Saturday, December 22, 2012

Buffets @ Sango Crystal Crown

Sango at PJ's Crystal Crown Hotel offers an a la carte buffet for dinner at RM68++, but having food cooked to order can sometimes fuel frustration.

Things kick off fairly promisingly: simple salads and sesame-glazed chicken wings are served to each customer once seated. But not everyone might want these, especially since food wastage is charged at RM10 per 100 grams.

Boiled spinach and pickled radish, supplying much-welcome fiber.

Sashimi, far from sensational, but satisfactory for an all-you-can-eat deal.

Jellyfish is also available, but alas, the baby octopus we ordered never came.

Nankotsu alert! Chicken cartilage is available fried ...

... as well as grilled on skewers. Munch munch, crunch crunch.

Also a crisp delight: tiny butter-fried shrimp. Rather oily, but so addictive.

Yakitori plays a prominent role in the buffet _ not bad, though the salt content is substantial. Have some chicken gizzard and heart...

... or chicken fillets with leeks ...

... or bishop's nose, fatty and savory.

Here's where we'll start whining: at a certain point, the food started taking too long to prepare, even though the restaurant was far from full.

Chicken stew with lotus root and konnyaku jelly. Many of these dishes only arrived an hour after ordering, compelling us to cancel several of our orders in the end.

Eggplant topped with minced meat. Discouragingly, customers who ordered from the regular non-buffet menu seemed to be prioritized, as they received their food faster.

Grilled pike mackerel. And to cap off this rant, the service team was cold and distant, offering what felt like insincere promises that they'd check on our food.

Shishamo. The key to a successful dinner here might be to order everything at the start, instead of requesting six to eight items at a time. But it's tricky to gauge how much food we'd need.

Grilled sweet potato with butter. It's a shame that the slow pace marred what could have been a meal we'd recommend, since the price seemed reasonable.

Mixed tempura. In the end, we couldn't order a second round of sashimi, since the staff claimed the kitchen was swamped.

Charcoal and green tea ice cream. In another scenario, we'd call this a sweetly satisfying finish.

Warm red bean soup with mochi, also adequately tasty.

A free flow of green tea is provided, but it's worth getting a glass of umeshu plum wine to buoy one's spirits while waiting for the food.


Sango Japanese Restaurant,
Crystal Crown Hotel, Off Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya.
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16 comments:

  1. Hmmm...I reckon ala-carte buffet has more cons than pros. Aside from food are cook upon order.

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    1. Melissa: it's tricky, true. difficult to know what to expect. i guess i was expecting better here, heh =)

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  2. aww man :( what a shame! I've had pretty good ala-carte buffet before and if I'm not mistaken, one of them was the Jap restaurant at Chorus Hotel. There isn't as much variety but everything arrived promptly even after second, third, etc round orders!
    Boo:( They better up their game or they won't happy any happy customers leaving their door!

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    1. Vien: true, it's a shame cos most of the food here was actually quite decent, and we'd have been satisfied if only we didn't have to wait up to an hour at certain points for our orders to arrive. Maybe I'll try corus someday, heh :D

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  3. Hmmm reasonable pricing but not so optimum service...I supposed if food is good and I have time to while away while waiting for my food, I may just be fine. Otherwise I may just storm into the kitchen demanding my food...especially when those who order ala carte are prioritized. Bad service is a no no no....

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    1. Missyblurkit: ya, the price is certainly enticing for Japanese food. But true, lackadaisical service does leave a sour taste in the mouth. And the long waiting periods will be intolerable for impatient customers. Hoping they'll repair that :D

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  4. Urghh they would get an earful from me for sure!

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    1. Tng: heheh, in this particular situation, I think they do deserve an earful! :D

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  5. There used to be Japanese buffet restaurant at Ground floor at Wisma Antarabangsa where I lecture, I think it is less than $50 per person. It closed after 2 years, but I never tried. Before it closed, I had opportunity to chat with one of the chefs, I learned that the wasted food everyday in bags were some times more than the baga of daily fresh food that comes in ! I am not sure the Resatuarant charge for wasted food but the way some people's buffet mentality is really difficult ti comprehend.

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    1. Wong: true, I do think that a la carte buffets, where the food is cooked to order instead of being laid out on trays, is a good alternative and can help prevent that wastage =)

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  6. Hmmmmm...sounds like a case of trying to limit the amount of wat customers can eat for a buffet?...saddddd...

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    1. Ulric: ya lor. i can't hide a definite sense of dissatisfaction for this one =)

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  7. What gorgeous pics you took of the food. Looks insanely delicious!

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    1. Cquek: thanks. well, the presentation for the food was nice enough. and most of the seafood was reasonably juicy =)

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  8. I had some nice seehum sashimi yesterday! hehehehe.

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    1. CK: heheh, I think I would prefer seehum sashimi compared to salmon sashimi! :D

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