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.
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