Tonight is the night to hear the F1 Roar one last time in Singapore before the season is over for the year. To hear some of the sounds live while enjoying dinner in comfort, the Town Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel is one place to be this evening. Also for this special period, the restaurant will be serving up a spread of Delicacies from Johor in addition to the existing international and seafood buffet spread available. Prided as ‘Johor Palace Delicacies’, an assortment of more than 25 tantalizing and stately dishes from Johor will make their way to Singapore. Now, you can have a little bit more of Malaysia without even leaving the country, and if you are visit on the 22nd, you can even get to enjoy glimpses of the cars and circuit during this Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Arriving at the Fullerton Hotel yesterday, I saw an array of Ferraris parked outside at the foyer. Planned special for the occasion, these cars add up to the hype well driven by the F1 Grand Prix. With the proximity so close to the race track, one could just imagine these cars being driven off and taken for a spin around the circuit.
The hotel is also decked with F1 memorabilia. Circuit flags and plushies adorn the setting, and certainly gets one in the mood and atmosphere for some pretty fast paced races.
In the restaurant, explore the range of dishes that include Asma Rojak, Nasi Briyani, Briyani Daging, Ayam Masak Opor, Sambal Tumis Udang, Sotong Masak Hitam and the Ikan Masak Gulai Nenas. To watch the F1 action live via proxy, request for a table next to the televisions sets placed around the restaurant just for the occasion.
If you are in a particular mood to celebrate, the Whole Roasted Lamb is one that will be set to please and ‘wow’ with a visual impact. Traditionally served at celebratory feasts, the lamb is cooked for 3-4 hours and thereafter served with fragrant seasoned rice.
I was quite delighted to find a live station preparing freshly made Roti Jala. These ‘net bread’ is best enjoyed fresh with a good side of chicken curry. I particularly enjoyed the ones prepared here for a crisp, yet chewy portion that is delicately fragrant, ready to soak in the flavours of a robust curry at the side.
The Roti Jala
Chef specially recommended the Ikan Masak Gulai Nenas (Fish in tangy pineapple and tamarind gravy) and I agree that it is an exceptional dish worth tucking into. The sweet and sour flavours of pineapple and tamarind is beautifully melded together, caramelizing the fish’s meaty flavour and softening the prawn’s sharp sweetness. The gravy is fine, a little light, yet chock full of flavour that deserves to be enjoyed without other dishes for the moment. Have this with a little white rice for a complete meal experience.
However, I was even more impressed with the Sambal Tumis Udang (Prawn in Chilli Paste). The redness is deceptively mildly hot, with a robust flavour coming from the rempah used to prepare the gravy. The sweetness of prawn is well complemented with the stocky sweet chilli, and sipping the gravy is almost addictive. I literally devoured this dish to the last bit, challenging my grandma to see who could get the last scoop of gravy.
Laksa Johor is also available at the buffet line. I am not a particular fan of this dish, but I appreciate the detailed effort taken to prepare the rempah and condiments. Somehow the idea of using spaghetti for the noodles (while arguably authentic since colonial times) is not best enjoyed for the occasion. Maybe it’s the setting that needs work. Having this dish by the roadside in Johor will definitely be a different experience altogether.
DIY Asma Rojak
Satay fresh from the grill. Good if you’ve not tried satay before, but I’ve had better.
For the 22nd of September, diners will get to enjoy the seafood spread and grilled lobsters prepared a la minute from the kitchen. Grilled lobsters are always good as their sea sweetness, meaty textures and fragrant flavours is hard to go wrong.
Sashimi selection specially plated for the night.
Wee Teck from The New Paper recommended guests to try the chicken rice. I would actually recommend going for the Roast Duck instead. It could be the portion for the night, but when I bit into the leg, the amount of juice, oil, fat, beautiful savoury spiced flavours that is hard to put a word to it, just came pouring out into my mouth. Fantastic. The meat is tender, the skin, crisp, and the spices well permeated throughout. I had seconds!
Fruits to cleanse the palate
The desserts for the night had an assortment of F1 flags all about.
Part of the race track. You can watch the cars zoom by.
The Johor Palace Delicacies promotion is a good, introductory feature into what more can be enjoyed in the Malaysian state just north of Singapore. There is a good assortment for introduction, and some lovely dishes like the Sambal Tumis Udang to sink your teeth into. The visit is best enjoyed when one considers the buffet range already available, and the Johor delicacies served on top of the spread. Once you are exposed a little to the cuisine, maybe you could even make the trip up north to tuck into the food both on the streets, and in restaurants for the full experience. For the F1 Weekend, the dinner is made even more special with the roars of the engine. But once the aural spectacle is over, dinner carries on as usual.
Thank you The Fullerton Hotel for the invitation.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
“Johor Palace Delicacies” Lunch Buffet:
Prices: S$53* per adult and S$26* per child (6 to 11 years old)
“Johor Palace Delicacies” Dinner Buffet:
-S$69* per adult and S$34* per child (6 to 11 years old) on 19, 26 and 27 September 2013 with a seafood spread.
-S$79* per adult and S$35* per child (6 to 11 years old) from 20 to 22 September 2013 with a seafood spread and grilled lobster.