Vienna International Seafood & International Buffet
Conveniently located at the Basement of United Square since Year 2002, Vienna provides dining areas of indoor, outdoor and also a private dining room for various occasions. The menu includes over 150 varieties of food like local favourites & authentic soups, Japanese and Western cuisine, Teppanyaki and also mouthwatering appetizers and desserts.
I was quite impressed with the array of food available, especially the range of seafood there. However, some of them were not very fresh, and although I'd go for seconds at other restaurants, I decided not to here. Other dishes was okay, nothing special.
Another thing that caught my attention was the service. Bad service, is all I can say. The waitresses always seem so flustered. I can understand why they might be flustered, as lunch and dinner hours see a full house, but I think they should be trained to maintain good service despite the circumstances.
I don't think I would come back here again.
The service is amazing, the place opens right on time (thought I'd advice you to go a little earlier, because eager foodies always form a queue before the doors open!). If you don't mind waiting for a bit, it's ok, because they NEVER run out of food.
Drinks are free flow, and the standard appeitiser is some herbal soup, with chicken and sliced abalone. There's teppanyaki too, with oodles and oodles, of meat, 'pragnant fish', and vegetables to be grilled! There's cake, chocolate fondue, lots of seafood (I swear by the Black Pepper Crab) - really, you're spoiled for choice.
We usually pay about $37 each, but considering the variety and quality of food, it's worth it! :)
I can't put my finger to why Vienna repels me. It could be because the way the wait staff and leading hostess are so haughty and rigid in their rules ("Oh, we cannot change you to the tables inside the restaurant even though you have made reservations prior to arrival. The tables inside are reserved for other guests" Following so, Auntsy and I observed the table mentioned had been empty for the whole evening right up till the moment we left at the end of their serving time.)
It could be because they only replenish their oysters only half a dozen at a time for every 30 minutes. Which means they only replenish, like less than 50 in an evening service? It could be because it's so difficult to get the wait staff to top up our drinks.
If they choose to pay peanuts for monkeys, it goes without saying that we should not be paying so much for monkey service either.
But, if we're going to talk about the food itself and not its potential effects, I'm not sure if I'd still recommend this place. Just about everything was horrible, if not mediocre, and I found myself eating the same few things over and over again because everything else was just not good. There's a live cooking station where you get to pick a range of seafood and some vegetables, and the chef will cook them for you. But that's no good either because they overcook salmon every time. Desserts were nothing to brag about either.
The strange thing is, even though the food was so bad (in my opinion), the restaurant seems to have earned a name for itself, for it was very, very crowded on the day I was there. Well, maybe it's because it's cheap.
Variety is definitely not lacking.
I'll start off with the seafood selection-- they were fresh. I had quite a number of helpings for the salmon sashimi. They were generous with the salmon belly (the tastiest part of the salmon) and it was, well, of a nice orange colour if you get what i mean. Unlike some other stores/ restaurants whose salmon are of a dull orange.
I'd recommend the ambalone as well. They had it served in small dishes, with two pieces on each. I remember constantly reaching out for more. It tasted sweet, and "juicy". A great appetizer.
Main highlight's the oyster though. You've got to keep a lookout for them. Only 6 were replenished every single time and they were gone within minutes. More often than not, there'd be people at the side waiting, grabbing all six the moment they were out. So if you're there for the oysters, I'd say get a table near the counter if possible. The first time I was there I was two tables away from the counter, so that made things a lot easier for me.
Desert selection was average though. Nothing much special. But overall I'd say this is an international buffet restaurant with standards above the average. Ambience is good too, if you get the seats inside. However because most of the staff were foreign, I had some slight trouble getting across to them what I wanted.
Nonetheless, if you're looking for a good pig-out, this is the place!
Diners are able to choose air conditioned or al fresco dining, both has its own pros and cons.
For diners who are dining in the restaurant, there might not be much space to move around as the pathway is pretty narrow, and if you happen to be seated near the food counters, you might feel even more uncomfortable.
As for the diners who choose to have al fresco dining, you will definitely enjoy the night view, enjoy the fresh air outside, but firstly, you might find it quite inconvenient to keep walking in and out of the restaurant to get your food. Another thing is that the small pool next to the restaurant has some kind of unpleasant smell. That might not do any good to your appetite.
Other than that, as for the pricing, you can expect to be charged at around $35 per person (adult). Different charges for kids.
Other than the seafood, there are other ala carte international cuisines that you can find at the food counter. The dessert would range from soft cakes to ice creams.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant for gathering dinner or celebration of special occasion.