Qi' Lin Oriental Cuisine
Okay... I'm officially embarrased by the frequency of buffet outtings described in my blog posts. Am I a pig? A hobo? Just plain incapable of enjoying refined food in small quantities?
Whatever the case may be, when asked 'buffet or ala carte?' at Qi' Lin last weekend, Byron and I didn't even hesitate: Buffet.
We justified it financially... because, well, buffet means greater variety and we figured that for any variety at all with 2 people, plus rice and drinks, it'd end up close to buffet cost anyway. The inner truth is that my inner child just loves the idea of helping myself to potentially endless plates of food. It's not exactly cooking for myself but there is a certain interactive element.
Qi' Lin was much bigger inside than I expected. We were lead through the buffet area into a second group of booths and tables and left at the very last table in the end.
It later became an inside joke because everytime I wanted to top up, I'd have to journey through all the other tables (I happened to be wearing conspicuously loud shoes too) and then back down again with a full plate. To me, it was a walk of shame and I imagined all the other guests thinking 'that girl is going to get food AGAIN??'
Eventually I asked Byron to get food for me...
Anyway, my humiliation aside, let's get back to the food itself. We started with a selection from the hot section.
Mine contained fried noodles, lots of veggies, a chicken curry and, basically, a small amount of everything. My favorite was the sweet potato crisps.
Byron loaded up on fried rice and a larger amount of everything. We agreed that the quality was better than most other Asian places that sell similar food. By that I mean, fresher ingredients, less processed-tasting flavors and greater amounts of meat.
I went back to get a fried chicken wing (very crispy), another sweet potato chip (still good), a sushi (better than I expected) and a meat gyoza (very dry).
Byron also went for a second plate and returned with veggies, spring rolls and prawn crackers.
It was around this time that I was feeling hesitant about getting up for more food. Nonetheless, I persevered for a bowl of chicken and sweet corn soup with crispy noodles. It was very much worth it. I love chicken and sweet corn soup!
We were finally ready for dessert. Qi' Lin had some Asian-style dessert options, as well as Western classics. I got coconut and mung bean pudding with coconut sago and some strawberry ice-cream.
Byron had some sago with grapes (that I didn't photograph) and an icey pole.
For us, it was a pleasant (and filling) dining experience. Obviously, Asian buffet is not something we'll do every day but when the urge for large amounts of pan-Asian food strikes, Qi' Lin will do well to fill the (tummy) void.