Mandarin Orchard Triple Three Buffet is an international offering of cuisines served in a self-help buffet format. The restaurant is managed by Mandarin Orchard hotel located right in the heart of the Singapore Orchard road shopping district. With a 30 year history, it is also one of the oldest hotels along Orchard road.
Moreover, the restaurant is quietly tucked on the upper level 5 of Mandarin Orchard Singapore. It is named after the prestigious address of the hotel, being situated on 333 Orchard Road.
A sizable international buffet spread
One of the strong points of Triple three will have to be their quality of the food offered. There are however, some gripes which I shall discuss later.
Additionally, there is also a reasonably large variety of food. As expected in an International buffet, you have quite healthy selection of multiple cuisines. This can range from typical western fare, Chinese fried food and dim sum, seafood to fresh Japanese sashimi and Teppanyaki.
Chinese and oriental food offerings includes mostly cooked foods. This includes Singaporean favorite selections such as roast duck, pork belly, dim sum (siew mai, shrimp dumplings) and Chawanmushi.
Furthermore, you have a section also dedicated to Pasta, where a pasta chef will prepare for you one of 4 dishes including a Risotto dish in addition to 3 pasta noodle offerings.
Japanese Sushi and Sashimi
At the Japanese section, you get a counter serving an assortment of fresh sashimi. Here, you get Tuna, Salmon, Yellow fish as well as Octopus tentacles. In addition, are Sushi platters with a variety of hand-made sushi and Maki rolls.
Additionally, you get freshly pan-fried Teppanyaki selections of beef cubes, vegetables and bean sprouts all sprinkled with serving of Teppanyaki sauce. Notably, it is highly addictive and makes patrons keep coming back for more.
It is not uncommon to see a long queue waiting in line for the beef cubes. Though I won’t recommend doing so as the cooks will always replenish them quickly. The crowds will fast disappear once everyone gets their fix.
Indian Food selection
The Indian food selection of the food offered is pretty decent. However, it is one of the less popular sectors in the buffet. Here, you get an assortment of pita bread, curries, lentil, bean stews and stewed curry prawns. They are all delivered in large Indian style metal cooking pots and goes well with the assortment of rice.
Additionally, the highlight here will be freshly prepared roti-prata (plain and egg variants). An Indian chef behind the counter will take your order and prepare your pratas. They will also top up the existing prata food stash which you can help yourself off if need be.
The seafood selection is fresh. It is not expansively large but has all the good bits you want. Here, you get a curated assortment of prawns, mussels, clams, crab legs, crab claws from two types of meaty crabs. You also get a small assortment of Alaskan (long legged) crab too. The shells of the crabs are all prepared open for direct consumption beforehand. Hence, you won’t need much of shell-cracking tools to get to the flesh within.
Additionally, fresh oysters are available. These are hand-picked and washed in front of you. You can specify the number of Oysters you want to the server and he will pop them ready on a plate for you.
Miniscule Roast section
However, I found the roast selection quite lacking in terms of variety. There were only 3 choices available on the night of my visit. You get a small baked salmon, Ham and a Roast beef rump. Quality was OK, though it varies greatly on which part of the meat you are being served. In comparison places like the Calvary at Alexandra offers a larger roast variety at a cheaper price, including fowl and lamb which is lacking here at Triple three.
Additionally, you have a selection of specially prepared sauces to go with your meats. The meat portions served by the server are pretty small too, which encourages you to ask for seconds.
To wash it all down, you have a free selection of coffee, tea as well as choices of desserts. This includes cakes, fruits, Froyo and “potong” icecream (on stick). Alcoholic liquor is available at a chargeable extra.
Running out of food?
My gripe of the establishment however was the restaurant closing up some food stations early and not replenishing the food spread. This is despite guests still being around, which is not acceptable. Additionally, even for a weekend, food selections such as pan-fried Horfun, baked salmon and codfish all started running out from 8.30pm. This was puzzling as the restaurant buffet runs till 10pm.
Moreover, this is assuming that the standard practice of hotels buffets is to usually constantly restock their food even into the wee hours past 9.30pm, where last orders are sounded out to patrons on the buffet closing.
However, the counter staff were happily seen washing up and closing up their counters once the moment the food in their section runs out. Even when guests are still coming in and it being almost 2 hours from closing.
Check for bank deals for a bargain
When I was there, United Overseas Bank (UOB) was running their 50% off every second diner discount. The dinner has to be paid using their debit or credit cards. This effectively translates to about 20-30% off your bill depending whether you dine with an odd or even number of persons per table. It is worth checking with banks on any deals. Mandarin been known to be involves with dining deals with UOB and OCBC.
For $88++ to $100++ price point puts Triple Three on the similar price point to that of Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Orchard Hotel, Shangri-La Line and even Marina Bay Sands. However I felt I am not getting as much for my food with most of the cooked food counters not serving their full food selections. Moreover, it is not as if the restaurant during my visit was not full. It is at most about 60-70% full.
Excellent Service made up for it
Service was excellent. During my visit you have one to two waiters or waitress dedicated to your table. They were very prompt in clearing your dishes. They do so in a professional and non-intrusive in any way when you are away from your seat getting more food. Hence you will always come back to your table with your previous dishes cleared with space for your new servings. Commendable indeed.
Nice too was the restaurant ambience. The area I was seated was cozy with comfortable seating and lighting despite the dim pub-like atmosphere. However, the restaurant floor arrangement is tad confusing. Unlike most hotel buffets with the food section centrally placed, the layout of triple three has the food section at a corner. It is accessible via only two entrance choke points.
The layout is tad like a maze. In my case, I was seated near the restaurant bar. Hence, about two walls separates my table from the buffet spread. Here, I had to zig zag through a series of partitions to get to the food counters. Also, you could tell that this is indeed still regular restaurant seating and not some makeshift spillover seating. But it does not seem to be intuitive and buffet-friendly.
All in all, my experience at Triple Three was fair, but not fantastic. This is especially given what you get for the price point. The quality of the food and the waiter service made up mostly for the lack of food offered at the buffet. Though I will find it difficult to recommend the place given many other hotels out in Singapore offering a better experience at a lower price point.
Must Go! | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Triple Three, Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Level 5 @ Mandarin Orchard
Open daily at three time slots: 6:30–10AM, 12–2:30PM, 6:30–10PM
Buffet prices vary between lunch, dinner, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays.