Food has always been an integral part of Christmas in Singapore. It is the time when restaurants and cafes suddenly have buffets galore and those with the feasts are peppered with even more festive specialties. And with 2010 being a very exciting year for the F&B industry, with big name line ups opening its doors to guests, I felt it was fitting to also have this year’s Christmas dinner rejoicing in both the season and my Mum’s 50th birthday at RISE, Marina Bay Sands.
My previous visit brought me to The Line at The Shangri-la Hotel, and while Melt – The World Cafe might have been my next to visit on the list, the dinner at RISE this Christmas is especially chosen because of the majestic ambience of dining under the stars yet within the soothing comforts of the hotel as experienced before.
Top – Artisan Breads, Left – Line up of Black Pudding, Foie Gras and Venison, Right – Egg White Emulsion Infused with White Truffle Oil and Topped with Black Caviar, Bottom – Honey Baked Ham
The line up at the festive buffet table features traditional seasonal favourites such as Foie Gras, Black Pudding and Venison, Honey Baked Ham, yields of Chestnuts and Turkey Stuffing, and an even more extravagant array of Cheeses, all on top of the fresh select choice of seafood, Western and Asian dishes, a Japanese sashimi, sushi and cocktail section, Salad range and of course the desserts.
Feeling hungry already? Take a look at what I experienced and feast your eyes over a 100 photos which I have taken this Christmas night.
It came as a pleasant surprise that the Christmas buffet at RISE offered Foie Gras, Black Pudding and Venison as part of the entire spread cooked to serve. My initial thought that for $88++, only a more seasonal fare would be served such as the traditional Roast Turkey, Roast Beef, maybe even eggnog and pudding.
Delectably, the Foie Gras was fresh, crisp on the outside with an extravagant smooth creamy interior proving especially delicious to that very first bite. It was my first time having Black Pudding, also known as Blood Sausages. Very rich in flavour, its intense earthy aromatic flavour made it an instant favourite for me. The Venison was nicely done with tender juices prevailing all around.
The seasonal Roasts section has favourites such as Roast Turkey, Roast Beef, Honey Baked Ham, very big pots of Turkey stuffing and Roasted Chestnuts. I laud the ham for providing such a nice silky texture with a very decent layer of fat all around and that beautiful mahogany brown as its skin. Pair that with my all time favourite chestnuts, and I am all set and ready for the night.
The seafood section has a very limited yet fresh selection of choice oysters, fresh prawns, scallops and crab claws. Decent, but I would definitely love more.
And as a twist on a local favourite, RISE serves up a mean bowl of Boston Lobster Laksa. Coconut rich with a medium blend of spiciness and savoury aftertaste, I can taste why there was a queue at this counter.
The Japanese Sashimi Sushi and Cocktail section has the routine fare of fresh cuts of Salmon, Tuna and Hamachi, together with an assortment of nigiri sushi and makis.
Salmon plays a very important role in this line up of Peppered Salmon, Salmon Rolls and Smoked Salmon. Apart from the Salmon Rolls which I did not try as each time I went the plate quickly disappeared of all contents, the peppered salmon and smoked salmon was firm, creamy, yet sweet with richness from the natural flavours.
I especially loved and adored this creation from the kitchen. With no name tag to label this little hors d’oeuvre, I shall christen thee for the time being on my article as Egg White Emulsion Infused with White Truffle Oil and Topped with Black Caviar. Exceptionally popular, these are the gems of the buffet which can easily go unnoticed. Just imagine a cloud-like sensation intensified with essence of the earth bringing forth a rainbow of flavours and finished with the salty flavours of the sea. The World in an Egg.
Another nameless creation but itself falls in the “oh so good” category is the Tuna and Crab Salad dressed with Tobiko, Black Sesame on a bed of Red Cabbage. See my name for it, visualize the tastes!
The traditional Salad section with an array of European creations that hint of blue cheese and pasta.
Cold cuts such as Prosciutto de Parma and Salami, and cheese play a very big role in this Christmas at RISE. And from that very wide selection, I could only make out the names of a few of the items with almost all of them being very new to my tastebuds. This is one section that it indescribable but intensely flavoured.
I am also given the honour of taking the first slice out of most of the cheeses as this is the very first station I covered tho-rough-ly as the other guests feasted on the oysters, turkey, laksa and honey baked ham.
Cheese lovers, brace yourself.
RISE has never failed to impress with its inhouse bakery team crafting exquisite festive buns and artisan breads to delight the tastebuds and giving something for everyone.
The hot dishes section comprising of both Western and Asian cuisines are quite extensive from local delights such as the ever popular Chilli Crab and Gong Bao Chicken to European dishes of Scallop Normande and Pork Loin Fillet, Prunes and Caramelized Apple.
The Steamed Fresh Sea Bass was a very popular item for the night with over 50 fishes going out to diners’ plates.
The repertoire of desserts this time round are however slightly lesser than before. With a number of creations being replaced for Christmas logcakes, I would have loved to see even more variety and colour. But still, the spread is good.
And if the sweet desserts are not your cup of tea, there is a good spread of Tropical fruits to quench the meal.
Wines to order, anyone?
The open concept dining area under the stars where even the rain falls beautifully like a waterfall against glass.
My family and I definitely enjoyed ourselves at RISE. While the restaurant may not offer boundless choices that will make you go dizzy, the buffet comes top in quality and the hospitality from the service staff, excellent. Couple that with an enjoyable alfresco dining experience under the stars as we witness the magical night go by, this year’s Christmas dinner is my favourite ever.
10 Bayfront Avenue
Marina Bay Sands
Hotel Tower 1
Opens daily : 6.30am – midnight
Christmas Buffet was priced at $88++ inclusive of coffee and tea