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Catching the best seafood buffets

WHETHER it is the top-quality sashimi or the freshest local offerings from the markets, the buffets at the city's five-star hotels provide diners with a great selection of seafood.

The Jin Jiang Tower Hotel Shanghai, Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Daning and the Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel have extensive seafood selections at their buffets.

Located in the lobby of the hotel, the newly launched Semillon Caf?? at Jin Jiang Tower has an outdoor garden area, ideal for summer, and features 24-hour international dining, with buffets served throughout the day.

Chef Jerry Chen says his sashimi is some of the best in town and he also sources some of the freshest shellfish, squid and fish.

"Our sashimi and Teppanyaki-style dishes from the buffet are very popular," he says. "Diners also love the salmon from Norway, and the tuna, scallop and sweet shrimp from Japan. We also have great produce for meat lovers, with rib eye steak from Australia, fillet from Canada and lamb from New Zealand."

Chen explains that they cook a range of seafood, including appetizing oysters, squid, codfish, salmon and saury.

The buffet runs from 11:30am to 2pm and costs 158 yuan (US$23.30) for lunch; dinner runs from 6pm to 10pm and costs 258 yuan. The buffet includes free-flow soft drink but prices do not include a 15-percent surcharge.

In August, the restaurant will launch a grand party - the Jin Jiang Tower Beer Fest - to quench summer thirsts.

The festival will feature a Philippine band, lucky draw prizes and Budvar, Czechoslovakia's most famous beer.

The festival runs nightly from 6pm to 10pm and guests can pay 298 yuan to enjoy the buffet and two glasses of Budvar. If guests buy five beer coupons they will also receive one free.

At the Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Daning, the weekend seafood buffet at The Caf?? on Level One offers a wide array of choices of the freshest seafood and includes a diverse range of cuisines from China and around the world.

"We offer a fresh array of over 12 varieties of sushi and sashimi on our buffet counter," says Brandon Chee, food and beverage service manager. "We have fresh seafood, including snow crab, mussels, prawn, clams and more. In addition, the buffet bar features selected domestic beers, juices and soft drinks."

Chee recommends the seafood gratin with potato and mushrooms and the grilled pacific saury with lemon as two of their most popular dishes.

The buffet costs 150 yuan net per person and includes free flow of soft drinks, juices and local beer. Guests can also enjoy a buy-one-get-one-free from 5:30pm to 9:30pm from Friday to Sunday.

At the Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel, its Seafood Sunday Live Brunch features traditional Mediterranean-style offerings, focusing not only on fish and seafood but also a range of meats, pizza and vegetarian dishes.

Along with dishes from Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, the lavish brunch also includes an extensive Chinese barbecue station, Chinese traditional seafood, hot dishes, and a sushi and sashimi station.

The hotel has three specialty chefs - from India, Vietnam and Malaysia who oversee a diverse range of expertly cooked Asian cuisine on the buffet.

"Our Seafood Live Sunday Brunch is back to basics - with top-quality ingredients cooked to perfection," says Kristian Peterson, the hotel's director of food and beverage. "Our brunch is not about 'the more the better' - it's having the right choices available to the guest with the right interaction between the kitchen and service staff having a dialogue with the guest."

The live cooking stations are easily accessible and add to the atmosphere of the restaurant. For families with children, there's an indoor playground and children between the ages of six and 12 eat at half price.

The buffet costs 288 yuan per person, including unlimited Prosecco sparkling wine, juices and soft drinks.


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