Hark the Herald Angels Sing! Tis’ the 4th day of Christmas, and after everyone has settled from the barrage of festivities and glasses of bubbly, it is time to compose oneself to look back at what has been done these few days which have simply vanished in a blink of an eye. For my family and I, we headed to Triple Three Mandarin Orchard Singapore to partake in the Christmas festivities as well as to celebrate my mum’s 51st birthday. Heralding the joy of Christmas, this is the Christmas Special 2011 on GourmetEstorie!
Yes this is the Mandarin Orchard which I also know of as Meritus Mandarin. So making the choice to dine here for such a festive occasion was a little confusing to the taxi driver as I had to reiterate the destination. Better yet, I didn’t know that part of Orchard road was closed for the Christmas Parade (though I reckon it could have been placed on the news online more prominently)
Regardless of how the journey turned out, entering the lobby at Level 5 of Mandarin Orchard Singapore, there was this traditional beautifully adorned Christmas tree just waiting for me to go and hug it. It is almost rare to witness a simple beauty decked in the classic colours of red, green and gold. Not to say that I am not amazed at trees of purple, and made of recycled materials, but that feeling of nostalgia is just at best when it comes to the traditional classic.
And yes, a real Gingerbread house (partially real since only the shop facade was layered with pieces of the sweet pastry). But still a stunning vision to take a look longer than a shifting glance. Reminds me much of Hansel and Gretel, though rest assured there was no evil witch hiding within the restaurant.
I had many things about Triple Three, and it’s range of reviews which accompanied it. And it has been a long time since I started looking forward to dining at the restaurant.
Taking a quick cursory tour through the buffet line up, the most attractive set would definitely have to be the Roasted Christmas Meats station. Beautiful whole smoked turkey all ready for carving, together with whole Roast Lamb, Roast Wagyu, Honey Baked Ham and Wedges for the picking.
The Honey Baked Ham is certainly one of the most impressive I’ve seen in any buffet line up so far. Shiny and gleaming brownish red, it almost screamed of a beautiful cut not to be missed.
And the ham is one specialty of Mandarin Orchard’s Executive Sous Chef William Tan. With over 30 years in culinary experience and an almost equally long one to craft up the perfect recipe for his Honey Baked Ham, this signature festive delight is certainly set to impress.
I had a few slices of the slightly medium rare part and drizzled the truffle sauce all over. The meat was just how I’d liked it and the moment I hit the part with the prized fat, it simply burst in my mouth in a sprite of fresh flvaours and heartiness. All while smothered with a delicate hint of earthy truffle and savoury sauce.
The Roast Lamb looks simply stunning. The moment I saw it, I fell in love with it and had to take a picture of it. Look at that shine, that brown, and that gleam. Oh and it tasted great as well with a rich complex game flavour peppered with sweet essence through a thorough chew.
The Fresh Seafood Station was very well stocked with a good variety of Oysters, Alaskan Snow King Crab Claw, Clams, Mussels, Prawns, Crabs and more Claw.
Salad and Starter Station. The Duck Terrine (bottom right) was fabulously complex in flavours with a very smooth creamy texture. Pop one in, and it would seem like it was meant to be there.
The Salad Bar – A Station many Singaporeans would just pause to take a cursory glance and move on.
The Sashimi and Sushi Station was much better received with a decent assortment of makis and nigiri sushi coupled with an assortment of fresh sashimi blocks.
I enjoyed all the sashimi with its fresh flavours being a pertinent favourite to any starter in a buffet.
The Grill Station is one place to take note of. Choices of salmon, lamb, beef, prawns and an assortment of vegetables are available upon request.
Classic teppanyaki salmon, very smooth, creamy and oily.
The grilled lamb is a thumbs up from me.
Chef William and his team also whipped up something a little special from the Teppanyaki Station. Lamb Rack Crusted with Chestnut Flakes and Dressed with Reduced Balsamic Dressing. I must say, one of the finest textures of lamb rack with it tender meat, nutty fragrant chestnut surface and slight tangy sauce to bring out the flavours. This dish make it’s appearance occasionally on the buffet line up.
For a classic that seems to go with Christmas Buffets, there is the Pan Fried Foie Gras served with Miso Sauce and Black Truffle . One of the better foie gras I’ve had with its crisp surface and a sweet miso sauce so lovingly glazed on the top. Sprinkles of black truffle deepen the overall flavours into a perfect ending and the radish beneath lightened the overall touch. While all is good with this dish, what could have been better is that the dish is made upon request and not left to stand in the open for extended periods. Furthermore the portion is really select to ensure an equal opportunity to enjoy other dishes as well.
The Pan Fried Cod with Miso Sauce was also another winner. I enjoyed this because of the sweet oiliness from the fish and the complimentary miso on each piece.
The Lobster Mentaiyaki was quick to disappear as little need to be said on how much a crowd pleaser this was. Fresh lobsters halved and then topped with mentaiyaki sauce, thereafter grilled to a gorgeous brown.
Salmon and Beef Tenderloin cubes from the Grill Station
Pastas! How could I not do without Pastas!
The Tempura Station
The Chinese Cuisine Live Station – Steamed Egg Custard, Chicken Soup with Herbs and Fried Hokkien Noodles
And yes there were Suckling Pig, in addition to Roast DucK and Roast Pork
Coffee Pork Ribs and Beef Rendang
Baked Whole Salmon
The Indian Cuisine Station
Select variety of Breads and Cheeses.
And finally for desserts, there was a whole freezer of Ice Cream! In flavours of Vanilla, Strawberry and Triple Chocolate to delight the sweet tooth of many.
Simple and beautiful assortment of candied delights!
Executive Sous Chef William Tan and Me
Dining at Triple Three Mandarin Orchard Singapore for their Christmas Buffet this year was generally good with an awesome Festive Meats Station to begin with. The range as a whole is more of quality than quantity, giving rise to a spread which is select to choose from. It would be great if there were more to go along such that the variety would have diners spoilt for choice. And while the desserts station was decently done, the variety was not as extensive and festively coloured as I would have imagined a Christmas buffet to be.
For the night, the buffet with free flow juice and soft drinks was priced at $148++ and topping up to $188++ would entail free flow sparkling wine. It was a night to remember with a cozy ambience to match. Kudos go to both Executive Sous Chef William for his warm hospitality, and Pastry Chef E. Basker Babu for delighting us with a very well crafted Birthday cake. And many thanks to the team of chefs who surprised us by coming out to sing Happy Birthday to my mum!
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Reservations : 6831 6271