really mad I took her here and gave up eating halfway in anger. She now jokes that she's going to take me there for my birthday. Was hoping to discover a good and affordable Japanese buffet. Oh well!

I guess if you have to come here, make sure its during lunch. The price alone would make it very worthwhile but don't eat dinner here.
Overall Rating:
 
50%
Bryan Choo Reviewed by Google Plus Image Bryan Choo on March 17, 2013
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"not the good cheap!"

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The best thing about this place is the ambiance. It overlooks the busy main street and gigantic ERP sign. The decor stands out as sparkling new and the place is spacious. I just wish the food was better. Because we went during dinner, it wasn't exactly cheap either.

They have two entrances, one through the swanky G.O.D shop. But there was no one standing there attending to people walking in and there wasn't any signage either. So it was confusing especially since they require you to pay first.

The variety is actually alright for what you pay for but food quality wise it was the worse Japanese buffet we have been to. Sushi selection was terrible, ramen was bad, raw sea food felt like the frozen boxes kind. Dessert was definitely below average for a buffet. My partner was actually really mad I took her here and gave up eating halfway in anger. She now jokes that she's going to take me there for my birthday. Was hoping to discover a good and affordable Japanese buffet. Oh well!

I guess if you have to come here, make sure its during lunch. The price alone would make it very worthwhile but don't eat dinner here.

Last updated: March 21, 2013

Optional Information:

Average Spent Per Person:
26
Best Part:
ambiance
Branch Location:
the central
Recommend to Friend:
No
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I was extremely put off by the long queue when I first stepped into the restaurant. I was told that I had to wait a whooping one hour before I could get a seat. Nevertheless, we decided to wait because there is nothing much left to eat in Clake Quay.

When we finally got a seat, we decided to dive right to the sashimi and tempura and chawanmushi . There was quite alot of variety for a buffet for $15. After afew rounds of food, we were really full despite seemingly eating quite little and we decided to go for dessert. The mini cakes were rather yummy and ice cream was awesome as it always is.

Though the food is not exceptionally nice, the thing that will keep me going back is the price. One can hardly find buffets for $15 anymore. Do remember to make a reservation beforehand first though.
Overall Rating:
 
50%
xiaochaboh Reviewed by xiaochaboh on February 05, 2013
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"you get what you pay for"

I was extremely put off by the long queue when I first stepped into the restaurant. I was told that I had to wait a whooping one hour before I could get a seat. Nevertheless, we decided to wait because there is nothing much left to eat in Clake Quay.

When we finally got a seat, we decided to dive right to the sashimi and tempura and chawanmushi . There was quite alot of variety for a buffet for $15. After afew rounds of food, we were really full despite seemingly eating quite little and we decided to go for dessert. The mini cakes were rather yummy and ice cream was awesome as it always is.

Though the food is not exceptionally nice, the thing that will keep me going back is the price. One can hardly find buffets for $15 anymore. Do remember to make a reservation beforehand first though.

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Budget buffets are not exactly haute cuisine. Nevertheless, trust the Japanese to elevate what is essentially a vulgar dining format into a somewhat dignified experience with skilful chefs and pleasant decor.

The price per person is more or less what you'd pay in a typical mid-range jap restaurant here in SG (approx $30). The fare is more or less what you'd find in such establishments too (e.g. salmon sashimi, the usual sushi selection, tempura etc). The only difference being the unlimited free flow of everything, making this place very worth the money.

The salmon sashimi was fresh and generously cut. Noteworthy were the chawan mushi and agadeshi tofu. The prawn tempura was wonderful: freshly fried on the outside, succulent on the inside. The dessert selection was limited, but the soft serve ice cream is really all you're going to need.

I can't wait to go back!
Overall Rating:
 
70%
jeremy Reviewed by jeremy on January 29, 2013
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"Oishiiiiii"

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Budget buffets are not exactly haute cuisine. Nevertheless, trust the Japanese to elevate what is essentially a vulgar dining format into a somewhat dignified experience with skilful chefs and pleasant decor.

The price per person is more or less what you'd pay in a typical mid-range jap restaurant here in SG (approx $30). The fare is more or less what you'd find in such establishments too (e.g. salmon sashimi, the usual sushi selection, tempura etc). The only difference being the unlimited free flow of everything, making this place very worth the money.

The salmon sashimi was fresh and generously cut. Noteworthy were the chawan mushi and agadeshi tofu. The prawn tempura was wonderful: freshly fried on the outside, succulent on the inside. The dessert selection was limited, but the soft serve ice cream is really all you're going to need.

I can't wait to go back!

Last updated: January 29, 2013

Optional Information:

Best Part:
Pig out!
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Charging 14+ per head for lunch (it's actually 19+ if you include drinks), Chiso Zanmai serves a typical Japanese spread of rather decent quality.

Most of the savoury mains--okonomiyaki, takoyaki, stir-fried noodles, etc.--are great, very satisfying. They also served salmon-flavoured rice, which had bits of salmon in it, and the taste was superb. It was briny and full of fishy flavour; the rice was somewhat moist and sticky, against which an occasional salmon roe or two provided some delightful textural contrast. In short, it was a simple but superbly flavourful dish. I also enjoyed some battered bits of fish, which sadly I couldn't remember by name. It was great eaten on its own, but even better dipped in tartar sauce. It was almost like fish and chips but had a distinctively oriental flavour, nothing at all like the beer-battered fillets of the typical British dish.

Strangely enough, there were also a few Chinese dishes like braised pork belly and stir-fried bitter gourd. Nevertheless, both dishes were excellent. One cannot go wrong with egg and bitter gourd stir-fried and well-salted. And the pork belly was amazingly good, fat slabs of fatty meat swimming about in a light, clear, flavourful broth of soupy consistency. Even looking at it, I could tell that, while it is a characteristic dish of Chinese cuisine, the restaurant's version of praised pork belly definitely wasn't done Chinese-style, in which case the broth is usually thick, murky, and greasy. Under less than expert hands, the meat is even dry and tough to chew on. But Chiso Zanmai's version is moist and tender, and something, I'm sure, every pork lover will enjoy.

I also enjoyed a dish of what looks like the typical 'oyakodon', except without the rice. For those unacquainted with Japanese dishes, it's chicken, onions, and eggs simmered in flavourful stock -- a hearty, satiating combo.

But perhaps what I enjoyed the most was their green tea tofu, to which I helped myself countless times. It had a soft, smooth, silky, almost creamy texture and the flavour of the green tea was robust and dominated the palate.

Of course, as is the case with almost all buffet spreads, even the ones at fancy hotels, not every dish is absolutely fantastic, and so you shouldn't expect too much here. Given that it's less than 20 per head, the limited variety is to be expected. Don't trouble yourself with the small dessert section and the sushi.
Overall Rating:
 
70%
kuchiki Reviewed by kuchiki on December 22, 2012

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"A decent buffet spread that is super cheap!!"

Charging 14+ per head for lunch (it's actually 19+ if you include drinks), Chiso Zanmai serves a typical Japanese spread of rather decent quality.

Most of the savoury mains--okonomiyaki, takoyaki, stir-fried noodles, etc.--are great, very satisfying. They also served salmon-flavoured rice, which had bits of salmon in it, and the taste was superb. It was briny and full of fishy flavour; the rice was somewhat moist and sticky, against which an occasional salmon roe or two provided some delightful textural contrast. In short, it was a simple but superbly flavourful dish. I also enjoyed some battered bits of fish, which sadly I couldn't remember by name. It was great eaten on its own, but even better dipped in tartar sauce. It was almost like fish and chips but had a distinctively oriental flavour, nothing at all like the beer-battered fillets of the typical British dish.

Strangely enough, there were also a few Chinese dishes like braised pork belly and stir-fried bitter gourd. Nevertheless, both dishes were excellent. One cannot go wrong with egg and bitter gourd stir-fried and well-salted. And the pork belly was amazingly good, fat slabs of fatty meat swimming about in a light, clear, flavourful broth of soupy consistency. Even looking at it, I could tell that, while it is a characteristic dish of Chinese cuisine, the restaurant's version of praised pork belly definitely wasn't done Chinese-style, in which case the broth is usually thick, murky, and greasy. Under less than expert hands, the meat is even dry and tough to chew on. But Chiso Zanmai's version is moist and tender, and something, I'm sure, every pork lover will enjoy.

I also enjoyed a dish of what looks like the typical 'oyakodon', except without the rice. For those unacquainted with Japanese dishes, it's chicken, onions, and eggs simmered in flavourful stock -- a hearty, satiating combo.

But perhaps what I enjoyed the most was their green tea tofu, to which I helped myself countless times. It had a soft, smooth, silky, almost creamy texture and the flavour of the green tea was robust and dominated the palate.

Of course, as is the case with almost all buffet spreads, even the ones at fancy hotels, not every dish is absolutely fantastic, and so you shouldn't expect too much here. Given that it's less than 20 per head, the limited variety is to be expected. Don't trouble yourself with the small dessert section and the sushi.

Optional Information:

Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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Chiso Zanmai's buffet will leave you feeling so full you can barely walk - and very happily so.

While at Central one day, I decided to try their lunchtime buffet which, for the amount of food, is extremely reasonable - $20 including free flow of drinks, and you can eat as much as you like.

I was quite impressed with the selection, which made sure there was something for everyone. I highly recommend the cha soba, which were chewy and not too difficult to digest. The takoyaki and okonomiyaki were also quite tasty, especially the takoyaki, which were drizzled generously with fish flakes and soya sauce. I also loved the chawanmushi - one cup was not enough to satisfy me, it was so soft it could almost melt in your mouth.

For dessert, there was a wide array of cakes, ranging from cheesecakes to tiramisu cakes, and also soft-serve vanilla ice cream. I would say the dessert was decent, nothing to scream about but largely satisfying.

On the downside, one thing I was rather unhappy about was the variety of sushi which was really quite limited. Also, the chefs take a very long time to refill the food when they run out, or do not refill at all.

However, Chiso Zanmai does offer great food at great prices, and is well worth a visit especially if you love buffets but are unwilling to splurge.
Overall Rating:
 
80%
cathexis Reviewed by cathexis on December 13, 2012
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"Value-for-money buffet!"

Chiso Zanmai's buffet will leave you feeling so full you can barely walk - and very happily so.

While at Central one day, I decided to try their lunchtime buffet which, for the amount of food, is extremely reasonable - $20 including free flow of drinks, and you can eat as much as you like.

I was quite impressed with the selection, which made sure there was something for everyone. I highly recommend the cha soba, which were chewy and not too difficult to digest. The takoyaki and okonomiyaki were also quite tasty, especially the takoyaki, which were drizzled generously with fish flakes and soya sauce. I also loved the chawanmushi - one cup was not enough to satisfy me, it was so soft it could almost melt in your mouth.

For dessert, there was a wide array of cakes, ranging from cheesecakes to tiramisu cakes, and also soft-serve vanilla ice cream. I would say the dessert was decent, nothing to scream about but largely satisfying.

On the downside, one thing I was rather unhappy about was the variety of sushi which was really quite limited. Also, the chefs take a very long time to refill the food when they run out, or do not refill at all.

However, Chiso Zanmai does offer great food at great prices, and is well worth a visit especially if you love buffets but are unwilling to splurge.

Optional Information:

Average Spent Per Person:
20
Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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