By See F00n Chan-Koppen
I have always had a love/hate relationship with buffets. On the one hand the quality of food and cooking is often suspect and on the other, the variety of food is so diverse, that one inevitably will find a few items to suit one’s palate. Buffets are where I bring my ‘big’ guys like my son and my nephew where they can tuck in to their hearts’ content while I leisurely pick at their plates, tasting a morsel here and a bite there, having the opportunity to sample every thing else till I find the few that I really want to savour, before I make a move for my selection.
This was precisely the strategy I employed recently when I went to Taro, the newly-opened Fusion Japanese restaurant in Greentown. Located almost directly opposite Maria’s and Chayo in Greentown Business centre in a standalone bungalow house, Taro shares premises with Kon Shong, a Karaoke lounge upstairs.
Strictly Buffet only, the restaurant can seat more than a 150 people and is open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week. At RM59.90 for lunch and RM69.90 for dinner per person, the restaurant offers good value for money with over 100 items of food on offer. The extra RM10 for dinner covers the fresh made-to-order hand rolls with no limit on the number of orders!
As Managing Director Peter Ngui, who has worked in Japan for a number of years and whose brainchild it is, explained, Taro aims to please the large middle market with its pricing policy, variety and quality. Their special discounts for seniors aged over 60 and children under 130cm in height of a generous 50% while those below 90cm eat for free, make it economical enough for whole families to dine out and be given a Japanese food treat which under normal circumstances would cost an arm and a leg.
The choice and variety is staggering. The system consists of clips which are on your table. As you move around from station to station, there may be stations where the food is cooked a’ la minute and you’d drop a clip with your table number into the bowl indicated for that particular item and the food is delivered to your table when ready.
A drinks counter serves a choice of fresh made fruit juices sweetened with fructose but you can tell them to hold the sugar as I do when I order. And right beside that I spied a Haagen Daz freezer chest with a choice of five flavours, which is part of the buffet!
Cold and Hot Sections
In the cold section you’ll find 4-5 types of Sashimi, all kinds of sushi, jelly fish, fresh oysters, seaweed, kimchi, tofu, different types of soba with help-yourself-sauces. For dinner, there is the additional choice of fresh made hand rolls with selections of 4-5 alternating between salmon, shrimp, tuna, California, Unagi (eel) and which may change from day to day. The California hand roll which I ordered arrived with the Nori (seaweed) still crisp and crunchy, a defining quality of a good hand roll.
In the hot section, the choice is even more boundless. Cheese topped baked oysters, grilled large prawns, salmon, Saba fish, fried Shisamo (the special fish which is full of roe), soft shell crab, Unagi or eel, Tempura prawns, fish, and vegetables and not to mention the teppanyaki table where the chef behind the counter is constantly busy frying up diners’ choice of beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, and whatever is their hearts’ desire from a generous selection. And I must mention the individual ‘Nabe’ which are claypots of selected seafood, tofu and vegetables served in a choice of broth and cooked at the table.
In the steam section, Chawan Mushi (Japanese savoury steamed egg custard) vie for attention with Herbal Soup, while elsewhere, ready prepared fried noodles, mixed vegetables and even snacks like peanuts, and other children’s favourites await the eager diner.
Finally for dessert, if the Haagen Daz section does not call to you, go to the refrigerator where fruits, jellies, cakes, custard tarts and other sweets await.
Operations Manager Chloe Liew: 016-2031711
Open 7 days a week
Lunch: 12.00-3.00 p.m.
Dinner: 6.00-10.30 p.m.