It has been a long time coming since I last tried the food at Swissotel’s Ellenborough Market Cafe. Yet, with my visit this time round, I was surprised to hear that the restaurant will be closed come 15th February for a four month long revamp. Still, the restaurant is set to go off with a bang into the Lunar New Year. The culinary team has executed a range of CNY culinary delights for all guests to enjoy and tuck in to, and they are looking forward to impress. From a custom-made Lo Hei freshly prepared at a live counter, to the delectable portion of Stir-fried Australian Scallops with Snow Peas, Lily Bulbs in XO Sauce, and even the freshly prepared Durian Pengat, this is one Lunar New Year reunion that will spark off memories.
It has become almost tradition to start off lunch or dinner this season with a hearty serving of Prosperity Yu Sheng. For all guests at the Cafe, the Yu Sheng will be specially prepared at a live station and served in customized portion sizes. Welcoming the New Year with a toss of fortune and prosperity is always welcomed – just remember not to make too much of a mess. We tried very hard not to toss vegetables onto the ceiling.
Some dishes that are worth looking out for are treats like the Stir-fried Australian Scallops with Snow Peas, Lily Bulbs in XO Sauce. The crisp, sweet and meaty scallops were a delight to indulge in, and the crunchy snow peas was well contrasted with the tender, earthy lily bulbs. It was a favourite for me, for the night.
The Baby Lobster in Black Bean Sauce was the restaurant’s signature, and a crowd pleaser. A piquant black bean sauce was well incorporated into the baby lobsters, allowing a deep savoury flavour to emerge from the crustacean’s meaty interior.
The Braised Sea Cucumber with Jade Broccoli, was for me, not as impressive. While I did enjoy the servings of shiitake mushroom, the sea cucumber was a little tough and too alkaline for my taste.
The Champagne Pork Ribs were decently flavoured, but it was the Chang Shou La Mian’s strong garlic use in the broth that prevented me from going on with another sip. With Valentine’s day just around the corner, the garlic-rich broth might not be well suited for a dinner date, or if you are just seeking to impress a guest
Desserts were a pleasant affair, and I deeply enjoyed ending the meal with Nian Gau topped with some freshly desiccated coconut. The durian pengat was, however, a little tame in flavour – though one cannot deny the rich textures that come along with it.
The Feasts of Prosperity Dinner at Ellenborough Market Cafe is available from now till 14th February 2016. Albeit the festive price, it is a decent buffet if you are looking for a meal that features familiar favourites in a memorable setting. There were a few misses along the way, but certain highlights do delight. I, however, now look forward to the next iteration of the Ellenborough Market Cafe. The current buffet line up is almost traditional, and a refresh is well and timely.
Thank you Swissotel Merchant Court for the invitation.
|Ellenborough Market Cafe|
|Swissotel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road
Reservations: 6239 1847
|Prosperity Lunar New Year Buffet
Lunch (Mon to Sun): $58++ (Adult) / $29++ (Child)