High tea available: Sat: 12pm-3pm
The buzz: Pan Pacific Orchard’s Great Singapore High Tea on Saturdays is more lunch than tea. It starts at noon and goes on for three hours, during which you can help yourself to the buffet table and order as many times as you like from their “Plates of Pleasure”, a menu with a small selection of perennial Penang faves such as assam laksa and prawn noodles.
What’s special: Though called the Great Singapore High Tea, the buffet ($32 per person) is a wide spread of international and local dishes, ranging from a whole baked salmon with sea salt and pesto sauce to fishermen’s pot (mussels and prawns in a white wine sauce), Chinese roast duck, satay and yong tau foo.
Special mention must be made of its Penang dishes, all cooked a la minute by a team of Penang chefs.
The assam laksa would have made you think you were slurping it up in Gurney Drive, except that the version here is topped with the sweet flesh of snow-white barramundi fish. The prawn noodles are also made from a flavourful and intense stock. The Penang char koey teow, perfectly fried with prawns and Chinese sausages, is made even more decadent with fresh crabmeat.
Desserts may not be the star station, but there are enough varieties to keep dessert lovers happy. Cakes are the usual suspects like carrot and brownie. But if the creamy pineapple cheesecake is on the buffet table, go for it. There’s also a chocolate fountain and waffles and crepes with ice-cream, caramelised bananas or mixed berry compote.