If you love sukiyaki, if you love shabu-shabu, then this is the place for you. SukiYa (すき家), self-described as the “house of hot pot” on its website, offers diners unpretentious Japanese hotpot with unlimited servings of thinly sliced meat at an affordable price.
Suki-Ya Lunch Buffet
Evans and I were walking around Marina Square shopping centre on Christmas day when we had a sudden craving for hotpot. Incidentally, we decided to try out the SukiYa lunch buffet! We went without making reservations and were surprised that it wasn’t crowded. This was probably because we went after the lunch peak hour at 2pm. After standing at the entrance for 5 minutes trying to get the staff’s attention, we were finally led to a table by the window.
The waitress swiftly handed us the menu to choose our soup base. There’s four types:
1. Shabu Shabu
You get to choose 2 types of soup base for your hotpot buffet. Evans and I decided to go for “Shabu Shabu” (salty) and “Kimuchi” (slightly spicy). Below is the soup served in the big pot. The clear one is “Shabu Shabu” while the other is “Kimuchi”. Oops, this pot of soup doesn’t look very appetizing with all the bubbles huh? Well, looks aside, the soup stock tasted decent enough.
Ala-Carte Menu (Chargeable)
The buffet price only covers the meat (which you order from the staff) and the vegetables from the “Healthy Bar”. The rest of the items on the ala-carte menu are chargeable, and the variety is pretty limited.
If you are interested, you can follow their instructions on how to prepare authentic Japanese sukiyaki and shabu-shabu.
80 Minutes Time Limit!
Did I mention that you are limited to 80 minutes for the lunch buffet? This seems kind of short for us as we normally prefer to slowly savor our buffet food, chit-chat, rest, eat for another round, and repeat the process. But for this buffet, every minute counts! So while waiting for the soup to boil, we wasted no time and quickly hit the “Healthy Bar” to fill our plates with the healthy greens.
The “Healthy Bar” is smack right in the middle of the restaurant. Basically, it’s a large counter filled with endless amounts of tofu, beancurd skin, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, crabsticks, meatballs, cheese balls, corn, carrots, fish cakes and cheese tofu, among others. If you are the kind that needs to have carb intake for your meal (like Evans), they have instant noodles, glass noodles, ramen, as well as rice to go along with the hotpot.
You can also mix your own condiment based on your preference – below is ours with lots of garlic, chili-padi, light soya sauce, vinegar and spring onion.
And finally, the highlight of the buffet, MEAT. This is an ala-carte buffet and you can order unlimited servings of sliced chicken, pork or beef. If you want, you can also order premium Wagyu Beef Platter at an additional price (we did not). Each tray comes with about 8 pieces of meat. The meat is sliced very thinly so it gets cooked quickly once you dip it in the hot soup. Evans and I felt that the meat was fresh and sweet and we really liked it a lot. We were glad to have tried this shabu-shabu buffet! Below was the first round of food items for our hotpot.
Conclusion: Unpretentious and Affordable Japanese Hotpot Buffet
Overall, we felt that the quality of the food was decent enough for the price we paid. Service wise, they appeared to be short-staffed and definitely need to improve on their general customer service and attitude. We waited 5 minutes at the entrance before we were served, and once seated it took a significant amount of hand-waving to get their attention for ordering of food or refilling of water. If you don’t mind the nonchalant service and simply just want to savour unpretentious and affordable Japanese hotpot with free flow of meat, this would be the place for you.
SukiYa @ Marina Square
#02-138 B/C, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594
Tel: +65 6337 9969
(Sun to Thur) Lunch 11.30am to 4pm, Dinner 4pm to 10pm
(Fri, Sat, PH eve, PH) Lunch 11.30am to 4pm, Dinner 4pm to 10.30pm
SukiYa Buffet Price / Timing
Lunch (Mon to Fri): $17.90 ++ , 80 minutes
Lunch (Weekends): $19.90++, 80 minutes
Dinner (Mon to Fri): $23.90++, 100 minutes
Dinner (Weekends): $25.90++ , 100 Minutes
*$2 extra per person on weekends, PH eve, and PH
Marina Square – #02-183B/C Tel: 6337 9969
Tampines Mall – #B1-02 Tel: 6789 6166
112 Katong – #03-05 Tel: 6636 3789
Bugis+ – #04-14/15 Tel: 6884 5778
Bedok Point – #03-08/11
Plaza Singpura – #04-63/67 Tel: 6884 5423
Heartland Mall – #04-63/67
Evans waiting patiently for the food to be cooked.