Recently, N and I went to Rice Table for dinner. Or rather, he brought me, the mountain tortoise, to try Rice Table, which is an established Peranakan cuisine place housed in International Building, which was behind Shaw Centre in Orchard Road.
He told me we were going for a buffet, so imagine my surprise when I walked in, gazed around the cramped space smaller than a 5-room HDB flat, and wondered where the buffet spread was.
Turned out, it was an all-you-can-eat dinner, a la carte.
The plus part about this a la carte buffet dinner was that the portions were super small – so small that you could try everything that was served at the first round (yes, for the first round, every item listed on the menu would be served) and still had room for a second round of your favourites (simply by telling the servers what item you wanted to be refilled).
Like the Grilled Chicken (which I think was drenched in that Tauhu Telor sauce, but with a spicy kick that drew us to have 2 more rounds of it), Fried Sweet and Fish (in a buttery batter drenched with umami sauce), Tauhu Telor (crispy skin wrapped in soft, watery beancurd) and of course, Chicken Satay!
Other notable mentions were Otak Otak (good, but I didn’t feel like eating more servings of Otak Otak), Prawn in Sambal Sauce, Chicken (Mid) Wing (which reminded me of Ha Cheong Gai a.k.a Prawn Paste Chicken), Assam Squid (the assam was great! Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of squids) and Curry Vegetables (though I think they called it Vegetables in Coconut Stew). I don’t eat beef, so you guys can try the Beef Rendang and let me know your verdict.
The staff was friendly, despite my suaku-ness (ignorance) and constant asking and giggling. You can choose to have those with rice, since those food was very strong in taste… It was a struggle – do I put more of those yummy-goodies into my limited stomach space and risk feeling jelat (sick of having too much)?
The décor was dated, though not worn down. It retained the look and feel of the 80s, which actually made the dining experience unique. The space was cramped too, so when the crowd started to stroll in, it got difficult to move in and around (and of course get the servers to top up the items).
For such quality and considering the central location (which makes it a good place to settle dinner for busy executives in town for meetings/conferences and needed a quick but good dinner after a busy schedule in town), I found the a la carte buffet quite worth the moolahs. This place would be great to celebrate some small, intimate events 🙂
The Rice Table
#02-09 International Building 360