Friday, August 30, 2013

Café Swiss

It was lunch hour at Raffles City, and the queue for Nam Nam Noodle Bar snaked all around the perimeter of the restaurant! Hungry and impatient, my mother and I decided to switch dining venues to Café Swiss instead, located in Raffles City (or Swissotel, if you'd rather) as well. Furthermore, there was a 1-for-1 lunch buffet promotion (which ends in October 2013!) so it would be very reasonable.

After securing a seat for two, we started our meal. The selection of food was not as large, but it was specific. There was a salad bar, sushi bar (Japanese), country roasts and pasta, hot foods, cheese fondue station, a bread and cheese station, and of course, a dessert counter. However, it is the quality of the food that matters most, not the quantity. Café Swiss definitely did not disappoint in that area.

The lovely ambiance was definitely a plus!

The cha soba was decent. I enjoyed it, but I hardly ever eat cha soba so I am in no position to judge.

All eyes on the salmon.

Café Swiss has a small variety of desserts, but each one of them pack a punch! Especially the chocolate bar on the right, which is supposedly made of 72% Valrhona chocolate. The lemon meringue shooters were terrific as well.

Who can ever resist a chocolate fountain? Certainly not me! And so it seems for many of the other diners here. I would recommend dipping the luscious strawberries or the strawberry-flavoured butter cake (?) at the bottom of the picture with the chocolate. The strawberry-flavoured cake is absolutely wonderful. You can taste the strawberry in each buttery square of cake.

However, let it be noted that the chocolate fountain is switched on and off rather frequently, which is pretty queer. But that is not a heavy issue for we can always dip our desserts in the big collecting bowl of chocolate.

There was smoked salmon and salmon sashimi. The smoked salmon was cut in rather thick slices, for smoked salmon. Furthermore, it tastes like ham. On the other hand, the salmon sashimi was splendid! Especially when dipped in the Japanese soy sauce, the sashimi was perfect.

Probably the biggest draw for Café Swiss: the Swiss cheese fondue! I enjoyed dipping broccoli into this bowl of gooey cheese very much. A pity that the bowl of fondue was rather small, and everyone else seemed to enjoy it as much as (or more than) I did.

The mushrooms over there were spectacular as well. The cream sauce was so delicious, yet so sinful!

My advice would be to skip the hot foods section altogether. They are but normal dishes, and definitely not worth wasting stomach space on, especially if you do not have a big appetite.

Ah, I attacked the dessert bar quickly because everyone else seemed to be making their rounds there before I did. (We arrived at the buffet an hour after it opened, so we were rather late.) Everything was wonderful!

I enjoyed the crumbly top on the lemon meringue shooter, and the chocolate bar was so rich and hit the spot.

The crunchy walnuts were stolen from the caramel pudding. They were toasted/roasted and sprinkled with sugar. Genius.

The fruit tart was just meh, though.

More salmon!

The breads in the bread basket were all new and I was really worried that it was only for display...but they tasted great so I guess they were meant to be part of the buffet spread! I am not a big fan of cheese so the cheese didn't really stand out to me. However, if you are a cheese connoisseur, I'm sure you would enjoy the selection of different cheeses offered. Among many others, there was blue cheese and...well that's the only name I remember! Oops.

Minestrone was simple yet fulfilling.

Spanish omelette which was chock full of bell peppers and capsicum! A bit too much, if you asked me.

A summary of my favourite dishes.

I loved my experience at Café Swiss, and the total bill for the two of us was only $47! It was lunch and dinner so I suppose it is rather reasonable. I would definitely head back to Café Swiss if I ever had the opportunity to. The best thing about this whole buffet was that I didn't feel bloated at all! Although I have no doubt that I will need to exercise much harder in the following days to come...

Swissotel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road  Singapore 178882  Singapore
Tel: +65 6338 8585

Marriot Café High Tea buffet

Taking advantage of the 1-for-1 High Tea buffet promotion at the Marriot Café, my family and I dined there on a Tuesday afternoon. Surprisingly, the restaurant was full and there were many tai-tais stuffing their faces with food. It was most ungracious as many of them "snatched" the more "worth-it" dishes such as the salmon, prawns et cetera. However, our second experience at the Marriot Café was not to be ruined by such trivialities.

The spread was veered more towards local food, as there were popiah, bak kut teh, chicken rice, sayur lodeh, satay and laksa. For desserts, there was a do-it-yourself ice-kachang station as well. However, the classics such as smoked salmon, prawns (as I mentioned before), ice-cream and cakes were present as well.

Finger sandwiches, as with all High Teas.
Tuna, Ham and Cheese, Smoked salmon.
I enjoyed the tuna sandwiches the best. I placed a slice of smoked salmon in between the two slices of bread and ate it together with the tuna. The mayonnaise, tuna and salmon all complemented one another perfectly. It was so delicious, I had about seven of such sandwiches, departing my steadfast rule of never eating too much carbohydrates during a buffet.

Smoked salmon and Gravlax salmon.
I enjoyed the spices on the gravlax salmon much better than the plain smoked salmon. However, over-dosing on smoked salmon can be rather unpleasant and the raw, fishy taste soon gets too overpowering.

Scones, popiah and tuna puff (not pictured) live station. It was rather strange how they grouped these vastly different food items together. However, the chef was only preparing the popiahs "live".

Red bean pancakes! The pancake skin was a bit too fried, though the generosity with the red bean paste cannot be neglected.

The bread bar, which also comprised of three cakes: Banana, Fruit and Butter. I enjoyed the banana cake immensely, though it was not tempting enough to cause me to break my no-carbs rule.

Also, there was a very persistent fly on the cloth used to hold the loaves of bread firm. It was rather unappealing and made me forget about the breads altogether.

Oh, glorious ice-cream! The mint and strawberry flavoured ice-creams were stellar, while the rest were forgettable. However, I felt that it was a bit too creamy for my liking, leaving me with a very bloated feeling afterwards.

The ice-kachang station. The grass jelly bits were surprisingly good, thick and gelatinous. The red beans were a bit of a disappointment as they were a tad under-cooked.

Though they look enticing, do not be fooled! They were merely average.

Bread and Butter pudding with chocolate, maple and vanilla sauces. The pudding was so-so, but very photogenic.

Well, so I had a slice of was tasty with the abundance of nuts and raisins, but nothing to shout about.

The popiah was absolutely fantastic! Bursting with ingredients, and a juicy piece of prawn in each piece!

The oyster omelette was over-fried and lacklusture. I felt that they only good dish here was the sambal prawn, which were very juicy.

The sayur lodeh was a disappointment, to say the least. The char siew pau was not bad, but not wonderful as well. However, to its credit, I enjoyed that the bun was soft and warm. Probably because it had just been taken out of the steamer, but still.

Ah, this plate is a representation of my favourite dishes. The scone was terrific! The outsides were a little crisp but the inside was buttery and oh-so-soft! I spread the luscious strawberry jam on it and it was heaven in each mouthful.

The chocolate profiteroles were the best out of these, in my opinion.

Ah, the mint ice-cream was great while I was eating it, but I felt terribly guilty after finishing two cups of it.

The bak kut teh soup was a mockery to all bak kut tehs out there. However, the yong tau foo ingredients I added into the soup were good (meatballs, sausages, prawns, dumplings).

As you can see, I went a little overboard with the sandwiches.

My second cup of ice-cream! One cup too many, I feel.

Oh lovely, lovely scone.

(Please don't judge me for wearing my Havaianas to a hotel restaurant, ha ha! Comfort > Fashion any time.)

The total bill came up to be $87 for the four of us, which is a pretty good deal considering that it was both lunch and dinner. Marriot Café has always been one of my favourite buffet restaurants, though I think I may stay away from its High Tea sessions in future. After all, why would you pay so much for hawker fare?

Friday, August 23, 2013

d'Good Café

d'Good Café is literally a hole-in-a-wall establishment. One has to climb a flight of stairs before finding the café. There are two levels of seats available, and even an alfresco dining option! The afternoon I visited the café, it was really quiet in the top level and the minimalistic decor really appealed to me.

I ordered the Scrambled Eggs and Toast set ($7.50), and a Weekday Special meal consisting of Fresh Sea Prawn Pesto pasta, Mushroom soup and a Café Latté ($20). Oh yes, I also shared a Maple Sea Salt Cheesecake ($8.50) with the mother.

I think the café is run by a Christian as there was Christian music playing in the café, and the counter also boasts a variety of Christian stationery such as bookmarks and notebooks.

Food-wise, it's good, but a little expensive. In an attempt to make this a visually stimulating post, here are some photographs I took. 

The brioche was really good. Better than that of Wild Honey! I enjoyed the crisp, buttery bread with scrambled egg lathered generously atop it. The scrambled eggs were really good too! Though I would say the set is a little pricey for it's size, the quality almost makes up for it. They do sell the brioche separately, at $4.50 for two slices. Paying an extra $3 for the eggs is a pretty okay deal I suppose.

The pasta was another stellar dish. The servings of prawn was so generous! Six huge, succulent prawns tossed in a bed of warm pasta. Heavenly. Beware though, this is extremely filling!

Cheesecake was merely average, sadly.

On another occasion, I also got to try the matcha latte ($5.50). It was very very very good! I love how the matcha taste is distinctly brought out, and it's not too bitter as well. Ahhh, the perfect way to while an afternoon. :-)

The alfresco dining area is just lovely. A pity that it gets too hot in the afternoons to dine there. Also, it overlooks the main road so there isn't much of a view to boast of. Oh well, kudos to them for trying anyway!

Overall, I would definitely visit d'Good Café again, to try their English Breakfast set which comes with the full works! It's also a very nice place to chill and study. :-) In fact, I've been here a couple of times to study during examination periods! I love the clean spaces (and Wi-Fi) and quiet (if you go in the weekday afternoons where it's usually a lil period).

Friday, August 09, 2013

Craft Bakery Café

The creators behind Molten Lava Cake speciality store 3 Inch Sin has come up with a new cafe, Craft Bakery & Café in Holland Village. As the Millenia Walk branch of 3 Inch Sin is a little to far away for me to visit at leisure, I immediately make a beeline for the Holland Village store to try its famed molten lava cakes. They are said to be the best in Singapore!

We ordered the Hazelnut molten cake ($9.50)
It was pricey but well worth the price we paid. The chocolate center immediately oozed out upon cutting. It was extremely messy, extremely sinful but also extremely delicious.

You need to try this.

Craft Bakery & Café

24A Lorong Mambong Singapore 277183

Tel: +65 6467 7710