I came I saw I conquer

Puzzle at Pullman - Japanese Themed Weekend Buffet

Lately, among a group of people I know, there has been a return to traditional gaming, board games. Or more precisely, one board game in particular, Risk! Risk the strategic board game has been around since 1957. Created by a French film director, the objective of the game is world domination.

Unlike Brain and Pinky, playing Risk will allow one player to actually succeed in conquering the world but he would have to go through a few other players to make it happen.  This is done through strategic plays, alliances and the occasional back stabbing and of course, pure dumb luck. But this is the reason why this game has stood the test of time and has lasted through to this age of computer gaming.

A common strategy in to conquer and hold on to certain continents to get the extra troops it provides. These continents usually are Australia and South America just because they are easier to take over and defend. Unfortunately, they also bring in the least amount of troops.  Other continents like Asia, Europe and North America provides more armies but is generally harder to hold on to.

While the rules of Risk do not endorse or prohibit alliances, I find this one of the key components of making this game fun. This is also one of the reasons why Risk games turn into arguments. This is due to the inevitable backstabbing. After all only 1 person is allowed to win the game.

You can also treat a buffet like a game of risk. Instead of world domination, it is smorgasbord domination!  The immortal words of Julius Caesar applies to both as well, I came I saw I conquer. Like Risk, you would try to conquer different ‘continents’ as well, first the appetizers, then the different mains and finally the desserts section.

The target for today is Puzzle’s Japanese Themed Weekend Buffet. Puzzle is Pullman’s own all day dining restaurant and like all other hotels, has a buffet. It is usually the standard buffet we come to know and expect from a high end hotel chain like Pullman. However on the weekends (Friday and Saturday) they have themed buffets. On Friday it is the Marketplace theme and on Saturday it is the Japanese Themed Weekend Buffet. The buffet is from 6:30pm to 10:00pm and costs RM89++ per adult, RM39++ per child.

The first thing you notice is that it is definitely a Japanese THEMED buffet, meaning while Japanese food does get top billing and has a larger showing, it isn’t the only cuisine available on the night. Western and local fare was available at the main buffet line. In fact, I did notice as the night wore on, there was even Rojak being served.

But the star of the show was definitely Japanese cuisine. They have a sushi and sashimi station, ramen station, a yakitori station and even an okonomiyaki station. As a sushi lover, the first thing you will notice would be the freshness of their fish and it was fresh. The salmon and tuna were absolutely delicious. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer it as a sashimi, part of a sushi or even in a maki roll, this will definitely be something akin to Asia in a Risk game. Everyone will be fighting over it and it will gives out the best goodies. However, stay away from the octopus. While it is fresh, the cut was just too big and made the octopus too much rubbery.

Other notable mentions include the okonomiyaki, which was definitely a plus point. The various cute Japanese themed appetizers were also good and were all eye candy as well. I didn’t have the ramen as I was too busy munching down sushi but other diners said it was good as well.

Some of the mains however were a little bit more disappointing. One of the thing they had there was a beef dish where the beef was more akin to leather or some other shoe lining. The lamb stew was definitely better but wasn’t anything to shout about. In any case, this is a JAPANESE themed buffet, so it is better to stick with the makis and sashimi.

The desserts were good but to be honest, I was feeling pretty full by then and only had some of the cakes and ice cream and the obligatory trip to the chocolate fountain.

There is also another bigger disappointment as well during this buffet. It was the drinks. For some reason, they only served plain water and the usual hot beverages. Missing was the juices. Come on Pullman, nothing sweet and cold for me to wash down all these nice food? Maybe it was an oversight, maybe it was the supplier’s mistake. I don’t know. But for an establishment like this, it definitely felt wrong.

Overall this is still a decent buffet and if you are able to continuously raid the sushi and sashimi station, you will definitely be conquering this smorgasbord.


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