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Marina District, Singapore
The restaurant is decked out in light wood and accented with pops of blue; and there is an underwater theme to its choice of decor, as is fitting of its name. The buffet selection is spread out across three areas, with plenty of space for diners to manoeuvre. It is extremely spacious, which makes this an ideal place for a large gathering. Tables are well spaced out, and the seats indoors all offer easy access to the buffet. There are also tables set up in the foyer outside the restaurant. These are further from the buffet spread and not as comfortable—ask for a table indoors if possible.
AquaMarine presents a spread of international dishes, with a selection that leans towards Asian flavours. The highlight is without a doubt the seafood section, which sees the likes of Alaskan king crab, tiger prawns, yabbies, fresh scallops, oysters and smoked salmon, all presented on beds of crushed ice. While it is tempting to eat your fill of seafood, save space for the hot foods section, for that is where AquaMarine’s strength lies.
We recommend the nasi goreng istimewa, baked fish fillet with homemade sambal and the chef’s special chicken, which is an Indonesian-inspired rotisserie chicken served with sambal and kecap manis.
The buffet continues to impress with local dishes like DIY kueh pie tee—the accompanying chilli sauce is punchy and delicious, tender and smoky satay served with a luscious peanut dipping sauce, and deep-fried chicken ngoh hiang.
The chefs’ forte for Asian flavours extends to the dessert buffet. Do not miss AquaMarine’s signature durian pengat, a sweetened puree made from fresh fruit, as well as the durian mousse cake, which sees a rich durian mousse layered atop soft sponge cake. Make sure you end the meal with the selection of Malay kueh-kuehs—both the kueh salat and kueh dadar stand out for both flavour and texture.
The wine list is extremely compact, with only a handful of wines available by the glass. As AquaMarine is a Halal-certified restaurant, they are not allowed to serve wines by the bottle. There is also a selection of beers and cocktails that you can order off the atrium lounge menu. We suggest sticking to the complimentary tea and coffee that come with the buffet.
Service is brisk and efficient, if a little detached. Our water was topped up regularly, our plates cleared within seconds of us setting it aside, and the service staff conscientiously remembered our request for a menu despite the restaurant being packed at that time.
Dinner for two, without alcohol, costs $140, which works out to $70 a person.