Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Edition 2 - Logcake, bread, fruitcake...

More of the sin this festive season!

Fourleaves

Gingerbread Man, $1.40



The gingerbread man's too dry..and overpowering in cinnamon taste..ack! Looks better than it tastes.

Goodwood Park Hotel

Durian Logcake, $55, 1kg




The second logcake this year!



I've always got my reservations towards all things durians, this year..I let my guard down and invited the King Of Fruits onto the dining table. It's known as the legendary signature D24 Durian Logcake. It was too frozen the first night we cut it, tasted exactly like a block of ice-cream . The second attempt revealed a creamy durian delight! The spongecake's very soft, the durian paste isn't pungent nor overly sweet...yummy! Still traces of durian in it, but bearable. Now I get the hooha about Goodwood Park. I thought the furthest I'd go is cream puffs, welcome on board logcake! A must buy every year now.

Fairmont Hotel

Courtesy of the ofc.

Bread with Stuffing



I call this a complicated loaf of bread. Heavy it is, in terms of weight and stuffing. It's 3/4 stuffing and 1/4 bread. The stuffing has figs, pears, apples and raisins all mashed. I like it!

Christmas Cake



Fragrant and soft...! The raisins aren't too sweet..pity there's no liquor in it, if not it'd be one helluva fruitcake! The family adored this to bits.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Straits Cafe @ Hotel Rendezvous

Yet another buffet for the year! The last count I did, maybe once every month...anyhow, I dragged the newfound foodies to another Christmas buffet, high tea this time, following Carlton's Christmas Prelude.

I've not been to Hotel Rendezvous for food of late, the last visit was a couple of years back to this Indian restaurant on level 2.

I made reservations at 3pm, they weren't ready yet...so we made a beeline in true Singaporean style.



We were there for the Christmas Menu!



Table setting...our goblets were filled rather quickly throughout.

We started our rounds of pigging out almost as soon as we sat down...here goes in order!

Appetizers



On the plate (L-R); smoked salmon open face sandwich, cheese, spicy seafood salad, grilled zucchini, prawn, mussel, turkey!

Spicy seafood salad
I was drawn to it by the rich orange hue it had..too artificial crunch its got.

Grilled Zucchini Salad
Normal...

Seafood corner: Prawns/Mussels/Octopus with thai sauce

Prawns are fresh! Mussels were alright...pity I didn't have stomach space for more than 1 of each. :( The company was smart enough to load up on the seafood before anything else!

The octopus was supposedly too bland.

Cheese Platter
Somehow too hard...

Turkey with cranberry sauce
Sliced turkey...that tasted more like chicken.



Rojak!

Make your own salad: Rojak/Caesar Salad

I tried making my own rojak with cucumber, turnip, pineapple and loads of fried doughsticks...pity there's no prawn paste to go with this delicacy. I wonder why hotels don't add in the usual kangkong and beansprouts to complete the dish? Tastes average, the pineapple cubes were apparently too hard.

Mains



Minced meat Bak Chor Mee

It was a daily special that fell flat with an overload of sauce. Something new though on the buffet table!



Sashimi selection (Tuna/Salmon)
Badly cut sashimi...but slurpworthy!



On the plate (L-R); Softshell crab sushi, cold tofu, cha soba, eel with soba and smoked salmon with rockets.

Sushi selection
Another place that offers soft shell crab sushi and california rolls...different from the usual tamago/tuna sushi.

Cold Tofu
Enjoyed the cold slab with miso sauce. The sauce was slightly on the sweet side.

Eel with soba / Cha Soba
The noodles for both are too soft, but a refreshing addition to the buffet table!

Smoked Salmon
My usual fave..:) I added that to the open faced sandwich I made with the toast, with egg salad and tuna.




Laksa
Award-winning it is! And yes, it is really good, sinful and solid. Comparable to Katong Laksa according to the laksa fans. I slurped it up greedily. The gravy's got enough spice in it...divine.



On the plate (L-R); crispy octopus balls, pad thai, siew mai

Fried octopus ball/Tempura Selection
The tempura was not fried on the spot, resulting in them being cold and lacking in crisp

Dimsum (Siew mai, crystal dumpling, lotus paste pau)
Tastes like your typical "thaw and microwave" category of food...I didn't mind the lotus paste pau!

Pad Thai
Awfully flat in taste.




On the plate (L-R); chwee kuay, lotus paste pau, crystal dumpling, oyster egg, tempura selection

Chwee Kuay
The ricecake and cai bo somehow tasted very instant..

Lotus Paste Pau
Yummy and soft!

Crystal dumpling
Ordinary

Oyster omelette
Nowhere near the taiwanese delicacy, the oysters are fine...the gooey mixture that sends waves of satisfaction was reduced to a soft, tasteless grey mass. The chilli's good!



On the plate (L-R); Khong bak pau, sasauge pastry, chicken drumlet, chicken satay

Chicken Satay
Pity it wasn't hot when I ate it.

Khong Bak Pau with pork
This surprised me. The white fluffy pau was accompanied by slices of roast pork and gravy that reminded me of roast duck/pork ones...totally funny combination but on its own, it's passable.

Grilled chicken drumlets
Boring and not tasty.

Sausage pastry
No major comments about this.



On the plate (L-R); Fish masala, mushroom cups

Fish
Done masala style...I didn't like this.

Mushroom pastry
Fill your own mushroom cups! Interesting idea. The diced mushrooms were a tad creamy, tasted like mushroom soup with chunks of mushrooms.



On the plate (L-R), Apple pastry, Jam pastry, Croissant, Open faced sandwich

Open face smoked salmon sandwich
Yum!

Bread corner (Croissants/Bread/Muffins/Apple turnover/Jam turnover/Make your own sandwich with cheese/tuna/egg)

Their baked goods are pretty decent!



Abalone and chicken porridge
Shellfish it is. Overall tasted like your Grandma's porridge, traditional and chockful of ingredients.



Popiah
Skin too thick...

Desserts



On the plate (L-R); Durian pengat in a shooter, durian fudge cake, durian eclair, durian logcake

Durian Fudge Cake
I'm no durian fan..but for their Durian Fudge cake, I am sold. I tucked into one and a half slices of this decadent treat! The puree's so smooth, the cake's not sweet...I can just sit and polish off the cake, if not for the rest of the food! It's on sale for $42++ per cake.

Durian Logcake
Comparatively, this logcake paled in comparison in taste. Blander than the fudge cake without any hint of durian.

Durian Pengat
Oohlala! I slurped down two glasses happily. Thick durian pengat with a slight bittersweet aftertaste. I've found another source of durian delights apart from Goodwood!

Durian eclair
As bland as the logcake.



On the plate (L-R); Sour Berry Compote, pineapple turnover, christmas cake, butter cake, christmas cookie, bread pudding

Christmas cookies
The marzipan in the cookies are a little overpowering, the cookie dough itself isn't fragrant.

Butter cake/Christmas cake/Pineapple turnover
All three are moist and delicious. The first Christmas cake that isn't hard, too soft perhaps. I didn't fancy the pineapple turnover however.

Bread and Butter Pudding
Ack. Not my kinda bread pudding.

Sour berry compote
Too sour!



Brownie
Bh polished two of them at a go! She claimed they're really good.



Gelato with choice of sprinkles
Flavours up for grabs are...vanilla, strawberry and raspberry. I favoured raspberry sorbet best. The rest had ice shavings in them. :(



Beancurd soup with peanuts
Warms the stomach nicely..the bean curd's way smooth! The pals were commenting Selegie beancurd's just round the corner.

Here's a peak at the buffet area!



Noodle live stations!



Slurpworthy!



Desserts galore!



My favourite durian fudge!



Durian Pengat

Service is prompt and friendly. Plates were cleared quite quickly at the beginning..but somehow with the crowd, it slowed down. We ended up with the table full of plates at some point.

Range of food is wide, pretty impressed with the number of "DIY counters" and live stations they've got! Makes eating all the more interactive and interesting. Taste-wise, hits and misses there are, at least from the appetizers till desserts, there are a couple of notable mentions!

I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of food that Hotel Rendezvous has to offer, especially in the department of durian...all along I was under the impression that only Goodwood and Ellenbourough are the two that offers the King of Fruit!

It's one of those buffets that's worth the while, and probably a hidden gem. :)

3-for-2 promotion with DBS

Straits Cafe
Hotel Rendezvous

Monday, December 29, 2008

A fruity business 2




Korean Strawberries, $10/punnet at Sun Moon



I wonder if big is the in thing for the size of all breeds of fruits. The largest strawberries I've seen, think diameter of 3.5cm. The boss so kindly offered me one. It's got an orangey-red hue, different from the usual strawberries. The strawberries look as if they're coated with a layer of sheen. One bite gets a splash of sweetness, no sour taste at all! The flesh crumbles apart like a pear, speaking of which it really does taste a weebit like pear! The fragrance lingers on...ahhh nice!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Little Red Shop, 小紅店 @ Vivocity



My dad used to get plenty of tau sar piahs for my afternoon tea (then it was only 50cents!) when I was still schooling, the fragrant traditional pastries with different types of filling. Finally had the stomach space for Little Red Shop's pastries this visit to Vivo! Famous from the Balestier Road!



The available bundling...




Traditional Sweet, $0.80
is one of the two best sellers. The other being Traditional Salty. Pint sized they are, at best the size of 5 1-dollar coins, dusted with sesame seeds. A bite into the warm flaky pastry unveils lotus paste. I wish there were more of the lotus paste, nearly half the pastry is empty. The lotus paste is sweet and fragrant...the pastry's too crisp though.

They've got other flavours up for the adventurous, like pineapple tart, coffee, red bean...durian even.

For a bite of the past...at 80cents, I deem it expensive. Not that worth all the fuss, however.

http://www.little-red-shop.blogspot.com/

Little Red Shop
Vivocity Basement

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Club Chinois @ Orchard Hotel



And so they say December is a month of feasting...I lived that out, literally. My third buffet for the month! I flipped the paper one fine day and chanced upon the UOB 1-for-1 promotion...I HAD to go! Min 4 to enjoy the buffet.

I booked it way in advance...and according to forums, it's fully booked till end Jan09! I've been to Club Chinois just once, so many years back when the Dad was on a whim..then it was fusion food..in portions enough to feed a mouse and hefty price tags to match.

It offers cantonese cuisine now. 113 dishes they've got to offer, soups aren't allowed..and must I add, they look really tantalizing! Cantonese are famous for their soups, afterall.

The portions are accorded to the number of people on the table!




The table setting, I like the toothpick cover!



Interior..rather spacious

Appetizers



Savoury Marinated Pacific Clam

A great start to the meal! Sweet-sour-spicy with my favourite shellfish, double yums.




Spicy Marinated Jelly Fish

Another favourite appetizer!




Chicken Wing Marinated with Superior Soya Sauce

I found this on the bland side.



Crisp Skin Barbeque Duck

Oohlala, loved this. The skin's not as "crispy" as described but the meat's flavourful and tender.



Honey Glazed Barbequed Pork

Another stunner, arguably the best charsiew eaten! I love my charsiew without the fat though it's gonna sound like a gastronomical faux pas...well marinated and delightful on the tastebuds!



Stewed Duck Wing

Better in taste than the chicken wings.



Crisp Fried Silver Fish

Very light on the palette, the fish were overfried imo, couldn't quite taste the fish..just alot of crisp.

Seafood & Meat



Crisp skin crepes stuffed with salmon

This came on a huge plate, done up artfully...the food's concentrated in the middle of the dish. It's salmon in a springroll, simply...accompanied by a stuffed mushroom. Just o-k-a-y.



Poached Prawns

Simple yet well done. Prawns were fresh.



Crisp fried Prawn tossed in Wasabi Mayo

I like the side salad in most their dishes..the wasabi mayo prawns...weren't the best I've eaten..felt the mayo doesn't pack enough punch.



Wok-fried sliced beef with ginger and spring onion

Normal Tze char dish...



Savoury Honey Glazed Pork Rib topped with Sesame

I loved this!! A playful blend of honey and sesame that came across tasting alot like "Man ya tang" (a thick sugary coating). The honey bits got stuck in my teeth whilst eating but I like this recipe. For once, I gobbled the pork ribs with the fat! Delicious..I enjoyed it tremendously.



Braised Cod fish with Tanfu Sauce

Cod fish wasn't as fresh as I expected. Tanfu sauce is used in most of their dishes...which I haven't quite figured out what. Not a fan of this.




Crisp fried soft shell crab

Alot of crisp once again, I couldn't find the generous meaty bits I was expecting.



Steamed Smooth Chicken with Mushroom

My dad's jawdropped when it was served, a bland oily dish of chicken and mushrooms it is. Not the usual "ma yao" chicken we find in cantonese cuisine.



Deep fried Tempura Oyster

Wowzers! It's indian vadai and oyster in one! The tempura's done light, not too oily...yummers.


Beancurd & Vegetables



Sauteed French Beans with Homemade Spicy sauce and dried scallops

Nothing to shout about.



Poached Spinach with Century Egg & Salted Egg

A lil disappointed with this...it's more soupy than I expected..the century egg and salted egg were too "old"...



Stir Fried Kailan with Minced Garlic & Olive Leaf

Nice one! Pity the leaves were all removed.

Dim Sum



Har Gao

Chockfuls of prawns in the prawn dumpling..the skin's thin. Nice!



Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Tanfu Sauce

Just a meaty-vegetable blend with a thicker than usual crystal skin. Looks better than it tastes.



Crisp Fried Prawn Dumpling with Wasabi Mayo

Fried. Prawn. Dumpling. Yes, in that order. The wasabi mayo is once again almost non-existent in taste.



Pan-fried Carrot Cake with Crab Meat

It's just carrot cake in cubes with an omelette. I didn't taste the crab meat however...not a fan of this.



Steamed Custard Bun

I was expecting a molten bun, tasted quite like a steamed cake in a pau form, the custard-salted egg filling didn't spill out, was quite pasty and tasted more of salted egg than custard.



Honey Glazed Pork Pastry

Light, flaky, yummy. Their charsiew dishes are pretty good I must say!



Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken wrapped in Lotus Leaf

Soft glutinous rice with chicken and fragrant mushrooms...a typical dimsum must order..



Steamed Rice Roll with fillet of Marble Goby

Flabbergasted I was. Bland rice roll with fish fillets that somehow just didn't go.



Crisp Fried Vegetarian Roll

Springroll, fried. I still adore the shredded cabbage that goes with their fried dishes.



Deep Fried Lotus Paste Bun

Fried buns! Like mantou, peeling it apart reveals a warm thick lotus paste.

Porridge, Noodles, Rice



Fragrant Porridge with Fish Fillet

The rice grains are cooked till it has the consistency of a gruel, you can drink it. I don't fancy porridge in that manner though. Just bland overall. The same applied to their century egg porridge as well.



Braised Mee Sua with Golden Mushrooms in Noble Tanfu Sauce

Highly recommended by the waitress, I wanted to try a noodle dish! She suggested their signature. It came in a egg broth and smooth easy to slurp jade noodles. The broth's either a love or hate affair..tastes like raw egg mixed with soya sauce. I didn't mind it too much.

Desserts



Doubleboiled Snow Fungus Red Date and Almond Seed

Traditionally cantonese. Not too sweet.



Chilled Mango Pudding

The mango pudding's too condensed for my liking, tastes like it's made from a powder mix.



Chilled Cream of Pumpkin with Purple Rice

Interesting how pumpkin cream tastes like...a slight hint of the fruit with purple rice. An oriental approach to Bubur Chacha.



Chilled Herbal Jelly

Bitter enough, jelly's wobbly enough. I like the dried flowers sprinkled on top!



Cream of Almond with Dumpling


Red bean glutinous rice balls with the creamy almond paste...I say, moreee!



Chilled Aloe Vera Jelly with Lime Syrup flavoured with lemon grass

I adored the yuzu ice-cream best. Enough zest to end the meal without feeling too over-the-top full!


The range of food is soooo diversified, you can really pick and choose a week's worth of food! Pity we didn't have the stomach space to try more...all in I think we tried 30 odd dishes...about a quarter of what they have to offer. Pity they don't allow soups as part of the buffet...that'd have completed the cantonese experience. Overall, pretty decent food!

Truly you can't fault their impeccable service, the young servers may have reduced the exclusivity of the place but I really don't mind smiley and friendly servers! They gently remind that tea is optional and the charges involved, rather than slapping you with a fee you can't refuse. I'll give them props for not removing the unfinished dishes to reduce wastage, we had to polish off the whole plate, literally!

$38++ for UOB, till January
$48++ for non-UOB cardholders

Club Chinois
Orchade Hotel