Tag Archives: birthdays

Brunch @ the Greenhouse @ the Ritz Carlton

Caprioskas waiting to be mixed

I’m going to attempt writing this post while trying to sober up from a food and cocktail coma from 3 hours of indulgence at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. There for a friend’s birthday, the festive atmosphere was surely enhanced with freeflow champagne and a choice of mojitos, caipirinhas, Bloody Marys and caprioskas (most of which were doubles). Aside from the drinks, the choice of food we had available was impressive.

“Buffet hack” – chawanmushi with caviar

The best thing about buffets is that you can have a little bit of a lot.  The ability to sample as many dishes as you can want appeals to someone like me who has difficulty making her mind up on what to order and often ends up with food envy for my friends and their choices.  The birthday girl added more choice with her “buffet hacks”, my favourite was her topping chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg) with some caviar from one of the cold starters – perfect.

We all started with cold seafood.  I was focused on oysters, trying the eight varieties of freshly shucked oysters from France and New Zealand and then I spotted a tray of jamon de iberico, of which a small pile made an appearance on every plate I brought back to the table the entire meal.

The awesome roast pork with crackling

My favourite little things at the buffet were a four cheese tart with fig and walnut, the wagyu roast with the best Yorkshire puddings and gravy, the roast pork (mainly for the super good crackling I have to admit) and the very tart lemon meringue dessert.

Four cheese tart with fig and walnut

The four cheese tart came in a pastry shell that was just firm enough to not crumble and was a terrific contrast to the creamy cheese filling, which was the perfect partner to the sweet fresh fig on top.

Yorkshire pudding with wagyu roast

The wagyu roast was so tender – no matter if you sampled a more well done slice from the edge, or an almost blue slice from the middle – and the Yorkshire puddings were the perfect “mop” for the puddles of gravy that were generously ladled over them.

We finished the meal with a generous sample of the 50 cheeses on offer.  I have to admit, after a good camembert and brie, and a wonderfully tangy roquefort, the rest of the cheeses on my plate were there more for the fact that I could actually have that many varieties on one plate.

Lemon meringue

For a five-star establishment, the design and decor of the Greenhouse gives it a slight feel of a buffet in a cheap Caribbean resort – not helped by the live band playing songs like “Guantanamera” – and I think that detracts from the appeal of the whole experience, which is a slight shame, because the food is really very very good.  Perhaps I’m spoiled by the Raffles Hotel Bar & Billiard Room’s more personal serving of their food, along with the more sedate ambiance, but after all those cocktails, I’m sure no-one cared much, and also, for our boisterous birthday table, perhaps it was the best place to celebrate after all.  Happy birthday Chrissy !

The Greenhouse @ the Ritz Carlton Hotel
7 Raffles Ave
Tel: 6337 8888

Sunday brunch: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m

Happy birthday Carol *burp*

So my birthday came around last week. I had grumpily told D that I “couldn’t be bothered” to celebrate my birthday as they seem less celebratory as you get older.

Of course I completely changed my mind on the day itself when I was inundated with calls, emails, texts from the people I love. I totally love birthdays ! It’s the one day a year where it’s completely cool for it to be all about YOU.

By lucky coincidence this year my birthday fell on a Friday, so I had a lovely yum cha with the girls from work at Vivo, then wandered around the shops, and then D came home to take me to dinner.

I had requested to go to Shiro – a Japanese restaurant in Greenwood Ave in Bukit Timah. It’s a little pretentious – the signage is very discrete and you have to RING A DOORBELL and be let in. It’s awfully posh, but I love the smallness and opulence of the decor inside. You forget you’re in Singapore. Really.

The service was really odd. For the 6 tables plus counter (and there were only 5 couples there on a Friday night), there was about 4 staff, who weren’t the most discrete or well versed on the menu, suggestions, sake descriptions as you’d expect of a place like this.

The menu was also deceptively simple – I think you need to go there with a basic knowledge of what you want. Of course D and I didn’t, so we opted for the degustation menu. Although I thought the food was delicious, there was simply so much of it. The portions were full-sized but you got 6-7 courses. And the food also came out at record speed. I think D and I were in and out in 2 hours.

By the time the “main course” came, slices of wagyu steak, I was so full that the thought of eating it actually made me slightly queasy.

From memory…first course was a deep fried shrimp, a teeny tiny fish, sea urchin on top of tiny crunchy yam cubes in a dashi jelly and one other I can’t recall.

My favourite was sweet fish, simply grilled with salt. Deeelicious.

The sashimi was also yummy – fatty tuna is not for me, though.

And the dessert was the juiciest Japanese melon D and I have ever had – it felt like the juice came out of nowhere, and certainly more than could be contained in each small piece. Incredible.

Japanese seems to come up often as a request of mine for special occassions, but I think the influence of Kelly and Joe is starting to make it a more every day affair. Yummy.

**Well there you go. I went searching for some pics and someone mentioned it had closed down. Shame.