The Square at Furama riverfront is a hotel buffet restaurant offering a sizable spread at a decent price. The restaurant is located along Havelock road along a long stretch with several other hotel chain buildings.
The hotel has a old rustic feel of hotels built in the 1970s and 1980s with a marble laid lobby and lounge area. The restaurant, situated on the second floor has an ambience which is in contrast, more modern looking than the lobby. It has clean touches of wood to go with their mood-lit pillars.
Where is it?
Moreover, the restaurant is tucked in a pool of hotels along Havelock road. It sits opposite the Grand Copthorne riverfront hotel which I previously covered on their very delectable Food capital hotel coffeehouse. The establishment is located on the second floor of the hotel which has a vintage feel. Also, it is accessible via the main lobby bar or a grand spiral staircase. Such features are rare in Singapore hotels these days.
Unlike mostly hotel restaurants, The Square restaurant provides basic table setting with no napkins given at the table. Just plain paper tissue paper are provided. Moreover, water is provided via self-serve bottles. What is offered was effective and I found nothing lacking in such offerings. You can tell how they are able to keep costs low. Will the restaurant is able to live up to expectations as an international buffet? Lets find out.
What’s on the menu
The food selection offered is an international selection. A long counter and two island serves as the main food counters serving an assortment of international cuisines, seafood and dessert. Having dined at the restaurant for both lunch and dinner on two separate occasions. I found the lunch variety is not as extensive as dinner, as reflected in the pricing of $30 per head (about half the dinner rate).
However, the selection of food is more than adequate for any lunch needs. Moreover, you get a decent selection of Asian dishes comprising of cooked meats, vegetables and fried foods. The dinner spread in general is twice as large in varieties than the lunch buffet.
Notable cooked food selection include chili crab.
Staples includes plain rice as well, as fried bee hoon. There are however, no Fried rice or Biryani rice offerings. Notably, it is quite the bare necessities. But once again for a sub $80 price point, it is still acceptable and comparable to other similar spread-to-price offering like the Carvery Alexandra Restaurant at Park Royal Alexandra.
Commendably, I found the quality of the food is very suited for the price. This made up for the glaring lack of variety offered. Moreover, notably, despite being a Furama restaurant, the food quality is very good in stark comparison to the abysmal quality I experienced on my visit to the Furama city center restaurant (Chinatown). Here, the difference is almost day and night, which gives me an impression the restaurants are independently operated.
Catering to an Asian palate
On the platter are Asian Chinese cooked dishes such as braised sea cucumbers. Their offerings of coffee pork ribs are nice. It is soft, juicy and not too oily. Adding to the Asian selection are free flow of fried prawn fritters. You can pair them with a choice of fried cabbage and even you-tiao (Fried dough filters).
Special items included pork rib prawn noodles. Which you have only one bowl each. The dish is served with half a tiger prawn and a single pork rib with yellow noodles. The broth is nice and soupy, without being too peppery.
Moreover, I could tell that Furama hotel caters much to Chinese tour groups. The were a large number of Chinese tourists in the buffet area during my visit. Thankfully, they weren’t rowdy and did not affect the quality of dining.
Could do with a few more cuisine selections
Usually, I could have a taste of every single item served before getting full. Here I saw myself returning back to having seconds of my favorite items. This is due to the noticeable fewer varieties offered. I would like to see at least an additional Indian food section serving yellow rice or event satay and roti-prata.
Interesting food finds
Interesting finds is a porridge counter, where you can mix your congee, traditional style with a selection of precooked condiments. This includes pork belly, fried omelette and slated vegetables. Moreover, you are free to mix these condiments with items in their main Asian food platter too.
Another interesting find is a self-help cocktail bar. It is a non-alcoholic one though, so don’t be too overwhelmingly excited about getting drunk there. Here, you have a choice to pair the base fruit punch drink with an assortment of drink flavorings. Up to your own discretion on the mix and concentration. It is a first I found in a hole buffet I say.
Moreover, on greens, you have two salad bars, one offering an assortment of fresh lettuce and kale. Also, I am pleased to report I was not able to find a trace of yellowed or a piece of green not meeting my expectations. The other salad bar comprises mostly of pre-mixed salad bowls. You can find potato, coleslaw and pasta and meat salads.
The seafood selection is minimal
Furthermore, Seafood selections comprises of scallops, clams, mussels and large prawns. The seafood selection is adequately fresh, though some mussels and scallops do appear bit soggy and soft, so it pays to choose your seafood carefully here. Thankfully majority of the seafood batches served are good.
Glaringly, though the dinner buffet costs at $78 per pax, there are strangely however, no fresh oysters on the menu. In the price range, I had been other hotel restaurants offer fresh crab as a well as mini crayfish lobsters.
However, there is a Sashimi bar serving is pretty good and fresh. You have generous serving of Salmon Sashimi, tuna and octopus (tako). The tuna is recommended. It is really soft yet chewy. Moreover, ask for a large sharing platter and the chef on-station will gladly prepare a sizable selection for your table.
Impressive dessert selection
Furama riverfront is well known for their desserts menu and I am glad I wasn’t disappointed. Must try items include chocolate truffle cake and apple crumble. You have other local offers such as agar agar cake and green bean soups.
The cake dessert section is one of the highlights here at Furama riverfront. Their cake, jelly and Apple pudding collection is one of the best-tasting in a hotel buffet. Kudos to their desserts chef. Adding to this, the fruits and desserts section is your usual fanfare of ice cream (8 flavors) and an assortment of fruits comprising of cubed watermelons, white dragon fruit, apples and oranges.
In addition, a selection of wine is available for your needs. Plain water is provided free of charge and delivered via table top bottles which are refilled regularly. I never found the food salty or rich in MSG seasoning to have much need for water. Also, adding to the buffet drinks selection includes a self-help tea box and coffee machines. The self-help coffee stand with a coffee mixing guide for your different local variants of coffee. Notably there isn’t any Italian offerings. No pasta or pizzas on the plate here.
Exceptional waitering service
Moreover, the service was excellent. During my visit, the staff is friendly and very attentive to your needs. The dishes are cleared almost immediately. This was done without the staff being intrusive. Dishes are cleared when you leave your seat for a new buffet serving.
I never once during my dining experience had to return to a table with my previous plate still at my table. Additionally, the staff are observant of you needs. For instance when I came back with a plate full of chili crab, a kind lady member of staff handed to me, without demand a crab cracker tool. Very commendable excellent service indeed.
Bank credit card offers attractive discounts
The Square restaurant regularly participates in credit card deals which makes dining at the restaurant. Hence, do keep a look out for attractive Credit card 1-1 discounts. They usually run offers with a couple of major banks in Singapore such as OCBC or UOB.
Moreover, for my dinner, I leveraged on a 1-1 special. This brought my total cost from $78++ per head to a bargain $45 per person including 10% service charge and 7% GST added in, effectively almost halving my dinner cost. But the low down is that such offers tend to make the restaurants quite oversubscribed. On peak weekend days, it is not uncommon to see overflow seating outside the restaurant grounds. So it pays to make your reservations early.
All in all, the Square at Furama riverfront adds to my selection of fine buffet dinners out of the city area. The offerings are not great in variety, but effective for the price range. The neighborhood of hotels and restaurant along the Havelock area have a reputation of offering really good buffet dinner spreads. And I am glad this restaurant is worthy on that list for me.
The Square Furama Riverfront
405 Havelock Road, Level 2,
Opens for Lunch, Breakfast and Dinner at these times:
6:00am – 10:30am, 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 3:00am