Thursday, April 21

Town Restaurant

Hello everyone! (:

The long weekend is finally here! (: I've been waiting too long for this day! Really need an extra day to rest and catch up with friends because I've been neglecting these two since term started! If I'm not wrong, a small group of us will be going out next week so it does look like some kind of social balance is starting to kick in.

Anyway one of my colleagues/ friends recently asked me if I know of any restaurant that serves Chinese cuisine because she was thinking of bringing her mum out for a meal on Mother's Day and I realised that I don't usually frequent Chinese restaurant or eat Chinese fare. I think it's probably because I don't really like Chinese food in the first place or perhaps I usually have Chinese/ Malay food in school anyway so when given an opportunity, I'd prefer to eat something non-Chinese.

Having said that, if you are a fan of Asian fare or local cuisine, you may wish to go to Town Restaurant at Fullerton Hotel on weekends for their Singaporean High-Tea ($32++/pax). The spread is truly Asian/ Singaporean so you needn't worry about not having enough local delights! The only personal gripe I have is that the spread isn't as tantalizing as international buffets and it didn't help that there weren't THAT many dishes to choose from!

Interestingly, they didn't even have a normal salad bar where Jeffrey could get his leaves from! Instead, they had a rojak bar which we didn't patronize because Jeffrey isn't into rojak and I didn't want to have to eat the whole thing on my own! Thankfully, he found some 'appetizers' which he quickly put on his plate (from left): satays (chicken and mutton), sushi, fried prawn dumplings (not bad).

I chose to visit the popiah and kueh pie tee booth to get a taste of both and I must say that they're much better than expected (: I like that these were 'ready-made' and all we'd to do was to pick them up and go! Oh and I took a pile of green apples because I simply couldn't resist taking something from the rojak bar!

And since I'm not into local cuisine, I took plates of sandwiches! Surprisingly, I could eat most (if not all) the types of sandwiches on display! On this plate, you can see (left to right) egg mayo sandwich, smoked salmon sandwich, cucumber sandwich and cheese sandwich. They're all pretty okay but they're not as good as Goodwood Park's!

As mentioned before, the selection of food wasn't very large so we basically helped ourselves to many plates of the same dishes (from left in clockwise direction): dumpling, har gao (steamed prawn dumpling), fried crab claw, Singaporean fried noodles, black carrot cake (yum!).

Some of the carbohydrates that you can enjoy are: mee goreng (super good!), fried rice and Singaporean fried noodles

And even after we ate many rounds of food, I was still feeling peckish so I decided to get more black carrot cake, fried crab claw and an almost invisible har gao.

Then comes my favourite part - desserts! (:

Plateful of desserts which I ate all on my own (from left): danish pastry with very nice jam in it, banana cake with chocolate, durian cake (light and fluffy!), scone with jam and clotted cream.

I couldn't get enough of the durian cake so I went to get another slice! The others on this plate are (from left): black bean/ pulut hitam tasting-thing with some green thing sitting atop, some cake that tastes pretty dense, and more banana cake (love that too)!

I also helped myself to a generous bowl of chendol, which wasn't fantastic because the 'soup' (sorry I can't recall what it's called now) wasn't thick or flavourful enough. I think they could have added a tad more coconut milk as well as brown sugar. Other than that, the condiments were aplenty so it's good for people who like to eat a lot of condiments (:

Last but not least, I scooped us a bowl of tao suan (aka yellow bean paste) and topped it with some incredibly hard youtiaos (fried dough fritters) and it was a complete disappointment! The tao suan was way too sticky and I felt like I was eating glue! =( Jeffrey, who doesn't like yellow bean paste in the first place, also said that it tasted bad. I guess we can give this a miss in future!

On the whole our meal there was relatively pleasant in terms of quality of food and experience though we wished that the quality of food could be slightly higher. If you aren't a big eater and all you want is a nice chill-out place to have some Asian food and catch up with friends, this would be a place you can consider (:

Alright that's all for now! Have a great weekend everyone! (:

Friday, April 15

Global Kitchen

Hello! (: It's been a while since I last blogged so I thought I should post an entry before sleeping tonight (: As Jeffrey and I have been dining at inconvenient times (i.e. usually too late for lunch) of late due to our busy schedules, we often end up having ghigh tea buffets because that's usually the only option we have left since most lunch places tend to close by a particular time. Not too long ago, we made a trip to Global Kitchen at Pan Pacific Hotel. According to Trip Advisor, Pan Pacific is ranked as one of our country's finest hotels so I didn't think that the food would be too bad. However, I didn't get my hopes up since I've never heard of anyone raving about Pan Pac's buffet so I went there with an open mind and with little or no expectations. The layout of the restaurant is pretty interesting because each table is placed in such a way that it has a teensy bit of privacy so that diners can eat and talk in peace. We were literally sitting around a bend so we didn't have anyone near us, which was perfect because we could just eat and talk at ease (:

One thing that I liked about Global Kitchen is that it provides free flow of fruit punch! I'd so many cups of this because I was trying to resist ordering Sprite! =P

The buffet spread at Global Kitchen is made up of predominantly Asian dishes so if you are a fan of Asian cuisine, you'd love dining at Global Kitchen! (: Here are some snapshots of what we had that day:

Vegetable samosa (yum!) and steamed soon kueh (not bad!)

Jeffrey had his usual serving of plain lettuce and some sushi

I was intrigued by the large spread of sandiwches but only decided to take two: grilled vegetable sandwich and egg sandwich (yum). I also followed in Jeffrey's footsteps and took some leaves but I also drizzled some thousand island ranch sauce onto the leaves to give them more taste.

There was quite a wide variety of meat despite the small buffet display area. Some of the meat include: roasted chicken, roasted duck, deep fried prawn on bamboo (ala Vietnamese style), mee goreng (ymmy!) as well as fried carrot cake (black).

After seeing Jeffrey eat his food with such relish, I decided to outdo him and take an entire plate of savoury food for myself to indulge in: (from left to right, in clockwise direction: deep fried prawn on bamboo, mee goreng, mushroom tart, fried carrot cake (black) and vegetable spring roll.

Eventually, we decided to combine our appetities and got a big plate of carrot cake, vegetable spring roll, satay and sushi to share.

As you can see by now, we shared MANY plates with the same few dishes on them. The only 'new' item on this plate would be the paper-wrapped chicken, which Jeffrey complimented! It's definitely a must-try as the chicken tasted 'tender and special! =)

One thing that I didn't like about Global Kitchen was its tiny dessert section! =( It had a mixture of western and asian desserts but somehow the entire display wasn't particularly captivating.

Here's a shot of my mango pomelo sago (: It tasted thicker than usual but I was okay with it. Could have been better with more pomelo and sago though.

Scones and bread and butter pudding! Unfortunately, this was one of the rare times that I ate desserts (which I really like) but are below average standard! The bread & butter pudding, as you can see, was already pre-cut and didn't have the right texture. As for the scones, they tasted more like muffins as they were dense instead of slightly biscuity. Maybe you can give these a miss the next time you head there.

Oh this crepe took quite a while to make becuase the lady at the crepe counter had to do this a few times before she managed to make a crepe that was presentable enough to be served! The good thing about this crepe with caramelised bananas is that you actually can choose your own toppings! (: There are quite a few fruit toppings to choose from (or if you are a fruit lover, you can have ALL toppings) but if you don't like fruits, you may wish to troop over to the icecream corner to get yourself a scoop of high-quality icecream to go along with your crepe! (:

Platter of desserts! From left in clockwise direction: coffee eclair (not bad), chocolate cake, coffee hazelnut cake, mango sponge cake, cheesecake (superb!) and chocolate eclair. I would highly recommend the cheesecake because it's so well-made! The cheese layer is extremely smooth and together with its cereal base, they were a formidable combination (:

Finally, to end off the meal, we indulged in another scoop of vanilla icecream! Even if you're not a dessert person, you should at least try a bit of their icecream because it's unexpectedly good! (:

Personally, I wouldn't consider Global Kitchen a must-go restaurant because the spread is quite limited and the quality of food was average/ slightly above average but I do think that it's worth $32++/pax. It'll be a good place to have a leisure meal and catch up session with friends because of the pleasant ambience and generally quiet surroundings (:

Alright that's all for now! Till the next update! (:

Wednesday, April 6

Checkers Brasserie

Hello (: Today's one of those days when I feel extremely exhausted but also mildly soothed because of a great day at school (: As I've told some people, the kids can really make or break your day and I'd like to thank the people who made me smile today (: Thank you. Since I'm feeking too sleepy to continue with work, let me share a little gem of a restaurant with you: Checkers Brasserie at Hilton Hotel. Jeffrey and I went there a couple of weeks ago not expecting their buffet to be good since it was one of the restaurants that weren't fully booked on a Saturday afternoon but boy were we wrong! The first thing that struck me was that the flooring of the place matches their name! =) How thematically consistent!

We went there for a late lunch so the other diners had tucked in long ago (judging by the plates and the items on their plates) by the time we arrived. We were seated right in front of the dessert section, which I thought was fate at work because I'm such a dessert monster!

If you're healthy like Jeffrey and love starting your meal with plain green veggies, you may choose to pile up your plate with a clump of lettuce leaves like this:

or you can make a palette out of your colourful vegetables! Surprisingly, there was a wide range of 'little bites' such as (from left to right in a clockwise direction: gluttinous rice, deep fried croquette (yum), deep fried wantons, chicken covered in leaves and steamed crystal ball (yum).

There was also a Japanese section (as you can tell from the sushis above) and a mixed salad bar where you can get dishes like smoked salmon, pasta salad, greek salad etc.

For Asian food lovers, you must be pleased to find out that there are satays (background of photo) and some interesting Asian-fusion dishes on offer as well! One popular dish was the fish fillet covered with tomato shreds and gravy. It wasn't groundbreakingly fantastic but it was definitely above average.

Just in case you, like me, need some real carbo to feel full, there's fried rice! It wasn't very fragrant but it was definitely okay. There are cooked vegetables (mixed broccoli and cauliflower) and other kinds of meat available as well. More fried rice, satay, beef and chicken.

Western food lovers won't feel left out but they'll definitely not enjoy themselves since the selection of 'western' food is quite small: quiche (yum) and pizza. The good thing about these dishes is that they're always warm so you tend to yearn for them especially if you're craving for something western and warm!

My mini bowl of laksa! (: It was pretty okay except that I think I added a bit too much laksa leaves so it tasted a tad too weedy. For the first time, we made ourselves a pot of English Breakfast Tea and got ourselves a strainer to drink tea the 'proper' way! =) I was mighty pleased with this pot of tea because I added quite a substantial amount of tea leaves so the tea taste was very strong!

Scones with marmalade and cream! The scones were slightly biscuity so I didn't appreciate it a lot but since it was so small, I ate it up anyway!

The beginning of my dessert rampage (from left, in clockwise direction): mango sponge cake, green tea mouse and cake (yum!), bread and butter pudding (okay, acceptable), hazelnut cake. Clockwise from left: petite carrot cake (yum), chocolate brownie (yumyum), openfaced macaroon (not bad), a piece of fruit, chocolate cake (yumyum).

New York Cheese Cake (exceptionally good!) and more chocolate cake (sinfully good!)

From left, in clockwise direction: cheesecake ball (tastes weird), tiramisu (yum!), pear tart, raspberry cheesecake (not that fantastic).

Before I end off, I'd like to say that Hilton has the BEST chocolate desserts that I've ever tasted! Seriously, I don't know how they manage to do it but ALL the chocolate desserts that I had that day were at least a notch above the better chocolate desserts that I have had in terms of quality. You must try Hilton's chocolate desserts if and when you go for this relatively affordable, $37++/ pax weekend lunch!

Alright that's all for now (: Have a good rest of the week! Will update when I can! Goodnight! (:

Sunday, April 3

Marriot Cafe

Hello! =) I'm taking a short break from work now so I'm going to post about my extremely indulgent back-to-school buffet meal at Marriot Cafe! =) Jeffrey and I didn't get to spend March hols together because I was away so we decided to catch up over a long and filling lunch at Marriot Cafe! Truth be told, I didn't think much of this place and I only remember it as 'the place which serves good bread & butter pudding' but since we didn't really have a preference for restaurants the day before Term 2 started, we parked ourselves at Marriot Cafe for the $80/ pax non-champagne Sunday brunch. For those who, like me, haven't been to Marriot Cafe for quite a while, you would be pleasantly surprised to find out that they've changed their buffet system! They've decided to place all warm food items on a list where you can tick off and order (there is no limit to the number of orders because it's a buffet) instead of placing them on display so that the warm dishes can be prepared upon ordering and they will reach your table tops piping hot and fresh off the stove! While waiting for our 'hot' items to be cooked, we helped ourselves to the wide variety of cold dishes and appetizers. There's a wide range of raw vegetables for salad lovers, sweetened apples and other fruits for people who prefer to have something sweet, a whole range of pre-mixed salads like the scallops and baby corn salad mix at the top left hand corner of this photo and not to mention, two types of smoked salmon to choose from! Yum =) There is also a Japanese section where you can get petite warm dishes like this cup of chawanmushi as well as cold dishes like sushi! Oh and if you're observant, you'll notice two siewmais sitting amongst the sushis on this plate! There is a few types of dimsum to choose from but personally I didn't think much of the dimsum so I didn't eat a lot of it. Because I don't usually follow the conventional dining order, I hopped from appetizer to dessert within the first half an hour of our meal! I helped myself to a generous serving of bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce and was looking forward to letting my palette experience a mush of goodness but the bread and butter pudding didn't live up to my expectations this time round =( Maybe it wasn't a good batch of bread and butter pudding but I was really quite crushed when I ate the ordinary-tasting bread and butter pudding. Nevertheless, I let my prejudice pave my way to a couple more bowls of this during the later part of the meal. Seafood lovers are in for a treat because there is the standard range of shell fish/ seafood up for grabs! =) Their cold lobsters weren't particularly big so there was not much meat in each shell but you can always go back for more! Finally, our warm dishes started to make their appearance on our table! Just a small note: the dishes come in VERY small portions so please take the liberty to order two or more portions if you like a particular dish. Champagne Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus. The eggs definitely tasted different from the usual scrambled eggs but the taste is not as distinct or exquisite as the scrambled eggs that I'd at Au Jardin. I liked the combination of the three types of food on this plate. Atlantic Salmon "Sous vide" with Spinach Emulsion. The spinach emulsion was the key ingredient that made this dish less ordinary. I didn't think that the spinach emulsion blended particularly well with the salmon though but I suspect it may be a personal preference to have salmon on its own. Fire-roasted Vegetables with Mediterranean Butter. This was probably the least enjoyable dish out of all that we've ordered so I think you can give this a miss. Tempura Prawns & Vegetables with Dipping Sauce. This was pretty standard tempura - the batter wasn't light nor was it too oily though I must say that people who dislike having too thick a layer of flour around their prawns/ vegetables may not like this that much. 8 Treasures Fried Rice. With such a name, how could we not be tempted to try it? It tasted like a dry version of claypot rice to me and it wasn't as fragrant as I expected it to be but it was generally okay. Steamed Garoupa Fillet with Ginger and Spring Onion. The fish fillet wasn't particularly tender and unless you conscientiously dip each portion of the fillet with sauce before you eat it, it actually tastes quite bland. Crispy Roasted Pork Belly with Hokkien Mee. This is one dish that we would highly recommend because Marriot Cafe's version of Hokkien Mee is pretty unique and we both liked it a lot! Eggs Benedict with Shaved Leg Ham and Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon for Jeffrey & myself respectively! The eggs benedict here is slightly above average and I would strongly encourage you to order this especially if you're in a brunchy mood. By now you should be able to tell that Jeffrey and I are lobster lovers! Here's a photo of Lobster Thermidore, which is lobster with melted cheese over it. It's extremely sinful but also delectably delicious! Try it! Time for some real dessert! Apart from my bowls of bread & buttter pudding, I also had (in clockwise direction from left), chocolate truffle, matcha cheesecake (yum), macaroon, banana crumble with vanilla sauce, mango cake... More chocolate balls, extremely rich chocolate cake and another macaroon. The dessert section is actually quite well-stocked and there are definitely more choices that those that I have shown here. I suspect I didn't get to try the other desserts because I ate way too much bread & butter pudding and so I didn't have much space left for the rest =S Finally, I ended my meal off with a thick (and rather oily) piece of pancake with maple syrup! Intially I wanted to have waffles and crepes but the guy at the crepe counter was taking way too long to make the crepes so I decided to help myself to a pancake instead. In short, it was the perfect meal to mark the end of March hols and also a good start to welcome a new term! =) Would definitely go back to Marriot Cafe again in the near future! Alright that's all for today. Have a great week ahead everyone! (: