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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Eat, drink and be merry

As eateries roll out festive menus, the reservation book for Christmas meals is filling up fast
The Straits Times - December 6, 2013
By: Rebecca Lynne Tan And Eunice Quek
| More
Eat, drink and be merry Roast turkey. -- PHOTO: HILTON SINGAPORE

Christmas is still a month away, but if you are planning to eat out this yuletide season, you had better be quick because tables are filling up fast.

A SundayLife! check with 55 restaurants, including stand-alone eateries as well as some popular outlets in hotels and at the two integrated resorts, found that bookings have been streaming in steadily, mostly from the beginning of last month.

Restaurateurs and hotels say they expect bookings to peak over the next two weeks, a trend they have noticed over the last few years in the lead-up to Christmas Day.

Mr Andrew Ing, chief operating officer of restaurant and lifestyle group Lo & Behold, says the group began fielding inquiries for festive meals at The White Rabbit in Harding Road and The Black Swan in Cecil Street in June. "Reservations for The White Rabbit typically start flying in about two to three weeks before Christmas. We expect a similar response for The Black Swan as well." 

Some popular restaurants such as Ocean Restaurant by celebrity chef Cat Cora at Resorts World Sentosa and international buffet restaurant AquaMarine at Marina Mandarin Singapore hotel are already 70 to 80 per cent full on days such as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Day brunch at French restaurant Brasserie Les Saveurs at The St. Regis Singapore in Tanglin Road, which starts at $168++ a person, has been booked out for weeks and has a waiting list, a hotel spokesman says.

Prices for meals this season are also up by 5 to 10 per cent, mainly due to the increased cost of labour and ingredients, as well as adjustment for inflation.

This year, diners can look forward to everything from traditional Christmas offerings of honey-glazed ham and roast turkey to more exotic options that run the gamut from a Kum Heong Chinese-style turkey marinated with red chillies, belacan and kaffir lime, to spring rolls filled with turkey buah keluak.

SundayLife! lists 30 restaurants to check out this Christmas.




What: The 16-year-old Indian restaurant is offering two styles of Tandoori turkey. Both are marinated overnight with spices, such as fenugreek, cinnamon, fennel seeds and coriander, before being grilled in a Tandoor, a clay oven. The difference is that one is stuffed with fragrant minced meat briyani while the other has no stuffing. Diners can also opt for a whole leg of lamb rubbed in a spice paste that can feed up to eight people. Also available for takeaway.

Where: 03-21B Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road

When: Available in December, noon to 2.30pm and 6.30 to 10.30pm daily

Price: A 4.5kg Tandoori turkey costs $98; a stuffed Tandoori turkey costs $118; a 2kg leg of lamb costs $130. Tandoori chicken (about 1kg each) with stuffing cost $65 and those without cost $45.

Info: Call 6235-8840 or e-mail Orders must be made at least three days ahead.


What: Its five-course festive set menu includes starters of Tandoori turkey kebabs, crab and corn tikki, as well as dishes such as stuffed turkey roulade, blue cheese naan and apple saffron jalebis for dessert. Whole Tandoori turkeys (from $109 each) are also available for takeaway.

Where: 33 Scotts Road

When: Dec 20 to 26, 6 to 11pm daily

Price: $89++ a person for a five-course set

Info: Call 6836-0055. Bookings must be made at least two days in advance.


What: Tuck into a four-course festive menu that includes 10 dishes. They range from starters such as a roast pumpkin and clove soup to mushrooms stuffed with cheese and spices and finished in the tandoor. For the main course, diners can choose between turkey done two ways. Turkey Pankhi is turkey breast stuffed with lightly spiced cream cheese and mushrooms and grilled in a Tandoor oven, while Turkey Raan comprises turkey legs braised in a cinnamon-spiced turkey stock and grilled in a tandoor. Indulge in Indian- style Christmas minced pies for dessert.

Where: Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, 11 Cavenagh Road

When: Thursday to Jan 1, noon to 2.30pm and 7 to 10.30pm

Price: The festive set menu is priced at $58++ a person.

Info: Call 6733-8333. Go to



What: For a Nonya twist on Christmas feasting, head to Indocafe for traditional Peranakan treats. Set menu highlights include a tasting platter of kueh pie tee, Nonya otah and ngoh hiang; spiced turkey served with sayur lodeh; and a refreshing dessert of bird's nest with coconut jelly in lemongrass soup. Those who prefer high tea can tuck into spring roll filled with turkey buah keluak; Penang-style lobster otah mousse and lamb rendang with crackers.

Where: 35 Scotts Road

When: Dec 1 to Jan 3, 3 to 5.30pm (high tea); noon to 3pm and 6 to 10.30pm (set menus)

Price: Festive Peranakan High Tea, $38++ or $68++ (includes a cup of Kopi Luwak); $88++ (five-course set menu); $108++ (six-course set menu)

Info: Call 6733-2656 or e-mail


What: AquaMarine's Christmas fare features a spread of Peranakan turkey, poached prawns and cantaloupe melon cocktail, as well as cheddar and smoked duck and pistachio terrine with pineapple compote.

Where: Level 4 Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6 Raffles Boulevard

When: Christmas Eve and Day

Price: Christmas Eve, from $98++ (adult), $69++ (child) and from $108++ (adult), $76++ (child) for diners seated at the Atrium lounge section; Christmas Day lunch, $68++ (adult), $48++ (child); Christmas Day dinner, $75++ (adult), $53++ (child)

Info: E-mail


What: The hotel's Peranakan theme for Christmas is inspired by executive chef Paul Then's heritage. The buffet spread includes baked honey ham with satay spices; Nonya laksa with Boston lobster and pine nut pesto; and spring chicken ballotine with wild rice and duck liver mousse. Desserts include Nonya items and Christmas brandy fruit cake.

Where: Lobby level, Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road, Lobby Level

When: Dec 1 to 23, 26 to 30, Christmas Eve, noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10pm; Christmas Day, noon to 3.30pm, 6 to 10pm

Price: Pre-festive buffet lunch, $52++ (adult), $26++ (child); pre-festive buffet dinner, $68++ (adult), $34++ (child); pre-festive buffet high tea, $38++ (adult), $17++ (child); pre-festive Sunday brunch, $78++ (adult), $39++ (child); Christmas Eve lunch, $68++ (adult), $34++ (child); Christmas Eve dinner, $98++ (adult), $47++ (child); Christmas Day lunch and dinner, $98++ (adult), $49++ (child)

Info: Call 6739-6577



What: Celebrate with an a la carte buffet dinner. Dishes include chilled king prawn salad and mini Buddha Jumps Over The Wall soup. Its Christmas Day dim sum brunch includes wok-tossed beef hor fun, roast meats and dim sum. There is also seafood, sushi and dessert buffet counters. Try the Kum Heong turkey ($128++), also available for takeaway, which is marinated with red chillies, dried shrimp, lemongrass, belachan and kaffir lime leaves.

Where: Keppel Club, Level M, 1 Bukit Chermin Road

When: Christmas Eve and Day dinner, two seatings at 6 to 8pm and 8.30 to 10.30pm; Christmas Day brunch, two seatings at 11am to 12.30pm and 1 to 3pm

Price: A la carte buffet dinner on Christmas Eve and Day, $58.80++ for adults, $29.40++ for children (aged six to 10); dim sum brunch on Christmas Day, $48.80++ for adults, $24.80++ for children. At least four diners are required for each meal.

Info: Call 6276-9138 or e-mail Turkeys must be ordered at least three days in advance.


What: The festive menu includes dishes such as Lychee Wood Barbecued Duck with Special Duck Sauce; chilled egg beancurd topped with caviar and served in a garlic sauce; and steamed sea perch with a chrysanthemum mango sauce.

Where: 392 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Rail Mall

When: Dec 20 to Jan 1, noon to 3pm, 6 to 11pm. Two seatings for dinner at 6 to 7.45pm and 8 to 11pm

Price: Prices start at $58+ a person for a five-course meal. A minimum of two diners is required.

Info: Call 6465-1698 or go to


What: The Japanese restaurant is offering a seven-course Kaiseki menu for Christmas Eve and Day. Highlights include Hokkaido Kegani crab with shiso ponzu; and a Robatayaki-style Miyazaki wagyu with garlic soya. The restaurant also has six- course menus which include sashimi, seafood and Kagoshima wagyu.

Where: Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Level 3

When: Christmas Eve and Day, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Price: The seven-course Kaiseki dinner and six-course Teppanyaki dinner are each priced at $250++ a head; a six-course Robatayaki dinner is priced at $300++ a head.

Info: Call 6431-6156 or e-mail


What: The restaurant specialising in Japanese beef presents a festive Omakase menu for December. With an Omakase menu, the chef decides on the dishes to be served. Diners can expect Fat Cow's signature items, including Onsen Tamago No Gyu Marrow Furai - a warm half-boiled egg served with crispy fried bone marrow in a citrus dashi; and Maguro Shoyu-Zuke To Moromi Miso Tofu - soy-soaked cubes of tuna over barley miso bean curd with fresh ginger.

Where: Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard, 01-01/02

When: Dec 2 to 31, noon to 3pm, 6 to 11pm, Mondays to Saturdays, closed on Sundays

Price: $180++ a person

Info: Call 6735-0308 or e-mail



What: Head to Rise for a spread featuring a Christmas carving station, a sushi and sashimi bar, a cheese station, an Indian station and a dessert bar. Diners can pre-order a roast turkey, for up to 15 people, with the "Reserve a Bird" promotion ($150++).

Where: Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Tower 1

When: Christmas Eve and Day, noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm and 3 to 5pm (Christmas Day high tea)

Price: Christmas Eve, $68++ (lunch), $98++ (dinner); Christmas Day, $98++ (lunch and dinner), $36++ (high tea)

Info: Call 6688-5525 or e-mail


What: Indulge in a buffet spread featuring beef wellington wrapped in mushrooms, truffles, prosciutto de parma and flaky pastry; and slow-roasted wild boar's leg with forest berry compote or pommery mustard and Yorkshire pudding.

Where: The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road, Lobby level

When: Christmas Eve, 7 to 10pm

Price: From $198++ (adult), $58++ (child)

Info: Call 6506-6860 or e-mail


What: The halal buffet spread includes traditional Christmas roast turkey and Atlantic salmon, as well as festive desserts.

Where: Royal Plaza On Scotts, 25 Scotts Road

When: Christmas Eve and Day, noon to 2pm, 3.30 to 5.30pm, 7 to 10.30pm

Price: Lunch, $50 (adult), $32 (child); high tea, $43 (adult), $28 (child); dinner, $82 (adult), $45 (child)

Info: Call 6589-7799, e-mail or go to


What: Expect a buffet spread of seafood and traditional roast offerings as well as other Christmas dishes and desserts such as log cakes and pies. Barbecued items are available during dinner.

Where: Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square

When: Christmas Eve and Day, noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10pm

Price: Christmas Eve brunch, $88++; Christmas Eve dinner, $148++ or $198++ with free flow of champagne, wine, beer and cocktails; Christmas Day brunch, $228++ with alcohol; Christmas Day dinner, $128++ or $178++ with alcohol

Info: Call 6885-3500 or e-mail


What: Have a hearty meal at The Halia's Christmas Day Brunch Buffet which features more than 40 gourmet dishes. The spread includes dishes such as Beef Bourguignon, roast turkey breast as well as crisp belly of free range pork. There are also oyster shooters with pickled ginger and a chilli crab spaghettini. For dessert, indulge in a Christmas pudding with butterscotch sauce and brandied fruit cake.

Where: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens

When: Christmas Day, 10.30am to 4pm (last seating at 3pm)

Price: The Christmas Day Brunch Buffet is priced at $138++ a person (unlimited wines), $98++ a person (with choice of a glass of soft drink or juice) and $38++ for a child (aged 12 and below) with a choice of a glass of soft drink or juice

Info: Call 6287-0711. E-mail


What: Feast on sushi and sashimi, gammon ham and roast turkey, as well as festive desserts.

Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue, Lobby level

When: Sunday champagne brunch, till Dec 22, noon to 3.30pm; buffet lunch, tomorrow till Christmas Eve, daily except Sundays, noon to 2.30pm; buffet dinner, till Dec 23, Sundays to Thursdays, 6.30 to 10.30pm; seafood buffet dinner, till Dec 21, Fridays & Saturdays only, 6.30 to 10.30pm; Christmas Eve seafood buffet dinner, 7 to 10.30pm; Christmas Day champagne brunch, two seatings at 11am to 1pm and 1.30 to 3.30pm; Christmas Day buffet dinner, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Price: Sunday champagne brunch: $178++ (adult), $89++ (child, six to 12), $44.50++ (child, three to five); buffet lunch, $62++ (adult), $31++ (child) or $72++ (adult), $36++ (child); Christmas Eve seafood buffet dinner, $188++ or $226++ with alcohol, juices and soft drinks (adult), $94++ (child); Christmas Day champagne brunch, $198++ (adult), $99++ (child, six to 12), $49.50++ (child, three to five); Christmas Day buffet dinner, $98++ (adult), $49++ (child, six to 12), $24.50++ (child, three to five)

Info: Call 6434-5288 or e-mail



What: Start your Christmas celebrations early with a weekday lunch buffet at Hilton Singapore's Checkers Brasserie. Festive specialities include roast turkey and honey glazed ham, as well as desserts such as log cakes, panettone and stollen.

Christmas Eve dinner highlights include Porchetta di Maial, which is roast suckling pig. For your Christmas Day feast, savour dishes such as porcini and truffle lasagne; smoked salmon with Avruga caviar; and a range of Italian cheeses and cold cuts.

Where: Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road

When: Festive lunch from Dec 9 to 23, noon to 2.30pm (weekdays only); Christmas Eve dinner, 7 to 10.30pm; Christmas Day brunch, noon to 2.30pm

Prices: Festive lunch, $55++; Christmas Eve dinner, from $178++ (adult), $88++ (child); Christmas Day brunch, from $198++ (adult), $98++ (child)

Info: Call 6730-3390 or e-mail


What: The Italian restaurant offers a Festive Basilissimo or Best Of Basilico semibuffet spread where you get a choice of main course, as well as Christmas Eve buffet dinner and Christmas brunch.

Highlights include creamy lobster and lemon risotto; honey spiced smoked ham; and rosemary roasted rack of veal. It also features a burrata bar, caviar station and a variety of Italian desserts. Where: Level 2, The Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road

When: Festive Basilissimo from Dec 2 to Jan 1 (except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve), 6.30 to 10pm; Christmas Eve dinner, 7 to 10pm; Christmas brunch, 11am to 1.15pm (first seating), 1.45 to 3.45pm (second seating)

Prices: Festive Basilissimo, $80 or $90 with a glass of Prosecco; Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Brunch, $168 or $228 with champagne (adult), $84 (child)

Info: Call 6725-3232 or e-mail


What: Get a taste of Tuscan home-cooking from Nonna Lina's chef Simone Vespasiani. Highlights include cannelloni festivita, which is oven-baked homemade cannelloni pasta stuffed with organic ricotta and spinach, in a bechamel-parmesan sauce; and rolle' di maiale ripieno or slow-roasted premium pork loin stuffed with Italian herbs, Tuscan sausages and handmade cold cuts, served with a Pinot Bianco gravy and fried artichoke.

For dessert, pagnottella, a cake with Italian figs, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, organic fondant chocolate and fruit-of-the-forest marmalade, served with custard cream.

Where: 4 Craig Road

When: Dec 1 to 25

Prices: Christmas special items from $16++ to $55++

Info: Call 6222-0930 or go to


What: Indulge in a six-course degustation menu featuring dishes such as Capitone in Umido con Cipolle Rosse e Polenta Croccante, which is an eel stew with red onions on crispy polenta; and Tortellini in Brodo della Tradizione con Tartufo Nero, which is tortellini served in broth and topped with aromatic black truffles.

Where: 29 Scotts Road

When: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Prices: $168++, add $110++ for wine pairing

Info: Call 6733-0209



What: Enjoy an intimate celebration at this French fine-dining restaurant. The four-course set dinner features dishes such as slow-roasted turkey roulade with chestnut stuffing. On Christmas Eve and Day, diners have a choice of main course for their three-course brunch - Eggs Benedict with prosciutto or smoked salmon; English breakfast with truffle scrambled eggs and pork sausages; or Christmas Breakfast (add $3) with slow-roasted turkey breast and turkey leg roulade with chestnut stuffing.

Where: 3 Fullerton Road, The Waterboat House, 03-01

When: Dec 16 to 25 (four-course set dinner), 6.30 to 11pm; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (brunch), 11am to 2pm

Price: $98 (four-course set dinner, add $15 for free flow of Christmas punch), $38 (three-course Christmas brunch, add $29 for free flow of Christmas punch )

Info: Call 6538-9038 or e-mail


What: Treat yourself to a lavish French spread this Christmas Eve at Absinthe. Highlights include Duo of Lobster Marinated and Crispy, served with hollandaise sauce with caviar and Japanese scallops ala plancha with vanilla and Granny Smith apple.

Where: 71/72 Boat Quay

When: Christmas Eve, from 6.30pm (last order at 10.30pm)

Price: $128++

Info: Call 6222-9068 or e-mail


What: Executive chef Jean-Charles Dubois will recreate flavours from the Angers region of Loire Valley in central France. The three-course menu (for dinner, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve) includes a choice of appetiser - foie gras terrine with Port wine, warm asparagus salad with egg mimosa and aquitaine caviar, or Dubois' lobster bisque with baby Mozambique prawns.

Options for the main course include pan-seared Angus beef tenderloin with braised baby romaine lettuce; and grilled Kurobuta pork belly with onion and potato mousseline. End the meal with a duet of chocolate mousse with salted sable cookies and sweet cherry confit; or sauteed French winter fruits with gingerbread ice cream (left).

Where: 01-01 Rendezvous Gallery, 9 Bras Basah Road

When: The three-course menu is available for lunch only on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, and for dinner daily from Dec 13 to 31. Festive lunch from Dec 2 to Jan 2.

Price: $98++ for three-course menu which includes a glass of Cremant de Bourgogne sparkling wine; $38++ (festive lunch)

Info: Call 6336-0797 or go to


What: Saint Pierre chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant features an eight-course menu on Christmas Eve. Start with les huitres, an appetiser of oyster with black winter truffle and egg mimosa; and les sushis, Japanese rice rolls with wagyu beef foie gras, green tea smoked salmon ikura, Spanish ham and nashi pear. The menu features organic turkey stuffed with wild herbs, momotaro tomato fondue and ratte potato braised in roast jus. End with les marrons, a chestnut puree with vanilla green tea milkshake. On Christmas Day, tuck into a Christmas roast with a salad buffet, maple syrup-glazed turkey main course and a variety of sides and desserts.

Where: 01-15 Quayside Isle, 31 Ocean Way

When: Christmas Eve, 5.30pm to midnight; Christmas Day, 11.30am to 3pm

Price: $148++ (Christmas Eve dinner), $88++ (Christmas Day roast)

Info: Call 6438-0887 or e-mail



What: Whet your appetite with starters of crab salad or chargrilled beef tartare (additional $4), as well as a choice of pan-seared foie gras (additional $6) or French onion soup. For the main course, choose from duck leg confit, Stockyard Australia wagyu ribeye steak (additional $8) or sweet soy-glazed Atlantic salmon. Complete the meal with a dark chocolate dome dessert or date and toffee pudding.

Where: 19 Cecil Street

When: Christmas Eve, two seatings at 5 to 8pm and 8.30pm till late

Price: $108++, additional $55++ for wine pairing

Info: Call 8181-3305 or make online reservations at


What: Executive head chef Ivan Brehm offers four Christmas-inspired dishes on the a la carte menu including Christmas turkey risotto ($30++) with pickled lemon, cranberries and finished with buah keluak; and scallops ceviche ($36++) cured in liquorice and lemon juice. On Christmas Eve, enjoy an eight-course menu, which includes egg nog served with black truffle and corn-fed tenderloin with corn sauce.

Where: 23A Coleman Street

When: Dec 17 to 21 (a la carte dishes), 6pm to midnight (Tuesdays to Thursdays), noon to 2am (Fridays), 6pm to 2am (Saturdays); Christmas Eve, 6pm to midnight

Price: $200++ (Christmas Eve menu)

Info: Call 6509-1453 or e-mail


What: For a modern take on Western cuisine, try Osia's four- and five-course menus featuring dishes such as Norwegian red king crab with watermelon compression, orange radish and lemon thyme milk; chestnut emulsion with black truffle and bacon foam; and duck breast and liver with Szechuan pepper and orange gel.

Where: Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

When: Christmas Eve and Day, noon to 3pm, 6 to 10.30pm

Price: $180++ (four-course menu), $200++ (five-course menu)

Info: Call 6577-6688


What: Festive set dinner includes dishes such as duck liver and apple terrine; lobster bisque and a choice of either smoked haddock pie or Australian grass-fed beef medallions for the main course. For Christmas Eve, highlights include hot-smoked Norwegian salmon, crispy duck leg confit and a choice of bacon-wrapped veal tenderloin or pan-roasted parmesan-crusted halibut.

Where: 2 Keppel Bay Vista

When: Festive set dinner, Dec 2 to 30, 6.30 to 11.30pm, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and Sundays; Christmas Eve, two seatings at 6 to 8pm and from 8.30pm

Price: Festive set dinner, $88++; Christmas Eve set dinner, $110++ (6 to 8pm), $128++ (8.30pm)

Info: Call 6776-0777 or e-mail


What: Skyve Wine Bistro features a four- course dinner menu with dishes such as seared foie gras with shallot marmalade in choux puff; and charred Lincolnshire turkey breast, jalepeno cheddar corn bread and cranberry gastrique (sweet and sour sauce). End the meal with a white and dark chocolate bread pudding.

Where: 10 Windstedt Road, Block E, 01-17

When: Christmas Eve and Day, two seatings at 6 to 8.30pm and 9 to 11pm

Price: $75++

Info: Call 6225-6690


What: The Christmas Promotion All-Day Menu features signature pork ribs (half slab $28.90++, full slab $42.90++) with Christmas cranberry sauce or Christmas thyme BBQ sauce; and a Christmas platter for four ($149.90++, also available for takeaway, $25 delivery charge), with sausages, ribs, honey baked ham, turkey drumsticks and vegetable side dishes. There is an optional dessert platter (dine-in only) of Christmas pudding, brownie, bread pudding and ice cream with a top-up of $10, as well as drinks. The Christmas Set Lunch Promotion Menu ($18.90++, weekdays only, except public holidays, 11am to 3pm) includes roasted turkey drumstick, mashed potatoes and soup of the day or salad.

Where: 02-23 The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green

When: Till Dec 30, 11am to 11pm (Sundays to Thursdays and public holidays), 11am to midnight (Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays)

Info: Call 6694-3635 or go to


Salt that bird