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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Merry feasting

This Christmas, diners are spoilt for choice with classic delights and festive-themed buffets ranging from Spanish to Scandinavian and more.
The Sunday Times - November 18, 2012
By: Rebecca Lynne Tan And Eunice Quek
| More
Merry feasting Diners can expect to feast on traditional Christmas favourites such as roast turkey -- PHOTOS: MOVENPICK HERITAGE HOTEL SENTOSA, SHERATON TOWERS SINGAPORE, REGENT SINGAPORE, HILTON SINGAPORE, HUA TING, GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL, SUGAR DADDY, SINGAPORE MARRIOTT

With Christmas just a little more than five weeks away, those wanting to feast in style had better start working the telephones to make reservations.

Seats at restaurants are filling up fast. In fact, some crowd favourites are already booked out on certain days.

For example, Brasserie Les Saveurs at The St Regis Singapore in Tanglin Road is fully booked for its Christmas Day brunch buffet. Brunch is priced at $168++ a head, $218++ with a free flow of champagne and $268++ for a rose option.

When SundayLife! called the restaurant to inquire about bookings last Friday, it was told there were already 20 people on the waiting list.

Indeed, most restaurants and hotels interviewed said they have been receiving bookings for the ever-popular Christmas Eve dinners and Christmas Day lunches since late October and early this month, like in previous years.

Some eateries such as Greenhouse at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore said it received bookings from as early as January this year.

They say reservations usually tend to peak in the middle of December, but emphasise that bookings are always a case of "the earlier the better".

This year, diners can look forward to a smorgasbord of classic Christmas delights, as well as various festive-themed buffets ranging from Spanish to Scandinavian.

Aside from roast turkey, succulent honey-glazed hams and hearty beef Wellington, diners can also look forward to dishes such as cochinillo asado or Spanish roast suckling pig from Checkers Brasserie at Hilton Singapore; an Asian-style roast turkey with herbs such as red dates, wolfberries and angelica root from Cantonese restaurant Hua Ting at Orchard Hotel Singapore, and champagne-poached Dover sole with shimeji mushrooms, Ratte potato espuma and wilted sea asparagus, from Italian restaurant Dolce Vita at Mandarin Oriental Singapore.

Celebratory desserts this year include everything from decadent chocolate log cakes and mince pie-flavoured macarons, to eggnog panna cotta and gingerbread sorbet.

And 'tis still the season to be jolly despite the not-so cheery economic outlook. Prices for festive meals have mostly remained about the same as last year's.

Increases, if any, hover at about five to six per cent. Restaurants attribute this to the rising cost of premium ingredients and inflation.

A spokesman for Orchard Hotel Singapore says: "Due to the rising cost of ingredients and labour, prices have increased slightly, by three to five per cent."

SundayLife! gives you the lowdown on where to dine this Christmas, from mid-priced eats and set meals, to lavish buffets and banquets, to suit all budgets and palates.

BUFFETS


EUROPEAN



THE DINING ROOM

What: Head here for a spread of European-style feast with items such as a rack of lamb marinated with garlic and rosemary; chicken galantine stuffed with lobster, truffle, pancetta and foie gras; guinea fowl stuffed with wild mushroom and Italian sausage; and a whole deep-fried turkey stuffed with sage and garlic.

Where: Sheraton Towers Singapore, 39 Scotts Road, lobby level

When: Christmas Eve, 7 to 10pm

Price: $98++ for adults, $50++ for children

Info: Call 6839-5621 or go to www.sheratonsingapore.com



TABLESCAPE

What: Head to Tablescape at one of Sentosa's newest hotels, Movenpick Heritage Hotel. Diners can expect to feast on traditional Christmas favourites such as roast turkey, grilled seafood, sashimi, oysters and stollen.

Where: Movenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa, 23 Beach View, Sentosa

When: Christmas Eve, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Price: From $108++ a person. Additional $30++ for a free flow of prosecco, wine, beer, juice and soft drinks

Info: Call 6818-3305 or e-mail hotel.sentosa.fb@moevenpick.com

 

ITALIAN



BASILICO

What: The extravagant Italian Christmas spread includes black truffle risotto; boneless Christmas turkey with a chestnut and apple stuffing; wagyu sirloin and Tuscan lamb cutlets. The buffet also includes more than 20 Italian cheeses, a burrata bar and a selection of desserts.

Where: The Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Level 2

When: Christmas Eve dinner, 7 to 10pm, Christmas Day brunch - two seatings, 11am to 1.15pm and 1.45 to 3.30pm. There is also an extended brunch option from 11am to 3.30pm.

Price: From $158++ for adults and $79++ for children (Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day brunch). The extended brunch is priced at $228++ a person. A free flow of champagne is also available on both days.

Info: Call 6725-3232 or e-mail basilicogrm.rsn@fourseasons.com

 

SPANISH

 


 

CHECKERS BRASSERIE

What: Hilton Singapore will be hosting Spanish guest chef Alejandro Saldana from Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona this Christmas. The chef will be serving traditional Catalonian fare.

Expect dishes that range from Andalusian gazpacho with tomato confit, lemon and thyme; cochinillo asado, a whole Spanish suckling pig; as well as a selection of tapas such as deep-fried croquetas with spinach and Manchego cheese.

On Christmas Eve, there will also be a selection of paella and pastas while Christmas Day will feature classics such as ham, turkey and roast prime rib, in addition to the Spanish spread.

Where: Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road
 

When: Christmas Eve dinner, 7 to 11pm, Christmas Day brunch, 12.30 to 3pm
 

Price: From $158++ for adults, $79++ for children (Christmas Eve dinner); and from $168++ for adults, and $84++ for children (Christmas Day brunch). A free flow of champagne is also available on both days at an additional charge

Info: Call 6730-3390 or e-mail Sinhi.Checkers@hilton.com

 

INTERNATIONAL

 


 

GORDON GRILL AND L’ESPRESSO

What: The buffet
includes a breakfast station with eggs cooked a la minute, a charcuterie counter with a selection of cheese and salami, and a seafood counter offering items such as freshly shucked seasonal oysters, chardonnaypoached tiger
prawns, and slipper lobsters. Other
dishes include stewed veal knuckle and roast turkey and Asian delights that range from tempura and sushi, to baked char siew puffs and fried glutinous rice with turkey and Chinese sausage. Desserts include chocolate log cake.

Where: Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road
 

When: Christmas Day, two seatings are available, 10.30am to 1pm and 2 to 5pm.
 

Price: $128++ a person, $72++ for children, price includes gingerbread-snowman decorating for kids.
 

Info: Call 6737-7411

 

MARRIOTT CAFE

What: Marriott Cafe will be offering over 50 dishes, from roast meats to fresh seafood and Asian fare.

There will be aselection of cured meats, as well as hearty favourites such as roast turkey breast, honeybaked ham and beef ribs.
Other highlights here include a port-wine braised osso bucco, Hungarian beef goulash, and braised pork belly with glazed apples. Desserts include mulled wines and an eggnog panna cotta.

Where: Singapore Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Road When: Christmas Eve dinner, 6 to 11pm; Christmas Day brunch, two seatings, noon to 2.30pm and 3.30 to 5.30pm; Christmas Day dinner, 6 to 11pm
 

Price: $108++ for adults, $48++ for children (Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day dinner); $98++ for adults, $46++ for children (Christmas Day brunch, first session); $79++ for adults, $36.80++ for children (Christmas Day brunch, second session)
 

Info: Call 6831-4605 or go to singaporemarriott.com/Christmas

 

GREENHOUSE

What: Indulge in everything from sushi and sashimi, to roast wagyu, rack of venison and foie gras done a la  minute. There is also Boston lobster, oysters, charcuterie, and Christmas favourites such as roast turkey. Desserts include items such as log cakes and mince pies.
 

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

When: Christmas Eve dinner, 7 to 10.30pm; Christmas Day  champagne brunch, two seatings, 11am to 1pm, and 1.30 to 3.30pm; Christmas Day dinner, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Price: From $178++ for adults (excluding alcohol), $89++ for children (Christmas Eve dinner); $178++ for adults (inclusive of free-flow of champagne), $89++ for children (Christmas Day champagne brunch); $98++ for adults, $49++ for dinner (Christmas Day dinner)
 

Info: Call 6434-5288 or e-mail rc.sinrz.restaurantreservations@ritzcarlton.com

 

SCANDINAVIAN

 

ONE ROCHESTER

What: Opt for a Scandinavian feast this season at 1-Rochester. Traditional dishes include gravadlax; gin-marinated ocean trout with horseradish; and smoked eel and baby potato salad with dill sauce.

Also on the menu are main dishes such as Swedish-style mustard-crusted baked ham, and roast turkey with a Scandinavian fruit stuffing of pear, fig, juniper, pecan and bacon.

Dessert includes chestnut eggnog and raisin mousse.

Where: 1 Rochester Park

When: Dec 21 and 22, and Christmas Eve dinner Price: $85++ a person

Info: Call 6773-0070

 

SET MEAL


FRENCH



ANTOINETTE

What: Tuck into dishes such as shrimp flan and mushroom veloute ($16), papardelle with braised beef cheeks ($28, right), lobster thermidor with a brandied sabayon ($45) and a Red Christmas ($18) dessert of raspberry granite with milk chocolate espuma, hazelnut nougatine and hazelnut praline. Three-course set menus are also available.

Where: All four Antoinette outlets - Mandarin Gallery, Penhas Road, Scarlet Hotel and Palais Renaissance

When: Till Christmas Eve, various opening hours

Price: $50++ (for set menu)

Info: Call 6293-3121 or go to www.antoinette.com.sg



JAAN

What: Savour a Christmas feast prepared by Jaan's chef de cuisine Julien Royer. Highlights include foie gras opera with black truffle, cacao and brown butter brioche, smoked organic egg with parsnips and porcini crumbs; and hand-dived scallops and smoked bone marrow.

Where: Level 70 Equinox Complex, Swissotel The Stamford

When: Dec 7 to 31 (excluding Sundays and public holidays), Christmas Eve (eight-course degustation), noon to 2.30pm, 7 to 10pm

Price: $68++ (three-course), $118++ (five-course), $388++ (eight-course degustation)

Info: Call 9199-9008 or e-mail reservations@equinoxcomplex.com


JOEL ROBUCHON RESTAURANT

What: Indulge in the finest French fare at celebrity chef Joel Robuchon's eatery with his special set dinners. Highlights include roast lobster with herbs, dressed with savoury black pepper Malabar sauce; and beef fillet Rossini with vintage Taylors port.

Where: Joel Robuchon Restaurant, Hotel Michael, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

When: Dec 21 to 26, 6 to 10.30pm

Price: $320++ (four-course Menu Appetit), $400++ (five-course Menu Appetit), $520++ (eight-course Menu de Noel)

Info: Call 6577-7888 or go to www.rwsentosa.com

 

SEAFOOD


LE PETIT CANCALE

What: Dive into this seafood restaurant's festive menu, which features a choice of either six oysters Normandes No. 4 or terrine of foie gras for starters. Move on to either a grilled half Maine lobster and pumpkin gratin or roasted duck breast, chestnut and mushroom ragout with lingonberry sauce. Complete the meal with a dessert of either homemade coffee log cake or ice nougat.

Where: 37 Duxton Hill

When: Dec 10 to Christmas Day, noon to 2.30pm (weekday lunch), 6 to 10.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays

Price: $88++ with a complimentary glass of champagne

Info: Call 6534-7671 or e-mail info@lepetitcancale.sg

 

 

ITALIAN
 


DOLCE VITA

What: Savour the sweet life with Italian Christmas menus put together by Michelin-starred executive chef Marco Pedrelli and chef de cuisine Johnny Meitei. Dishes include port wine-scented wild duck consomme with a foie gras and morel tortellini and parsley; ocean trout confit with lobster mousseline, fricassee of shimeji mushrooms, potato pearls and lemon-caviar butter; and champagne-poached Dover sole with shimeji mushrooms, Ratte potato espuma and wilted sea asparagus.

Where: Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue
 

When: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm

Price: $138++ (four-course), $168++ (five-course with a glass of champagne), $288++ (five-course with wine pairing and a glass of champagne)
 

Info: Call 6885-3551 or e-mail mosindolcevita@mohg.com

 

TRATTORIA GALLO D’ORO
 

What: Get a taste of chef Carlo Marengoni’s traditional Christmas dishes from his northern Italian hometown of Bergamo. The nine-course menu features starters of seafood salad, Italian veal salad and roast turkey salad with tuna mayonnaise sauce. Mains include homemade pappardelle with crabmeat and spinach in lobster sauce; and rolled beef stuffed with truffles and mozzarella on braised cabbage. End the meal on a sweet note with panettone and homemade chocolate pudding.

Where: 7 Magazine Road, Central Mall, 01-03

When: Dec 1 to Christmas Eve (lunch and dinner), Christmas Day lunch, noon to 3pm, 6.30 to 11pm

Price: $68++ or $78++ (with a glass of prosecco)

Info: Call 6438-8131 or e-mail reservation@gallodoro.com.sg

 

CHINESE


 

LI BAI CANTONESE RESTAURANT
 

What: Have an Asian Christmas with two five-course set menus featuring dishes such as steamed Canadian cod with black truffle, baked seafood rice in mini pumpkin and braised egg wrapped bird’s nest with shredded ham.
 

Where: Lower lobby level, Sheraton Towers, 39 Scotts Road

When: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm
 

Price: $138++ a person
 

Info: Call 6839-5623



HUA TING

What: Give Christmas an Asian twist at Hua Ting with dishes such as braised sliced abalone and Chinese mushroom stuffed with minced chicken, pan-fried diced Kurobuta pork in lettuce cup, braised diced venison with foie gras, steamed fillet of sea perch with garlic and braised noodles with live prawns in XO sauce. Set menus for eight and 10 people are also available at $788 and $928 respectively. Diners can pre-order a Cantonese-style roast turkey at $168 each, three days in advance.
 

Where: Level 2, Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road
 

When: Christmas Eve and Christms Day, 11am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm
 

Price: $98++ (lunch), $118++ (dinner)

Info: Call 6739-6666

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