It was just a few evenings back that I feasted happily on kilograms of seafood and meat at The Pines Marche Buffet Dinner, all for the fair price of RM88++/pax.
It is in my personal opinion one of the best dinner buffet options in Melaka** (in Melaka, not KL) right now, considering that you are served unlimited amount of FRESH US oysters, a key selling point of this buffet, as I was informed that other buffets (in Melaka) offers frozen ones.
Well, I find the oysters plump enough and was indeed in unlimited amount that evening so oyster fans would be happy campers here.
The oysters are shucked on the spot too, so you are assured of non-contamination.
Subsequent to my meal, I posted a rather alluring image showing me digging into a mountain of fresh seafood on ice and I captioned my post with a long list of other delicious food that is part of this Marche buffet.
I was instantly bombarded with comments, private messages and queries about the buffet from Singaporean and Malaysian friends/readers.
The interest is justifiable of course, for RM88++ is merely SGD30 or RM102.
One would be hard-pressed to find a buffet with free-flow fresh oysters as well as generous cuts of Australian lamb and beef, not to mention the myriad of seafood for that price.
Now I have to forthright here.
There will always be hits and misses in a buffet. But that is precisely what a buffet offers; variety in unlimited quantities and thus diners can feast on what caught their fancy, and ignore those they don’t care for.
For The Oak’s Marche buffet, what I personally enjoyed was the fresh oysters and the seafood on ice as well as the grill section.
The scallops were as not plump as per my preference, but the prawns were alright. I was lazy to get my fingers dirty with the flower crabs the but I saw the other guests attacking them with gusto so that is a positive indication for the crabs.
There were more prawns over at the grill which was sweet and fresh so I opted for that instead. 2 marination of lamb means one could enjoy more lamb, but with different flavour profile.
There was one beef option, chicken wings, squids, prawns and thick, tender skewers of satay.
I was pleasantly surprised with the satay since the standard of most hotel satay can be scrawny and overcooked.
Even the peanut gravy was a nutty and thick thus it was a delight to savour.
For the meats, I did repetitively expressed my preference of “medium rare” to the cook in charge of the grill so all my meats turned out juicy.
I would suggest that you do the same, else you might find your meats overcooked or dry.
So to answer the burning question – is the Marche Buffet at The Pines Melaka worth the price?
Well, take this quiz first. If you answer YES to 2 out of the 3 questions below, then the Marche Buffet is for you.
1. Do you eat a lot?
2. Can you eat more than 10 oysters in 3 hours?
3. Do you enjoy grilled lamb, prawns and seafood and are able to digest copious amount of it in one meal?
Other than the live grill, seafood on ice and oysters, I would personally recommend the wok station where you can select fresh vegetables and mushrooms and have the chef cook it for you in varied tastes – (1) spicy, (2) with oyster sauce or (3) non-spicy.
I’m not a fan of the rest of the buffet spread. After all, if I could have oysters, freshly grilled meats and seafood, why would I want to eat tofu, broccoli and fried noodles?
But that is again, a personal preference.
Like I’ve said, buffets are popular for the very reason that there are choices for everyone. You are most welcome to feast on everything on the spread!
Lamb – too dry to recommend.
These bouncy, soft squids were a delight though.
Soups and breads.
Salad, cold cuts and some appetisers.
As you can see from the above, the rest of the spread is modest.
Hence this buffet would suit those who enjoy grilled meats, fresh seafood and oysters, as that would be the sections that I’ll personal recommend.
Next, what’s for dessert?
Though I’m a dessert fan, I didn’t see any dessert that caught my interest so I skipped desserts entirely.
The fruits selection was decent and I had a big bowl of ais kacang to end my meal.
There were unlimited ice cream as well, though not the type I would eat.
The buffet price includes free-flow of soft drinks and these unique made-in-Melaka carbonated drinks, which is quite nostalgic and can be a new experience for those who have not drank these before.
Try all the available flavours if you can!
Otherwise, there is a DIY drink dispenser machine for caffeine beverages.
**The Oak Restaurant does not serve pork or alcohol on its menu and it is in the midst of obtaining the JAKIM halal certificate.
So there you have it, the most talked of buffet in Melaka now.
If you like what you see above, make your reservations via +60 6-240 2323.
Marche Dinner @ The Oak, The Pines Hotel Melaka.
RM88++ /pax, 50% off Sr Citizens/Child.
Available only on Friday and Saturday.
Hours: 6.30 – 10.30pm
The Pines Melaka
33, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang,
Tel: +60 6-240 2323