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10 Malaysian food monsters share their BEST buffet strategies (and we tried them out!)

Last week, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa invited us over for their Jemput Makan dinner buffet which is running this festive month until the 14th of June (call 03-74952009/03-7492 8000 or fill out this form to reserve). Usually the price is RM178, but from the 11th-14th of June, it’s only RM98!  Our price? FREE YAY! And since it’s got NINE FOOD STATIONS…



…we thought…

Why not ask our readers how to optimise our buffet experience?

Like any fight, it’s crucial to plan before you attack. We came prepared with three common tips:

  • wear comfortable baju rumah despite going to a 5-star hotel (sorry Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa eheh),
  • focus on the most expensive dishes (especially kambing golek, seafood and durian desserts),
  • and a stomach that’s as empty as our bank accounts…
And we all had a good night's sleep :-)

… and we all went home and snored the night away. :-0

So how good were our readers’ tips? We divided them into two categories – “BEFORE the buffet” and “DURING the buffet“. Read on to find out how it went 🙂



1. “Work out right before the makan!” – Tan Yu Yong

  • Best buffet record: “A lot!”
  • Origin of technique: “I gym quite a bit. I realize my eating capacity is way higher the first 2 hours after a workout.”

“If we exercise a lot, our metabolism will be higher, and we can eat more. So a month before the buffet, EXERCISE at least 3 times a week. On that day itself, go and workout, shower, and head straight to the buffet.” – Tan

We sent Lydia, Managing Editor of CILISOS.MY, to test this tip out. Since she exercises at least twice a week, she squeezed in a 30-minute HIIT workout at a nearby gym JUST before the meal.

Lydia pretending to look alive after an intense HIIT sesh in the gym

Lydia pretending to look alive after an intense sesh in the gym

“Since I usually get hungry after gym, I decided to have fried rice at 3pm to see if a workout would make me hungry.  Even till the end of my workout (which almost killed me btw), I still felt pretty stuffed. But after showering and cooling down, I suddenly felt like I was ready to devour an entire farm.” – Lydia, Managing Editor

You already know a fair bit about metabolism and calorie burning so we won’t go into details, BUT check this out. We actually release more ghrelin (a.k.a. HUNGER hormone, srsly) after long, moderate-intensity workouts instead of shot, high-intensity workouts. That means, Lydia could’ve been a lot hungrier if she had gone for a slow, 60-minute jog instead of an intense a 30-minute routine. So…

Cili-verdict: 100% jadi! But better just go to the taman and jog for an hour. 

5 star cili tip


2. “Eat half a lemon 30 minutes before you eat.” – Rachel Low

  • Best buffet record: “Dei. I ate like 5 servings of salmon and ice cream, and 2 servings of all the meat at a Japanese buffet… and I’m a 16 y/o girl!”
  • Origin of strategy: “Experience.”

Rachel’s tip was pretty straightforward. Eat the lemon half an hour before the buffet. Sounds simple enough, kan?



“Not too sure what the lemon did for me. Eating something so sour did wake me up quite a bit la. Oh, 2 days after and my teeth still hurt from biting into that acid bomb…” – Lydia

Wah lemons solve everything meh?! No energy? Take lemons. Can’t berak? Take lemons. Wanna grow taller? LEMONS! ACTUERLY, Lemon juice is similar to the digestive juices in the stomach, so it actually tricks the liver into producing bile which helps keep food moving through your body smoothly.

Doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to eat more, though. This study actually showed that pectin, a substance found in the peel and pulp, has helped people feel fuller for longer. (?!!) So how would eating a lemon help in a buffet? Not sure, but if anything, being wide awake helped…

Cili-verdict: 1 cili. Worth trying, but probably never again. 

1 cili


3. “Drink LOTS of water to expand your stomach.” – Caleb

  • Best buffet record: “3 hours at an a la carte Japanese buffet. Many plates of prawns, sashimi, beef etc.”
  • Origin of strategy: “Intense Google research, hahahaha.”

“On the day of the buffet, drink LOTS of water and eat mainly white carbs (e.g. white bread, white rice). Both will expand your stomach, and the white carbs will digest quickly and leave you hungry enough at dinnertime to max out.” – Caleb

Our ed-in-chief, Chak ended up drinking at least 3 litres of water (usually 1 litre) and eating two pieces of roti kosong with a bit of dhal at 1pm.

A whopping 3 litres!

No surprise that he was complaining like mad the whole day.

“Walao halfway through the day, my shishi already looked like mineral water… BUT – I was pretty hungry throughout the day cos I didn’t eat any meat… and it helped me get to 9 plates! But I also hardly touched carbs during the buffet la.” – Chak, Editor-in-Chief

Turns out this trick is LEGIT. We found a one-week routine on a food challenge site, but we read that some even train for months! But chup – if not done correctly, you can actually do extreme damage to your kidneys. The best way to work around this is by training with water and food.

White carbs do digest faster being simple carbs and all, but obviously doesn’t pack enough nutrients for your body in the long run. But that’s ok, there are over 400 authentic and nostalgic dishes at the Jemput Makan Dinner Buffet so you’re sorted. 😉 #shamelessplug

Cili-verdict: 80% jadi! Just make sure you got easy toilet access lah. 

4 cili




4. “Chew gum in between each dish.” – Wong Yee Ling

  • Best buffet record: “I sapu so much seafood that I ended up camping at the station while they refilled the food because I ate all the stuff. #notguiltythough”
  • Origin of strategy: “We grew up in lower income family and it was extremely rare for us to have the opportunity to noms buffet and when we did, we all thought of creative ways to make the most out of the experience.”

I’d bring a pack of chewing gum to cleanse my palate so I can continue eating,” Yee Ling says. “Chewing gum also stimulates my stomach into digesting the food.”

So Chak brought with him a bottle of chewing gum with Xylitol, and chewed on a pellet after each plate. Because he only had two pieces, he saved it between meals.

Sorry if this face disturbs you.

Gum censored cos… erm… a bit gross la eheh.

“Chewing gum helps a bit, but I was also walking in and out and vaping a bit in between, which gave me some time for the food to settle. After the meal, I tried chewing more gum but I didn’t feel any less full.” – Chak

Yes, chewing gum with xylitol (a natural sweetener) can improve digestion – eating it right before or after a meal helps the body create more saliva, which then builds up more acid in your stomach to ease digestion. But as for cleansing the palate to re-whet the appetite? “Meh,” Chak says.

Cili-verdict: 10%. Worth the try la. Walking helps too.

1 cili


5. “Calculate how much each plate costs.” – Kuzairy Safiyan

  • Best buffet record: “Not that much la, but tak rugi banyak.”
  • Origin of strategy: “Bapa Kiasu.”

“I usually estimate how much each plate costs until it’s on par with how much I paid for the buffet. Let’s say your first plate is RM10, then RM15, and so on… That way, you won’t feel like you rugi bayar.”

Did someone say math? Yessss. This is totally up Chak’s alley since he’s so calculative. So putting together some costs based on prices from atas restaurants, here’s how much value he roughly got from his dinner:

Click for full image!

Click for larger image!

Chak must’ve eaten at LEAST a dinner worth….. RM329! Seeing as the buffet is priced at RM178 per adult (only RM98 11-14th June!), AND they’re giving 25% off for Maybank/Amex, Public Bank, or UOB Bank users AND twice the points if you’re using Sunway Pals, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa might be banning Chak after this adi.

Not including misc stuff like assam boi jambu (SO YUMMEH) and some coffee.

Not including misc stuff like assam boi jambu (SO YUMMEH) and some coffee.

“This strategy was super fun. There are a number of high-value dishes in the Jemput Makan Dinner Buffet, like sashimi, durian, abalone and even lamb, so you definitely can eat your money’s worth here. And I’m not paid to say this, but the taste & freshness was seriously very impressive.” – Chak, Editor-in-chief

Cili-verdict: 5 cili. Seriously. This will make you so happy at the end of the buffet. 

5 star cili tip


[UPDATE] Msia is representing ASIA in World Cup 2016! But which sport?

6. “Eat starchy veggies so that you can poop, empty your stomach, and makan again” – Faisal

  • Best buffet record: “Ate a full pizza, spaghetti, Maggi, chips, chocolates all by myself… Another time at a sushi buffet, I ate at least 40 pieces!”
  • Origin of strategy: “I saw a YouTube video of someone who ate up to 10,000 calories a day. Not impossible if you have a how-to guide.”

“While you eat, add la some veggies or not you’ll get constipation. Don’t need to take laxative to help your digestion. Halfway through, when you feel like pooping, go do your business and come back so you can eat more.” – Faisal


Okay… so LOGICALLY speaking la, if your tupperware (stomach) is empty, it means you can put more food into the tupperware right?

Just a quarter of the selection of fruits at the #JemputMakan dinner buffet

Just a quarter of the selection of fruits at the Jemput Makan Dinner Buffet

“Wehh first you ask me to drink 3 litres water and make me shishi like mad, now you want me to poop instead?!” – Chak

Eh sorry wrong quote.

“I ate veggies and fruits but I didn’t feel like pooping throughout the dinner, even though I usually poop at 8pm. In fact, AFTER the buffet, , but still felt full after tI pooped at home but STILL felt full.” – Chak

Actually, even if you were to swallow a fiber pill, it would still take about 12 – 48 hours to take effect on your body… so there’s a very small chance that this tip could’ve actually worked at all! But if it does, Chak says the toilets in the hotel are super-clean.

Cili-verdict: 0 cilis. Poop lembu la. 

0 cili


7. “Chew your food 44 times. Avoid carbs.” – Aliff Saiman

  • Best buffet record: “I managed to taste everything in the buffet.”
  • Origin of strategy: “Looking at my environment, YouTube, friends, etc.”

Yeah, we got the memo about the carbs. Like literally almost EVERY entry had this obvious tip. But what about the 44 times to chew? Since Iqbal typically vacuums his food down his throat, we made him try this tip out.


CHOMPCHOMPCHOMP…. This from the guy who barely chews more than 5 times usually.

“When I tried this tip, I had to control myself from swallowing prematurely. Chewing 44 times isn’t easy, especially if it’s soft, like fish or ground meat. Then harder stuff, your mouth dem tired. It’s been two days and my jaws still hurt.” – Iqbal, Editor

While chewing your food thoroughly does help your digestion (like chewing gum tip above), it was only a matter of time before we realised that this tip seriously tak boleh pakai la. (Iqbal gave up halfway.)

Sure, a study has shown that respondents who chew more than 40 times can eat 12% more than those who chewed 15 times… but how are you going to enjoy your food liddat la? Kesiannya.

Cili-verdict: 0 cili. Sakit mulut ah! 

0 cili


8. “Avoid drinking while eating!” – Ezwan Azizul

  • Best buffet history: “Jumbo-sized crab, at least 4-5 plates of white rice.”
  • Origin of strategy: “Watched a world championship burger eating contest. The lady who won said she relaxed, took her time and lessened her water intake.”

“Drink 5-10 minutes before you eat, and only drink once you’re done eating.” – Exwan

This was particularly difficult for Iqbal as he was already thirsty (fasting) before going to the buffet… so we tweaked his tip a little bit. New rule: Iqbal gets to drink a maximum of 10 sips, but not allowed to eat soupy dishes.

Dah la gotta chew 44 times... now got water restrictions pulak

Dah la gotta chew 44 times… now got water restrictions pulak

“The tough part was when I had salty dishes like udang kertas goreng or spicy sauces like sambal. When I sipped on my precious water, it was mainly to wet my lips. It definitely worked, cos I didn’t feel bloated during the dinner. But once I was done with my meal, I had a glass of air bandung and sugar cane and I felt like I was going to explode.” – Iqbal, Editor

Poor Iqbal didn’t get to try their signature Sup Gearbox Turbo, which Lydia and Chak did of course 🙂

Ermagerdddd look at all that bone marrow!!

Ermagerdddd look at all that bone marrow!! Srsly delicious

Cili-verdict: 3 cilis! Not a bad tip, just kesianla cannot drink soup.

3 cili


9. “Alternate the temperature of the dishes.” – Leonie Luar

  • Best buffet record: “3-4 big plates of seafood, 5-6 plates of tempura, sashimi and other dishes… and slabs of red meat.”
  • Origin of strategy: “It’s common sense. I have to make it worth my money. LOL.”

Leonie tells us to start by surveying the spread before you do anything. “Avoid all the carbs, attack the seafood, avoid liquid food, eat sour food, and alternate the temperature of the food – cold dish, hot dish, cold dish…”

Actually there were more dishes than the above :)

Actually there were more dishes than the above 🙂

“Sashimi, then lamb and peppers.

cold seafood, then roasted duck, fried prawns and mushroom,

Udang kertas (AMAZING), then cold, Arabic vegetables.

Spaghetti bolognaise and Shepherd’s Pie (so sedap btw, total comfort food) and potatoes.

And finally cold desserts, mango pudding, durian custard and some coffee caramel.

LAST ROUND, warm dessert – chocolate bread pudding (SO COMFORTING). After that I had some ice cream, and totally hit a wall.” – Iqbal

Yep. He really did. We’ve never seen Iqbal so quiet for so long. It was magical.

We couldn’t find a solid explanation behind this, but Iqbal tells us that the trick was pretty ingenious. “I ate more than I usually could,” Iqbal says. “I usually have one round of dessert, but this time I had space for TWO.”

Cili-verdict: 5 cilis! You should definitely try it. 

5 star cili tip


10. “Have an entree, main, dessert cycle.” – Katelyn Su

  • Best buffet record: “An average of 7 plates filled with seafood, meat.”
  • Origin of strategy: “Through practice in buffets. I also like to see what I put inside my tummy on non-buffet days.”

“Take every item in bite-sized portions so there would be no wastage. Enjoy the food that you’re eating, and the rest of the food will follow. To keep it going, you can always go into cycles like appetisers, main course meals, and desserts.” – Katelyn 



“I was quite skeptical at first. For me, once I’ve had my dessert, THAT.WOULD.BE. IT.

But trying it felt like I was cheating my own body. It was super weird. I went for at least three cycles and a little bit more. In fact, if it wasn’t because Chak and Iqbal looked like they were ready to balik tidur, I could’ve kept on going. Because of this, I managed to sample almost all of the desserts, my favourites being the ice kacang with durian puree and the durian cheesecake. Homagad!” – Lydia

Sticking to small amounts helped, too. “There was a huge variety of food ranging from local favourites to angmoh food and even to Arabian food.. so if I were to take more than a spoonful, I wouldn’t be able to try half of them,” she adds. “I only wish I had gone for the buffet earlier… maybe could’ve gotten more Kambing Golek.”

Cili-verdict: 5 cilis! Such a brilliant tip! 

5 star cili tip


*Burp* Thanks for all your entries! Congrats, you won tickets to eat too 😛

Phew! That was a LOT to digest. Heh. Thanks to all our readers who submitted their entries! The ones above walk away with 2 tickets to Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa’s Jemput Makan Dinner Buffet (Please check your emails!)

For everyone else, they’ve got a special rate of RM98 from 11th – 14th June so if you wanna make a reservation, call 03-74952009/03-7492 8000 or fill out this form!

Thanks for the free makan, gaiz! Now our readers turn…

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