Category: Cheap Eats

Dissecting the Price-gouging Menu

You don’t have to dine at an expensive restaurant to enjoy this view.

Ever wonder why some restaurants have single page menus and others are like phone directories or catalogues? Expensive restaurants and international chain restaurants commonly use marketing techniques with one thing in mind. They try to get you to spend more or order their highly profitable items. When it comes to value, they usually won’t have your interest in mind. This is a continuation of the last post, in which I listed many of these tricks. In this post, I will go further into detail using an infographic to reveal the various techniques used to coax you into spending more and I will give additional examples. Please note that these are generalisations and that not all expensive restaurants will employ these tactics. (more…)

Are you Being Fooled by Restaurant Menus?

Expensive restaurants use marketing tricks to influence your decisions. (photo by Enoch Lai)

If you’re a frugal person like me, you want value when it comes to dining out. For me, this doesn’t mean cheap food – I want good, nutritious, and satisfying food or an amazing experience but at the lowest possible price. A lot of restaurants now put their menus online. But many of them will leave the price out or it will be an older menu, from say 2009. So you really have no idea how much things cost until you get there.

I really don’t like surprises when it comes to paying for things. So here are some common menu techniques to tell if the restaurant you are considering is going to charge exorbitantly high prices. And if you happen to find yourself at an expensive restaurant, you can also use these techniques to find the most value-conscious menu choice (i.e., highly popular but low profit menu items) while avoiding the restaurant’s “breadwinners” (i.e., high profit menu items). (more…)

Surprisingly Affordable Hotel Buffets in Orchard

Pile on as much as you want on a 31cm diameter plate.

Don’t be deterred by the swanky, upscale appearance and prime location, the restaurants at Hotel Jen (part of Shangri-La International Hotel Management) are very affordable. At Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, Makan@Jen’s weekday lunch buffet starts at just $11.90++, while at Hotel Jen Tanglin, J65, the new restaurant where CafeBiz used to be, is just $15 nett for one-plate buffet serving (these plates are HUGE so one plate is likely more than enough to get your fill!). And if you are still deciding on an affordable place for a Chinese New Year’s reunion meal, why not gather your family and friends and head to Ah Hoi’s Kitchen where 12 courses of CNY delights cost just $12 nett per person! Furthermore, all 3 restaurants have additional promotions to get even a better deal (see details below). (more…)

Best Kept Secret: A Food Haven that is Affordable

An affordable Food Haven in the West with a buffet under $15 nett.

As a nation, we have a reputation of being a food haven. But unlike many of the other food havens in the world, while you can find very exotic and expensive restaurants here, you can also find plenty of quality inexpensive and affordable restaurants. And you don’t have to sacrifice variety, at least not at Food Haven (the restaurant).

Aptly named, this restaurant has an affordable a la carte menu that is very popular and serves huge, generous portions. On top of that, they also have a very affordable weekday and Sunday buffet ($12.80+, $14.80+; no GST). So why don’t more people know about it? It’s a bit hidden, as it is located at the Staff Centre of Singapore Polytechnic, but it is open to the public. (more…)

Are You on Board with iMOB? Well, Why Not?

Another group buying shop with extraordinary deals.

You’ve probably heard of Groupon and Deal Ensogo, but another group buying & daily deals site that you might not be as familiar with is the iMOB Shop, which is actually an acronym for “I’m on Board”. This e-commerce shop is part of SMRT Investment (yes, the same SMRT that transports you around this island). This daily deals site launched just last year, and since then, has been gaining popularity. (more…)