Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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Brunei Restaurant Review: Pancake House International

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Pancake House International is a very popular franchise from the Philippines. In fact, they’ve been around for almost 40 years and opened more than 150 outlets alone in the Philippines – the success owing to their famous soft and fluffy pancakes and combined with Filipino favourites make them a big hit. I had my first meal at Pancake House International at Karamunsing Complex in KK and have quite a good impression of them. It’s definitely great news that they finally opened a branch in Brunei – they are very easy to spot as they are just next to Thien Thien Chicken Rice in Kiulap (opposite Hua Ho Kiulap)

 

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I also visited one of their branches when I visit Manila last year and they have impressive specialty pancakes from time to time. This was their Red Velvet Pancake promotion in Manila. NOTE: Not available in Brunei yet but I’m hoping for this to make a special appearance in Brunei soon! *pray pray*

 

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The ambience uses the colors of Pancake House International – mainly orange and white theme colours – comfy sofas on the sides and white themed furniture in the center. The place is not very spacious but comfortable enough for small to medium size groups.

 

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Let’s have a look at the main attraction here – their famous soft and fluffy pancakes ~~ I have to say there’s quite a lot of choices here – you can order 2 pieces or 3 pieces stack but more is always better when it comes to pancakes!

 

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I ordered the Mango 3 pieces stack, golden pancakes served with sliced mangoes and topped with a scoop of cream, drizzled with a fragrant mango syrup.

 

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My foodie partner in crime ordered the Caramel Banana Walnut – yup ~~ always ask a friend to help you pour the syrup while you instagram the shot!

 

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Oh hello there ~~~ pancake stacks with crushed walnuts, bananas, caramel, scoop of cream and drizzled with banana syrup

 

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A foodie friend recommended the blueberry filled  pancakes but we didn’t get to try ~~ this is the picture from the menu ~~ it does look good! I would definitely give these a try next visit!

 

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They have two pancake stacks – one lemon and one orange flavoured one ~~ This is the Sunrise Orange Stack, slightly smaller pancakes, with cream cheese in between, topped with cream, orange rind and served with orange syrup ~~ oooh yes ~~~

 

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Oooo would you look at that ~~ *drools* I have to say this is my favourite as I like the soft fluffy moist texture of the pancakes which goes well with the cream cheese filling and balanced by the fragrance of the orange. A thumbs up from me ~~

 

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They also have savoury versions of their pancakes ~~ such as this Panwich (sunny side up egg in between two pancakes) served with chicken ham (or you can choose sausages) with cream. *drools* #eggporn I wouldn’t mind waking up to that!

 

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Besides pancakes, they are also famous for their delicious crispy tacos! I personally like how crispy the taco shells were! I really enjoyed them but be wary not to take too long to snap pictures for instagram or the juices from the filling will make the taco shells brittle. I made a big mess after biting into one of these as I took too long to snap pics of these yummy tacos. These are  must try at Pancake House!

 

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I had my eye on their asparagus soup but it’s out of stock so I tried out their Mushroom Cappuccino and it’s quite interesting to see cucumbers in mushroom soup ~~~ an acquired taste thing perhaps ~~ 

 

 

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They also have burger steaks like these and my foodie friend Marul absolutely enjoyed this especially with the sauce. I have a small bite of this but I prefer what i ordered ~~ a Filipino favourite ~~

 

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Beef Tapa!!!! A classic Filipino favourite – marinated Australian strip loin, stir fried and served with garlic rice, sunny side up egg and their in house green mango salsa. I have to admit I really enjoyed the mango salsa, and it goes well with the tender beef ~~~ and of course ~~~ more #eggporn just makes this dish better!

 

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Besides beef tapa, they also got other Filipino favourites such as smoked golden tilapia and Daing Na Bangus ~~ Friends of mine have raved about their fish dishes and I would definitely try these next time since I am a big fan of Filipino food – and more excuse to have that MANGO SALSA! #delicious

 

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Pancake House has quite a few savoury dishes so if you want a bit of everything, you can order their Special Sets which let’s you try more of their food in one go and it comes with a free iced lemon tea ~~ kind of like a value meal!

 

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The House Special Set – which has their spaghetti, fried chicken with mini pancakes, delicious taco and their special gravy sauce. Good dish to have a little bit of everything at Pancake House

 

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Last but not least – is a dish that caught my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed when I had my first Pancake House meal in KK was this Southern Maple Chicken, served with fluffy waffles ~~~ OOoooooooOO Mama MIA!

 

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I have to say – the chicken is very delicious – the flavour and skin of this chicken is superior to their fried chicken and goes well with their fluffy waffle.. This ladies and gentleman is the DISH OF THE NIGHT! *inserts big big applause* Die die also must try this chicken and waffles ~~

 

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Speaking of waffles – in their desserts corner ~~ they have this waffle foldover – you can choose your scoops of ice cream ~~~ served on a waffle spread with PEANUT BUTTER!! with candy coated chocolates and drizzled with chocolate syrup ~~ a combination of my favourite peanut butter, ice cream, waffles and chocolate ~~~ Mmmmmmm #dessertporn ~~~

 

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They also serve Halo Halo, which is a popular Filipino version of our Ais Kacang; sweet corn kernals, jackfruit strips, yellow sweet potato, bananas, shaved ice, home made pudding and yam ice cream ~~ mmmm ~~

 

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There are still quite a lot of dishes that we haven’t gotten the chance to try yet as the menu is quite extensive. I’ll end this post with a pic of their lovely tacos - they have Maggi Seasoning and Tabasco sauce for their delicious crispy tacos ~~ yum!

 

Pancake House International is next to Thien Thien Kiulap (opposite Hua Ho Kiulap)

Opens from 7:30 am till 10pm

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Brunei Restaurant Review: Ah Tong Fish Soup Bee Hoon

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KK has always been famous for their delicious fish soup bee hoon, especially when they have fresh seafood readily available. The boss managed to convince one of the famous fish head bee hoon restaurant in KK to supply them with their ingredients and learned how to cook this delicious soup. Very good news for Bruneians, who used to frequent KK for this delicacy!

 

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Ah Tong Fish Soup Bee Hoon originally opened at Teazone in Kiulap  for around 20 days. Due to some disagreements, Ah Tong decided to set up stall somewhere else and found TK Restaurant which is just next to the shell station in Gadong Central.  Meanwhile, Teazone’s management realized the potential of the fish soup bee hoon business and decided to contact the same stall in KK and bring in on their own. Thus when it comes to the Fish Soup Bee Hoon business, there are two restaurants in Brunei – despite having similar ingredients, they are both slightly different in terms of choices and flavour.

 

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For me, the soup is the biggest difference of the two – while I prefer the original Ah Tong flavours, some actually preferred Tea Zone’s stronger flavours. To me, I felt the soup at Tea Zone might appeal to some due to it’s higher chicken powder or MSG content. I personally prefer Ah Tong’s as I won’t feel so thirsty throughout the day due to less MSG. At Ah Tong’s you can request not to add milk to your soup if you prefer a cleaner less creamy taste. The big reason I prefer Ah Tong’s is more varieties in terms of choice and it’s actually more value for money in terms of fresh seafood and price.

 

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The deep fried fish slices soup noodle at Ah Tong’s. They have this at Teazone too and I have to say both are good in the fried fish slices category. You should give both a try and see which one you prefer.

 

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If you’re a fan of fried pompret, then you will love this double pompret combo at Ah Tong’s. You can order just one pompret but hey ~~ more is better ~~ #fishprotein #moreISbetter

 

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Pompret not your cup of tea? Then how about mackerel cutlets like this one ~~ Oooooooh yessss! That’s easier to eat for those who are not good at eating whole fish. Woo hoo!

 

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Occasionally they have fried salmon too, but I’ve always preferred salmon sashimi over cooked salmon so this is not my cup of tea. I think for those who love pan fried salmon, this might be the one for you.

 

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This is one of my favourite because I love eating prawns and I like how they managed to fry the prawns till quite crispy and I can just eat the shells for added crunch (and calcium for my bones). Seriously good stuff!

 

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Now for those who really enjoy fresh fish, this is what you should order. Fresh fish slices bee hoon soup – without the milk. I truly appreciate the freshness of the fish and this in my opinion is a true fish lover’s meal. You can still add milk to your soup if you like – this is just my suggestion to fully enjoy the fish.

 

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My parents really enjoyed the fresh fish bee hoon soup. You should bring your parents to try this out too ~ a good excuse to spend quality time with them.

 

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Now this is something really awesome – fish head bee hoon soup – I know some friends who love fish head and claimed the best part of the fish are from the cheeks of the fish head. A must try if you are always the one gunning for the fish head flesh while others aim for the belly ~~

 

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Last but not least is the ultimate one of them all – I give you – the UDANG GALA fish soup bee hoon. Here you got one Udang Gala escorted by his minions; fried prawns. Deep fried till just right – you enjoy by sipping the juices from the head, then enjoy the fleshy buncy meat of the udang gala, and then there’s the minions ~~ *slurps* #prawnNirvana #prawnheaven #prawngasm (the best part? pretty reasonable price!). I don’t think this is even available in KK!

 

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Quite a lot of choices at Ah Tong’s and they are always introducing new dishes – I think recently they added squid and also crabs to their menu so do check them out. Very reasonable prices as you can see.

 

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Ah Tong Fish Soup Bee Hoon is currently available in three places (it has expanded due to it’s popularity) – It is available in both TK Gadong Central and the TK in Gadong (facing the riverside and same row as Cafe De Paris) – in both TKs – Ah Tong will serve it’s yummy fish noodle soup from 8am till 5pm daily.

 

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I’m sure most would remember this TK branch located in Gadong  at Bangunan Hj Tahir facing the Menglait River – Simply drive past Thien Thien restaurant block and then turn in the back then turn left towards the Cafe De Paris block – you will see this branch at the end of the block.

 

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The good news for those who want to have Fish Soup Bee Hoon for dinner and supper is that Ah Tong’s recently opened a new stall at the TK Steak House located at Gadong Properties Food Court from 5:45 pm till 10 pm – you can bring your family here to have a wholesome fish soup dinner!

 

Ah Tong Fish Meat/Head Bee Hoon Shop

TK Gadong Central and TK Gadong: 8am till 5pm

TK Gadong Properties Food Court 5:45 pm till 10 pm

For Enquiries: Sam(7186322) Victor (7186323)

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Brunei Restaurant Review: Stars & Stripes Buffet by Tasek Brasserie Radisson Hotel

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You gotta be excited  about the Stars and Stripes American Themed Buffet at Tasek Brasserie. It was indeed a pleasure to be invited as part of the media to check out this anticipated buffet and I was quite impressed with the spread and decor they’ve put up! That ‘Star’ entrance looks like a good place to take a selfie ~~

 

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Even the staff were dressed up for the occasion and you gotta love those cowboy hats!

 

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Stars and Stripes American Themed decor ~~

 

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You’ll also notice a Statue of Liberty poster at the desserts section – coincidentally right next to the New York Cheesecake.

 

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The colours of the US Flag – Blue Red and White ~~

 

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Now let’s move on to the food! The food will rotate around different American inspired dishes and these are the ones that are served on the first night! They have plenty of choices for their salads ~~ and  a lot of different condiments and dressing to customize your own salads too!

 

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This gigantic goodness appetizer display caught my attention ~~ ooooo would you look at those salmon! It’s actually two dishes on this display – on top is the Boston Shrimp Cocktail, lightly cooked shrimp with a dressing and salad leaves, and those yummy looking salmon are actually marinated beetroot salmon ~~ mmmmm ~~ Forgive me salads ~~ I’m loading my first appetizer plate with these first!! #cheatday

 

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Man these look good too! Crab salad in a romanine lettuce cup ~~ mmmm *takes some*

 

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These bite sized cherry tomatoes and basil leave tarts are so tempting too ~~~ *pops one into mouth* Oooo yes!

 

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I have to admit – I quite like grilled vegetables nowadays so seeing grilled zucchinis are a good sight!

 

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These bite sized snacks and shooters are part of the yummy appetizers too ~~ mmm so much choice!

 

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Of course – some like to have their cheeses as appetizers or add them to your custom made salads ~~ for Marul, another Bruneian Foodie, he took the blue cheese and added them to his burgers! Smart move!

 

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I mustn’t forget the two soups for the day is the iconic CLAM CHOWDER!! OOOH YESS!! They also serve roasted tomato and basil soup ~~

 

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Plenty of buns to go with the soups ~~ mmmm ~~ or to dip the other saucy stews

 

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Jambalaya, a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence. was created in Louisiana and has its origins in Spanish paella. Unlike the paella which many are more familiar with, this dish is slightly creamier and does not have the crispy crust. It’s good to see Jambalaya with chicken and beef sausages in the buffet spread!

 

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Yes – one simply must not miss out New York style thin crust pizzas in an American themed buffet ~~ *nom nom* You gotta love crispy thin crust pizzas ~~

 

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Agnolotti Pasta with roasted pumpkin ~~ a roasted and mashed pumpkin filling wrapped with thin pasta and smothered with a delicious tomato sauce.

 

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Another unique American dish would be this Chicken and Prawn Gumbo! Another dish originated from southern Louisiana. A hearty dish with a thick sauce and usually seafood based! Oooh yum ~~ eat this with the Jambalaya ~~~

 

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Another popular American dish is San Francisco based seafood stew; the Seafood Cioppino, an Italian-American dish. This would go very well with the toasted bread at the buffet ~~ *dips bread and nom nom*

 

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Meatballs swimming in a spicy tomato sauce ~~~ simple comfort food ~~

 

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Speaking of comfort food – what could be more comforting than burritos and crispy fried chicken steak ~~~ *grabs grabs and puts on plate*

 

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They have grilled Buffalo Wings with Cayenne Pepper Seasoning too ~~ mmm ~~~

 

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I’m not normally a fan of potatoes but I know a lot of people who enjoy jacket potatoes with sour cream like these!

 

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A buffet would not be complete without a live cooking station and they have hot dogs, burgers and nachos!

 

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Mmmm ~~~ yes I’ll have all three types please ~~

 

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That seriously would make a yummy nacho! *drools*

 

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My yummy live station lineup ~~~ and yes – you can customize by adding your own sauces from quite a selection at their counter ~

 

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Ahhh ~~ so many ways of flavouring my burgers and hot dogs ~~~ or you can grab some cheese from the appetizers corner like Marul did!

 

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Now on to more good stuff! This is the cajun fish that is served with a yoghurt sauce on the side ~~

 

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Now how can you say no to these fatty looking flavoursome beef briskets stewed with honey carrots? *breathes heavily*

 

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Brace yourselves meat lovers ~~ how can an American themed buffet be complete ~~ without smoked BBQ RIBS!!!!!! OMG! ATTACK!!!!!! Tender off the bone smoky goodness!! NOM NOM NOM NOM!

 

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Wait – there’s more ribs?! Lamb Spare Ribs with a balsamic sauce ~~ OH MY RIBS! SHUT UP AND COME TO MY PLATE NOW!!!!

 

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By this time – I was pretty stuffed ~~~ and was about to go for some more Jambalaya and Gumbo but I realized .. I HAVEN’T nom nom desserts yet!!!!

 

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Lemon Cream Torte (oh yum!) on the left and Blueberry Crumble  Cake on the right ~~~

 

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The New York Cheesecake that was sitting right next to the Statue of Liberty poster ~~~ wonder if it’s done on purpose ~~ I see what you did there ~~

 

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The MangoMisu ~~ sorta like a tiramisu but more on the mango side of the tiramisu family ~~

 

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Anyone for some good old fashioned chocolate cake with chocolate ganache~~?

 

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Oh my! Another American style dessert ~~ the peach cobbler not only looks classy ~~ it’s actually pretty good especially with the blueberries ~~ a good contrast of textures and flavours.

 

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Lemon Curd tarts ~~ in bite sizes ~~~ *swoons*

 

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American Apple Pie ~~ don’t let it’s rustic look fool you ~~ it’s pretty good and I have it with some scoops of vanilla ice cream!

 

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Don’t forget to grab some ice cream from the counter opposite the appetizers section ~~ they will go so well with some of the other desserts ~~ or even just on it’s own ~~

 

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Ahhh the Radisson Hotel’s famous bread pudding using croissants ~~ they are always good with ice cream – and a regular feature of Tasek Brasserie buffets ~~

 

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Now – here’s something we don’t see everyday ~~ the classic American favourite Pecan Pie! One of my favourite pies to eat! *om nom nom nom*

 

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So that concludes my yummy in my tummy Stars & Stripes American Themed buffet ~~~ besides pleasing your tummies – there’s also a chance to win prizes such as these if you have the buffet ~~ mmm ~ that Samsun Galaxy Camera will be very useful for a foodie ~~

 

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The Stars & Stripes buffet is priced at $35 per person and $17.50 for kids aged 4 – 11 years old. If you’re a Baiduri Card Holder – be sure to pay using your cards as you are entitled to a 25% discount! OMG WHAT A BARGAIN! *SHUT UP AND SWIPE MY BAIDURI CARD PLEASE!* If you don’t have a Baiduri card – it’s time to ask your family or friends who has one to join you for dinner ~~~ #FriendsWithBenefits HAHAHA!

 

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This promotion will only run for two weeks from 27th Oct till 9th November so I seriously advise you to call and reserve your seats before it’s too late – and you can only then drool at yummy photos of the American food posted by your family and friends on Instagram and Facebook ~~ Oh noooo!!!

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