Review of Open House Restaurant at Grand Park Orchard
When it comes to dining out with our toddler, my husband and I have discovered that a buffet/All-you-can-eat setting is probably the best choice for us. Not only does it give us a world of food varieties, it also allows us to take our time to enjoy our meal without worrying about hogging the table.
As most parents of toddlers would know, the agenda of mealtimes outside of home usually involves something like this:
Feed toddler his/her food, do a wee bit of "wrestling" as he/she refuses to open up and let you scoop in more food. Once toddler is done with his/her meal (about half an hour later!), it's finally time for you to eat while hubby takes over.
Sounds simple enough, but this "procedure" could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours!
So, when we checked in recently at Grand Park Orchard for a family staycation, we decided to check out the dinner spread at Open House Restaurant.
Click Next to check out the pictures of our dinner at Open House Restaurant.
A cosy, family-friendly setting
Upon stepping into the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the tables being occupied by families with kids! Looks like other mums and dads also feel the same way as us about buffet/All-you-can-eat -style restaurants.
The bright, cheery colours of the restaurant decor helped to bring out the warmth of the restaurant. If I had to describe the place in a few words, I'd say that this is the perfect place for families to get together and enjoy great food - without worrying too much about the kids being too loud or getting in the way.
Our mini diner eager to get started with dinner!
The service crew kindly prepared a high chair and a set of kid-friendly utensils for our 19-month-old daughter who was dining with us. With everything in place, she was all set to dig into the buffet spread together with us!
Open House Restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat dining concept, whereby most of the dishes are prepared upon request at the "live" cooking stations. The restaurant dishes up a good variety of local delights and comfort food such as dim sum and wood-fired pizza.
All the amazing food was nicely delegated across 5 cooking stations, all of which were manned by at least one chef. Upon making your request, just tell the chef your table number - and your food will be sent to you once it is ready.
A tasty mix of barbecue delights
At the start of the "train" of cooking stations is the barbecue meat section. Here, you can request the chef to chop up bite-sized slices of the following meat choices:Roasted chicken
Barbecue honey pork (Char siew)
Crispy roasted pork belly
I requested for a platter of all the meat choices to kick start our dinner. Out of the lot, I'd highly recommend the roasted duck and crispy roasted pork belly.
Encased with a layer of thin and crispy skin, the duck was tender and flavourful. On the other hand, the crispy roasted pork belly truly lived up to its name - thanks to the super crunchy skin and thick layer of lean meat that lies beneath.
You may want to scoop up a bowl of rice to go with your platter of roasted delights. Don't forget the chilli and ginger sauces, too!
The noodle station
At the noodle station, you can request for the following dishes to be cooked and sent to your table:Laksa
Fish soup with bee hoon
Must-try noodle dish: Laksa!
I was told that the Laksa is a must-try from the noodle station. What's different about the Laksa at Open House restaurant is that a special scallop broth is used to make the gravy - which was probably boiled and simmered for hours!
I am not really a big fan of Laksa to begin with, as I find the strong coconut taste of the broth a little too overpowering for my liking. However, with the Laksa at Open House Restaurant, I didn't wrinkle my nose when I first tasted the gravy. It had a nice seafood taste (probably from the scallop broth), with just a tinge of coconut flavour.
This pleasant gravy was served with thick vermicelli noodles (bee hoon), slices of fish cake, fried bean curd (tau pok), and a slice of hard boiled egg.
Piping hot dim sum
The dim sum station was one of the 'hottest' stations that night, as the chef tried to keep up with the orders these bite-sized lovelies served in bamboo steamers.
Take your pick from the following choices:Har gao (Shrimp dumpling)
Siew mai (Chicken and shrimp dumpling)
Char siew bao (Barbecue pork bun)
Glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf
Fried carrot cake
My dim sum picks!
Out of the amazing dim sum choices, I went with my top 3 favourites: Har gao, Siew mai and the fried carrot cake.
It was nice to see that the dim sum were well prepared with quality ingredients. The prawns in the Har gao and Siew mai were very fresh and juicy, and the fried carrot cake came with a nice crisp.
All the way at the back of the restaurant is the cooking station that serves up wood-fired pizza. The pizza chef got busy at preparing rows of pizza doughs and sprinkling the toppings over.
These will then be handed over to an assistant who will place each individual pizza on a long-handled metal peel and push it into the wood-fired oven. Once done, the pizza will be scooped out - and it's ready to be served!
My 19-month-old got pretty excited when she saw the chef's assistant "scooping" the pizzas in and out of the red-hot oven! According to the chef, a special type of red wood is used to power up the wood-fired oven - as this particular type of wood is known to bring out the flavour of the pizza.
Pollo Teriyaki Pizza
We ordered one of each flavour of pizza to share among us, just because we REALLY loved our pizzas!
Out of the lot, I enjoyed the Pollo Teriyaki Pizza the most. This crispy pizza came with chicken slices and cheese, with a sprinkle of seaweed and bonito flakes.
A dollop of mayo and teriyaki sauce is what makes this Japanese-inspired pizza complete.
And the busiest station goes to....
I thought that the dim sum station was pretty busy earlier on, but that was nothing compared to this.
Most of the times, there were about 2-3 chefs manning the station - and diners just kept coming by to place their orders for the claypot dishes.
The chef-recommended claypot rice
I went with the chef's recommendation of the claypot rice with Chinese sausage and waxed meat. Claypot rice is one of my favourite comfort food dishes, so I was pretty happy with how this chef-recommended dish turned out.
The Chinese sausage and waxed meat added a flavourful touch to the rice, which was cooked in the claypot until it was slightly crispy at the bottom. Do note that you may have to wait slightly longer for the claypot rice to be sent to your table, as it takes time to get the right crispy consistency for this dish.
Of salads and seafood
To add a savoury twist to your salad, take your pick from a tasty selection of cold cuts such as smoked salmon and ham slices.
Spot the chef who will be holding up this platter of cold delights, but be prepared to join the queue.
Hitting the sweet spot
There is a good selection of desserts at the "sweet station," and it took me quite a while to decide which ones to scoop up on my plate. Was trying very hard to be good by "choosing my calories" wisely!
Must-try at the dessert station: The ultra fluffy Banana Pound Cake and Blueberry Custard Tart.
Cookies, fruits and fondue
Our favourite picks from this part of the dessert station was the Durian Mousse. Presented in a shooter glass, this was filled with the smooth and creamy flesh of the much-loved King of Fruits.
The ice cream selection was quite basic, with 2 flavours to choose from: chocolate and vanilla.
But on the upside, you can dress up your bowl of ice cream with the sweet and crunchy sprinkles available.
House pours, cocktail & mocktail
To celebrate a wonderful weekend meal with the family, we decided to order some drinks from the bar.
Hubby settled with a pint of Heineken beer ($16++), while my mum-in-law and I asked for their recommended cocktails and mocktails. After much thought, we settled with the Virgin Colada ($10++) and their signature concoction, the Grand Canary (26++), which came with a vodka-soaked lychee on a cocktail pick.
Coffee to wrap up a great meal!
Thoughts on the All-you-can-eat spread
I was extremely satisfied at the end of the night!
At $35++ per person, the All-you-can eat dinner at Open House Restaurant offers great value with amazing food choices. The best thing is that unlike the typical buffet-style setting, most of the food will be prepared upon request - so you'll always have warm food to tuck in to.
Rates for the All-you-can-eat spread at Open House Restaurant are as follows:Lunch: $28++ per person (Inclusive of free parking from 12 noon to 3pm from Mondays to Fridays)
High tea: $28++ per person (Inclusive of free parking from 6pm to 9pm from Mondays to Fridays)
Dinner: $35++ per person
Opening hours:12pm to 2.30pm (Lunch)
3.30pm to 5.30pm (High tea)
6.30pm to 11pm (Dinner)
How to get there
Open House Restaurant is located at:
Grand Park Orchard
270 Orchard Road
Call 6603 8855 or email [email protected]
Getting to the restaurant:
Take the lift to the 4th floor, and walk all the way to the end of the room. Open House Restaurant is located on the left corner of the area.