Escape Restaurant & Lounge Tasting Session

May 30, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Tasting Session
1 Farrer Park Station Road
Level 1 One Farrer Hotel


Opening Hours:
Ala-Carte: 24 Hours Daily
Buffet Breakfast: 6am - 10:30am Daily
Buffet Lunch: 12pm - 2:30pm Daily
Buffet Dinner: 6:30pm - 10pm Daily



http://www.onefarrer.com/Dining/Pages/Escape.aspx

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Chubby Botak Koala, Purple Taste, Madame Chewy, and Fundamentally Flawed.



Japanese Cuisine Station



Good International Buffet With Daily Themes

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $71 per person.
Ala-Carte: SGD $35 per person
Buffet Breakfast: SGD $30 ++ per person
Buffet Lunch: SGD $45 ++ per person
Buffet Dinner: SGD $60 ++ per person



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As the in-house dining restaurant of the 5-star One Farrer Hotel, Escape Restaurant & Lounge offers a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ala-carte dining. But perhaps they're best known for their extensive international buffet spread, a formidable feast spanning 9 live stations and 8 static stations, with dozens of dishes prepared by chefs in open theatre kitchens. Since opening their doors in September 2014, Escape Restaurant & Lounge has quickly become one of the most popular hotel buffets around, creating gastronomic experiences with their daily rotating buffet themes.

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Signage



Ambience at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is lovely. The wide open, spacious dining hall with high ceilings and warm lighting is so inviting, and the comfortable cushioned wooden furniture is nicely laid out, so it's not cramped. A large, circular bar sits at one end of the dining hall, with beautiful bottles of wine displayed. At the other end, the 17 live and static stations are bustling, piled high with all manner of attractive food. Each dish is clearly labelled, and I'm amazed at the extensive variety of dishes they've managed to display in this area. A cursory pass isn't justified, you'll have to walk slowly to observe all the different items on display!

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Exterior


Escape Restaurant & Lounge Interior



Service at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is above average, befitting of a 5-star hotel. Staff behave professionally and politely, observant and attentive to diners, creating a personalised feel. They come around regularly to check if they can clear away empty / dirty plates, always an important thing in a buffet. I also note that staff have some basic product knowledge on the various dishes on the menu, though you can also interact with the chefs at the various live stations if you have specific questions on the food. But though the service is good, I feel it's not particularly memorable.

Seating


Table Setting



Food at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is good, featuring an International selection of cuisines. What stood out for me here, was their Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine, and seafood. Perhaps because they're said to specialise in homey, comfort food, these associated dishes were well executed and delicious! Their team of in-house pastry chefs and bakers also produce some excellent butter cakes and breads. Prices are reasonable and comparable for their buffet, per person costs SGD $30 ++ for breakfast, SGD $45 ++ for lunch, and SGD $60 ++ for dinner. If going for their ala-carte, budget about SGD $35 per person.

Bar


Open Kitchens


Escape Restaurant & Lounge Menu 2016



The 17 live and static stations feature over 30 varieties of dishes, both Asian and Western! While the Western style dishes were mostly decent, the Asian style dishes were outstanding.

Canapes Station


Salad Station


Bread Station & Dim Sum Station


Seafood Station


Western Rotisserie Station


Asian Rotisserie Station


Chinese Cuisine Station


Indian Cuisine Station


Japanese Cuisine Station


Noodle Station


Pasta Station & Egg Station


Cheese Station


Warm Dessert Station


Cold Dessert Station


Fruit Station


I See The Future


Hey There



The Duck Roll With Mango Puree was nice, with its contast of tender, savoury smoky chilled duck against sweet tangy mango puree, complemented by the cubes of fresh cucumber. The Watermelon With Feta Cheese has refreshingly juicy watermelon cubes, cut through with the sharpness of the feta cheese.

Duck Roll With Mango Puree


Watermelon With Feta Cheese



Highly recommend the Roti Prata Plain, which is also a favourite of the chef, for its super crisp, buttery texture! Pairs well with the mild savoury Dhal Tadka lentil curry! The Chicken Tikka was outstanding as well, tender and moist, with good savoury flavour, pairing well with the fluffy, fragrant Naan Plain. The Mutton Korma was tender and decent in taste, though I would have liked it to be more spicy instead. Vegetarians can also go for the Mattar Paneer, which has paneer cheese cubes and peas in a mild savoury curry, or the Aloo Baingan, which has tender eggplant and potatoes in a savoury dry style curry. Overall, very good Indian cuisine here!

Indian Cuisine Sample


Naan Plain


Roti Prata Plain


Dhal Tadka


Chicken Tikka


Mattar Paneer


Mutton Korma


Aloo Baingan



Highly recommend the Braised Beef Brisket With Tendon, for its smooth, fork-tender texture, and savoury flavour with full taste of the spices! I would visit again just for this, it's a must try! The Braised Broccoli With Mushroom is executed to a decent Zi Char standard, with crunchy florets of broccoli, soft carrots, and tender earthy shiitake mushrooms in a tasty oyster sauce gravy. The Fish Curry is decent, with fresh firm white dory fish which flakes apart nicely, and tender okra / lady's fingers slices. The Chicken Rice isn't too oily, but nicely fragrant with a slight buttery texture, while the Prawn Crackers have a crisp outside that cracks to reveal the meaty sweet fresh shrimp inside. Overall, very good Chinese cuisine here!

Chinese Cuisine Sample


Braised Beef Brisket With Tendon


Fish Curry


Braised Broccoli With Mushroom


Chicken Rice, Prawn Crackers



Of the Roast Meats, the Roast Duck was executed nicely, with tender slices of moist duck, not too gamey, with a salty savoury flavour. The Sio Bak / Roast Pork Belly has a good crunch to the skin, but the lack of fat means it's not as moist as it could be, though the savoury salty taste is decent. The Char Siew / Red Roast Pork Loin has properly roasted meat that is tender and moist, with a savoury taste, but it lacks the caramelised sweetness, as well as the smoky aroma. Love the tasty Herb Crusted Roast Beef, with its tender, thinly sliced texture and savoury floral herb flavour, good enough without the rich au jus! Best paired with the crisp outside, fluffy inside Yorkshire Pudding, and sweet caramelised roasted bell peppers / capsicums!

Roast Meats (Asian) - Roast Duck, Sio Bak / Roast Pork Belly, Char Siew / Red Roast Pork Loin


Roast Meats (Western) - Herb Crusted Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding



The Salted Egg Yolk Prawns have fresh, sweet meaty prawns, and the salted egg yolk sauce is properly eggy savoury salty, pretty good! You can also get this with any of their other seafood, and the chef will prepare it à la minute! Fresh seafood, as part of the buffet, is only available on every Tuesday. This includes fresh Prawns, Clams, Mussels, Dog Conch / Gong-Gong, Crayfish, and Oysters!

Salted Egg Yolk Prawns


Prawns, Clams, Mussels, Dog Conch / Gong-Gong, Crayfish



There is a good selection of freshly baked bread here, as they also run a dessert pastry / bakery store under their branding. The Baguette, Sourdough, Cranberry Stuffed, Apricot Stuffed all have slightly crisp exteriors, which crack satisfiyingly, while the interior are soft, fluffy, fragrant, and carry good bread yeast flavour. Loved the fruit stuffed bread, which are good enough to be eaten on their own!

Bread - Baguette, Sourdough, Cranberry Stuffed, Apricot Stuffed



The Teochew Porridge Set is not part of the buffet, but is part of the ala-carte menu. The Porridge With Sweet Potato has a thin, watery texture like that of good, traditional Chinese Teochew porridge, yet you can still feel the distinct texture of the rice grains. Slightly sweet from being cooked together with the tender sweet potato slices. The Steamed Pomfret Fish has a soft texture, with flavour largely from the shiitake mushrooms, might be better with a dash of salt or some pickled vegetables. The Braised Peanuts have a nice savoury salty flavour, but I felt it could be more tender in texture. The Braised Pork Belly With Pickled Mustard Greens is decently salty savoury, though the lean pork belly doesn't have much fat. The delicious savoury braising gravy and salty sour pickled mustard greens pairs well here.

Teochew Porridge Set Sample


Porridge With Sweet Potato


Steamed Pomfret Fish


Braised Peanuts


Braised Beancurd Skin


Braised Pork Belly With Pickled Mustard Greens



There is a wide variety of over 15 different desserts available, both warm and chilled. Standouts here include their butter cakes, such as the fruity Passionfruit Butter Cake, or nutty Basil Peanut Butter Cake, which have textures that are so soft and moist, and toppings which are rich, creamy sweet, and delicious! The Strawberry Shortcake has good consistency, with juicy sweet strawberries, though it's also heavy on the cream, and light on the actual cake. The Opera Cake is decent, you can taste each distinct layer, though I wish it was richer in chocolate flavour.

Dessert Sample


Strawberry Shortcake


Passionfruit Butter Cake


Basil Peanut Butter Cake


Opera Cake



Overall, I find it good value for money to dine at Escape Restaurant & Lounge, if you're going for a buffet. The extensive range of good quality food, elegant and inviting ambience, and professional, polite service, makes Escape Restaurant & Lounge good enough to visit again. Personally, I feel their Asian style dishes are better than their Western style dishes. Hope to try the ala-carte dishes next time!


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Reserve a table now @ Escape Restaurant & Lounge









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