The Mother of All Buffets : Todai, Marina Bay Sands

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We had wanted to wait till our Seoul trip to try Todai but my cravings for king crab was to the brim. It was curiosity and spurred by certain events, the stars aligned and I was going to Marina Bay Sands.

The decor made you feel as though you are eating under the sea.

There were no difference in menus for lunch and dinner on weekends and public holidays. This was going to be a full buffet during lunch.

Studying my eating patterns, I have noticed that my appetite grows tremendously during lunch so this was the best time to get the best out of my money’s worth.

At SGD 64 ++, this was no cheap buffet to attend.

Many have asked me why when I take photographs, the place looks deserted. My answer is usually : perspective, composition and timing.

When you arrive at Todai, you will be ushered to your table. The table for two is quite cramped and for those of you who plan to bring tons of plates back, you may be surprised to only fit about 3 to 4 plates.

As you read thru this post, you will notice that the food presentation is pretty good. The place is spotless clean and the staff clean your table almost like clockwork. When you get up to get more food, you return finding your plate taken.

Todai serves a fusion of Asian and Western cuisine. My strategy for Todai was very simple : Crabs, Alaskan King Crab and Snow Crabs.

I am sure many of you who follow my blog will recall my feast of king crab legs in Seattle. After that, all I have been recommending and talking about when it comes to crabs were Alaskan King Crab, the deadliest catch.

Red crab legs

Todai did a good job of pacing the supply of crabs. Most of the thin legs you see belong to the snow crab. The thicker spikier King Crabs were released on the sides slowly and in limited numbers. I had eaten a few snow crab legs before I spotted the new supply of king crabs. From then on, it was king crabs all the way. Do take the special crab scissors provided to help with cutting the soft crab shells.

I ate so much crab. If you wanted to count, I would say up to a dozen legs were eaten. Succulent and juicy. The only thing missing was hot melter butter. The crab legs are cold and best to be eaten first before you tackle the hot dishes. You will make a mess of your table.

I had so much that I started to walk sideways and the table next to me started to stare. I had that much. Please do not talk crab to me for th next few weeks. If I priced my crab costings based on the costs I had in Seattle, I would say I ate a total of around USD150 worth. Buffet business owners, beware Chasing320 and his bottomless gut.

Snow Crab legs

To identify king crab, look out for spiky legs. A good size is 2 feet long.

Fresh Oysters

Besides crab legs, feast on the oysters. These oysters are fresh and you can slurp it down with the lemon and tabasco that comes with it.

The mussels were dry and chewy but also worth the price you pay. Do enjoy.

This is the result of easy cutting work. Strips filled with juicy crab meat. If you are lucky enough, and skilful, you can cut the shell and with one pull, masterfully remove the shell and reveal just the crab meat.

The beauty of crab meat is that it is very light and I had space for more food after my 10th crab leg.

I spent quite some time taking photos as well as eating. I was probably the only guy with a camera walking around taking photos. Weirdo.

Clams

Fresh octopus is chewy and tangy. Wash it down with good soy sauce and wasabi.

Fried broccoli.

Okay, some vegetables. I truly avoid them as they take up so much space in your stomach. You have so many other meals to eat healthily. A buffet is for sinful indulgence for oral satisfaction. Buffets are for an orgasm of the taste buds. If you want to eat healthily, please go to a salad bar.

I must say, the food portions served at Todai are pretty manageable for buffet standards. Portions are small. The shisamo above was delightful and I took just a stick.

Chillied mussels.

Do try the fish and egg wrapped in bacon. It looks normal but when you stuff it into your mouth, this bite size morning breakfast will be a reminder when you crave for a good hearty morning meal.

There is a variety of sushi available. Unfortunately, all rice based and the last thing I wanted was to fill up on rice. So I skipped the merry bunch.

But not before taking photos. They do look yummy. So tempting.

Sashimi salmon was fresh and they melt in your mouth. The Japanese chefs kept a good job at keeping the supply going.

Enjoy your meats. Sliced beef and sausages for your choice.

If you asked me, I would say that the meats in Todai is a hit and miss. Some are overcooked or left simmering in the heated trays hence becoming tough and dry.

Meat being marinated before cooking on the skewer.

There are a few unique salads here in Todai. I recall the beef salad and salmon salad.

Chinese food is a plenty here as well.

This one was enjoyable. Baby octopus and scallops. You need to know which to pick. Some of them are yams but I managed to get some scallops. This one was worth going back to get more.

Salted dried pollack marinated Korean style. It was a bit salty and just take a few strands.

Fried garlic, one of the healthy healing foods promoted by Todai.

More kimchi.

Beef salad

Fresh fish cooked in soy sauce.

Most of us think that tuna is used to make mashed fish with vegetables. But this one was mashed salmon. It was very luxurious.

The salmon served at Todai is very fresh. I do not like fish but these pass my standards.

The teriyaki chicken is probably the best non-crab dish I tasted. The sauce is lavish and the flavours blend well.

Teriyaki beef was tough and chewy. It probably spent too long a time on the heating pan.

One of the top attractions for this month is the Ginseng Abalone Chicken soup. The ginseng is light hence the lack of bitterness in the soup. Add salt for your own flavours as this soup does not come with salt.

Seedless grapes were provided.

The desserts variety is acceptable. The macaroons are a bit on the sweet side.

Blueberry pudding.

The blueberry budding tasted more yoghurt than pudding.

Green tea swill roll

Green tea flavour is very strong and it is a good thing. I do not like the weak flavours in cakes. Weak flavours make the cake seem cheap.

Strawberry swiss roll.

Chocolate fudge.

Banana Cheescake

Mango cheesecake

Strawberry mousse cake.

I have noticed that everything strawberry at Todai has a strong powerful flavour. Strawberry desserts are my favourite flavours so I may be biased.

Yeah, the fondue is a bit drippy but that’s what you get at a buffet.

Cream puff

The cream puffs were okay. There is not much cream.

Many Korean stars have been to Todai.

Todai is located at Marina Bay Sands. From the front entrance, head to the promenade. Then turn left and walk by the Ferrari shop and head to the end. You will spot Todai on the lowest floor.

Being August, I managed to get 10% off from the total bill. SGD135 was the grand total for the both of us. I had a torrid time in the evening trying to figure out what to eat. I had a lot of food.

The final verdict : To be real honest, there are many other buffets that cost less and have higher quality and variety. The only reason why I dined here was because of the crab legs. If you are not a crab person, skip Todai and head on over to BuffetTown in City Hall or Oscar’s at Marina Square.

We arrived at 1245pm and left at 3pm sharp.

SGD64++ for weekend lunch. Do visit their site for promotions and rates.

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