Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake from Hilton Singapore

Strawberry Shortcake from Hilton Singapore

This cake caught my attention when I swing by Checkers Deli for a cake fix and this strawberry shortcake is only available in 1kg. This cake is sold at $80 with 10% discount for UOB cardholders.

This is easily the most beautiful and expensive strawberry shortcake we have ever come across. Topped with white chocolate and layered generously with strawberries, vanilla mousse and vanilla chantilly cream on a sponge base, this impressed all my 12 diners.

The vanilla-infused chantilly cream is so light and goes well with the refreshing mousse and fresh strawberries. Do note that unlike the regular Japanese-style strawberry shortcakes that are mainly sponge cake with chantilly cream, this version focus more on the vanilla mousse and hence may not appeal to people who prefers more cake content.

In our opinion, be it taste or presentation, this is something to consider for a special occassion.

Checkers Deli
Hilton Singapore
581 Orchard Road
Singapore 238883
Tel: 6730 3392

Operating hours - 11:00am - 9:00pm (daily)
[ ... ]

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Origin

Chocolate Origin 1

Having eaten so many chocolate fudge cakes, this one from Chocolate Origin left a deep impression for its thick layer of chocolate ganache. The ganache layer is actually thicker than the sponge as opposed to most other fudge cakes. For someone like Yuan who prefers mousse and ganache over sponge, this chocolate fudge cake earns a thumbs up from him. A 6-inch cake goes at $29 which is certainly value for money.

Chocolate Origin 2

Chocolate Origin
Blk 4 Changi Village
Singapore 500004
Tel: 6542 2939
[ ... ]

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fullerton Chocolate Buffet 2011

Fullerton Hotel's signature chocolate buffet is something most chocoholics would not want to miss. Since our last visit in 2009, this is one of the buffets that has left a very deep impression, be it the desserts, ambience and experience.

Fullerton Chocolate Buffet

This chocolate buffet has a legacy of nine years at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and is available on Friday and Saturday evenings at the charming Courtyard located at the hotel lobby.

Signatures of Fullerton Hotel

These four cakes are the must-try in the entire buffet as they are the signatures of the hotel.

Starting from the left, Coffee Chocolate Fudge is a newcomer. Using Fudge Chocolate as the theme, the resulting effect is heavy but extremely smooth on the chocolate sponge. With a chocolate content of 75%, the coffee fragrance comes naturally from the cocao bean with no added coffee extracts nor espresso. In addition, the coffee glaze is prepared by boiling fresh coffee beans for 3 to 4 hours to get the coffee essence before incorporating with the other ingredients to form the glaze.

Fullerton Chocolate Cake, is a classic combination of rich chocolate ganache, crispy feuillantine, chocolate sponge, finished with a dark chocolate glaze. The richest cake among the 4 that bound to bring your level of endorphins to the maximum.

Manjari Lavender has a unique 7 layers with the focus on the chocolate mousse. To incorporate the floral beauty of lavender, fresh lavender flowers are dried and dehydrated before boiling with the cream for 3 to 4 hours. The lavender-infused cream is then used to prepare the chocolate mousse. The chocolate mousse is so smooth and melts in the mouth with a nice floral aftertaste lingering in the palette.

Espresso Coffee Cake, the creation that earns a big thumbs-up for the delicate inter-layers of soft chocolate sponge and chocolate mousse. Like the Coffee Chocolate Fudge, the cocao bean used has a natural fragrance of coffee with no added extract nor components. This 64% bitter chocolate cake is amazingly delicate and fine with its layers that it is bound to make one carve for more. To create the shiny glaze of this cake, the hotel's Executive Pastry Chef Chris Busschaert prepared clear jam (made from pure fruits) and extracted the flavour of the jam before cooking with sugar, glucose and 100% cocao powder.

Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake, Chocolate Creme Brulee and Chocolate Brownies

Apart from the absence of artificial extracts and components, Chef Chris makes sure each of the cakes are different by adopting different recipes and techniques in making the chocolate sponge, mousse, gauche and glaze so as to ensure that each of the chocolate creations are different and not repetitive.

Assorted Valrhona Pralines

Assorted Valrhona pralines are also part of the buffet selection.

Macarons, Tarts and Cakes

For those who prefers their macarons shells to be lightly crisp, floral and chewy with a thin layer of chocolate filling, do not miss them out while visiting the chocolate buffet.

Banana Chocolate Tart and Salted Caramel Tart are delicious in our opinion. While the former has a light chocolate mousse infused strongly with banana, the latter earns the nods for the molten core of salted caramel oozing out to bring out the good contrast.

Chocolate Shooters

While the cakes are stronger in its chocolate content, the shooters are lighter and combined with various components to savour different flavours in a mouthful. One of the shooters is even topped with wasabi sponge and served with chocolate and lime t
o cater to the Asian crowd of this buffet.
Others that left an impression were the Lychee Tiramisu and Salted Caramel Popcorn with the use of lighter ingredients to complement the white chocolate mousse.

The cherry component of Hazelnut Chocolate Exotic Shooter, Cherry, Pistachio White Chocolate Shooter and Chocolate Vanilla Panna Cotta with Cherry brings along some tang and twist, making chocolate not so cloying nor boring when consumed in huge quantities.

Executive Pastry Chef Chris Busschaert at the Hot Chocolate Station

The highlight of the chocolate buffet is the Hot Chocolate Connoisseurs' Bar, where a chef creates a bespoke cup of premium hot chocolate a la minute for guests who can choose from a selection of eight different percentage of cocoa. The selection includes
  • Ivory (white chocolate)
  • Noisette 32% (as the name suggests, with the fragrance of hazelnut)
  • Jivara 40% (with notes of malt and vanilla)
  • Tainori 64% (with strong fruity overtones)
  • Abinao 85% (for strong, lingering bitter intensity)
  • Araguani 72% (another one with fruity overtones)
  • Guanaja 70% (with floral notes)
This is one of the stations which we enjoyed for each of the chocolates are distinctive in its own way and by drinking it back to back, it does allow one to distinguish the unique characterisitcs of each chocolate. To spice up the experience, don't miss out Xocopili (Chilli Chocolate).

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate fountains are also available and don't miss out on the chocolate madeleines, orange madeleines and plain shoe puff pastry for chocolate dips.

Live Station - Crepe Suzette served flambé

A new live station introduced to the buffet, Crepe Suzette with Caramel Orange Sauce. This is one station that served the crepe flambé with orange sauce and alcohol.

Chocolate Souffle

Another favourite dessert of ours, Hot Chocolate Souffle, baked a la minute. This fluffy, light chocolate dessert is only baked upon ordering and served hot to your table by the service staff. This indeed completes the entire experience with great satisfaction.

With the orchestra trio playing in the Courtyard, the experience offered is beyond words. Although the selection has reduced compared to our last visit, most of the chocolate desserts were better and have left a very deep impression. It is amazing to have several chocolate cakes eaten back to back and yet each of them are distinctive and unique. In addition, the Hot Chocolate station allows one to appreciate the characteristics of chocolate and it was only after our visit in 2009 that makes us realize that chocolates is not just sweet nor bitter.

10IMG_648Executive Pastry Chef Chris Busschaert of The Fullerton Singapore6A

Many thanks to Marketing Communications Executive, Ms. Denice Lim for her warm hospitality and the complementary chocolate buffet. The photos would not have been possible without all her arrangements. Special thanks to Executive Chef Chris Busschaert for his time to introduce us to his creations.

Chocolate buffet is available on Friday and Saturday evenings from 8pm to 11pm and is served with unlimited coffee and tea at $38++ per adult or $46++ with a glass of dessert wine.

North Courtyard
The Fullerton Singapore
1 Fullerton Square Singapore
Singapore 049178
Tel: 6877 8129
[ ... ]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ben & Jerry's - Milk Us A Flavor Name

Ben & Jerry's has launched a new flavour and this time round, it came nameless. From 18 July 2011 onwards, Singaporeans get to name this latest flavour via Twitter and before we continue with the details of the naming campaign, here is a short description of what it is.

hashtag #benjerryflavor

Vanilla ice-cream packed with generous slabs of chocolate-coated toffee crunch, might be sweet to some but this flavour earns a thumbs-up from Yuan and my family. The toffee crunch resembles to eating caramelized popcorn and as usual, one can expect huge chunks of these in the ice-cream.

Starting from 18 July 2011, this flavour will be available at all Ben & Jerry's scoop shops. At the same time, the naming campaign starts on Twitter.

MIlk Us a Flavour Name

It is very simple to participate. All you need to do is swing by any Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop, sample the flavour and tweet a name using the hashtag #benjerryflavor. To qualify for the contest, fans have to first follow the Ben & Jerry's Singapore Twitter page at The first 500 tweeters to suggest a name will receive a virtual "cowpon" which entitles them to one scoop of the new flavour at the Ben & Jerry's scoop shop in VivoCity.

Apart from having an ice-cream named after you, a Ben and Jerry's hamper worth $300 (includes a personalised Ben & Jerry's ice-cream scoop) is waiting to be won.

On 29 July, submissions close and the top five suggestions will be chosen. In the interest of de-moo-cracy, these five names are then offered back to the public for a round of voting. Fans can cast their vote by retweeting their chosen entry on Twitter. The voting period ends on 5 August. After a cooling off period of three days, the winning entry will be announced on 8 August and the new flavour will be officially named on 15 August 2011.

Ice-cream condiments

As part of the moolet program of Ben and Jerry's, we were invited to the Milk Us a Flavor Name Moolet Gathering. It was nice to catch up with the crew of Unilever and GOODSTUPH. With unlimited supply of ice-cream and moo-licious milkshake, it was very nice of them to prepare lots of topping for us to design our own sundae.

B&J Event on 19 July 2011

Like little kids, everybody was drawn to the colourful toppings and Yuan decided to be adventurous with the savoury toppings. He topped the new nameless ice-cream with 旺仔小馒头 (Hot-Kid Baby Melt), Prawn Crackers, Twisties, Bacon Bits, Potato Chips, Dried Anchovies and Tomyan Seaweed.

An interesting combination of savoury and sweet.

Surprisingly the bacon bits goes well with the ice-cream as the sweetness makes it tasted similar to Pork Floss; while the neutral tasting 旺仔小馒头 compliments with the sweet creamy base. As for the rest of the toppings, it was disastrous and we concluded Ben and Jerry's ice-cream to be good on its own.

Savoury Ben & Jerry's Sundae

Anyway, we are suppose to share this sundae recipe with our readers and garner votes through our comments section. Though it is something that you may not want to try, we do hope to get some support to get the Ben and Jerry's ice-cream vouchers to share with all of you. So, 請多多指教 and drop us a comment.

Should we win this "Let's milk em sundaes" contest, we will drop you an email to ask for your mailing address and pass you the vouchers. =) So don't forget to leave your email address behind.

Last but not least, many thanks to Jean and Kenneth from Unilever Singapore and Pat, Daphne and Cheryl of GOODSTUPH for the invite and their wonderful company.

Ben & Jerry's
1 Harbourfront Walk
Singapore 098585
Tel: 6376 9917

and other Scoop Shops...

Store Locator (Ben & Jerry's)
[ ... ]

Monday, July 18, 2011

Triple 3 Brunch 2011

Triple 3 has always been our favourite when it comes to buffets and each visit has been a pleasant one. One of the niche that Triple 3 has are the live stations where most of the food are served hot and presented nicely.

Having blogged about Triple 3 before this visit, it is important to note that this entry highlights some of the new additions and must-try in this buffet brunch. In other words, what was blogged previously are still available in this buffet.

Cheese Station

There are two additional stations set up in other sections of the restaurant so as to make more room for the savoury and one of them is the cheese station. With a selection of more than 15 different types of cheeses, Triple 3 is making sure that their diners are spolit for choices.

Sushi & Sashimi

Sushi and sashimi has been constantly fabulous in all 3 visits and this is no exception. The selection of sashimi is pretty much the same but some of the makis are replaced with King Crab Rice Don.

Seafood on Ice

In any buffets, seafood on ice is often not missed but there are so many things to eat in this buffet brunch that we had no room for this station. Anyway, for record purposes, Triple 3 has put up a selection of Crystal Bay Prawns, New Zealand Mussels, Alaska Snow Crabs, New Zealand Oysters, Oysters Shooters and Snow Clams.

Eggcitement Station

Although the egg station is no longer new, the style of serving the poached egg has changed slightly. Instead of serving with truffle and caviar, the Hollandaise sauce is torched to give a nice crisp topping.

Signature Chef William's Honey Glazed Ham

As mentioned in our previous post, Sunday Brunch at Triple 3 offers the hotel's Signature Roast Prime Rib and Executive Sous Chef William's Honey Baked Glazed Ham.

Teppanyaki Station

Teppanyaki Station has always been a highlight in Triple 3's buffets. On top of the Wagyu beef that was introduced in Triple 3's brunch last year, diners can expect new additions such as Sausages, flavourful Lamb Chops and tender Beef Filet Mignon in this station.

Signatures & New Additions

Pan-seared scallops is another new addition to the buffet brunch and is also one of my favourites. Not only are the scallops succulent and fresh, each of them are well-seasoned and nicely seared with crispy chopped garlic.

Another new addition to the buffet, escargots. We can't comment much as this is the first time we ate these and are not comfortable with the idea of eating snails. Nevertheless, the garlic and parsley butter did left an impression.

This time round, the Pan-fried foie gras comes in bigger portion. Kudos to the Truffle Miso Sauce and the accompanying White Radish (in Dashi), this definitely tastes better than our last visit. With the foie gras melts in the mouth with the essence of the sauce, we literally enjoyed this with an omph.

Sad to say, we are allergic to lobsters but we would like to highlight that this buffet serves Mentaiyaki Lobsters and Grilled Boston Lobster with Garlic Pepper Butter Sauce. Based on our observations with the surrounding diners, we assume this to be hot favourites.

Peking Duck

The classic Peking Duck, a specialty of Pine Court's Executive Chinese Chef Sunny Kong is still available in the buffet brunch and as good as before. Other items not to be missed are Chef De Cuisine Liew Tian Heong’s roasted barbequed meats which includes Char Siu, Crispy suckling pig and Roast Pork.

The buffet also serves Dim Sum from Mandarin Court. E-Fu noodles and Braised Pork Belly were the dishes for the Wok Station.

Chef Suraj Kumar Negi

Previously from Grand Hyatt Singapore, Chef Suraj Kumar Negi is here to present his specialties. This station serves a good range of Northern Indian dishes such as Prata, Naan, Fish Curry (i.e. Seabass Fillet in Gravy Coconut infused with Yellow Mustard and Goan Spices), Tandoori Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Prawns, Fish Tikka, Tandoori Lamb, Bean Chutney, Vegetable Raita (Yogurt mixed with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Roasted Cumin Seeds), Papadum, Chana Kabuli and Mutton Briyani.

Indian Station

Although we have not find one that can second to Chef Ashouk's Assam rice, we have to admit that the Fish Curry is rich and tasty but yet not salty while Tandoori Chicken Tikka is tender and not overwhelmed with spices. These Indian dishes were so delicious that I couldn't resist a second helping.

In addition, the naan tastes good on its own and the tissue prata is a must-try. The soft, chewy naan is just right with a nice fragrance of the dough while the crispy tissue prata is coated with just the right amount of sugar and is not oily.


Desserts have easily doubled in terms of variety. One of the items not to be missed is the hotel's signature chocolate tart. Although the ones sold at Coffee & Crust have greater amount of chocolate ganache, the mini ones served at the buffet are not too far off either. These double chocolate tarts have smooth filling served the crisp tart shells are crisp.

There are also more desserts served in bite-sized portions, giving more rooms for sweet-toothed diners.


Apart from the International pastries, there are also the Asian desserts which includes Kueh Lapis, Nonya Kueh, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Aloe Vera with Ice Jelly, etc. Crepes (Live Station), Ice-cream and Chocolate Fondue are also available but what is new in this buffet is the Croquembouche.

Be it quality or variety, this is of no doubt one of the most impressive buffet but we were equally surprised by its price tag. We personally felt that this is a good buffet for special occasions and that some of the dishes are indeed mouth-watering but it is important to be mentally prepared to pay this much as it is impossible to try everything in one meal. Do note that there is a 1-for-1 promotion for OCBC cardholders, so do make good use of this promotion to bring friends and family members along.

Last but not least, thank you Executive Sous Chef William Tan for his warm hospitality and his time to introduce the new additions to the buffet brunch.

Buffet Lunch
$68++ per person (Mon-Thurs)
$72++ per person (Fri, Sat & Eve of PH)
$28++ (for children below 12 years old)
$9.99++ (for toddlers occupying highchair)

Sun Brunch*
$99++ (inclusive of coffee/tea, *note that the 1-for-1 promotion does not apply)
$138++ (inclusive of free flow Chandon Sparkling Wine, beers, fresh juices, soft drinks and coffee/tea, *note that the 1-for-1 promotion does not apply)

$188++ (inclusive of free flow Chandon Sparkling Wine, beers, fresh juices, soft drinks and coffee/tea, *there is a 1-for-1 OCBC promotion for the $188++ brunch)

$42++ (for children below 12 years old)
There is a la carte menu available for kids between 2 to 6yrs old.

Buffet Dinner
$89.90++ per person (Mon to Sat)
$108++ per person (Sun)
$33++ per person (for children below 12 years old)
$9.99++ (for toddlers occupying highchair)

Currently from now to 31 August 2011, OCBC is offering a 1-for-1 Lunch, International Sunday Brunch (only $188++ is entitled to the 1-for 1)* and Dinner Buffet at Triple Three.
Note that this is subjected to a maximum of 8 diners and children are not included in the 1-for-1 promotion. This promotion is not valid for dinner on Fri, Sat & Eve of and day of Public Holidays.

However, on Friday and Saturday, OCBC offers a 1 dines for free during dinner with every 3 paying adults promotion and this is also valid till 31 August 2011.

Other credit card promotions include
American Express - 15% discount on total food bill (valid till 31 Dec 2011)
Standard Chartered - 15% discount on total food bill (valid from 1 March to 31 March 2012)
Citibank - 15% discount on total food bill (valid till 31 Dec 2011) and also 1 dines for free during lunch with every 4 paying adults (valid from 10 June to 31 July 2011)

Do note that the above American Express/Citibank/Standard Chartered credit card discounts are not valid on Eve of and day of Public Holidays.

Triple Three
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Singapore 238867
Tel: 6831 6288/71

Operating Hours-
Noon – 2.30pm (Lunch)
6.30pm – 10.00pm (Dinner)
Noon - 3pm (Sunday Brunch)
[ ... ]

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Carlton Durian Dinner Buffet

From now to 15 August 2011, Carlton Hotel brings back the popular durian buffet at Cafe Mosaic. Before tempting you with a huge variety of durian desserts, several things have changed since our last visit in 2009. The hotel's cafe has undergone a major make-over and this newly renovated Cafe Mosaic awaits to bring in more dining comfort and live stations to satisfy the hungry.

Durian lovers will only be delighted for the extensive selection of durian desserts with more than 20 varieties. Since this entry is to highlight the creative and mouth-watering durian desserts, the first half of the entry will briefly highlight the new stations introduced to Cafe Mosaic.

Cafe Mosaic

The new Cafe Mosaic showcases a new section of the buffet, featuring live stations serving clams and mussels cooked a la minute upon request; BBQ chicken wings, Veal Sausages, Beef Steak, Mee Siam, Sambal Stingray, Baby Back Ribs and Fresh Oysters are also available along this new stretch.

BBQ Chicken Wings & Veal Sausages

Served with Sambal Belacan, local favourite, Sambal Stingray is a dish not to be missed for the thick slab of stingray being succulent and fresh.

Sambal Stingray & Baby Back Ribs

The other highlight of this area is the Clams and Mussels station, featuring a selection of New Zealand Green Head Mussels, Pacific Clams, Local Brown Mussels, Local Flower Clams and Fresh Cockles.

Live Station for Clams & Mussels

Apart from the extensive selection of shellfish, 4 styles of cooking is available, namely Ginger Oyster Sauce, Black Pepper Sauce, White Wine Sauce and Sambal Chili, served with condiments such as Chili Lime Sauce, Cincalok and Calamansi.

Mussels & Clams served with White Wine Sauce

The new Cafe Mosaic also presents a bigger variety of hot stations and the Braised Oxtail is one of the dishes not to be missed. While the other dishes are rotated, this signature dish remains on the buffet line everyday for being the most popular item.

Hot Stations
Starting from the front,
Deep Fried Oat Fish Fingers, Braised Beef Oxtail, Wok-fried Chicken Diced with Yam Ring, Crispy Ngoh Hiang, Yong Tau Fu with Spicy Seafood Sauce, Braised Pork Belly with Mushroom, Mutton Ribs Curry, etc

Now to the star of the buffet, the amazing spread of durian desserts. Do note that these desserts are also available during weekday teatime from 2:30pm to 5:30pm so it is something that durian lovers would not want to miss.

One of the more interesting dessert would be the Durian Beetroot Tart for its interesting mix of sweet and savoury.

Durian desserts with Durian Beetroot Tart (in focus)

Durian Chocolate Cream Puffs is another that caught our attention for its presentation and outstanding choux pastry. Like the Tarte Tatin, the cream puff is presented in an upside-down manner with soft chewy choux pastry, durian puree and chocolate cream (to moisten the entire pastry).

Durian Gula Melaka Panna Cotta has a local flavour for the use of Gula Melaka and coconut milk. The Gula Melaka is well-prepared and has a liqour-like taste which is not too sweet and the slight bitterness makes the durian akin to the popular XO durian.

Durian Swiss Roll & Signature Durian Cake

The Durian Swiss Roll, though on the mild side for durian lovers, the sponge is meltingly soft, rolled finely with the durian puree.

Carlton's signature durian cake is also available in the buffet and is another light durian dessert served with a light sponge cake, durian puree and mousse.

Making Durian Roti Jala

One of the must-try items in this buffet is the Durian Roti Jala. Roti Jala is actually a Malay snack that is usually eaten with curry but in this version, the slightly sweetened soft dough has been wrapped with durian puree with a texture smooth like custard yet taste like the real fruit.

Durian Roti Jala, Deep Fried Durian Sesame Ball & Durian Fritters

Apart from the Durian Roti Jala that is made fresh at this live station, Deep-Fried Durian Sesame Ball and Durian Fritter deserved a huge thumbs-up. Apart from the same durian filling as the Durian Roti Jala, it is interesting to enjoy the King of Fruits in a similar manner as our local snacks such as the Fried Glutinous Rice Sesame Balls (Ji Zhou) and Banana Fritter.

Durian Pengat

Durian Pengat, a very common durian dessert, is outstanding for its thick, flavourful and pulpy texture. One of the more popular item in the buffet line for the generous chunks of durian that appeal greatly to durian lovers.

From front: Durian macarons, Durian Chocolate Cream Puffs, Durian Gula Melaka Panna Cotta, Durian Pandan Cream

The list of durian desserts goes on and on; and the style of Chef Jackie is focused on creativity. To a certain extent, some of the durian pastries are inspired from popular desserts. The Durian Cone (Durian puree served in a waffle cone, topped with meringue) mimics a lemon meringue tart while Durian Frangipane Meringue tart, Durian Millefeuille, Durian Creme Burlee Tart and Durian Chocolate are classic desserts coupled with durian goodness.

To cater to local palette, Chef Jackie also incorporates the use of Jackfruit, Pandan and Sweet Potato for his Durian Jackfruit Tart, Durian Pandan Cream, and Durian Bo Bo Cha Cha.

Although the fresh shuckled durians are no longer available in Carlton's Durian Buffet, the amount of durian desserts this buffet gets to offer is bound to satisfy durian lovers.

Non-durian lovers do not have to dread for this delectable international buffet spread has a good selection of desserts which includes Bread and Butter Pudding, Chocolate Fondue, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu. Chendol and Ice-Cream.

Do note that this durian-themed buffet is only available till 15 August 2011..

Special thanks to Ms. Leung Yi Wen, Marketing Communications Manager for acceding to our photography request, her time to introduce the durian buffet and the complimentary buffet dinner. Also a big thank you to restaurant manager, Mr. Lucas, Exeuctive Chef Kelvin and Pastry Chef Jackie for warm hospitality to make this meal enjoyable.

Durian Buffet Dinner
15 June 2011 to 15 August 2011 (6:30pm to 10:30pm)
$58++(A) $29++(C, 5 - 12 yrs)
For Durian Dinner Buffet, UOB and Citibank card members get 10% off the total bill.

Durian Dessert A La Carte High Tea Buffet
15 June 2011 to 15 August 2011 (2:30pm - 5:30pm)
$29++(A) $15++(C, 5 - 12 yrs)
For Durian Dessert High Tea Buffet, UOB and Citibank card members get 15% off the total bill or 1 dines free with every 3 diners.

Note that the following durian desserts are available for take-away,

Durian Desserts for Take-Away 2011

Café Mosaic
Carlton Hotel Singapore
76 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189558
Tel: 6311 8195
[ ... ]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kampong Lunch Buffet @ Saltwater Cafe

When asked for buffet recommendation, particularly one that is not painful for the pocket but satisfies one’s tummy, Saltwater Café would be one of them.

I have come across online review(s) condemning Saltwater Café to serve “hawker food” at a hefty price tag. In our humble opinion, we felt that it is important to appreciate the specialties of the Executive Chef and in any buffets it is unfair to rate a buffet on the quantity of oysters, seafood, sashimi along with its price tag and credit card promotions (i.e. as I quote from one of the Executive Chef of a major hotel, the hotel only needs a good logistics executive to source out for fresh seafood at minimum cost).

My main point of such an introduction is to highlight Executive Chef William’s intent of launching the Kampung Lunch Buffet that is, to have three generations to dine together. The main theme of the buffet is to reminisce the carefree kampong days and Chef William has put in the extra effort to bring about the good old days atmosphere by introducing old-school savoury delicacies such as Ayam Gulai, Sambal Kembong Fish and even Kachang Puteh. That explains why the weekend lunch buffet is priced only at $38++ for adults and children below 5 years old get to dine for free while senior citizens (above 60 years) to enjoy a 1-for-1 promotion.

D.I.Y. Kueh Pie Tee Station

There are several DIY sections (i.e. Kueh Pie Tee, Noodle and Rojak) to incorporate the fun of customizing these local dishes. The noodle station is rotated among Satay Bee Hoon, Mee Sian, Laksa and on our day of visit, this station served prawn noodles with the soup base brewed from lots of prawn heads, giving the soup an intense sweetness and flavor. The soup is different from ones available from food centres and hawker centres for this is not laced with MSG, hence not feeling thirsty after drinking the entire bowl.


This is served to the table to allow families to engage in some fun by rolling one’s own Popiah. Since the proportion of each ingredient has been arranged neatly, the taste is close to a perfect one.

Chef William with his signature creations

Chef William incorporates ”grandmother’s flavour” in his dishes and uses a lot of shallot, garlic and traditional method of preparation to reproduce his perception of "grandmother’s flavour". Some of his signatures includes Ayam Gulai (a traditional Indonesian Curry, originated from West Sumatra (Padang)), Sambal Kembong Fish (Spicy Fish originally from Sumatra) and even Braised Pork Belly.

In general, the meat is not extremely tender so as to ensure that the presentation will not be compromised but be it the Ayam Gulai or Beef Rendang, each of these dishes is well-braised and the distinctive characteristic of each dish is presented nicely to the palette. Just like our previous visit, Penang Kuay Tiao is still a must-try for the soft and springy Kuay Tiao, evenly coated with pork lard and sweet black sauce.

Nostalgic set-up for the Roast & drinks

From the porcelain bowls with chickens printed on it, containers to hold the classic Bandung and Lychee drink to the glass display of the Roast, Chef William put in his effort to bring in the classic outlook we have come across during the 80s and 90s of Singapore markets. The only difference is that being in a hotel; the food served is less oily and not flavoured with MSG, making it very home-cooked.

To relief childhood favourites, Achar, Pickled Mango, Bittergourd, Sweet Corn and Pickled Papaya are introduced into the buffet line. Soup is rotated among Duck with Salted Vegetable Soup, Spaghetti Squash Soup, Winter Melon Soup, White Fungus Soup and Chef William’s signature Pig Stomach Soup (Zhu Du Tang). The soup is something not to be missed, especially for those who are craving for a good bowl of soup prepared at home by our mothers.

Indian Station

With many years of experience and hailed from South India, this station boast one of the most flavourful fish curry we have come across.

Cheese, Egg, Onion and Plain Pratas

Not forgetting the various types of pratas the chef will make at intervals. In general, the pratas are not oily and are fluffy.

Claypot Rice

Another item that is served to the table upon ordering. With generous amounts of salted fish, the claypot rice is served piping hot. Despite the amount of salted fish put in this dish, this is not salty at all but instead has a nice fragrance. Unlike the ones that has excessive dark soya sauce, this is on the lighter shade and one portion of claypot rice is more than enough for 2 pax but note that this can be addictive, making one full after cleaning the claypot clean.

Teh Tarik

To bring in more local flavour to this buffet, the outdoor area of the Saltwater Café has live stations of satays and teh tarik.


With pork, chicken, beef and lamb satays available, the highlight of this dish is not only the sweetened, tender meat but the satay sauce with pineapple puree. The pineapple puree not only adds a slight tang to the peanut sauce but also reduce the heatiness of peanuts. According to Chef William, this is how the satay sauce was served in the 70s but most of the satay stalls have omitted this component for convenience.

Durian puffs, Nonya kuehs and Dessert shooters

Unlike our previous visit, Saltwater Café has introduced their very own durian puffs and durian pengat. Durian pengat has a very light texture with a strong fragrance of coconut milk. In addition, sago is added to make the dessert more refreshing and this goes very well with the Ice Kachang Station.

D.I.Y. Ice Kachang Station

Apart from the Nonya Kuehs, dessert shooters and DIY Ice Kachang Station, one of our favourite desserts in this buffet is the Bo Bo Cha Cha. With sufficient body of the coconut milk, this dessert is generously served with yam and sweet potatoes, but most importantly, tapioca cubes which is often replaced with sago in most dessert outlets.

Kachang Puteh

As a parting treat, Chef William has made his very own Kachang Puteh stand and each serving of nuts are wrapped in magazines paper. To ensure that these paper “funnel” are of the same shape and size, they are all hand-made by Chef William himself.

Weekend activities with Changi Village Hotel

My only complaint for this buffet is the inaccessibility of the hotel but that is what makes it idyllic. Apart from the tranquility of the surroundings, Saltwater Café also arranges balloon sculptor, children corners and even activities such as cooking and batik demonstrations on weekends.

This is indeed an array of humble fare but at the same time, these dishes will never fade with time. Having being exposed to European cuisines for more than 3 weeks, we were simply excited when we saw our favourites in the buffet line. Moreover, from Yuan’s experience, there are several hotels that feature local favourites but the dishes served in these hotels are definitely not as delicious as what we had that afternoon.

Having to dine at Saltwater café twice, Chef William’s freshly fried Penang Kway Tiao is definitely one of our favourite Fried Kway Tiao and this second visit makes us crave for his Claypot Rice, Chinese Soups, Pork Satays and Ayam Gulai more.

Our heartfelt thanks to Executive Chef William for the complementary lunch and his time to share with us his childhood favourites.

Saltwater Café
Changi Village Hotel
1 Netheravon Road
Singapore 508502

Kampong Buffet Lunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3pm. Pricing of the buffet is as follows,

$38++ (A) or $58++ (A) Free Flow of beer and house wine
$19++ (C) Free flow of juices and soft drinks (12 years and below)
Free for Children (5 years and below) and 1-for-1 promotion for Senior Citizens (60 years and above)
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