I spent an entire afternoon productively studying, spent inappropriate amounts of money gorging myself at Starbucks while hitting the books (or, in my case, laptop keys), shopped for snacks at Marks & Spencer, grabbed an Apple wireless keyboard for myself at “discounted” (considering Apple’s price-controlled items, the Capitaland Mall vouchers I used was probably the only way to get it at less wallet-busting prices). It would go down in, well, my history as The Great Singapore Spend.
Little did I know, however, that, as I trudged down to Orchard Cineleisure to try out a recommendation from a friend (who hadn’t tried the restaurant himself but had heard raves about it), the best part of the day was yet to come.
Tucked in a corner in the basement (where Korean BBQ Chicken used to be), Javier’s Rotisserie and Salad Bar offers the best bang for the buck I’ve had in a while.
The concept is simple: buy one of their meat dishes and get to load up the large platter the meat comes on at the all-you-can-stack-up salad bar.
I had a roast half chicken (priced reasonably at S$18+; a quarter chicken was only S$12+, if memory serves) and, as you can see from the photo above, I shoved a boatload of greens, pasta salad and assorted fried goodies onto my sizeable plate. Oh, and some slices of fruit too.
The chicken, which came in mushroom sauce, was decent, if not astoundingly gastrogasmic. The meat was tender and, while a tad bland, complimented well with the sauce and, for its price, the serving was generous. The salad bar, arguably the bigger star to me, was just amazing, with an impressive amount of vegetables (both raw and cooked), potatoes, salads, fruits, toppings and sauces, all of which were of reasonably high qualities and freshness.
While not Michelin-star level (although, to be fair, I’ve never visited any restaurant of this range that made me burst forth in tears of gastrojoy), the food was a fair cut above other similarly-priced restaurants (definitely a notch above Swenson’s, to say the least), and, at those prices (with a bottle of root beer, the bill only came to slightly over S$20 and was free of taxes!), a pretty good bang-for-the-buck. Although the salad bar wasn’t buffet-style refillable, the plate they provided was humongous enough to prove more than sufficient, especially for enterprising Singaporeans honed on a lifetime of squeezing as much food during a free-for-all on to their plates as possible.
(To top the entire day off, I had dessert just next door at Red Mango at *Scape. When it comes to froyo, I’ll always have space for it in my stomach.)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Javier’s Rotisserie & Salad Bar
Address: 8 Grange Road, #B1-03/04/05/K4 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, Singapore
Tel: +65 6235 6092
Sun–Thu: 11.30am – 10pm
Fri–Sat: 11.30am – 11pm