Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Festive Dinner Buffet at Novotel

Prior to this tasting, my impression of Novotel (when it comes to food) is mainly wedding banquet but little did I realise there is a very comfy restaurant located at level 7, serving a lovely international buffet.


Adopting a minimalistic decor with tables comfortably spaced and the buffet spread presented neatly at a corner, I adore the light hearted setting. The choice of maroon and black gives a nice contrast between homely and stylish. In addition, the balcony area at the other side of the restaurant brightens the restaurant in the afternoon and dims the restaurant at night, providing a nice transition from dusk to night.


With Christmas round the corner, the festive dinner buffet at The Square can be considered as an option for large families and gatherings.  With an affordable price tag, The Square will blow you off with a simple yet extensive selection, not forgetting the usual christmas offerings at their live stations. Both the roasted turkey as well as the baked gammon ham deserved special mention for their tender, succulent and nicely-marinated taste.


Apart from the festive roasts, we were quite surprised by the selection of appetisers offered. We are usually not big fans of appetisers but the wide selection of Italian starters ranging from cold cuts, salads, sandwiches, and anti-pasta intrigue us to try. Among the extensive selection, some of the items that are worth a mention were the potato salad, which is light on the dressing and generously tossed with bacon bits; bruschetta where the bread is contrast nicely with cheese and tomato; the refreshing pasta salad and parma ham though would have been better if it is shaved more thinly.


The house specially is the risotto which is prepared a la minute and stirred into the cheese bowl for the additional cheesy effect. However if you are not a cheese fan, this is probably not for you. It also comes with the special variant of laska sauce. Those who loved their laksa sauce rich with shrimp taste may find this novice.


The seafood section consists of fresh oysters, mussels, prawns, tuna sashimi and the poached salmon. One of the must-trys in the buffet would definitely be the poached salmon for its soft and juicy meat. This simple dish retains the sweetness of the fish but yet does not have an overpowering fishy aftertaste.


Within the hot food section, Fen's favourite was the Irish Mutton Stew. Though most would have dreaded the gamely taste of the mutton, this is surprisingly acceptable to non-mutton lovers like me. The stew is so intense with the flavours that Fen ends up slurping the gravy. According to her, the meat is tender, the potatoes are well-soaked with the essence of the stew, the carrots are juicy. Perfect combination.  


The buffet also offers Asian dishes such as fried rice, mee tai bak, beef rendang, sweet and sour pork and kimchi chicken. Kimchi chicken caught my attention for the mild spicy flavour but didn't earn a thumb up from Fen as she is not a kimchi lover. On the other hand, beef rendang earns her nods in this station.


Since it is nearing Christmas, you will find log cakes, christmas pudding, christmas cookies on the dessert bar. We personally found the log cakes unique as it is made of strawberry sponge and pandan sponge (separately) as opposed to the usual chocolate/vanilla sponge. While the sponge is soft and "old school", the downside would be the large amount of buttercream for the pandan log cake which would have been perfect if they replace the filling with kaya.


You will also find chocolate fondue which often appeal to kids. However what really steals the show is the durian pengat. The paste is so smooth but yet does not compromise on the durian content.


All in all, the selection is pretty extensive considering this is pitted against mid range buffet suspects such as Straits Cafe, Cafe Mosaic and Cafe 2000. While most of these mid range buffets focus on local specialities and seafood, The Square aims to bring in a variety of cuisines to their buffet line.

In addition to the lovely Italian starters, traditional Irish Mutton Stew and the marriage of Kimchi & Chicken, Chef Jean-Philippe Couturier, a French, has also introduced a few memorable fusions such as the Laksa Cheese Risotto and Seafood (mussels are served in their buffet line while cod is available in their a la carte menu) with Spicy Coconut Cream sauce. Another plus point of the buffet is having an in-house pastry chef that brings about a decent selection of pastries and also the local favourite, durian pengat.

In short, the ambience is simple, the dishes are memorable and the price tag is affordable.

Special thanks to Mr. John Paolo Tan, Marketing & Direct Sales Manager of Novotel Singapore for the invite to enjoy this festive dinner.

Festive Dinner Buffet is available from now to 1st Jan 2013, everyday from 6pm to 10pm.
$52++ (Adult) / $35++ (Child/Senior Citizen), from Sunday to Thursday
$62++ (Adult) / $38++ (Child/Senior Citizen), Friday and Saturday

For Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year Eve Dinner,
$68++ (Adult, buffet only)
$88++ (Adult, with free Prosecco Sparkling Wine, Tiger Draught Beef, house wine and 2 kinds of juices)
$48++ (Child)

The Square Restaurant
Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
177A River Valley Road
Singapore 179031
Tel 6433 8790
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blackforest Log Cake from PrimaDeli


Christmas is round the corner, and this year PrimaDéli sent us the Blackforest Log Cake to sample. We were impressed by the elaborated design on the Log Cake which even includes Santa on his sleigh. This chocolate Log Cake consist of chocolate sponge filled with dark cherries laced with chocolate cream. Compared with the Log Cakes from the hotels which uses mousse and premium ingredients, this one may not give that wow factor. However at $35.90 (Std)/$46.90(Per Kg), this is certainly value for money.


Apart from the Blackforest Log Cake, PrimaDéli offers a fine range of Christmas Log Cakes. There is the Truffle Log Cake - a decadently rich chocolate sponge cake covered with velvety truffle cream. If you are not a fan of chocolate; the Vanilla Mixed Fruit Log Cake would make a perfect alternative. The harmonious combination of exotic fruit generously spread between layers of fluffy vanilla sponge and smooth vanilla cream will keep it light on the palate yet satisfyingly enjoyable.

The PrimaDéli’s Christmas Collection 2012 will be available at all PrimaDéli bakeries from 17 November 2012 to 20 December 2012. Orders must be placed at least four working days at the various outlets prior to collection. Closing date for orders is 20 December 2012. 

For general and corporate enquiries, please call PrimaDéli’s hotline at 62763333 or visit

Special thanks to Celina from Foreword Communications for the complementary Log Cake.
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