Seafood Buffet Extravanganza at Swissotel Merchant Court Ellenborough Market Cafe

Seafood Buffet Extravanganza at Swissotel Merchant Court Ellenborough Market Cafe

Address: 20 Merchant Road, Swissotel Merchant Court

Introduction

Ellenborough Market Cafe, has always been very well known for their International Buffet and famous for their selection of Peranakan food. Thank you Diane from Swissotel for the invitation to the launch of this Seafood Buffet Extravaganza. This buffet is available till 26th July and only for dinner.

This $68++ seafood buffet comes with a good selection of seafood like Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Slipper Lobster, Black Bean Slipper Lobster, Salt Baked Crab, Black Pepper Crab, White Pepper Crab, Scallop Fried Noodle, Crab Meat Fried Rice, Salmon Sashimi and Big Prawn Noodle.

Note what what’s indicated here may not be available all at once. For instance, the black pepper crab and black bean slipper lobsters are available as alternate menus. For this session, a few of their signatures are plated separately so some of my photo’s plating is not what you will see during the buffet.

Black Pepper Slipper Lobster

This is my favourite of the day. The texture of the meat taste very fresh, succulent and the sauce is very much to my liking – rich, flavorsome, with just the right spiciness and a hint of sweetness. Most importantly, it’s relatively easier to eat comparing to their cousin prawn and cousin crab, and it’s free-flow.

Chilli Crab with Mantou

For someone who like Tomato Sauce, I thought the sweetness is ok but some at the table feedbacked that the chilli sauce is a little too sweet. The size of the crab, both served and at their buffet counter are quite well-sized. The crab meat is pretty sweet and overall a decent dish.

Salt Baked Crab
I have mixed feelings about the dish. On one hand, the originally succulent meat became a little dry due to the baking but on the other hand, it’s packed with the fragrance of spices upon taking a bite. I think this is something of acquired taste but personally I prefer something crabs that are juicier.

Mantis Prawn Noodle Soup

I wasn’t expecting a lot of a seemingly local dish from an international buffet but the soup managed to convince me to go for a second bowl. There’s no mantis prawn in the noodle as it’s only used in cooking of the broth. The soup is rich in flavour, seafood sweet and is pretty good for a buffet standard. However, I’m not sure if people will be too excited over prawn noodle at an international buffet though.

Steam Grouper with Superior Sauce

If you fancy those Hong Kong Style steam grouper served at a wedding banquet, this is what to be expected from this grouper. The tender steamed fish is fresh and soft and love the sauce that comes with it. A good choice to balance off the strong flavoured chilli crab and pepper slipper lobster.

Others savoury selections

On my visit, Ellenborough also offers staple food like Crabmeat Fried Rice, Scallop Fried Noodle and Seafood Bee Hoon. For finger food, there are Fried Crab Claw, Prawn Kueh Pie Tee and Grilled Otah. Then there’s the usual cold selections with the must-have Salmon Sashimi, Chilled Baby Lobster, Snow Crab, Flower Crab and Scallop on Shell. They also offer a spread of cakes, pastries and nonya dessert like Cheng Teng, Burbur Cha Cha and Tao Suan.

And of course, a meal at Ellenborough is not complete until you have a bowl of their infamous Durian Pengat. This signature dessert of theirs has always been my all-time favourite and is always available during lunch and dinner.

Conclusion

Price wise, it will be more worth it if you visit in fours as there’s a 3-for-1 credit card promo going on, which adds up to about $60 nett per head. I think the pricing is quite reasonable, especially when some people of us can fork out $50 for a lobster roll.

Although Ellenbourough does not have the widest selection for buffet comparing to some buffet lines nowadays, i thought the spread is pretty sumptuous, with the focus on the more expensive seafood for this seafood Extravaganza. Taste wise, Ellenborough has been very consistence in delivering food quality of a certain standard and keeping their customers satisfied.

If there is one thing to improve, it’s probably their dessert selections. The classic Peranakan Kueh selection is awesome however i personally feel that they may want to instill some fresh and interesting dessert ideas that may attract the younger crowd.

On a side note, i really think the lighting of the restaurant is not very photo friendly. It’s not easy trying to take a decent shot of their food, especially at the buffet line area where it’s all harsh yellowish light that made the food photo not as exciting, which to a certain degree, impacting the influence on the social media platform.

Fat Cow Restaurant and their top grade Wagyu Beef Steak

Fat Cow Restaurant and their top grade Wagyu Beef Steak

Address: 1 Orchard Boulevard #01-01/02,Camden Medical Centre

Opening hours: Daily 12.00pm to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to 11.00pm

Reservation hotline: +65 6735 0308

Introduction

Fat Cow is a very well-known Japanese restaurant where you can find Wagyu Steak at the top quality. It’s located at a rather interesting location – Camden Medical Centre at the Tanglin district.

When i mentioned Wagyu Beef, we are not talking about the gimmicky so-call “wagyu beef” that we find in many Japanese restaurant nowadays. The steak that Fat Cow is offering are the ones that are graded using a certain Wagyu Beef grading standard. For the non-beef eater, Fat Cow does offer choices of seafood, sashimi and sushi.

Ala Carte Menu – Click to enlarge

Set Lunch Menu – Click to enlarge

Grading of Wagyu Steak

Wagyu beef is graded on the basis of the yield grade and meat quality grade. The yield grade refers to the ratio of meat to the total weight of the cow. Yield is classified into 3 grades from A to C, with A being a grade of highest yield.

The meat quality grade is classified into five grades from 1 to 5 and they are judged on the following criteria – fat marbling, the colour and brightness of the meat, its firmness and texture, and the colour and brightness of the fat. The lowest grade among the four individual criterias will be the final grade of the meat.

Ohmi Wagyu Grade A4 Steak ($120++ for half cut 150g, $225++ for full cut 300g )

One of the top Wagyu in Japan, Ohmi beef refers to cuts of beef from Black Japanese cattle. The cattle are raised with extreme care in an environment surrounded by bountiful nature and water. At Fat Cow, the menu offers an A4 Ohmi Wagyu Beef (ribeye cut).

Fat Cow also offers Iwate Grade A5 Wagyu Beef. Most Wagyu belong to the Japanese Black class, but the Iwate Japanese Shorthorn is a rare exception that has a reddish-brown coat. This exquisite A5 wagyu beef cost you a whopping $288++ for a full cut at 300g.

A half cut of Ohmi Wagyu comes with eight slices of Beef so it’s about $17.00 per slice and my wallet says ouch. I can’t say it’s value for money but the steak is seriously good. I seldom use this word in my blog but this Japanese medium steak is perfectly done.

As expected of a Japanese steak, the surface of the medium done beef is grilled to char while retaining a succulent center. The beef is very rich in flavour and the distinct layers of melty fats within the beef slices made this steak really exciting. The soft fat breaks down effortlessly in my mouth while the fragrance of the grease fils the palate. Such a texture truly separates the quality of ordinary steak from a slab of true Wagyu Beef. No doubt, so far this is best steak that I ever had.

The Fat Cow Donburi Lunch Set $39++ (comes with salary, chawanmushi, miso soup and a scoop of ice-cream)

For those that are not that determined to splurge on a piece of meat, they also offer a Wagyu Beef Donburi lunch set (only during lunch time) that gives a little hint of how a piece of Wagyu Beef that may taste like. They did not mentioned the cut and grade so probably it’s not a steak cut. However, from instagram, this rice bowl seems to be the top favourites of Fat Cow’s patrons.

Needless to say, the beef slices are more lean, but, the beef is not tough at all. Credit goes to the method of cutting up the beef and the traces of marbled fats among the meat fiber. The rice is drizzled with their Japanese barbecue sauce that comes with a hint of truffle oil. Of course there’s a vast difference if you compare this to the steak but this rice bowl’s quality is more than enough to justify for it’s $39 price tag.

I have one complain though. I ordered a medium but I think they made me a medium well. Or I should probably order a medium rare. For people that don’t like your beef to be too well done, probably a medium rare will better a better doneness for this Donburi.

Spicy Salmon Donburi Lunch Set $26++ and Sake Sashimi $18++

If your dining partner is unable to take beef for various reasons, fret not because Fat Cow does offer seafood selection too and it’s not too bad either. Four slices of Sashimi cost $18.00 and a Spicy Sashimi Bowl cost $26.00.

The Sashimi taste very proper, not fantastic, but proper. The Donburi’s chopped Salmon taste very fresh, but is not the fatty-type Salmon. The added light Japanese mayonaise manage to add on a light greasy texture and enhanced the taste.

Conclusion

Reservation was made well in advance so we were allocated to semi-private dining area. The place is spaciously comfortable with ample table top space. Price wise, most items are priced above average and service is swift and prompt.

The semi private dining area, with floor partition separating dining area with two tables per area

Needless to say, as mentioned earlier, I am very satisfied with this meal. Although it did burn a hole in my wallet, i left the restaurant thinking when is a good date to return. The beef, in particularly, is outstanding and made the trip worthwhile, and naturally, the Salmon is pale in comparison.

Fat Cow – The Main Dining Area

It’s not that the salmon is bad. It’s just the beef is too good and the salmon became negligible. In conclusion, a trip to Fat Cow without trying their beef (even just for the beef bowl) is a wasted trip.

Fat Cow Interior – The Bar Area