Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Jackpot K Review: $37.90 No-Frills Value Seafood Buffet




I'm a huge oyster fan, so when I read that there was a Korean BBQ place with unlimited servings of oysters, I knew I had to try it out for myself.

I wasn't expecting too much initially, as I didn't think anything "unlimited" could be of good quality, much less fresh. When I searched for more online reviews before heading down to the place, most of the diners who reviewed Jackpot K mentioned that while some of the seafood were fresh, the meats were forgettable, the Korean fried chicken was bland, and that the service was terrible. 

At $37.90, Jackpot K is slightly more expensive than other Korean BBQ places (I'm KIM at SOTA is only about $21.90 per adult), but that's because it has a few unique offerings that the rest of its competitors lack. On top of the regular marinated meats - ribeye steak, pork belly, lamb chop, chicken, etc - the grill also comes with cheese and scrambled eggs for you to dip your meat into. In addition, you can order side dishes of fresh oysters, salmon sashimi, chilli crab and Korean fried chicken from the bar. There's also free-flow orange juice and decent ice-cream for dessert after you're done.



Location

The place was quite easy to spot, as it is located right in the middle of the first floor of Golden Mile Complex. You won't be able to miss it once you're in the shopping mall.

The indoor seating area was full, so they set up extra tables outside for us instead. I was concerned that it'll be hot and stuffy, but the ventilation and (weak) mall air-conditioning made the dining experience still relatively pleasant. A female server set up the grill for us which included scrambled eggs, together with nacho and sliced grated cheese.

My hair distinctly smelled of Korean BBQ after we were done, though, but that's a small pice to pay for the fantastic meal I had.

Side Dishes



The raw and plump oysters were a joy to slurp up from its shell. They were extremely fresh, smelled and tasted like the sea. The salmon sashimi, on the other end, weren't as good as the usual fare I get from Japanese eateries. While I appreciated that the sashimi was sliced to order, the colour and taste was dull, with some greyish sections. 

You can only get the side dishes by ordering at the bar, so do be prepared to wait, especially since the raw seafood is only prepared upon ordering. 



While we had multiple rounds of the raw seafood dishes, one serving each of the cooked dishes were enough for us. I really liked the sauce that accompanied the Korean fried chicken, but the online reviews weren't kidding when they said the batter was quite bland.  

The chilli crab wasn't too bad, but I've tasted better. They used flower crabs instead of your regular mud crabs, so there is slightly less meat (especially in the legs and pincers, which are my favourite part). The gravy was sweet, spicy and slightly diluted. While I saw some customers ordering bowls of white rice to eat the gravy with, I didn't feel like the dish was deserving of the extra calories I would be ingesting.

The Buffet Selection



The selection of seafood was quite extensive - it included tiger prawns, crayfish, mussels, scallops, shellfish, abalone slices and sotong. I absolutely loved the crayfish, prawns and abalone slices, which were fresh and chewy. For meats, you could choose from beef, chicken, pork and even lamb chops. The marinated meats didn't make too much of an impression on me, save for the marinated ribeye steak and the sliced pork belly.

To balance your meal with some greens, I recommend wrapping your meats in the lettuce leaves provided, just like how the Koreans eat it. I added cheese and egg into the wraps and they turned out extremely delish. 



Drinks included a choice of (diluted) orange juice or their selection of soft drinks in the fridge. For beer-drinkers, you would need to add an extra fee per bottle. Once we were full and satisfied, we shared the matcha, chocolate chip and raspberry ice-cream, which were surprisingly better than I expected. Matcha-lovers will surely not be disappointed with its quality.

Service

There were about 3 servers looking after our crowd of 36, so there was some waiting time involved, especially for ordering the side dishes. However, while some people have complained about the lousy service when they visited, I actually found the servers to be quite friendly and helpful while we were there. Our main server was a young and pretty female who looked to be in her late 20s - 30s, and she always had a smile for us whenever we had to ask her for something. The other male servers were also quick to come over whenever we raised our hand, and one even helped us with deshelling the crayfish when he saw how many we unwittingly destroyed (oops)!

At some buffet places, the servers may shoot you an evil eye if you end up ordering too much of the (better / more expensive) dishes, so I was expecting the same for the oysters and sashimi, but nothing of that sort happened. None of the servers made me feel bad about ordering 3 rounds of oysters and salmon, and no one pressured us to leave or eat quickly either - we were free to stay for as long as we wanted. After about 1.5 hours, we had our fill and left as satisfied diners.



I indulge in buffets only a few times each year, but this is one place I'll definitely be coming back to!

대박 JACKPOT K SEAFOOD & CHEESE BBQ BUFFET
Located at: 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 199588
Price: $37.90

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