Your best guide to buffets

Malaysians love their food. While you can find the best satay or the best Nasi Lemak in certain places, there is never a better place to savour all the best of Malaysian food in buffets. But before you jump into the sea of dishes spread in any hotel, check out what our experts have to say.

Not all buffets are created equal

Something that you must take note of is that not all buffets are the same. You might be paying a lot more than another for the same type of food. But whether you get Nasi Lemak or fried lobsters, a few conditions you must take into consideration.

  1. Location – where is this place and what is the establishment known for
  2. Price – perhaps the most important question to many
  3. Type of foods – Some buffets are mostly seafood while some might have a variety of cuisines

Terms used

There are different types of terms used when it comes to buffets. As you might imagine, the word buffet gives you the impression that you get to really eat. Basically, you might come across the following:

  1. All you can eat – Used interchangeably with buffets. It simply means that there will be a lot of dishes for you to choose from. The amount that you can take can be limitless. However, there are some establishments where they offer ‘All you can eat’ but you will need to order the dishes and not take them from a spread. This helps the restaurant to control output of dishes.
  2. Buffet – if you are going the establishment for a ‘buffet’, then this is what you really get. A spread of different types of foods placed on the spread like a ‘Chap Fan’ stall. In most cases, you get a few types of cuisine (like Malay, Chinese and Indian). Most buffets are offered for dinners
  3. High Tea – This is actually a stripped down version of a buffet. High tea is commonly held for lunch. The mechanics are the same as a buffet where you get to take all types of dishes. When you go for High Tea, you can have a good and full meal but it usually comes with more snacks like pastries and cakes. Some people attend High Tea to have a light lunch meal

Is price everything?

The rule of thumb, when it comes to buffets is that they would be close to RM100 per person or slightly more. What affects the pricing you might ask?

  1. Establishment – If you are going for buffet in a 5-star hotel, the price would surely be above RM100 per person. Lower-rated hotels or restaurants would be cheaper for sure. Most buffets are held at hotels which is why you will most likely be paying this amount
  2. Cuisine – In most cases, buffets are classified as ‘International’. This means that you will get mostly continental food. However, there are some which come with ‘Local and International’ classifications where you will surely enjoy a bit of both worlds. There are some very specialized ones like ‘Dim Sum Buffet’ or ‘Seafood Buffet’ which as the names imply, would primarily serve the mentioned cuisine. Some establishments tend to offer unique dishes which are only available in Malaysia.

Affordable Buffets

Enjoying your food is important but paying over-the-market prices won’t be. You should not be paying such exorbitant fees to enjoy a buffet. The best way to get a discount is to check for online deals where there will always be discounts and promotions. Always check the date for your purchase before committing as they might be available only on certain days.
On the other hand, check out the hotel’s website for any ongoing promotion like (Chinese New Year offers, Christmas Buffets) where you might enjoy a discount or two. Because of the many misconceptions that hotel buffets are very costly, many establishments have since given our promotions like ‘Buy 1 Free 1’ or ‘Kids eat for free’ to attract more customers.


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