Prawntastic Dinner at Makan@Jen in Hotel Jen Orchardgateway

Chef Lee Hoong Wan of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway did it again! 

Remember that time when I got to taste his delicious Laksa Fried Rice and promised to myself that I need to visit Hotel Jen Orchardgateway to have more? Well, I kept my promise and so, to celebrate our 13th year anniversary as a couple, Paul and I agreed to have our dinner date at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway's restaurant Makan@Jen.

makan at jen prawn festival
Call it perfect timing but the restaurant was holding a two month long Ultimate Prawn Party and we couldn't be happier as we love seafood and crustaceans the most. Oh, I can feel my mouth water by just thinking about it. From the 3rd of October till the 1st of December, patrons of Makan@Jen can indulge in a wide array of prawn-filled dishes from the mouthwatering Salted Egg Prawns to the very comforting Prawn Noodle Soup and more. Mind you, I'm not talking about your average prawns that you get to see in the market everyday. These are specially imported prawns such as the Thai White Prawns, Indian River Prawns, Norwegian Scampi (my personal favorite) and the Vietnamese Yabbies. These are the huge ass ones that are so meaty and juicy that you'll surely crave for for days on end.

makan at jen prawns 1
The spread clearly centered mostly on the prawns and we're definitely not complaining about that. Right as you enter the restaurant, you'll be greeted by this frozen display where you can choose your prawns and ask the Chef to cook it for you. We asked that our prawns be grilled as we wanted to keep it simple in order to fully appreciate the sweetness of these prawns.

makan at jen prawns 2
However, there's no hard and fast rules to enjoying these prawns. So, if you want to be a bit more creative, don't be afraid to chat with the Chef and he would gladly give you recommendations on how to best prepare your chosen type of prawn.

makan at jen singapore
Beside the fresh prawns station, you'll see a number of readily cooked prawn dishes such as the Salted Egg Prawns, Deep-Fried Prawns (think Ebi Tempura in giant form), Baked Prawns with Almonds and Prawns with Onion Leeks cooked Chinese style. I happily tried one of each and my favorite was the Prawns with Onion Leeks as well as the Deep-Fried Prawn. So yummy!

laksa fried rice makan at jen
Normally, you have to skip carbs when dining at a buffet but take my word on this. Must not miss Chef Lee Hoong Wan's Laksa Fried Rice. I'm telling you, this is the BOMB! I really love the mild spicy kick and how you get to appreciate the full flavor of the laksa. Not only that, this goes very well with all types of prawn dishes that evening. Hats off to the Chef!

makan at jen singapore
We were indeed in prawn heaven as we happily tried almost all dishes with prawns and lobster in it. I also got to try the Prawn Noodle Soup where I got to choose the types of prawns I'd like to be added into the soup and this is prepared upon order so you get a piping hot bowl of soup that's well suited to your liking. The noodles had a good bite and since the prawns were simmered in the soup, you get a nice sweet broth too.

The other side of the buffet area was a selection of specially curated dishes that will best complement the stars of the night. However, I noticed that it's not your average salad bar. Instead the choices were more Asian-inspired. They also got a sushi and cold cuts platter plus a couple of roast meats and deep-fried finger snacks.

mud crab at makan at jen
What I loved most were these tiny Mud Crabs that are so sweet and juicy. It's served chilled and best eaten by dipping the meat into some chili sauce or in my case, I just drizzled it with lemon.

makan at jen prawns 9
It was so good that I didn't mind using my hands to pull out all the meat possible. Believe me, that doesn't happen very often.

Everything really good and we had a great dinner. Add to the fact that your buffet rate comes with complimentary fill of coffee and tea (hot and iced). We had fun trying to mix our own iced tea blend. I recommend the Peach Tea if you wan't something mild yet fruity to go with your meal.

makan at jen prawns 7
We got to end our meal with dessert and I liked how Makan@Jen has localized their dessert selections by having Kaya Tart, Coffee (Kopi) Tart as well as a mix of local flavored ice cream. Paul was being such a health freak by loading up on all the fresh fruits which is making extra guilty for going for that extra scoop of ice cream with sprinkles on top. Boo!

Then the surprise...

happy anniversary cake
As if we're not already having a great time enjoying the prawns and loving our dinner selection, our server came to our table during dessert time and surprised us with an anniversary cake! What a sweet treat and it was a very yummy Red Velvet Cake too if I must say. To everyone behind this surprise, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

For only S$42++ per head, I feel that this is such a good deal. Let's face it, seafood is not cheap and if you can eat to your heart's content plus enjoy complimentary fills of beverages, desserts, salads, side dishes and other main dishes, then I feel it's totally worth it. I think this merits a return visit which I have to schedule soon as the promotion ends in 3 weeks. Ackk!

Check out the Ultimate Prawn Party at Makan@Jen from Mondays to Thursdays during dinner time from 630PM to 10PM.

*photos by Paul Ang

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway is located at 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858. Makan@Jen is located at the Lobby Level (10th floor). Call them at 6708-8899 to make a reservation. Closest MRT station: Somerset. 

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