Let’s check out the newest western restaurant joint in town, XW western. The western grille sit-down restaurant offers a rather affordable western food with a buffet salad bar to boot. Let’s dine in.
Interestingly, XW western is a relatively new player in the already-crowded western grill market. It is an F&B segment already dominated in the likes of incumbents Astons and Collins. I find the price point of XW western one of the best you can find in the market today, more on that later.
Interestingly to those we are wondering, the “XW” in XW western actually means Xinwang. It is not obvious, but yes, the parent company of the establishment is that Xin Wang Hong Kong Café you know of- known for their papaya chicken noodles.
A traditional Western flair
So what’s on the menu? XW Western spots a rather minimal yet carefully curated menu of traditional western favourites. This comprises of a mix of “House steaks”, chicken, fish, burgers, baked and pasta dishes. Starting up, their mixed grille meat are called Super combos priced in the $15 to $30 range with a combination of two meat options chicken and fish, or king prawns or steaks to your liking. This would be the choice if you desire two of each mains, or just plain hungry.
Incredible price point
Also, the food prices are something worth mentioning too. For most of us, I would recommend sticking to the single main course without the combo dishes. It gives you greater value for money. After all, there is also a buffet on offer which comes with all main course ordered. Speaking of value, a chicken chop main with the buffet starts from $13.80. It is one of the recommended dishes on offer.
Also, I found their chicken is grilled tender and incredibly juicy within. Also, you have a selection of sauces to customize for your chicken too. It is quite a joy for the price offerings. Additionally, their fish dishes starts from the $13 range for grilled and fried fish fillet variants and up to $19.80 for their salmon steaks.
A small but curated menu
However, the steaks are less impressive. They start from $18.80 for their Sirloin steak with a choice of mushroom or black pepper sauce. Topping up the selections are their Prime Ribeye going at $21.80 and Lamb cutlet ($23.80).
XW Western beef steak portions are small and even when medium-done is tough, especially on the steak edges. You could tell that the kitchen tried its best to make the dish as presentable with the garnish and blob or butter, but there are just that much you can do with lackluster frozen steak. Also, the straight-cut fries served with your mains are thin and lacking in weight. I would suggest having in place the onion rings and tatter tots with your sides as a better option.
Wrapping up in the likes right up on Swensen’s alley is a small selection of Baked rice (From $12.80) and Spaghetti pasta. The pasta is available in a variety of sauces prices in the $12.80 to 13.80 range.
Generally, you won’t go wrong choosing anything chicken as your main here. This also includes their chicken baked rice, which at a $12.80 price point with a buffet is incredible for value. XW does know how to do chicken right, but I would steer clear of the other meat options.
Also, when you thought is enough you also have two choices of Gourmet Burgers. Choices includes pulled chicken ($14.80) or Buttermilk fried chicken ($15.80). The burgers are adequate, and are good by itself. The pulled chicken for instance is flavourful and stands well itself between two fired buns. You can always compliment your burger plates with the salad if it looks too lacking in greens and potatoes to you liking.
Additionally, you have the option to add-on an additional $4.50 to make for set meal with additional soup and soft drink. Though I think you could pass. Free flow of water is available at a reasonable price 50 cents per cup-along the likes of iSteaks too.
XW Western’s selling price point it tad like a throwback to the low western grille prices when Collins restaurants started out at coffee shops too (before Collins became expensive now). XW’s overall price range puts their offered value close or even ahead of incumbents Astons specialty western grille and even the now-defunct Hifumi Japanese Buffet we adored for its value back then.
XW Western Buffet Salad bar
Moreover, XW western free flow salad bar is a curated selection of foods which compliments your mains as sides. The items range from fruits (watermelons and oranges), salads, vegetables to a range if fried items. Favourites here are onion rings, tatters tots. Vegetable options include generous heaps on mushrooms, spinach and broccoli. Interestingly, there are also beancurd, pasta and rice if you wish for a more hearty filling meal.
The offerings tad like a mini version of Astons Steak and Salad we checked out. Still, the buffet by sets you back $11.80 itself. Though you could argue that $11.80 for a small salad bar is tad inflated to nudge patrons to order a main course. Still, the free inclusion of the offerings at salad bar buffet with a main course makes it literally a steal.
However, I found the availability of angel-hair pasta, macaroni and fusilli pasta in the salad buffet does diminishes the attractiveness of their à la carte pasta menu options.
Moreover, the buffet queues are quite the assurance of its attractiveness. The buffet bar will typically form toward the start of your dinner where most diners will use the salad bar for pre-meal appetizers, and for desserts at the end of the meal. Thankfully, despite the crowds and high demand, the buffet bar is replenished regularly. Even on the peak weekend visitation. Also, commendably, the food is reloaded even as the restaurant approaches closing time.
Staff waitering service is generally fast and responsive, but you can make do ordering, dining and paying without much interactions required from staff, except for the occasional replacement cutlery or confirming any missed orders. You order your meal via a tablet and pay at the cashier at the entrance when done.
All in all, XW Western is a gem of a halal-friendly buffet dining. Offering value for money curated western grille in a rather pleasant environment great for groups. Definitely one to check out for a rather filling buffet meal when you are in town or in the heartlands.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
XW Western restaurant and Buffet Locality Map
Various locations: Raffles City Shopping Centre, Jem and Lot 1
Raffles City branch we visited:
252 North Bridge Road #B1-44B
Opening Hours: 11am– 9pm daily.