Zhou's Kitchen @ Jurong Point

An early birthday-celebration (for my mum) and year-end 'do one fine December Tuesday evening led us to the opposite side of the island, to Zhou's Kitchen @ Jurong Point. It was a Buffet Dinner, so don't expect any pretty-plated-snaps. This would be the second time we are eating at a Zhou's restaurant [PEEP] and knowing now that Zhou's is a part of the Tung Lok Group (catering to the mid-level range of diners with their "Casual Chinese Dinner" concept), heightened my taste-expectations. So did they measure up? Read on!

We weren't always Eastside-folk, with decades back being a Teban Gardens-boy myself ... but the maze that was Jurong Point left me with sore feets. Luckily there were decent eats to be had. A line had already formed near to 6pm, before the restaurant opened! Best time to eat is before the crowd at 7pm. If you're lucky, folks would actually queue for their food.

Before we head on to the buffet-spread actual (which I do not have any snaps of), let's start with the "freebies" aka "complimentary" dishes. Because we were a table of five, we had us a couple of (non-ordered) dishes served to us. One of which was a plate of Salmon Fish Head Curry. The salmon was a tad tough, the gravy was starchy-bland, with a hint of chilli. CAN DON'T EAT.

Another complimentary-dish was a pot of yummish-Soup (whose name escaped me), featuring fried salmon pieces boiled within (Looks like tis salmon-week at Zhou's, innit? HAH). Moderately tasty when hot, insipid when cold. CAN EAT.

One of the buffet items was (Braised?) Sharksfin Soup. The orangy color left no trace of flavor, as the chopped chives and vingar saved the otherwise bland soup. CAN EAT-ish.

Presenting a plate of deep-fried-cholestral goodness ("Cholestral" be my close-buddy ~ *pats-belly*) but nevertheless uber-yummy! Of note were the unfortunate (quasi)-over-fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Deep Fried Siew Mai with Black Pepper. I could imagine them pretty yummy if not for over-frying, IMHT.

Second helpings of deep fried goodness (no, thy belly ain't gonna be going down anytime soon HAH), with a wannabe touch of condimental-decoration (*cough*). On-far-left are Deep Fried Chives-thingies (CANNOT EAT) while on the far-right were limp Char Siew and Roast Pork pieces. (CAN DON'T EAT). The Steamed Siew Mai was pretty tasty tho! CAN EAT.

Suddenly, a queue formed alongside the buffet-line ... for what, we know not. But of course, mum had to go take a recce-peep (as mums do hurhur ;p). And mum came back with a plate of fresh-from-kitchen Chilli Crabs and a plate of Deep Fried Man-Tous (for dipping into the sauce with)! So that was what the queue was for! So orderly, us Singaporeans :)

As for the crabs, I wouldn't know how good it tasted, as by the time I dug in, it was already "Cold Crab" ~ although the crab-meat did taste tangy-fresh. The chilli was unadventurous (not that I'm a partaker of spicy-stuff) and well-starchy. CAN DON'T EAT.

I am not a big red-meats person (blame my current dentist-forsaken mangled teeth) but I do enjoy a decent Beef Brisket Stew (just the fats please) and this was pretty nom-worthy. The braised radish wasn't too bad either. CAN EAT.

The Prawn-Paste Fried Chicken was similarly tasty, with a good crisp, although the taste was nothing out of the extra-ordinary, but good still. CAN EAT.

Discovered an old favourite: Deep Fried Eggplant! Salty to the taste, but the garlicy-goodness and it's crunchy crispy-batter stood out and was pretty addictive to the bite, at least for me. Although they were pretty oily to begin with. MUST EAT.

Yes, I had seconds. Hot piping (fresh off the wok, these) Deep Fried Eggplant with cold Thousand Island Dressing is to die for. MUST EAT.

What is not shown (because I did not get them) were the usual Fried Rice, Mee-Tai-Muk, Vegetables, Chicken etc aka regular Buffet Food. Perhaps it may suit your palate, but I'd rather try something new-ish, if not more "unique".

The Dessert Section of the Buffet saw Ice-Cream cups, Cut Fruits and a selection of petite cakes, and pudding! The Mango-pudding was pretty good ~ a chill comfort to an after-dinner experience, silky-smooth to the swallow. Am sure the red is some jam/strawberry-thingie, but I couldn't really taste it beyond the mango ~ Noice. MUST EAT.

Another pudding-flavor was Pandan ~ with some flavorless pearly-bits (sago?) which added an interesting taste-texture, but nothing to swoon over about. As pleasant as the taste of Pandan was (which was not too over-powering), it reminded me of toothpaste (not in a rancid-bad-way tho). CAN EAT lar...

And what do mums do when they hear their children like particular food? They go get more! Top-Left-to-Right: Mango (yumz), Soya Bean Curd (super-yumz!), Chai-Yen (why bother, really?)

Bottom-Left-to-Right: Pandan, Pandan and ... I don't know what that was. Most probably utilitarian Agar-Agar, but I am not sure ... and as always, we would polish off the extra-helpings of dessert mum brings ~ WHACK AH!

I suspect the redish-agar agar (hard jelly/jello?) was dragon-fruit flavored, while the bottom-right pieces were probably waterchest-nut agar agar. CAN DON'T EAT lar.

What was a surprise, were the petite Tiramisu Cakes (top-left) ~ YUMMY! Not too rich, while retaining a lush flavor. I would've grabbed more but for the empty plate at the buffet table. MUST EAT.

Another surprise for the night were their Cupcakes! The color and toppings (candy-red and white, and chocolate) looked a tad drab compared to the other desserts' presentation, but I have to say it was pretty darn yummy!

Very dense, and moist within, tho not as hard as a muffin, nor fluffy like a sponge-cake, with a decent buttery flavor that lingered a bit. Have it with a cuppa cappucino (free flow at the buffet line, including sodas et al) ... and I really wouldn't mind having one right now, even! CAN EAT.

WHERE: Zhou's Kitchen (http://www.zhouskitchen.com/)
63 Jurong West Central
#03-28 Jurong Point Shopping Centre
Singapore 648331

Tel: +65 6363 1123 (It would do you good to reserve a spot)
Fax: +65 6790 1607

Opening Hours:
Lunch: 11:30AM – 2:30PM
Hi-Tea: 2:45PM - 5:00PM
Dinner: 6:00PM - 10:30PM


AMBIENCE: Tight packed double-level seating-space, while the Buffet-line remained spacious to a certain extent. Nice decor (although the harsh green wall did not appeal to me greatly). Similar to their Novena Square 2 setting, the mood spot-lighting cast a decidedly cosy atmos, but for the wet-market-loud noise from noisey diners. And we were no exception! Hahaha

Perhaps during their less-packed periods, it may well be decent place to grab quiet eats, although somehow I do not expect this outlet to be not-packed.

SERVICE: Exceptional! Super-friendly staff, quick to replace soiled-plates, and cater to questions. The floor managers carried a smile with them consistently (not that I was staring hard tho). And the waitress who helped take a family-photo of us, had the aesthetic-sense to give us ample headroom in the photo! Well done!

VERDICT: A tad disappointing a taste-experience, but still decent eats nevertheless ~ CAN EAT.


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