Oscar's Buffet @ Conrad Centennial Hotel: Gourmet Gastronomy Galore with Oysters, Lobsters, Sashimi, and Local Delights with a Luxurious Twist
July 10, 2017
Unwind from a long day of work and treat yourself to a lavish feast worthy of a king at Oscar's Buffet, situated in a spacious corner of Conrad Centennial Hotel, where a medley of epicurean delicacies await to tantalize the tastebuds and nourish the soul.
Oscar’s buffet showcases an exquisite and lavish spread of dishes curated and created in a way that all the different cuisines available in the buffet selection blend together harmoniously in a playful waltz on the palette, with no jarring flavor clashes.
The meticulous attention heaped on every single dish, right from the quality of the ingredients used down to the dashes of seasoning heightens the enjoyable dining experience for the customer.
From Monday to Saturday, lunch (12noon - 1.30pm) is priced at $59++ per adult and $29.50++ per child. Dinner (6pm – 10.30pm) on Monday to Thursday and Sunday is priced at $72++ per adult and $35++ per child. Dinner on Friday and Saturday, which are the most relaxing times of the week, is the most sought after among diners, so remember to reserve your seats well in advance to avoid disappointment for $83++ per adult and $41.50++ per child.
Oscar’s is wide, spacious and roomy with a maximum capacity of 203 adequately spaced out for both indoors and al fresco, giving plenty of space for diners to frolic amidst the glorious gastronomical spread.
The décor is chic, posh and homely, laid with marble flooring, decorated with strategically positioned flower vases and colorful quirky elements to add character, and furnished with sleek black granite counter tops neatly arranged with a kaleidoscopic array of dishes.
Oscar’s “library-kitchen” is a one-of-a-kind dining concept. The semi-showcase kitchen has been ingeniously designed to depict the charm and allure of a library’s well-stocked bookcases, with open shelves and pockets displaying the aesthetically pleasing food, ingredients and condiments ranging from all the colors in the rainbow and then more, warmly inviting the diner to partake it it.
Kick off an epicurean adventure at the Caesar Salad station where you can toss up your own salad within a giant Parmesan drum bowl. Thoroughly coat the dewy fresh greens and handpicked caesar salad ingredients in the fruity, nutty and slightly musky essence of the parmesan cheese, and control the amount of parmesan shavings you incorporate into your personalized salad.
A beautiful starter to open up the palette and get those tastebuds perked up will be the cold cuts selection offering cured iberico ham, smoked salmon, parma ham, smoked cod fillet and etc.
The seafood bar, our absolute favorite station in Oscar’s, features an assortment of superior quality produce from the sea – a diverse range of sushi, salmon and tuna sashimi, crabs, lobsters, prawns, and French and Irish oysters.
Salmon and tuna sashimi
The salmon sashimi was fatty and creamy, melting to a rich viscous omega-3 goodness in the heat of our mouths. The tuna sashimi was velvety, delicate, dense and tender with a nuanced flavor profile of a very rare filet mignon steak.
The meat we excavated from the Indonesian crabs, slipper lobsters and prawns were firm and sweet, fresh and tasting slightly like the sea, springy and succulent.
The stars of the show were definitely the two varieties of oysters on display which differ very greatly in taste and texture, but both extremely delicious in its own right.
Fine de Claire
The Fine de Claires are cultivated on the French Atlantic coast and spend its last production phase maturing, for a minimum of one month, in shallow ponds where seawater and freshwater meet. The shallow waters fatten the oysters up and the intermix of seawater and fresh water gives the Fine de Claires its subtle and balanced flavor profile that is a huge hit among oyster first-timers and oyster connoisseurs alike.
The Fine de Claire burst in our mouths like a water balloon with hardly any pressure applied, and its succulent juices swept over our tastebuds with a sweet, fruity and slightly nutty surge of flavors. The oyster was packed rich in sweet and delicately briny juices, finishing with a velvety texture and an earthy aftertaste.
While the Fine de Claires are fat, juicy and succulent, the Irish oysters are fleshy and meaty with more texture. The Irish oysters are the most cultivated species in the world due to high demand. Its deeply cupped shells are a result of farmers tediously rotating and shaking the oyster bags at least once a month. This action is not for naught as it conditions the oyster in producing a deep shell sturdy enough to endure even the longest transcontinental flights.
The very essence of the ocean inundated our tastebuds with the first slurp. The Irish oyster meat was plump, juicy and buttery, with a circumferential crunchy mantle. A refreshing and clean cucumber-like flavor washed over our tongues the more we chewed. The initial brininess that hit our palettes slowly evolved into a sweet and mellow finish packed with juices.
The carving station, live station, Straits of Singapore station and the international station switch up their dishes on a daily basis to keep things fresh and exciting for many of the restaurant’s repeated customers.
Carving Station: Roast Chicken
Roasted chicken was on the menu for the carving station when we visited, not exactly an enticing dish, but when we begrudgingly tried it, we were absolutely blown away. While the chicken may look mundane and bland with the assumption that roasted chicken gravitates towards a dry consistency, the roasted chicken that the chef carved from the breast portion was so incredibly moist, sweet, tender and packed full of fragrant herby flavors. Furthermore, the portion we tried was from the least fatty part of the chicken, so you can just imagine how exceptionally succulent the thighs and drumsticks would be.
Live Station: Pasta
We witnessed a chef demonstrating her culinary skills first-hand at the live station as she cooked up a diner’s choice of pasta within a minute. There were some unique blend of pastas available on the menu on the day of our visitation which included rocket-basil pesto, sicilian pesto ricotta with dried tomatoes, amatriciana sauce, and maremmana sauce. No boring familiar suspects like spaghetti or cabonara like the ones served at unoriginal buffets.
Straits of Singapore station
Straits of Singapore station
The Straits of Singapore section will delight both locals and foreigners alike with the delicious myriad of blended Asian cuisines and its robust flavors like carrot cake, kueh pie tie, fried rice, sweet and sour pork, and wok fried noodles just to name several.
For the international station, diners get to explore the world through their tastebuds with various cuisines derived from different countries globally. Delicious crocks of sauteed vegetables, roasted potatoes, beetroot barley risotto, Vietnamese pork ribs, lamb rogan josh, Korean BBQ chicken, short ribs with rosemary sauce and baked salmon seductively laid on the granite counter tops are too much to resist.
Sous vide short ribs with rosemary sauce
We were extremely impressed with the sous vide short ribs with rosemary sauce. The beef was so tender and imbued with an intricate web of fat coursing through its meat that it literally fell apart and melted in our mouths to a viscous beefy goodness. The sauce was light yet savory, aromatic and buttery from the melted fat of the beef. The mushrooms and vine tomatoes respectively added an edgy earthiness and sharp tanginess to this heavenly main.
Soup and Noodle Bar
Be sure not to miss the secluded soup and noodle bar tucked away in a little corner of the al fresco dining area, emanating a sophisticated hawker-like charm. Comforting local delights like prawn noodle soup, fish noodle soup, wanton noodle soup, lobster laksa and beef brisket noodles.
We have been told that the lobster laksa at Oscar's has a legion of loyal fans, and it is definitely obvious why it has achieved a cult status after one slurp. The broth was robust and rich in flavors with a good balance of aromatic coconut milk and chilli. Each strand of the silky noodles was copiously coated in the thick, spicy, creamy and fragrant laksa gravy saturated with the naturally sweet crustacean flavors of lobsters. It was served in a small bowl, but the chef was generous with the liao (ingredients) that included a lobster ball, a fishball, a piece of prawn, and of course the quintessential tau pok (bean curd). Of course, feel free to customize your own bowl and let the chef know what you want in it.
Oscar's rendition of this local favorite puts the lak in “Lak-xurious” (sorry, couldn't help it), and in our humble opinion, can even rival famous laksa stores with secret recipes passed down for generations.
Beef brisket noodles
Oscar's lobster laksa ranks exceedingly high in our books, but its beef brisket noodles fell short. Perhaps the strong flavors of the laksa had already spoilt our tastebuds, but we thought that the beef brisket soup was rather light, bland and watered down. The slices of beef brisket were not to our liking too, as they were the harder, chewier type usually served on cold platters in Chinese cuisine. We prefer our beef brisket soup to be heavily infused with the fragrant beefy aroma with a lip-smackingly sticky consistency due to all the broken-down connective tissues from the brisket that has been stewing for hours, and the brisket to fall apart in our mouths.
Bread and butter pudding and waffles
Cakes and kuehs
Round up your gourmet feast on a sweet note with Oscar's psychedelic myriad of desserts. A beautiful chocolate fountain where molten dark chocolate serenely streams down in a continuous sinuous flow of decadence, crisp yet fluffy Belgian waffles, bread and butter pudding, six constantly revolving ice cream flavors, biscuits, chilled cheng teng, nonya kuehs, fruits, pastries, and an eclectic array of rich and exquisite cakes will definitely tickle the fancy of all different types of dessert lovers.
This wholesome feast extends way beyond what we can cover in this review. You will definitely be in for a treat at Oscar's where unlimited delicious surprises are hidden at every nook and cranny of the restaurant.
Address: Conrad Centennial Singapore, 2 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038982 Hours: Daily 6:00am to 11:00pm (Last order at 10.30pm)