#LEROYSCARNIVA1: Catering Healthier Buffet Food for the Party
With Leroy turning one, it was yet another milestone for us to celebrate as parents of two! You might have also caught our #instagramstories and videos on our Instagram, and you can read about it here! This time round, we’re sharing more details about Leroy’s party as we talk about the FOOD!
We wanted to keep the party simple yet there were elements we couldn’t leave out. Food quality was definitely one of them. Our family loves food and enjoy eating well. So for our parties or home gatherings, we’re usually particular about the food served to our guests.
We hosted Leroy’s First Birthday party at Bove, a spanky new parenthood hub that’s conveniently located in Suntec City. Bove Moments Hall offers the space we needed to host approximately 100 guests, including kids, but we needed to take care of the food. Thankfully, they have a partner caterer whom they work with to provide healthier buffet fare. How’s that for being family-friendly?
Can buffet catering menus offer healthier dishes?
If you’re a pregnant mum or a mother, you might have heard of The Natal Kitchen, a confinement food caterer which prides themselves on traditional confinement dishes with no MSG, less sodium and fats. The Natal Kitchen works with a team of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specialists from Chien Chi Tow and experienced chefs to create healthy confinement food, with recipes passed down through generations. This convenient option takes care of new mummies who deserve rest and proper nutrition during confinement.
With their belief in wholesome and nutritious food, The Natal Kitchen started receiving inquiries from mums if they could cater for their baby showers and birthday parties. The increasing demand led the founder of The Natal Kitchen, to extend her business offerings and this led to the birth of their catering arm, The Private Kitchen.
Food from The Private Kitchen – what’s on the buffet catering menu?
Browsing the buffet catering menu, I spotted several options that were hints of their confinement menu. While I didn’t get to try their confinement menu, I was looking forward to sink my teeth into those dishes that were brimming with herbs.
You’d probably know I enjoy eating nutritious food, and herbal dishes or soups are just some of them. So K and I made our selection from the Premium Menu and made sure we balanced the choices between wet, dry, spicy and non-spicy ones since we were expecting about 20 kids.
Seeing that the choices included food that sounded really appetizing such as Cereal Prawns, Sesame Oil Fried Rice, Sambal Fish, Sesame Oil Ginger Chicken, Salted Egg Prawns and Assam Prawns – K and I had to consider our guests’ palates when it came to deciding. Decisions, decisions!
Here’s what we picked from their Premium Menu:
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- Danggui Chicken Roll*
- Tempura Fish with Wasabi Mayo
- Curry Vegetables
- Fried Specialty Spinach Tofu*
- Golden Salted Egg Prawns
- Fried Prawn Roll (Hei Zhou)
- Steamed Chicken Siew Mai
- Hot Dessert: Red Bean Paste with Glutinous Ball and Gingko Nut*
- Cranberry Juice
Here’s our actual day #instagramstories if you’ve missed it!
What's a party without food?? As foodies, we're pretty particular about the food we serve up during parties, and that includes our DIY dessert table treats too (see previous post) and buffet spread. When we learned that the event space caterer is known for their healthy and nutritious confinement food, this piqued our curiousity! . Can buffet food actually come in a healthier version?? Apparently, yes! And that means no MSG and there are also traditional / herbal dishes to choose from, and these are what #TheNatalKitchen prides themselves for. Feast away! 😋
We topped up our order with an additional dish (Fried Specialty Spinach Tofu) as we felt it would be a favourite amongst kids and adults. Well, yours truly loves tofu too, and spinach tofu sounded YUM!
What else is provided:
Full buffet setup, disposable cutleries/food ware, additional food for replenishment (dishes indicated with *) kept in a tiered food warmer (resembles a mini fridge).
Here’s what we feasted on during Leroy’s birthday party:
Our reviews about the catered party food
The fact that The Private Kitchen’s food contains no MSG was definitely a bonus for me! So here’s our experience with their catered buffet food. PLUS, I love herbal stuff, so I was excited to try the Danggui Chicken Roll and Sesame Oil Ginger Chicken – it was a tough call!! So, we went with the former and was glad it was yums! The chicken meat was tender, along with a hint of herbal taste.There was also sufficient gravy, so guests could pour it on their rice, or for their kids who don’t take curry.
When my friends saw the tofu dish, they knew I must have been the one who picked that. HA! Tofu packs calcium and proteins, so these underappreciate softees coated with egg were like yums! I liked that the Fried Specialty Spinach Tofu was bite-sized too, making it easy to munch on. If you’re planning a party of kids, I’d think the spinach tofu makes a good option of sneaking in proteins and veggies :P
The Hei Zhou was also pretty delicious, adding a twist to the usual catered buffet spread. Tasted pretty homely, if I may say so!
We wanted to go with Sesame Oil Fried Rice while my heart was with the Olive Brown Rice (because I love olives! Plus Brown Rice is healthy!), and learned that most mums who tried The Natal Kitchen’s confinement meals enjoyed it. As for other guests, it may be an acquired taste. Upon Lynda’s recommendation, we went with Pineapple Rice instead – not the usual boring fried rice. We thought the rice could have been more moist with slightly more flavour – that would have been perfect.
The Salted Egg Prawns was also one of my selection as it’s a HOT favourite these days! K and I were eating on-the-go during the party, and I was pretty sad that I didn’t get to try. Would have been fab if the prawns were shelled so it’s easier to handle – I’d foresee this dish top the popularity charts and disappearing quickly!
The catered buffet food menu also had a comfortable mix of different cooking styles and varied flavours to suit general palates.
What our guests said about the party menu
So, what did our guests say about the food? Well, thankfully, the majority of the feedback was positive, and that they appreciated the dishes!
Friend C: “Buffet food is good. The siew mai can taste that the (sic) meat chunk ..so can taste that it’s not those masses (sic) process kind.”
Friend A: “I like the Siew Mai.”
Friend L: “Food was good! Salted Egg Prawns got shell so just took 2 and slowly peel…”
Most of our guests were families with young children, so when we shared about The Private Kitchen and how it had its beginnings in catering confinement food through The Natal Kitchen, they were impressed. Well, naturally so, because most of my friends and relatives are mothers too, and they understand how important nutrition is during the confinement period – that’s the time we mums need to recuperate and build our health before taking on the world’s toughest job of mothering, right? :P
Additional touches that we appreciated
I think it was also a good initiative to have the additional food packed in a tiered food warmer, instead of exposing all the food in the open for 3-4 hours. Probably the main effort was that the host(s) would have to ensure that food was duly topped up, but that wasn’t too difficult! This would depend on the available space at the event area, the number of dishes ordered, and the number of tables available, if you prefer to have a full display of all the food. But not to worry, it was discretely hidden neatly in transparent Toyogo containers under the table skirting along with the additional cutleries and utensils for refill, so none were the wiser :P
All in all, our guests had a delectable time. Most of the food was wiped out – Tempura Fish, Hei Zhou and drinks were gone; only a small quantity of Spinach Tofu (which I snitched while cleaning up at the end of the party!) and Siew Mai remained. And we’re glad that we didn’t have that lingering thirsty feeling after that! Yay to that, right?
More information about The Private Kitchen
Besides catering for confinement meals, corporate event catering and private events like parties, The Private Kitchen team is also up for the challenge to customise menus for each event. That’s pretty much like a dose of omakase in a refreshing way through your exclusive menu! For more information on the buffet catering services, visit their website and Facebook page.
Are you looking for a buffet catering for your next party? Do share what your favourite dishes are!