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Home / Chinese Cuisine / Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu – Can’t be beaten for value!
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Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu – Can’t be beaten for value!
By Alfred September 21, 2009
Readers' Rating
(23 rated)
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Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu – Can’t be beaten for value!
Fast Facts
Buffet Steamboat
Chinese Cuisine
Price Range:
S$21- S$30
Rating Range:
8 to 8.9
Food Centre:
Recommended For:
Reviewed by:

I hated buffets when I was younger. For me, buffet is one of those eating places where you walk away after a meal feeling very uncomfortable.

Theoritically, when you walk into a buffet place, you’re placing a bet. You bet that you can consume more in value for the price to be paid. You either can consume more or you can’t. So you either lose the bet or you win the bet.

Therefore we’ll try to beat the house right? That’s the beginning of a nightmare. More often than not, you can beat the odds albeit with a price. And the price is you’re going to be feeling so lousy until it can make you avoid that place for a long long time.

My first buffet was at one of those steamboat places in kopitiams where you get to whack the many kinds of balls(meat, sotong etc), seafood and all kinds of vegetables for just $10. Then during my teen years, the Marina area became popular with grilled buffets for also $10. It’s about the same time that places like Seoul Garden started to become popular.

But as with many other things that you get overdosed with, you dread the side effect and try to run away from it. It’s only when I started visiting different kinds of buffets like Dim Sum buffets or International buffets that my interest was renewed.

I mean some buffets, you pay for very little and you get to whack those very common food while others, you pay premium price but you get to whack premium food and in the latter, it can means that you don’t really need to stuff yourself silly with junks to get your time and money worth. You can eat all the premium food moderately(more like food tasting) and you still can score a home run.

Sakura BBQ pit

Yakitori bacon with mushrooms, scallops


Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu at Punggol Marina is one of such places. Forget about the fact that there are more than 300 items in the spread. Forget about the fact that there are at least 50 kinds of desserts. Forget about the fact that there are at least 15 types of ice creams. The truth is for $26+(28+ for weekend), even if you are to just concentrate on the Yakitori corner which boasts something like 30 types, even if you are to just eat one of each type, you are sure to get your money worth already.

Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu is no different from Seoul Garden in terms of cooking style except that in Sakura, you get to grill in charcoal and you get a ‘full sized’ steamboat.

In the spread, you get all kinds of good and fresh seafood like gong gong, half shelf scallops/mussels, prawns, crabs, different kinds of fish slices and all kinds of seashells. Around 30 types of marinated meat and there is even raw Bak Gua!

Meatballs, tofu, dumplings, crabstick

Marinated meat

Prawns, crabs, mussels, gong gong, scallops

Salmon and other fish slices

Sausages, hams

Then there is the Yong Tao Fu section where there must be at the very least 80 items. You have the common salad bar and the vegetables corner for your fibre fix. You have a choice of 30 types of sauces. All kinds of noodles. And I’m going to tell you the best part… which is a $10 rebate for every customer!! You have $10 out of your $26+ to spend inside Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu for things like drinks, all kinds of live seafood and premium meat.

BBQing meat

Bak Gua!

BBQing seafood

Chilli sauces

Prawns, lots of roe!

Drinks are going for something like $1.50 per can and so you can really end up with quite a bit to pop over to grab some live crabs(2 medium sized crabs for only $12!), live fishes or live prawns(100g for $3) for your grill. For premium meat, you get all kinds of exotic meat like crocodile meat, Angus beef and Wagyu beef. Yes! You didn’t read that wrongly, it is WAGYU!

Mushrooms loaded steamboat!

Seafood spread area

Meat spread area

Dining area

Wagyu beef 200g!

We were left with $16 after drinks and got ourselves 2 pieces of nice wagyu beef which was about 100g each. Not sure what kind of grade it was but absolutely shiokadodo delicious! It tasted very much like Beef Ice Cream, with the kind of tenderness that seems to be very keen to melt in your mouth! Shiokadodo x 10!

For $26+, this is the steal of the decade for me. No buffets I’ve eaten in the past can come close to this in terms of value. If you are ever going to organise a BBQ, save the trouble, just collect all the money and bring your friends here. No amount of money you can collect for your BBQ session can produce a spread of more than 300 stupendous items!

Price: $26+($28+ for weekends)

Conclusion: Not sure how this can be beaten in terms of value. Theoritically you’re only paying $16+ for more than 300 items. You can buy $10 worth of drinks if you need to drink a lot when eating steamboats. This alone can already beat many other buffets hands down since drinks are what that will always ++++ to your buffet bills until quite high. Seafood are really fresh. Meat are marinated in different styles. Yakitori corner wow me to no ends. Eating Wagyu beef for the first time at a buffet chain sounds rather unorthodox but nonetheless very enjoyable, especially when you get to grill it yourself. Just remember to keep some space in you for the desserts ok? I only had enough space for a scoup of the Green Tea ice cream. I can’t even find any space for a spoonful of my favourite dessert Orh Nee! If you like fresh fishballs, they even have a staff that would make for you on the spot from fish paste! I just wish the table was big enough for me to put 30 kinds of sauces on it. This is a buffet that seems to be created for the Sultan and you can be one for just $26+.

Likes: So many types of sauces. So many types of ice creams. So many types of everything.

Dislikes: Table is too small. Would be good if they can allow part of the rebates to be used at another visit.

There are so many buffets in Singapore
That create some kind of makan lore
But after putting time and money to explore
It turned out that most are infact quite a bore

Buffets are not just about heading into a restoran
And start filling up yourself with junkies all you want
Or getting your value worth until you dare to taunt
For the uncomfortability that comes with it will forever haunt

Sakura will show you what’s a fantastic deal
You pay $26 per head but $10 you can steal
Wagyu beef to go along too with your buffet meal
Is the reason why the value is indeed very real

So what are you waiting for, if you really care
You can’t get far when on this post you still stare
Go make a reservation and tell them you’ll be there
And be served like a SULTAN tonight in a Sakura chair

Address Overall Rating

Sakura Charcoal Grilled & Shabu Shabu
600 Ponggol Seventeenth Ave
Marina Country Club
Tel: 6385 8197
Mon-Fri: 5pm-10pm
Sat/Sun/PH/PH Eve: 11.30am-4.30pm, 5pm-10.30pm

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

8.25/10 ★★★★★★★★¼☆ 


Readers' Comment(s) : 13
James says:

Wow in this the one by the sea?

Posted September 22, 2009
Lovelle says:

I also just went a few weeks back. Can check out my review here

Posted September 22, 2009
Genesis says:

Can the $10 be used to buy alcoholic drinks there?

Posted September 22, 2009
Wendy says:

Wow looks very good. Any public transport to the place? Is it very far from punggol mrt?

Posted September 22, 2009
Alfred says:

No, the one by the pier is this

Posted September 22, 2009
Alfred says:

Nice. It’s actually not a promotional thing. The $10 rebate is a permanent deal according to the manager I spoke when I was there.

Posted September 22, 2009
Alfred says:

Yes. Surprisingly the alcoholic drinks are not very steep there too. I think the prices are comparable to those you find in kopitiam.

Posted September 22, 2009
Alfred says:

Quite a distance from the MRT. No bus. There is an hourly shuttle service or something from the MRT, you can check here

There is a LRT station near there though, completed but not sure when it will be opened.

Posted September 22, 2009
fei says:

thanks for the nice review.
how about parking?

Posted October 26, 2009
Alfred says:

$1+ per hour or something and it’s max 3 hours charge. So it won’t go beyond $3+.

Posted October 27, 2009
Fie says:

I believe that it’s not halal?

Posted May 21, 2010
jodie says:

May i know the price for kids for 7 years old and below?

Posted June 18, 2011
NANI says:

Is this restaureant halal?

Posted November 19, 2013
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