We tried the weekend brunch buffet recently at the Don Quijote Spanish restaurant at Dempsey. The restaurant is named after Don Quijote who is a chivalrous hero in a fictional Spanish novel.
The Don Quijote restaurant is located in Block 7 at Dempsey which is quite deep inside the Dempsey maze of restaurants and shops. This makes it slightly hard to find but the positive result is that it is in a quieter part of the area and things seem more relaxed over there. The exterior of the restaurant looks inviting and upon entering, you are greeted by the warm welcome of the staff. The bright yellow walls and exposed brick surfaces lend a Spanish rustic feel to the place.
We are normally not fans of buffets as you are placed in a position of eternal conflict. Eat as much as you can (and grow fat) or hold back (and feel that you have under-performed). On this visit, we decided to go for the buffet and to throw caution to the wind. One significant push factor was that this was not the usual help yourself to the large piles of food on the table type of buffet, but a list of 25 food items which you can order as many times as you want. The items are tapas-sized so we were encouraged to order as much as we wanted, with the caveat that there should not be food wastage.
Here is the buffet menu and a random page from the a la carte menu. The basic buffet with soft drinks cost $38. Pay $58 for additional free flow of sangria, wine and beer and $69 for additional sangria with Cava. Kids eat at $19.
The two of us ordered a total of 13 items and comfortably finished them so this would be a good guide on what you can handle. It is probably best to come in a group of four so that you can sample more items on the list. Here is a quick commentary on the items that we tried and our recommendation on whether we would love it or ditch it at our next visit.
Aguacate con Cangrejo • Crab, scallop and avocado meats, made into a dip. Very refreshing start to lunch. Love it.
Albondigas • Meatballs in tomato-oregano sauce. Very tasty meat balls. Goes well with red wine or beer. Love it.
Alitas de Pollo al Ajillo con Salsa Picante • Chicken wings in garlic-and-chilli sauce. You can’t go wrong with chicken wings, so these are not bad but quite ordinary. Newton Circus has better wings. Ditch it.
Berenjenas al Horno • Oven-baked eggplant in a casserole. One of the best dishes of the day. Lightly flavoured dish with some gravy gives it good contrast with the other items. Love it much!
Calamares Fritos • Fried battered squid, served with house sauce. Nicely fried squid. Comes in a big portion. Not bad but the taste is not outstanding. Love it (but only just).
Chorizo Asado • Barbequed spicy sausages. Very heavy taste and salty. Not our kind of food. Ditch it.
Croquetas con Jamon • Croquettes with cured spanish ham. Very quintessential Spanish tapas bar type of food. Very delicate taste. Love it.
Gambas al Ajillo • Garlic fried shrimp. Looks good, tastes good although it could do with more garlic. What we did not quite like about the shrimps was the rather artificial (exaggerated?) crunch of the prawns. Reminds us of those you sometimes encounter at some Chinese restaurants. Ditch it.
Pollo al Chilindron • Slow cooked home-made chicken stew. This dish had a Chinese cooking feel. The chicken was really tender and well cooked. Tasty gravy. May taste even better with some steamed rice. Love it!
Revuelto de Esparragos y Gambas • Scrambled eggs with asparagus & shrimp. This was another dish that seems like a Chinese dish. The taste was so so and the shrimps had the same texture as those referred to above. Ditch it.
Manitas de Cerdo con Garbanzos • Stewed pigs feet with white beans. This was the last savoury dish that we ordered. We were really curious about stewed pigs feet. It turned out to be the part of the foot that is just above the trotters and was therefore a bony dish. The edible parts are mainly the skin and some cartilage which were well cooked till very soft and had soaked up the gravy taste. The Spanish equivalent of ter ka (猪脚). Heavy taste that goes well with beer and red wine. Love it.
Our remaining items were the two dessert options –Pudin de Pan y Mantequilla • Bread & butter pudding and Pastel de Naranja y Queso • Orange cheesecake. After being assured that they both were served in small portions, we ordered both. We liked the bread pudding slightly more but both are worth trying.
We think the $38 weekend buffet at Don Quijote turned out better than we expected. We hope the above will help you to navigate the buffet menu. Topping up another $20 for free flow of wine and beer makes this a good venue if you are hosting a group of alcoholic friends.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Block 7 Dempsey Road, #01-02
Tel: +65 6476 2811