Ellenborough Market Cafe Tasting Session 2019 - Chinese New Year

January 23, 2019 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Ellenborough Market Cafe Tasting Session 2019 - Chinese New Year
20 Merchant Road
Level 1, Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore


Opening Hours:
Daily: 6:30am - 10:30am (Breakfast), 12pm - 2:30pm (Lunch), 6:30pm - 10pm (Dinner)



https://www.swissotel.com/hotels/singapore-merchant-court/dining/ellenborough-market-cafe/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from Purple Taste, msginginly, MsJaniceEats, Emily.EatingThyme, and Food Gem.



Prosperity Temptation Claypot (SGD $428 for 10 pax)



A Traditional Feast To Usher In The Year Of The Boar

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $88++ per person.


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Welcome the Year of the Boar on an auspicious note, and celebrate Chinese New Year 2019 at Ellenborough Market Cafe. With the launch of their Prosperity Buffet from 18th January till 19th February 2019, diners can look forward to succulent roasted delights and celebratory creations at Ellenborough Market Cafe in Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore hotel. This all-day buffet and ala-carte dining restaurant of the hotel has long been well regarded for their Straits Chinese cuisine, Peranakan cuisine, and International selection, so you're assured of a good meal, as I experienced on prior visits.

Ellenborough Market Cafe - Prosperity Buffet 2019
Ellenborough Market Cafe - Prosperity Buffet 2019, Photo Credits: Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore



Ambience at Ellenborough Market Cafe harkens back to the British colonial era, the large and expansive space in hues of white, turquoise, and grey, which lends a sense of elegant grandeur. Comfortable cushioned wooden chairs surround large, marble topped tables, well suited for communal dining. The low white light ensures the place is brightly lit, yet not harsh on the eyes, being rather comforting. The buffet spread here is well laid out, and I note dishes are topped up regularly.

Central Dining Pagoda & Water Feature
Central Dining Pagoda & Water Feature



Service at Ellenborough Market Cafe is good. Staff are friendly, polite, and courteous, performing their duties efficiently. They proactively come around to clear empty / finished plates and cutlery, and they also swap out utensils for you. Great, especially for a buffet. I note staff display rudimentary product knowledge, while they will engage in conversation if asked, they often need to check for answers as well. You can also speak with some of the chefs at the live stations.

Seating
Seating



Food at Ellenborough Market Cafe is focused on Straits Chinese cuisine, Peranakan cuisine, and International cuisine as part of their buffet. The variety of dishes is above average, such that you may not be able to try every single item here. Quality and taste is above average too, dishes are consistently decent, better when fresh from the kitchen. As a buffet, portions are unlimited for the price. However, prices are also comparable to high end hotel buffets, budget about SGD $88++ per person for a meal here.

Table Setting
Table Setting



From 18th January till 19th February 2019, Ellenborough Market Cafe has curated a selection of traditional Chinese dishes, all of which will be made available as part of the Prosperity Buffet for Chinese New Year 2019.

Buffet Spread
Buffet Spread



The Watermelon Juice features freshly squeezed watermelon, and is nicely thirst-quenching and refreshing, with fruity sweet flavour.

Watermelon Juice
Watermelon Juice



The Prosperity Yu Sheng With Smoked Salmon Or Kurobuta Pork is a salad served in the shape of a pig / boar head, to commemorate the Year of the Boar. Each ingredient has a symbolic meaning, the version here includes either smoked kurobuta pork bacon or smoked salmon fish, white radish / daikon radish, carrots, red grapes, cucumber, green radish, pickled melon, sour ginger, sweet ginger, leek, pomelo, wax gourd, crushed peanuts, lime juice, pok chui / fried flour crackers, sweet plum sauce, black pepper, cinnamon powder, and sesame oil. Fairly basic vegetal sweet sour flavours, with crunchy juicy textures. Personally, I preferred the crispy and salty savoury smoked kurobuta pork bacon.

Prosperity Yu Sheng With Smoked Salmon Or Kurobuta Pork


Prosperity Yu Sheng With Smoked Salmon Or Kurobuta Pork
Prosperity Yu Sheng With Smoked Salmon Or Kurobuta Pork


Prosperity Yu Sheng With Smoked Salmon Or Kurobuta Pork


Sampler Plate
Sampler Plate



While the Double-Boiled Chicken Soup With Cordycep Flowers & Sliced Abalone Mushroom is a mouthful of a name, the thin yet earthy savoury herbal sweet flavour of the warm soup / broth is comforting. Filled with chunks of tender chicken, chewy dried scallop shreds, soft abalone mushrooms, and juicy longan. Good!

Double-Boiled Chicken Soup With Cordycep Flowers & Sliced Abalone Mushroom


Double-Boiled Chicken Soup With Cordycep Flowers & Sliced Abalone Mushroom
Double-Boiled Chicken Soup With Cordycep Flowers & Sliced Abalone Mushroom



The Roast Combination Platter is a well-executed platter of traditional Chinese Cantonese roast meats, including roast pork belly, roast chicken, and roast duck. The Roast Pork Belly does not have any gamey taste, instead, the pork belly meat is clean and succulent bouncy in texture, with a satisfying crunch to the savoury salty crackling skin. The tender and juicy Roast Chicken has good savoury salty sweet flavour, the roasted chicken skin having a smoky aroma. The Roast Duck is decent, with a tender chewy texture and alright flavour that is savoury salty, but lacks a succulent edge. Served with crisp prawn / shrimp flavoured crackers.

Roast Combination Platter
Roast Combination Platter


Roast Pork Belly
Roast Pork Belly


Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken


Roast Duck
Roast Duck


Roast Combination Platter



The Steamed Sea Bass Fish In Sour Plum Sauce harkens to traditional Chinese Teochew steamed fish, except they've used sea bass fish in place of pomfret fish. The fish is clean-tasting and fresh, with the succulent bouncy flaky meat coming off the small bones easily. The sour plum gravy (with pickled sour plums, pickled mustard greens, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, water, ginger, and parsley) lends a sharp sour savoury salty flavour to the fish, which is appetizing on the palate, and makes you crave more. Good!

Steamed Sea Bass Fish In Sour Plum Sauce


Steamed Sea Bass Fish In Sour Plum Sauce
Steamed Sea Bass Fish In Sour Plum Sauce



The luxurious Black Moss In Tianjin Cabbage With Braised Oysters features stringy black moss / fat choy / black hair vegetable, plump juicy braised oysters, and soft stewed Chinese cabbage, in a rich gravy, surrounded by crunchy lettuce. This has warm, comforting, earthy savoury vegetal sweet briny salty herbal flavours. Shiok.

Black Moss In Tianjin Cabbage With Braised Oysters


Black Moss In Tianjin Cabbage With Braised Oysters
Black Moss In Tianjin Cabbage With Braised Oysters


Black Moss In Tianjin Cabbage With Braised Oysters



We sampled the Prosperity Temptation Claypot (SGD $428 for 10 pax), also known as Pen Cai / Poon Choi. Only available for takeaway orders (not part of the regular buffet), Master Chef Choong Kam Ching has curated a beautiful dish. This luxurious claypot dish is filled with premium ingredients, including bouncy baby abalones, slippery sea cucumber, chewy XO dried pork sausage, succulent roast pork belly, pillowy oysters, juicy scallops, tender shiitake mushrooms, fresh shell-on tiger prawns / shrimp, stringy black moss / fat choy / black hair vegetable, and crunchy broccoli, over soft napa cabbage. Has a layered earthy vegetal savoury sweet salty herbal flavour, with a hint of bitter taste. Overall, pretty good rendition, feels so decadent. Good!

Prosperity Temptation Claypot
Prosperity Temptation Claypot (SGD $428 for 10 pax)


Prosperity Temptation Claypot


Prosperity Temptation Claypot


Sampler Plate
Sampler Plate



The Honey Baked Ham has a tender texture with a slight chew, and a smoky sweet savoury salty flavour. Love pairing the honey baked ham with biscuits, and several soft and hard cheeses. During my visit, the cheese selection included Cheddar, Blue, Gouda, and Camembert.

Honey Baked Ham
Honey Baked Ham


Honey Baked Ham & Cheese Selection
Honey Baked Ham & Cheese Selection



Their version of Nian Gao / Year Cake has a sticky gelatinous chewy texture, with a delicate sweet flavour. This glutinous rice cake dessert differs because it's coated in dessicated coconut, which lends a light earthy floral sweet flavour. Overall, it's fairly decent.

Nian Gao / Year Cake


Nian Gao / Year Cake
Nian Gao / Year Cake



The version of Apam Balik here is a soft, spongy, dessert pancake, wrapped in pandan / screwpine leaf for fragrance, and filled with a sticky chunky peanut filling. It has a nutty sweet grainy flavour, but I find it less tasty than elsewhere.

Apam Balik


Apam Balik
Apam Balik



Sampled the Durian Pengat & Yam Ice Cream, which actually is a good combination. The sticky gloopy thick texture of the durian pengat complements the creamy smooth texture of the yam ice cream, and the layered fruity earthy sweet flavours work well together.

Durian Pengat
Durian Pengat


Durian Pengat & Yam Ice Cream
Durian Pengat & Yam Ice Cream



Enjoyed the traditional feast at Ellenborough Market Cafe to celebrate Chinese New Year 2019, and the Year of the Boar. Love the elegant grandeur of the ambience, the friendly and efficient service, and the delicious, well-executed food. Indulge in their Prosperity Buffet at SGD $88++ per person from 18th January till 19th February 2019. Do make advance reservations when visiting Ellenborough Market Cafe!


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