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Decent Japanese Hot Pot Buffet

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 6
Service: 6
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $37 per person.


Operating under the Creative Eateries Group of companies, Suki-Ya is their Japanese hot pot buffet concept, offering unlimited all-you-can-eat meats and vegetables for a reasonable price. In particular, Suki-Ya, as its name suggests, specialises in the Japanese style Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki, both of which consist of boiling thin slices of meat. Prices are similar to other buffets, budget about SGD $37 per person for a meal here.

Ambience at Suki-Ya is distinctly Japanese, with decor resembling a Japanese guest house. Furniture and wall panelling is wooden, with distinct Japanese grid squares. Traditional lanterns and sake casks line the entrance. The only break from the overall ambience at Suki-Ya is the Healthy Salad Bar, which looks like a typical buffet spread.

Service at Suki-Ya is good, but not outstanding. Staff are efficient are taking orders, as well as serving, clearing dirty or empty plates, and are friendly and polite. However, it's difficult to attract their attention during peak periods, and they also forgot several of my orders during my visit. Bill payment is also self-service, at the cashier. But I like that staff are able to make recommendations on the various soup bases.

Food at Suki-Ya is buffet style, with staff serving you the selection of meats you order, while vegetables and non-meat items are self service at the Healthy Bar. The only meats available are beef, chicken, or pork, all thinly sliced, with a noticable absence of fish and seafood. The salad bar is decent, with a wide range of vegetables, which are often replaced with other varieties of items when it runs out. As for soup bases, I suggest getting the traditional Japanese soups, for authenticity.


The menu is clear and descriptive, and I also like that they have a set of instructions on cooking methods, as well as pairing of soups and sauces.

Suki-Ya Menu

Suki-Ya Instructions

A wide selection of fresh vegetables and non-meat items are the Healthy Bar. I suggest not filling up on too much of these, as their specialities are the meats, which are served to table.

Healthy Bar

Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms, Frisee Lettuce, Bamboo Shoot, Dried Beancurd Puffs, Romaine Lettuce

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mustard Greens, Enoki Mushroom, Capsicum, Squid Balls

White Daikon Radish, Mushrooms Balls, Lobster Balls, Chikuwa Fish Rolls, Vegetable Balls, Fish Balls, Seafood Tofu, Cheese Tofu, Chicken Cheese Balls

Udon, Glass Noodles, Ramen

Watermelon & Fruits

I particularly like the Spicy Miso Tare Sauce, or Soy Bean Paste Sauce, which has a savoury base with a hint of spicy heat. The Garlic Chili Sauce is also very good, fiery and fragrant! The Raw Egg is a classic dipping sauce for the Japanese style hot pot, where meat that is just cooked and still hot is quickly dipped into the raw egg, then eaten.


Sauces Spicy Miso Tare & Garlic Chili

Raw Egg

The thinly sliced meats are meant to be cooked in the traditional Japanese Shabu-Shabu style, which means Swish-Swish. Gently swish the meat briefly in the soup / broth, till it cooks completely.

Selection Of Items

Raw Chicken

Raw Pork

Raw Beef

Selection Of Buffet Spread

The Sukiyaki soup base is a dark brown, savoury and sweet base of soy sauce, wherein the sweetness is more prominent. Meat cooked in Sukiyaki is usually dipped in a mixture of beaten raw egg with soy sauce, before being eaten. The Touyu Miso soup base is a clear white, savoury base of miso, popular during winter. The soup tends to foam during cooking, and meat cooked in Touyu Miso is usually dipped in a mixture of white sesame sauce / Goma Tare, before being eaten.

Soup Base Sukiyaki & Touyu Miso

The Shabu-Shabu soup base is a clear, slightly savoury and refreshing base of seaweed, which starts out rather plain, but gets more tasty and fragrant as it absorbs the essence of whatever is boiled in it. Meat cooked in Shabu-Shabu is prepared by swishing the meat back and forth, then usually dipped in either Ponzu sauce, or Goma / Sesame Seed sauce, before being eaten. The Butaniku soup base is an opaque white, savoury base of pork bones with a slight sweetness. The soup lends itself well to cooking, imparting food with a light savoury taste with a hint of sweetness. Meat cooked in Butaniku is usually dipped in a mixture of spicy chili and salty soy sauce, before being eaten.

Soup Base Shabu-Shabu & Butaniku

This traditional Japanese style of cooking is simple, yet comforting and satisfiying.