“I want to hold your hand,” so says the child to the lady standing over him. The momentous machine of metal and silver rushed past in a breeze. Hair flipping in the wind, the noise of the engine rumbled to its peak, then fading away silently. Hands tightened and well deep into the bigger palm, a gulp, a tiny gulp, and a quavering voice, “I want to hold your hand, mummy. Let’s cross the street.”

In a crowded world out there, where the noise is above the rumble, there are moments all around where there is a need for a special thanksgiving. Its been a very long time since I last wrote a narrative, regardless how short. But this time, I think its fitting as we celebrate the occasion of all great mothers around. In all its traditionalistic sense, mums play a very important role in the family. While dads give that firm touch in their deep voices, in a comforting assuring way, mums bind the family together with their sensitive care, motherly sacrifices and endearment.

Mothers’ Day is the day in which the life and giving of all mums are celebrated and recognized, and many families will have their own programme to rejoice and give thanks. My way this year’s Mothers’ Day was to bring my mum, grandma and dad to Melt – The World Cafe at the Mandarin Oriental for their magnificent Sunday Brunch Buffet with Champagne. For all its full spleandour in the spirit of the occasion, a toast and a chink of a glass full of the bubbly is well deserved.

Fingers locked, and one hand over the other, each step is a slow one. The wisp of silver white floating airily make a beautiful picture of the autumn evening. And as everything comes to a standstill, with only the green man giving its full attention, the pair make their way across. The hobbles are arduous but the support is momentous. Slightly wrinkled skin are now a present of what was the past. Hands tightened and well deep into the bigger palm, a firm voice, in all its comforting strength, “Mum, we have crossed the street.”

Presenting Melt – The World Cafe Mothers’ Day Sunday Brunch Buffet.

Finding the Mandarin Oriental was not entirely straightforward. With Marina Mandarin as its neighbour, it was almost too easy for a taxi driver to make a mistake. Thank goodness I asked the staff before entirely alighting from the taxi.

  

Its my first time being to Mandarin Oriental, and I must say that its simple lavishness impressed me.

Just artful touches here and there with alot of focus on symmetry, light and water. Truly a Feng Shui experience.

Stepping out of the elevator on the 4th floor, the restaurant cafe is easy to spot with a bridge leading towards it. Imagine if they filled the sides with various trees and a fountain to boot, it would be like a mystical escape to a restaurant where flavours around the world truly melt together in a bastion of harmony.

For this Mothers’ Day Sunday Brunch Buffet at Melt, the buffet comes with free flow Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne, Red and White Wines, Cocktails of Margherita, Gin, Bloody Mary, Singapore Sling, Mojito, and fresh juices.

The Iconic Fresh Seafood Bar

While dessert take up the entrance of the restaurant, I felt it proper to only naturally begin the feast with the centrepiece of the restaurant. The iced seafood counter, takes centre stage with River Prawns, Crab, Boston Lobster, Blue Mussels and Peruvian Scallops. Melt – The World Cafe’s buffet is perhaps widely known for their seafood selection. The variety is select, but it is charming to look at. But maybe its brunch, though I felt it would be fitting if they really filled the selection to the brim. Taste wise, they were fresh though a little tough as the meat became harder as it remained chilled.

Floret of Blue Mussels

Traditional presentation of the River Prawns in a nice ol’ circular basket

Freshly Shucked Oysters had a whole area to themselves with rows and rows of it all ready for the taking.

 

The full Sunday Brunch Buffet is perhaps my first, with all the traditional favourites laid out to relish both visually and temptingly in pots and pans to give you an impression of just good home styled cooked food with a flair!

Lovely crispy fried bacon with pan toasted ham

 

Seafood Thermidor of Squid, Prawns and Mussels. Skewered Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Potatoes, Garlic and Parsley

Eggs Benedict with Spinach or Smoked Salmon and Hollandaise Sauce

The Eggs were nicely poached with a firm structure all around but with a yolk that simply runs off the bread when pierced through. Reading the morning papers from the counter while tucking in to the spread makes this a very ideal setting. Almost picture perfect.

Osso Bucco with Orange Zest and Garden Vegetable Tomato Puree

The marrow was simply divine.

Wild Mushroom Veloute with Truffle Oil, Creamy Pumpkin Bisque with Brandy

The Wild Mushroom Veloute is created in hearty flavours of rustic earth and loads of butter. Heartwarming, yet with the longing for the next sip, its my first in a buffet. The truffle oil adds a nice finish in bringing out the final flavour, though in terms of velvety textures, I would have loved to have it a little thicker and perhaps served with some toasted brioche and truffle butter. Mmm.

 

Braised Duck Breast with Red Wine and Olives

Potato Gratin

Oven Baked Salmon with Tomato Salsa and Coriander

 

The Foie Gras Station – Pan Seared Foie Gras with Spinach Orange Salad

Mmmm

Mmmm, is described in two variants. One for the decadence of the foie gras itself, the other for the surprising petite serving. Its nicely done with the foie gras well seared on the outside giving that crisp slightly charred skin and yet silky melt in the mouth interior, but the portion (by itself sliced a tad too thin) does not go well with the bread which was a little soft even though it look nicely toasted.

Oven Baked Whole Sea Bass with Herbs and Citrus Fruits

Heading to the mains from all around the world, I particularly enjoyed the Oven Baked Whole Sea Bass in all its natural flavour and glory. The salmon roe were an added plus to brighten the senses with that touch of burstful saltiness.

 Slow Roasted Aged Australian Prime Rib of Beef

Honey Glazed Gammon Ham Leg

  

And for a spread of Indian Cuisine, there is a selection of fresh Plain, Garlic Naan and Pratas together with Lamb, Chicken, Fish and Vegetable tandoori and kebabs.

Chutneys with Masala and Plain Pappadams

Pasta needs are fulfilled with the Gourmet Pasta Station of Fresh Homemade Egg Pasta with choice of Seafood Sauce, Truffle Cream Sauce, Arabiatta Sauce, Tomato-Basil Sauce or Aglio e Olio

    

Local flavours are not missed out in the entire spread available in the Pan Asian Wok section.

Assortment of Freshly prepared Nigiri Sushi, Maki and Tamaki Sushi

Salmon, Maguro and Hamachi Sashimi for those wanting a sampler of the more popular fresh fishes in Japanese Cuisine.

The European Charcuteries station is perhaps one of the most extensive and elaborately laid out spread I’ve seen in a buffet. Choices of Mortadella, 36 Months aged Parma Ham, Bresaola, Salami, Turkey Ham, Schwarwalder Ham, and assorted antipasti, grilled selections and flavoured mustards are widely available.

Parma ham? Anyone?

But perhaps the most exciting station for me would be the Gourmet Selection of French and Italian Cheeses from Alsace Maitre. This far beats the spread I’ve seen during Marina Bay Sands Christmas Dinner Buffet. With 18 varieties, I was bedazzled and tasted each and every single cheese variety I could find.

 One more for the camera

 Ok, just another one more shot for luck!

The Chef behind the artful layout of the European Charcuteries  Station just before the buffet begins.

The feast does not end within the walls of the restaurant. Stepping outside into the gardens, and hidden behind the bushes and flowers stands a single hut with plenty of BBQ to go around.

What’s available? Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger, Whole Roasted Pig on Spit, Duck a la Orange, Beef Tenderloin Steak, Rosemary Lamb Chops, Pork and Honey Sausage, Cajun Spiced Chicken Breast, Crayfish and Fish Skewer, Baked Potato and Corn on Cob, and the Portobello Mushroom and Beef Tomatoes. Fascinatingly, this is perhaps one of the best Wagyu burgers I’ve had yet. The patty is nicely grilled with all flavours and juiciness retained within. And its one of the first Wagyu burgers that literally melts in each bite with that hint of marbled fattiness within.

 Grill Master, Smile!

 

After all that food, how could we even forget the desserts.

   

And for some of the members in the dessert team, say Cheese! or Sugar!!!

Alfresco dining options.

Indoor and next to the spread in the cool comforts of the air conditioner, especially in hot and year long summer Singapore

Melt The World Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet is perhaps one of the most extensive in variety for brunch dishes and European selects in a single buffet setting. The quality is select with plenty to go around, that I found it very difficult to take a nibble at everything. Though it would still be good if their spread in perhaps the Japanese Culture Station is increased and maybe a touch up on their range of antipastis. Still, Melt – The World Cafe has a very good offering in terms of flavours, finesse and spread. The whole brunch was a very enjoyable affair with the whole family basking in the quintessential bright cheerful early afternoon, with food and champagne at hand to celebrate the occasion of one of the most important person’s in our lives, our mothers.

And for a final touch, every table present had a framed photograph of the family taken by the restaurant. A memorable way to put a finishing note to the entire experience.

To all mothers’ out there, Have a Very Happy Mothers’ Day to you.

Melt – The World Cafe
5 Raffles Avenue
4F
The Oriental Singapore (Mandarin Oriental)
Tel : 6885 3082
Mothers’ Day Sunday Brunch Buffet (8th May)
12-3pm
$148 ++ per person including free flow Champagne, Wines, Beers, Cocktail, Soft Drinks and Juices
$48++ per child (4-11 years) including free flow Soft Drinks and Juices

Sunday Brunch Buffet
12-3pm
$138++ onwards per person Champagne Brunch (Please call restaurant for details)
$98++ per person Brunch only
48++ per child (4-11 years)

Monday – Saturday
12-2.30pm
$56++ per person
$28++ per child (4-7 years)
$38++ per child (8-11 years)

Sunday – Wednesday
6.30-10pm
$68++ per person
$28++ per child (4-7 years)
$38++ per child (8-11 years)

Thursday – Saturday
$78++ per person
$28++ per child (4-7 years)
$38++ per child (8-11 years)