Are hotel buffets safe post-MCO? Is there a proper SOP to follow? If you’re thinking of heading over for an all-you-can-eat buffet experience very soon, here’s a simple guide to adhere to during the RMCO.
Like any typical lunch, the atmosphere at Mosaic Restaurant in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is lively. Crowded may not be the best word to describe the restaurant, but for a post-MCO situation, it is really encouraging to see all tables occupied with patrons of all ages.
Unofficially, it has been made known that buffets will never be the same again. That’s right — no more picking and choosing, no more do-it-yourself experience, no more slicing and toasting your loaf of choice. There won’t be any more chocolate fountains, and the buffet spread will never be as extravagant as it used to be.
Suffice to say, however, there are enough to satisfy your buffet experience regardless of the shortcomings. The ‘eat-all-you-want’ concept remains and diners can still enjoy a variety of sweet and savoury dishes.
At Mosaic, each station offers a rather intimate one-on-one service. Despite the acrylic dividers standing between you and the food, all diners need to do is to point and tell the desired food, sides, condiments, sauces and also the portion. Very quickly, the chefs will plate them accordingly and pass over the dishes to you.
During our visit, we were extremely happy with the way the restaurant controls the traffic around the buffet area. Floors are marked with indicators to help diners practice social distancing while queueing for food, and there are available chefs and waiters to attend to your every need. This is we like to call the new phase of assisted buffet arrangement.
Food varieties are aplenty, and you don’t have to worry about things running out. We especially enjoyed the satay, rendang and keropok belinjo (deep-fried crisps made from a kind of bitter nut) from the Malaysian station. Over at the sushi bar, enjoy fresh sashimi cuts and maki rolls that are great starters. And if you have a sweet tooth, the dessert counter is a haven especially curated for you. From cakes to tarts, local kuih to ice cream desserts, you’ll find everything too hard to resist.
If you’re still unsure of the advisable protocols and SOPs that you need to adhere to, here are five main points to look out for when going to a buffet.
1. Wear a mask and sanitise your hands
You won’t know what you’ll be touching or expose to. As much as you want to protect yourself, think about protecting others by wearing a mask when walking around the buffet spread especially when food is ever so close to you.
2. Make a quick round and decide on what you want — then queue
Sometimes it can be hard to decide on what you want. You can always glance through the various options and decide on where you wish to start first. At every counter, practice social distancing when queuing for food. There are markers to indicate where you should be standing while in the line.
3. One plate at a time
There’s plenty of time for you to enjoy the buffet spread and there’s no need to load everything up on the plate at one go. You can always go for seconds and thirds later.
4. Let chefs help you
There are waiters and chefs on standby at all times to help you take anything you want from the salad bar, the sushi counter as well as the dessert station. Never attempt to do it yourself — please consider the person next in line.
5. Be courteous at all times
At the end of the day, the restaurant is a public space. As much as you want others to respect your personal bubble and be courteous, you should also do the same by not sticking your head into a queue or hogging around for no reason. We all want an enjoyable dining experience, don’t we?