What happens when you partner a good buffet restaurant with the Okinawa Prefectural Government of Japan?
You get a good-quality Okinawa-themed buffet, of course. From 6 to 16 July 17, Triple Three is carrying a wide variety of authentic Okinawan dishes daily.
Throughout the food promotion, specially flown-in seafood such as Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and Mackerel will grace the sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, and carving stations of the Japanese-inspired international buffet restaurant. The warm waters of Okinawa supposedly yield seafood high in protein and low in fat.
But while I enjoyed these Okinawan ingredients, I struggled to detect a discernible difference between the sashimi I sampled and the sashimi usually served during Triple Three’s regular buffets. In taste, appearance, and quality, I did not find the sashimi uniquely Okinawan.
Likewise, while I enjoyed the Agu pork served shabu-shabu style (it was tender, aromatic, and had a good balance of high-quality and lean meat), I would not have guessed that it was an Okinawan delicacy if I had not known the provenance of the dish.
Luckily, Triple Three’s Okinawan vegetable dishes are more distinctive. Okinawan produce is supposedly richer in antioxidants compared to other Japanese foodstuff, thanks to the mineral-rich sea breeze and strong southern sunlight abundant in this tropical prefecture. I enjoyed the Okinawa Purple Potato dishes because of their creamy and slightly sweet taste; the sea grapes (really a type of seaweed) because of their delightfully salty, yet juicy, profile; and the stir-fried bitter gourd with tofu and egg. A word of advice: the bitter gourd is more bitter than the Chinese ones more traditionally found in Singapore. Steel yourself before you pop a slice into your mouth!
Make sure you also try the following Okinawan dishes: the nicely bite-sized Okinawan Taco Rice bowls; the refreshing Okinawan green papaya salad, the crunchy Okinawa carrot; the savoury Mozuku seaweed; the sweet and creamy Jimami tofu desserts, and the crispy Okinawa pancake.
This wide variety of authentic Okinawan dishes comes at a hefty price. I do not recommend that the average diner pay full price for this limited time food promotion, even though the air-flown seafood is top-notch and the dishes are authentically Okinawan. This is because I do not perceive this Okinawan buffet to be qualitatively very different from Triple Three’s traditional dinner buffets. You will probably baulk at the $20 premium on the regular buffet’s weekday price. After all, Triple Three will continue to feature Okinawa specials every Thursday following the food fest.
But if you are a DBS, POSB or UOB cardholder, you need to make your way down to Triple Three. You don’t have time to lose, because this promotion ends on 16 July 17. With 50% off every second adult diner (up to eight diners per card), this buffet will effectively cost just $81++ a person, if you’re dining as part of an even-numbered group. At this price point, you are getting good value for your money.