Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lunch Buffet @ Swissotel Merchant Court

It has been a really long time since I last allowed myself to indulge in a proper buffet meal in a restaurant. And I don't mean the dessert buffet which I had at Goodwood Park Hotel a few months back in June. By MY definition, a proper buffet meal consists of a vast variety of starters, mains and desserts to keep the customers munching from the moment they set foot in the restaurant till the moment they waddle out with their bloated tummies. :)

Naturally, the choice to dine at the Ellenborough Market Café at Goodwood Park Hotel was entirely due to their durian pengat!

Most of the buffet spread consisted of local and peranakan dishes with a small selection of international cuisines in the likes of raw oysters. There was not a large variety to choose from and be prepared to be jostled about by the hungry crowd.

roti prata and pandan leave wrapped chicken

stir-fried prawns, rojak and orh-lua

indian rojak

Most of the dishes tasted decent except for the chilli crab. Presumably in their effort to cost down, smaller crabs were used and may I add that they are not of the freshest lot. The horror began when I realised that the crab claws were not pre-cracked nor were crab crackers provided. As such, I thought that the shell must be soft enough to be cracked with the teeth. Unfortunately, I immediately felt that a visit to the dentist was imminent after only the first attempt. Even after having requested for a cracker and quite an effort to dig out the fresh that seemed to be sticking stubornly to the inside of the shell, was I disappointed to find the crab meat tasting so dry that I almost couldn't tell the difference from those vacuum packed ones sold at the supermarket! So crab-lovers, beware and try it at your own 'risk'!

The buffet lunch cost slightly less than SGD$40 over the weekends and this excludes the ordering of beverages.

Crepe For Breakfast

On an episode of the Martha Stewart show featuring breakfast recipes, I saw this really great way to whip up a filling breakfast which is really simple to make and yet looks and tastes as good as those sold in McDonald's - it's essentially ham slices, scrambled eggs and cheese wrapped in crepe!

The recipe for the crepe skin could be found in an earlier blog entry - Paper-Thin Crepes.

The next steps are simple:
(1) Lay a few pieces of ham slices on the crepe
(2) Sprinkle some cheese bits on the ham slices
(3) Top with a layer of scrambled egg
(4) Sprinkle more cheese bits on the scrambled eggs
(5) Assemble the crepe and fillings like one would do when rolling spring rolls.

(6) Toast the crepe rolls in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 5 minutes.

And Wa-Lah! A piping hot, filling All-American breakfast for a nice Sunday morning! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Marché @ Vivocity

I have always enjoyed dining at the various Marché outlets in Singapore. First was the outlet at the basement of The Heeren, followed by the next outlet at Suntec City. With the closure of these two outlets, I moved on to pounce on the rooftop outlet at Vivocity.

As with the former two outlets, the restaurant is almost always crowded during the weekends. As such, I was rather surprised to find myself walking straight through the entrance on a fine saturday afternoon without having to queue.

Up till being shown to our window seats, I was still rather pleased with how things proceeded so far. We went on our usual rounds to order food from the various stations with their cashless, card system. After a couple of rounds, we finally settled on our table with a plate of rosti and sausage (my all-time favourite!), a mushroom and ham pizza, grilled chicken wings and a medium bowl of stir-fried mushrooms.

We began by biting into what we thought were fat, juicy chicken wings but were instead horrified when the first bite revealed pinkish meat near to the bones! We immediately spitted out whatever contents were in our mouths and I stormed straight to the Grill station. Contrary to what I was feeling, the atmosphere at the Grill station was that of peace and tranquility. The cooks, with smiles plastered on their faces, moved at a snail's pace flipping meat over the grill, chatting happily with their fellow colleagues or were simply busy with I-don't-know-what behind the station...doing anything and everything except serving the growing queue of customers standing in plain view right infront of them!

I had to practically wave the half-cooked piece of chicken wing almost in their faces before it finally caught the attention of one of them. He promptly apologized, mumbled something which I couldn't comprehend, took the piece of meat from my hand, threw it down the rubbish bin, took another piece of pre-grilled chicken wing from a dish, grilled it for a couple of minutes before handling it back to me. And that's pretty much it. I really wondered if I should have instead took a photograph, packaged the half-cooked chicken wing in a zip-lock bag and submit it as proof for my complain to the AVA?

At the relatively higher prices being charged at this Swiss restaurant coupled with the less-than-pleasant food and customer service experience, unless someone is giving me a treat, this might jolly well be my last visit to Marché.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Japanese Peach Cake

These peach-themed snacks were a gift from a friend who bought it specially from Japan.

Aside from it's peachy colours, neither the appearance or the taste resembles that of the fruit. And being unable to read Japanese characters, it doesn't help that the Chinese character for peach (桃) was printed several times on the snack box.

Nevertheless, it tasted ok. And it definitely helps to have it refrigerated. :)