Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mooncake Galore 2011

This is the last entry for mooncakes 2011 and is a very nice summary for it is a gathering with our foodie friends. Like last year, each pair of us decided to bring a box of mooncakes and under the warm lighting with tea, we savour them all.

Regent Double Yolk goodness

White Lotus Paste with Double Yolk and Melon Seeds from Regent Hotel (Courtesy of Phoebe and Chloe from The Food Chapter)
Huge egg yolks with smooth lotus paste and I must say that I liked the contrast between the melon seeds and lotus paste.

Regent mooncake form
Regent mooncake order form 2011

Mandarin Orchard's signature Five Kernel (五仁) mooncake

Mandarin Orchard's Mixed Nuts and Jamón ibérico (五仁) mooncake was contributed by Yuan and myself. The reason for selecting this mooncake was because it is our favourite among the mooncakes which we reviewed for 2011. According to a source who is working in the F&B industry, Mandarin Orchard is one of the five hotels in Singapore which still hand-crafts and bakes their mooncake in house.

Mandarin Orchard Mooncake Order Form 2011
Mandarin Orchard mooncake order form 2011

Eater Palace (食珍)'s Teochew mooncake

Eater Palace (食珍)'s Teochew moon cake (Yam with Salted Egg Yolk and Yam with Pumpkin, Courtesy of Daniel and Lay Sian from Memoirs of Food).
I kind of liked the combination of yam and pumpkin though it is a little oily for my liking.

Jewels' snowskin classic

Jewels Artisan Chocolate Mini Assorted Snowskin Mooncake (Courtesy of Charlene and Zhi Hao from missuschewy).
As usual, the Champagne Truffle is a crowd pleaser and Zhi Hao just gets hook onto the Salted Caramel Snowskin.

Jewels' Mooncake order form 2011
Jewels Artisan Chocolate mooncake order form 2011

At the end of the day, the taste of the mooncakes is secondary, what's important is the friendship and to share it with family and friends during Mid Autumn Festival. Looking forward to Mooncake Galore 2012.

The foodies, as usual with big smiles

The foodies as usual with their big smiles. You may view their reviews here:
The Food Chapter
Memoirs of Food
[ ... ]

Friday, August 26, 2011

10 Scotts at Grand Hyatt Singapore

As mentioned in our mooncake post, it was nice of Grand Hyatt Singapore to invite us to the hotel's residential-style lounge for an evening chill out.

Unlike most hotel lounges that adopts an open concept at hotel lobby, 10 Scotts comprises of different sections, with the theme of a home.

10 Scotts @ Grand Hyatt Singapore

The main entrance of 10 Scotts brings one to the library with wireless internet access and rental of personal laptop computers and iPads (upon request). Furnished with sofas and a range of magazines within reach, this is definitely a nice place for a quiet read.

Photo is obtained from the hotel's press release kit

The main area of 10 Scotts is what the hotel calls the living and dining room. At the end of the dining room, one can enjoy a simplistic view of a waterfall and for more oriental feel, the collection room is just round the corner.

The main highlight of 10 Scotts would be the communal table at the dining room which also serves as an open kitchen, allowing guests to see the chefs in action.

Photo is obtained from the hotel's press release kit

The entire layout of 10 Scotts emits an intimate ambience and be it an afternoon tea or a leisure evening cocktail, we can't deny that it feels being in a luxurious home.

crab cakes, remoulade sauce

The following dishes are available every evening from 6pm till late on the à la carte menu.

Crab Cakes are a must-try for this is the signature of the hotel. Generous crab meat, fried to perfection, no doubt an all-time favourite. The accompanying remoulade sauce gives a nice tangy aftertaste. Addictive, I would say.

hand carved loch fyne scottish salmon, capers, shallots, dill, cream cheese

Hand-carved Loch Fyne Scottis Salmon would be something not to be missed for salmon lovers. This premium cut salmon are fresh and light on the palette to go with an evening cocktail.

duck rillette, gherkins

Duck Rillette is both Yuan's and my favourite for this is not overly salty and does remind us of the appetizers we had in Florence. Generous servings of the meat, with the moisture content just right. This is one where we cannot resist multiple helpings, especially when eaten with the in-house bread.

roasted chorizo sausage

Chorizo Sausage, might be salty to some but wows when it comes to its flavour.

Yuan and I are not frequent lounge goers and when it comes to snacks associated with cocktails, we are not familiar at all. However, the experience 10 Scotts provides is something very different from the previous few lounges we have visited.

Unlike the regular finger food such as potato wedges and chips, 10 Scotts aims to bring about a different selection of snackers, priced between $18++ to $24++ and are available daily from 6pm till late. To a certain extent, the dishes available on the evening à la carte menu does resemble the appetizers we have came across in Italy and the buffet lunch at Basilico, The Regent Singapore so thumbs up to the menu.

homemade fig tart, clotted cream

A meal would not be complete without sweets and the homemade tart is something we recommend. The fruits that comes with the tart varies from afternoon to evening and is made fresh daily.

With a nice thin crust filled with frangipani and fresh fig, the contrast of textures is splendid.

Executive Chef Lucas Glanville

We were also honoured to be able to chat with Executive Chef Lucas and it was interesting to hear his team of 180 chefs working together to bring about high quality food to the hotel guests.

It was of no doubt a beautiful evening spent at Grand Hyatt Singapore and we would like to express our biggest thank you to Marketing Communications Manager, Ms. Patricia Yong, Assistant Manager (Public Relations), Ms. Melissa Tan and Ms Sandee Goh for their time to host us, not forgetting Executive Chef Lucas Glanville to take his time off to chat with us.

Breakfast is available from 7am to 10:30am daily with an option of a continental buffet at $28++ per pax or from the à la carte menu.

Lunch is available from 11:30am to 2pm with a selection of appetisers, main courses and desserts. à la carte dishes are priced from S$14++ onwards, which includes a coffee or tea.

Afternoon Tea is available from 2:30pm to 5pm daily. Priced at $38++ or $68++ (with free flowing champagne) from Mondays to Fridays and $48++ or $78++ (with free flowing champagne) on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. The menu features a pleasing mix of both local and international favourites with homemade scones with raspberry jam, kaya and clotted cream a must-try.

Evening Cocktails and the above dishes are available daily from 6pm till late.

10 Scotts
Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
Singapore 228211
Tel: 6732 1234
[ ... ]

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peony Jade's Mao Shan Wang Snowskin

Organic Pandan Snow Skin 100% Pure Top Grade Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncakes

Organic Pandan Snow Skin 100% Pure Top Grade Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncake. Though the name is quite a mouth full, I think durian lovers will not mind a mouth full of this.

Unlike the usual durian mooncakes which I tried which are sweet, this one is slightly bitter. Hence if you like bitter durian flesh, give this a shot. Apart from thick creamy durian pulp, the Pandan Snow Skin compliments well with the durian. Originally I only wanted 2 pieces but Yuan bought 4 after tasting the sample, need I elaborate further?

Do purchase this early if you are keen as this was sold out for the past 2 years.

For more information on promotional discounts or credit card discounts, click here.

Peony Jade's mooncakes are available for sale with 16 booths set up round Singapore.

For pre-orders and pricing of the mooncakes, here is their online mooncake webpage.
[ ... ]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tai Chong Kok Mooncake

Tai Chong Kok

Having eaten a series of snow skin mooncakes, we decided to switch to some of the traditional favourites. Most Singaporeans should be familiar with Tai Chong Kok and have grown up with their mooncakes. Tai Chong Kok's lotus paste is probably one of the most fragrant which I have tried. The paste is smooth but is very oily. In general, I found the lotus paste a little sweet but if eaten with the salted egg, it neutralises the sweetness.

Mooncakes can be bought separately, $8 for a piece of Double Yolk and $7 for Lotus Paste. They still come in the traditional Tai Chong Kok Paper Bag which is suitable for gifts.

Tai Chong Kok
34 Sago Street
Tel: 6227 5701
[ ... ]

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grand Hyatt Singapore's Snowskin 2011 Collection

It was nice to receive an invitation to Grand Hyatt Singapore to visit their new residential-style lounge, 10 Scotts and after tasting several of Grand Hyatt Singapore's mini snowskins, we decided to purchase a box to share with our readers some of their interesting flavours.

Before we move on to the mini snowskins, Grand Hyatt Singapore introduces a Chinese Chess Set made of Chocolate Pralines or Traditional Mooncakes, something that is very unique and presentable as gifts for families and business associates.

Chinese Chess Set Mooncakes

I am not sure about most but Yuan and I thought that this would be an entry on halal mooncakes but we were surprised that the bulk of the snowskins contains liquor. While the popular Straits Kitchen is halal, Grand Hyatt Singapore is also famous for their martini and cocktails served at Mezza9. In other words, these snowskins are inspired from their popular cocktails and offers as many as 6 alcoholic snowskins and 3 non-alcoholic ones.

Snowskin series of Grand Hyatt Singapore 2011

Popular favourites such as Champagne truffle (pink), Lychee Martini (yellow) and Sakura Flower Cherry (purple) are back in action and the most outstanding flavour would be the Lychee Martini. Not only is the snowskin the softest among the 5 flavours we have gotten, the skin remains as it is despite being kept in the chiller for 4 days. Of course, the winning factor would be the chocolate ganache filled with strong lychee flavour and alcoholic punch.

Sakura Flower Cherry (purple) would be the other interesting one to highlight. Setting aside that it is alcoholic, the sakura flavoured ganache is memorable for the flowery goodness while the creamy texture contrasts well with the sweet lotus paste.

Apart from the regular favourites, Grand Hyatt Singapore also launched new flavours such as Chocolate Crispy Truffle (brown), Mocha Kahlua, Coconut Malibu (white) and Blueberry Cassis. Among them, we felt that Coconut Malibu (white) is unique for its distinctive and strong coconut fragrance.

In general, the lotus paste is sweet but the chocolate ganache that is housed in the core of their snowskin is smooth, distinctive and rich with an alcoholic punch filled generously in every bite.

Grand Hyatt Mooncake 2011

These mooncakes are available for sale from now to 12 September at the ground level of the hotel and also the mooncake fair at Takashimya.

From now to 28 August, UOB, DBS and Maybank cardholders are entitled to 20% discount and 10% disount from 29 August to 12 September.

*Based on our past experience, most will not offer discounts at the mooncake fair at Takashimaya so do check with the staff if you are purchasing the mooncakes from the fair.

Many thanks to Ms. Patricia Yong, Ms. Melissa Tan and Ms Sandee Goh for their time to host us and introduce us to the hotel's mooncakes

Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
Singapore 228211
Tel: 6887 5492
[ ... ]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jewels Artisan Chocolate's Snowskin 2011

Mooncake goes healthy this year for Jewels Artisan Chocolate has introduced Korean Black Garlic to this tasty treat. Known to have high levels of anti-oxidants, this fermented garlic might be the most interesting flavour for this year.

Upon fermentation, black garlic has a texture close to preserved plums with a hint of sweetness and tangy aftertaste (similar to balsamic vinegar). With soft chewy snowskin and green bean paste, there is a generous serving of black garlic at the centre of the mooncake and to a certain extent, this is quite acquired and different from most snowskin flavours.

Snow-Skin Mooncake with Korean Black Garlic and Champgane Ganache Truffle

Apart from the black beauty, the signature Snowskin Mooncake with Champagne Ganache Truffle is something not to be missed and just like last year, this has not disppointed.

Snowskin Mooncake with Dark Chocolate Crunchy Pearl, Espresso Truffle, Salted Caramel Truffle

Snowskin Mooncake with Dark Chocolate Crunchy Pearl (green), Mini Snowskin Mooncake with Espresso Truffle (yellow) and Snowskin Mooncake with Salted Caramel Truffle (pink) are also back in action.

Snowskin Mooncake with Dark Chocolate Crunchy Pearl has a nice contrast of smooth lotus paste with crunchy chocolate pearls and having use Valrhona Crunchy Dark Chocolate Pearls, it does help to reduce the sweetness alittle.

Snowskin Mooncake with Salted Caramel Truffle has been the next popular flavour after the signature Champagne Truffle as the smooth salted caramel ganache contrast nicely with the lotus paste for the distinctive caramelized and lightly salted aftertaste.

Jewels' Mooncake order form 2011

A box of assorted mini snowskin will have 2 Korean Black Garlic, 2 Champagne Ganache Truffle, 2 Salted Caramel Truffle with 1 of the Espresso Truffle and Dark Chocolate Crunchy Pearl each, priced at $56.80.

Following discounts are applicable for the purchase of 3 boxes and more,
  • 5% off total price for 3 to 4 boxes purchased
  • 10% off total price for 5 to 9 boxes purchased
  • 15% off total price for 10 or more boxes purchased
Apart from Jewels Artisan Chocolate @ Orchard Central, these mooncakes are also available at the mooncake fair at Takashimaya from 18 Aug 2011 to 11 Sep 2011 and Entertainment Centre Atrium (Outside Carrefour, Suntec City) from 29 Aug 2011 to 11 Sept 2011.

Last but not least, we would like to thank Chef Then Chui Fong for the complimentary box of mooncakes.

Jewels Artisan Chocolate
Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Tel: 6509 8998

Operating hours: 11am to 11pm daily
[ ... ]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mandarin Orchard Singapore's Mooncakes 2011

Our favourite baked mooncake among all we have tried for the past 3 years, the Baked Mooncake with Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Paste from Mandarin Orchard. Just when I thought that Shangri-la's baked mooncake was easily the best when a vendor gave a box to my boss last year, Mandarin Orchard's Low Sugar Macadamia Nuts proved me so wrong when I ate this back to back at the Mooncake Blogger Outing held at Daniel's place last year.

Baked Mooncake with Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Paste

What is good about it is the not-so-sweet white lotus paste and to make it less boring, macadamia nuts are thrown into the filling for the extra bite.

Baked Mooncake with Mixed Nuts and Jamón ibérico

Created by Executive Chinese Chef Sunny Kong of Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant, Baked Mooncake with Mixed Nuts and Jamón ibérico makes a debut to the classic mooncakes selection. Being a non 五仁 ("mixed nut mooncake") fan, this is a surprise thumb-up for me. Often, I would complain the maltose syrup (that holds the nuts) to be very sweet, sticky and overwhelmed with spices but Mandarin Orchard's Mixed Nuts and Jamón ibérico is the complete opposite. Apart from the maltose syrup having the right amount of sweetness and spice, the nuts are fresh and crunchy. In addition to the nutty flavour, Iberian ham provides the savoury goodness.

Mini Snow Skin Almond with Black Sesame Paste Mooncake

Among the 4 flavours of the mini snowskin, the Purple Sweet Potato & Amaretto Truffle and Almond with Black Sesame Paste caught my attention for these are favourites of Yuan.

This creation is inspired by the much-loved Cantonese dessert, Yuan Yang, a combination of black sesame paste and almond paste. However, Yuan is neutral towards this for the sesame paste is quite rich and hence not as smooth as the classic dessert but we have to admit that the fragrance of the almond does make it outstanding among most snowskins.

Mini Snow Skin Purple Sweet Potato and Amaretto Truffle Mooncake

Similarly to the Almond with Black Sesame Paste, the Purple Sweet Potato & Amaretto Truffle is rich in its flavour and the alcoholic white chocolate ganache brings about the smoothness and the additional oomph to the taste buds.

Mini Snow Skin Green Tea with Melon Seeds Mooncake

Back by popular demand, the Mini Snow Skin Green Tea with Melon Seeds Mooncake is a blend of green tea-infused lotus paste and crunchy melon seeds.

Mini Snow Skin Lychee Martini Mooncake

Mini Snow Skin Lychee Martini Mooncake, on the other hand is a very nice mimic to the popular cocktail, not forgetting that the combination of white lotus paste and alcoholic chocolate ganache is easily accepted by most.

In general, our preference is more inclined towards the baked mooncakes for the snowskin is slightly rough and dry in its texture, which is similar to Kueh tutu. However, having said that, I cannot deny the fact that the flavours that Mandarin Orchard has created for their snowskins leave the next deepest impression after Carlton Hotel's Marigold Snowskin for its flavour and strong alcoholic kick (after sampling 6 mooncakes from various sources).

Mandarin Orchard Mooncake Order Form 2011

The above mooncakes are available for sale at
  1. Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant, Level 35, from 12pm to 10pm
  2. Deli Counter, Hotel Lobby
  3. outside Mandarin Gallery Main Entrance from 11am to 9pm

Many thanks to Ms. Janice Azupardo, Regional Vice President, Branding and Communications of Meritus Hotels & Resorts for the complementary boxes of mooncakes.

Mandarin Orchard
333 Orchard Road
Singapore 238867
Tel: 6831 6266
[ ... ]

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Goodwood Park Hotel's Mooncakes 2011

Goodwood Park Hotel will launch a new flavour to their regular snowskins every year and apart from the signature D24 Durian, Cempedak and hot favourite, Mango with Pomelo and Sago, one can expect a refreshing newcomer, the Lychee with Lime Marshmallow Snowskin this year.

Lychee with Lime Marshmallow Snowskin Mooncake

Among the new flavours (i.e. Soursop in 2009 and Apple Caramel in 2010) we have tried, the Lychee with Lime Marshmallow Snowskin is easily the most memorable. With the sweet lychee filling surrounding the homemade lime-flavoured marshmallow, this is an interesting combination of sweet and sour. In addition, the additional bits of lychee provides an extra crunch on top of the chewy snowskin, smooth filling and soft marshmallow core.

Mega Mao Shan Wang Snowskin Mooncake

The 12-cm mooncake was first introduced last year to commemorate the hotel's 110th anniversary, and this year, the pastry chefs of Goodwood Park Hotel have decided to create the Mega ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Snowskin. Similarly to last year, this is presented in an elegant gold silk drawstring pouch, making it a perfect gift for family, friends and business associates.

Each mooncake is of no doubt rich and flavourful; and without fail, a crowd pleaser. However, we personally felt that the filling of these snowskins are slightly more "kueh"-like and there were mixed reviews from our family members and friends.

Do note that the above review has a sample size of more than 15 people. Goodwood Park Hotel has given us a box of assorted and one Mega Mao Shan Wang Snowskin Mooncake which we collected on the 14 August 2011 and we purchased three boxes of assorted and one Mega Mao Shan Wang Snowskin Mooncake on the 5 August 2011. The above pictures were taken with the first batch of mooncakes.

Goodwood Park Mooncake Order Form 2011

Available from 5 August 2011 to 12 September 2011, the 4 snowskins are sold either in a pair or in 4s in a gold and yellow packaging, adorned with an elegant peony design and Chinoiserie-inspired motifs.

There is 15% discount on all mooncakes for UOB, Citibank, DBS, CapitaCard Credit & Debit Cardmembers and 20% discount on all mooncakes for Goodwood Park Hotel Gourmet Cardmembers.

To order,
  1. guests may visit the Deli from 9am to 9pm daily
  2. contact the Mooncake Call Centre at 6730 1867 / 1868 from 9am to 7pm (Mondays to Fridays) and 9am to 1pm (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)
  3. place an online order here
Last order date is 7 September 2011, 12noon

Before signing off, we would like to thank Ms Justina Loh, Marketing Communications Manager of Goodwood Park Hotel for the complementary boxes of mooncakes.

Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Singapore 228221
Tel: 6730 1786

Operating hours - 9am to 9pm daily
[ ... ]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Fullerton Hotel's Snowskin Series 2011

One of the things I remembered greatly about The Fullerton Hotel's mooncakes is the presentation. Pastel coloured in the shape of a teardrop. To think that I just purchased one Rose Red Bean Snowskin last year and globbed it up immediately so much so Yuan could only manage a picture on his handphone before it was completely gone.

In general, the flavours for the snowskins in The Fullerton Hotel change every year. While the hotel focus on fruity flavours in 2009 and floral flavours in 2010, the hotel unveils a new range of tropical fruit snowskin this year. The theme is to bring about healthy goodness and nature's best for the Mid Autumn Festival.

Fullerton's Tropical Fruit Snowskin 2011

Durian mooncakes have been making appearances aggressively for the past few years and just a walk through the most talkabout mooncake fair in Takashimaya will get one to sample various durian fillings from at least a quarter of the booths.

Instead of following the masses with rich durian filling, The Fullerton Hotel presents their Durian Snowskin (green) with Red Bean Paste whereby durian puree is enveloped with a thick and rich red bean paste.

Speaking of Mango (yellow), one will draw its association with the popular dessert Mango Pomelo with Sago and the hotel transforms this popular local dessert into a refreshing treat. In our opinion, this seems to be green bean paste infused with mango and pomelo.

Jade Drawer Mooncake Box 2011

Honey Pineapple (white) comprises of caramelised pineapple and white lotus seed paste and we have to give a big thumbs up to the smooth lotus paste and for that, we would assume the baked mooncakes to be very good. As for this one, the tangy shredded pineapple goes well with the sweet lotus paste.

Lastly, Chocolate Banana with Chocolate Chips Snowskin (pink) is a combinaion of chocolate, bananas and chocolate chips. Chocolate-banana-infused lotus paste forms the core of the mooncake and surrounding it is the same white lotus paste as the Honey Pineapple.

Most would remember the traditional jade drawer box that housed The Fullerton Hotel's mooncakes (at least I did). For this year, the hotel has launched another mooncake packaging and should you be keen on the jade drawer boxes, do check with the staff when placing the order as we were told by the staff that there will be additional cost incurred.

I will upload the new order form
as the previous one is inaccurate in
the prices of the mooncakes and packaging.

Both baked and snowskin moonakes are available for sale at The Fullerton Shop located at the lobby level of The Fullerton Hotel from 8 August 2011 to 12 September 2011.

The Fullerton Shop
1 Fullerton Square
Singapore 049178
Tel: 6877 8178
[ ... ]

Monday, August 8, 2011

Taiwan Porridge @ Goodwood Park Hotel

We were first introduced to the Taiwan Porridge buffet when we visited the hotel in 2009 to blog about their famous durian desserts and it was then we realize that the Taiwan Porridge at Goodwood Park Hotel has been popular since its debut in 1984. In fact, we were surprised that there is no international buffet at Goodwood Park and the buffets offered in the hotel are the Taiwan Porridge Buffet and High Tea Buffet at L'Espresso.

In general, the hotel has a lovely colonial elegance and it is extremely pleasant to have a bowl of hot porridge with a selection of 28 dishes cooked a la minute. Do note that it can be extremely crowded, especially on Sunday afternoons so reservation is a must.

Goodwood Park's Taiwan Porddige A La Carte Buffet

One of the niches of this buffet is that the dishes are cooked a la minute and served hot to the table. From our experience, this buffet seems to be best enjoyed with a minimum of 4 diners as the dishes are in (relatively) huge portions. For people with small appetite, Coffee Lounge serve a “Design Your Own Local Degustation Set Menu”, allowing tasting portions of each dish in 4-Course and 5-Course sets. Be it the porridge buffet or the degustation set menu, a mini dessert buffet is included.

The menu is split into various categories and for the appetisers, one can expect the following,
  • Salted Fish with Salted Egg
  • Taiwanese Sausage
  • Baby Squids in Sweet Oyster Sauce
  • Fried Taman Fish with Sesame Seeds

One of the must-trys is the Fried Taman Fish with Sesame Seeds and according to Yuan, it is rare to come across such huge and crispy fish; and he gave a huge thumbs up on all 3 visits. Consistent and good.

Fried Taman Fish with Sesame Seeds

Three types of omelettes are served in this buffet and I can only say, choose wisely as the serving is still large for 4 diners.
  • Fried Omelette with Prawns & Onions
  • Fried Omelette with Chye Poh
  • Fried Omelette with Silver Fish

Braised Beancurd with Minced Meat

Among the beancurds served, my personal favourite goes to the Braised Beancurd with Minced Meat. The beancurd is smooth and the fried exterior is well-soaked with the Meat Sauce. Other beancurd dishes offered are
  • Chilled Beancurd in Japanese Soya Sauce & Pork Floss
  • Braised Beancurd with Chicken & Salted Fish

The porridge buffet offers a wide range of vegetables and depends on your personal preference, the choices are as below,
  • Stir-Fried Broccoli with Garlic
  • Stir-Fried French Beans with Dried Shrimps
  • Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish
  • Stir-Fried Eggplant with Minced Pork
  • Stir-Fried Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce
  • Stir-Fried Kang Kong with Sambal
Sauteed Chicken with Spring Onion & Ginger

The buffet offers 3 dishes each for chicken, pork and beef respectively.
  • Sauteed Chicken with Dried Chili
  • Sauteed Chicken with Spring Onion & Ginger
  • Fried Chicken with Prawn Paste
  • Braised Pork Belly with Dark Soya Sauce
  • Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Egg Yolk
  • Mui Choy with Pork
  • Braised Beef Brisket with Brown Sauce
  • Wok-Fried Beef with Black Pepper
  • Wok-Fried Beef with Spring Onions & Ginger

Both the Chicken with Spring Onion & Ginger and the Beef with Spring Onion & Ginger are our personal favourites for a reasonable degree of Wok's breath. In addition, the meat is tender and the sauce is sufficiently salty to eat with the porridge.

Since the dishes are served hot, one can expect the Fried Chicken with Prawn Paste to be of reasonable tenderness and what makes it convenient is that the chicken are served boneless. These bite-sized chicken can be addictive on its own.

Fried Chicken with Prawn Paste

Among the pork dishes, the Braised Pork Belly with Dark Soya Sauce is a must-try. Tender and well-marinated; the porridge tastes even better with the sauce.

Braised Pork Belly with Dark Soya Sauce

The buffet includes Sauteed Prawns with Dried Chili but the main highlight of the buffet are the Deep-Fried Pomfret with Black Soya Sauce and Steamed Sea Bass with Crispy Bean Paste.

Do note that one can only order EITHER the Pomfret OR Sea Bass and is limited to one order per table. One serving is served for 2-4 person and two servings for 5-8 persons.

Deep-Fried Pomfret with Black Soya Sauce

To a certain extent, the Deep-Fried Pomfret with Black Soya Sauce does stir some childhood memories. Simple as described, the fish is fried to crispy with almost no traces of oil.

Steamed Sea Bass with Crispy Bean Paste

On the other hand, the Steamed Sea Bass with Crispy Bean Paste is tender and juicy. This steamed fish goes extremely well with the accompanying crispy bean paste.

Note that these two fishes are from two independent visits to the buffet (i.e. the first one was during the durian fiesta in July 2011 while the second one is visited today) and given how close the two visits were, the dishes served on our second visit is slightly salty than the first. Apart from that, all are consistent and good.

Dessert Buffet I

This station would be a major highlight during the durian fiesta for it showcases 6 of the hotel's durian desserts, including a live station of the durian pancakes. Since the durian season is over, one can expect a selection of 8 non-durian pastries, which includes the signature Chocolate Crunchy Hazelnut and Bread & Butter Pudding.

Dessert Buffet II

The non-durian pastries are pretty much the same on both visits and Yuan enjoyed the Pandan Praline Cake and Maple Pecan Nut Tart the most. Yuan likes the Pandan Praline Cake for its light hazelnut mousse which is akin to Kinder Bueno with the texture close to a 九层糕 (Jiu Cheng Gao or 9 Layered Cake). As for the maple pecan nut, the tart pastry is thin and crisp with buttery fragrance; on top of the pineapple-flavoured filling, this tart is topped with sugary crumbles, making it a variant to a pineapple crumble. Other desserts available at the buffet line include the Raspberry Mascarpone Cake, Dark Cherry Tart, White Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Cake, Cinnamon Apple Cake and Banana Peanut Cheesecake.

In addition, there is also two Chinese desserts rotated on a daily basis. Barley with Ginko Nut & Quail Egg and Pulut Hitam (Black Rice Pudding) were served on our visit and complements well with the Chinese dishes served in the porridge buffet. Not forgetting the selection of fruits and Movenpick ice-cream as part of the dessert buffet.

Porridge buffet is available from noon to 2:30pm (last order at 2pm) for lunch and from 6pm to 10:30pm (last order at 10pm) for dinner; and is priced at $35.00++ per adult and $17.50++ per child. The buffet includes unlimited serving of porridge and dessert buffet (min 2 persons).

In our humble opinion, this buffet is definitely not cheap but what makes it special is to be able to enjoy a fare of popular Chinese dishes with zero MSG. Unlike most international buffets that are rich with seafood and cholesterol, the concept of porridge buffet seems to be a good alternative to dine in hotel comfort. In addition, with the dishes served a la minute, the quality offers is of no doubt. However, since the dishes offer may be simple and common, the novelty factor may diminish after repeated visits.

Many thanks to Marketing Communications Manager of Goodwood Park Hotel, Ms. Justina Loh for allowing us to take photos of the porridge buffet and the complementary tub of Homemade Durian Ice Cream.

Coffee Lounge
Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Singapore 228221
Tel: 6730 1746

P.S. Do note that the second visit was dined as anonymous customers.
[ ... ]

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Carlton Hotel's Mooncake 2011

The selling point of most mooncakes lies in its packaging and taste.

This year, Carlton Singapore has introduced a lovely packaging for their mooncakes. Inspired by traditional Mid Autumn festival lanterns with Carlton's brand and "star" logo, these hexagonal Tiffin-like packaging is die-cut with shapes of similar rice grains, allowing the box to glow beautifully when lit up.

However, the packaging is not only the selling point. We were pleasantly surprised by the Walnut Moontart and the newly introduced Marigold Snowskin.

Wlanut Moontart

Carlton Hotel’s signature and all-time bestseller, the Walnut Moontart is indeed a crowd pleaser. Topped with a sugary crispy crust, the fragrance diffuses strongly the moment we remove the Moontarts from the packaging.

Setting aside the shape, this is a good alternative to the traditional baked mooncake. Apart from the smooth and rich lotus paste, the walnut provides the additional crunch and the salted egg yolk finishes the taste with a savoury aftertaste.

This may be slightly sweet when eaten back to back with Hilton’s Cheese Snowskin but fret not, this all-time favourite also comes in a low sugar option and without egg yolk so there is no excuse to give this a miss.

The egg yolk may be small to some but it is the overall combination that blew us away. Also, there was a slight difference when we consume it on the day of collection and the following day so we would advise not to keep it for too long. After 5 days, we decided to warm it up in the oven and the crispy crust with the fragrance of the walnut makes it tastes better.

Mini Marigold Snowskin Mooncake

Carlton Hotel’s snowskin did give a lasting impression for the Wheatgrass and Lavender Snowskin launched 2 years back and this time round, tea lovers will be delighted with their newcomer, the Marigold Snowskin. With Oolong skin, Osmanthus (桂花) – infused lotus paste and a Marigold centre, the combination of two delicate flowers from the East and West provides a nice fragrance and is definitely a splendid treat for tea lovers.

With fragrant Osmanthus-infused lotus paste enveloping the crunchy Marigold ganache made of petals and hazelnut croquant, this combination works well for me and my mother-in-law but Yuan felt that the Osmanthus is too strong to his liking. Between the two, he would gladly gobble down the signature Walnut Moontart.

Carlton Hotel mooncake order form

From now to 29 August 2011,
- early birds get to enjoy 15% off all mooncakes.
- exclusively for Starhub customers, Citibank, DBS and UOB card members, there is 20% off for the first 25 boxes purchased and 25% off for 26 boxes and above.

From 29 August to 12 Septmeber 2011,
- all customers get to enjoy 10% off all mooncakes
- exclusively for Starhub customers, Citibank, DBS and UOB card members, there is 15% off all mooncakes

Note that there is
- free local delivery for 50 boxes and above to one location for purchase of 50 boxes and above
- a surcharge of $35 per location is applicable for delivery with less than 50 boxes
- 3 working days is needed to process orders of more than 10 boxes

Before signing off, we would like to thank Ms Leung Yi Wen, Marketing Communications Manager of Carlton Hotel for the complementary boxes of mooncakes.

The mooncakes are also available at the following booths,
Carlton Hotel Lobby, Café Mosaic Entrance, Level 1
8 Aug to 12 Sep 2011
Daily, 11am to 9pm

IMM, Atrium A, Level 1
29 Aug to 11 Sep 2011
Daily, 10am to 10pm

Junction 8, Main Atrium, Level 2
29 Aug to 11 Sep 2011
Daily, 10am to 10pm

Suntec City Mall, Entertainment Centre Atrium, Level 1
29 Aug to 11 Sep 2011
Sundays to Thursdays: 10am to 9.30pm
Fridays & Saturdays: 10am to 10pm
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