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Monday, 3 February 2014

Dinner at Todai @ Marina Bay Sands

I have been meaning to try Todai for two years literally, having heard good reviews about its international seafood buffet spread. Finally, today I managed to go with two close friends. Todai is located at 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2-01 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972 and the number to call is 6688 7771.

Not called the "Mother of all Seafood Buffets" for nothing - Todai is an upscale 'all you can eat' buffet concept with quality food of different cuisine and freshest quality, plus creative, fusion desserts. It also offers an ambience that is comfortable, relaxing and non-pretentious. The variety is good as well, and I like the neatness and how they categorize all different sections clearly, for instance "Seafood", "Pastries", "Italian", "Korean", "Deep Fried", "Chinese" and "Oven Baked" etc.

We did not know where to start, really, as everything looked tempting. The service crew were friendly and efficient - very quick to clear unwanted plates in an unintrusive manner, and also very quick to get us things that we wanted, such as serviettes.

Gareth*, Celine* and I decided to start with the Golden Crabs, Alaskan Crabs and Raw Oysters. There is nothing like fresh sweet snow-white crab meat and iron-y, succulent oysters to start off a good meal with. I love to douse my raw oysters with squeezed lemon droplets and Tobasco sauce while Gareth* puts salt and Tobasco sauce in his (ideas for you all to try).

I replenished the shared platters with very fresh and tender, slender pieces of Salmon Sashimi and Tuna Sashimi, baby squid (boiled so they were very soft), green mussels and scallops. All the shelled items were finely-textured and cooked to soft perfection with tinges of chewiness. 

Next, Roast Beef Steaks and Roast Pork. I did not try the latter, but the Roast Beef Steak was hot and extremely tender - whether one sliced with a knife or raw teeth, the flesh tore easily, yet retaining the fresh bouncy succulence.

Our next indulgence was Escargots - lots and lots of the chewy, "ashy" escargots cooked with mushrooms in a delicious cream sauce. 

In the upper photo, there are also some Shisamos (pregnant fish), grilled to perfection and filled with the bursting, sandy goodness of the roe - though Celine* commented it was somewhat cruel to eat a pregnant fish and hence she abstained from it. It made sense to me too, as tasty as it was - so I probably would not be eating this dish again.

The Korean Pancake (savoury version - with flour and green beans chopped into fine dices) was rather nice - lightly flavored and easy on the tongue.

In the bottom photo, there are also Beef Ribs (grilled) to crispy tenderness - this one melts in the mouth and tastes great in a sweet-salty dark sauce; and the Smoked Duck glazed to smooth perfection and not too salty.

Now we had some greens - crispy lettuce but too bad the dressing was somewhat too heavy to be considered entirely healthy. 

And food from the "Deep Fried" counter - Chicken Karaage (fried chicken), Fried Breaded Fish Fillet and Ebi Tempura (fried breaded shrimps) - as all deep fried items went, these were crispy and delicious - the amazing thing was that none of them was overly greasy or even oily. 

Next on the platter, we had Korean fare - Kimchi radish (spicy and sour fermented vegetables), Kimchi Cucumber and sweet Pancake consisting of red bean paste and cinnamon. The Kimchis were tasty and appetite-whetting - heard they are good for skin and metabolism too. The pancake sweetens the deal by offering warm, saccharine comfort - not too sweet but just nice, with a smooth texture and lovely blend of red bean paste and cinnamon.

The Seaweed and Beef soup was tasty as well, and good for detoxification. The slightly sea-salt iron taste of the soup may be too strong for some - but balanced with the sweetness of beef, it made for a great combination. 

After this, we went nimble with the portions - some raw seaweed strips, fish slice, sushi. There were so much to choose from - especially from the Sushi counter, one had to start and end somewhere wise, because the pearl rice is filling.

Then, it was Cereal Prawns from the "Chinese" section for us - fresh prawns that was able to be shelled easily, cooked with the aroma of sweet, crispy cereal. No wonder we had to walk at least three - four rounds before these were replenished - they were snapped up pretty fast.

Here we went even lighter - with soft, tender salmon grilled to tasty perfection with black pepper, and scallops cooked with crispy cornflakes atop - an innovative but tastebud-satisfying method.

Finally, we ended the sumptuous meal off with sweets - a must. They say, "Females always have space in their tummies for desserts no matter how full they claim they are" - that is so apt. The macarons were so-so with stale cookies and bland cream, but the Green Tea Swiss roll, Dark Chocolate Cake, Brownie and Mango Cheesecake were worthy desserts with the right amount of sweetness and soft fluffy texture (note, not :"finely textured", but good enough for a buffet stand that specializes not in desserts, really). 

The ice-cream was a cool welcome as well - one could put toppings of almond flakes, marshmallows, fudge from the fondue fountain or like me, pour the Berry Cream Pudding over it ...

All in all, we spent SGD$68.30 each on this meal, and enjoyed every single bite thoroughly.

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