See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2015/10/08/good-value-peranakan-buffet-ellenborough-market-cafe-on-8oct2015/
went with a friend, who is an accomplished peranakan home chef himself, to ellenborough market cafe for lunch today on 8.10.2015. ^^
this my second time here this year, after a hiatus of probably 8 or 10 years. never get to use the FAR (feed at raffles) 50% vouchers for many years at this or other FAR restaurants either.
ambience was pretty nice. friend who is more familiar with this place thought it’s usually quite packed & was surprised that it wasn’t.
there was a cold appetizer section with prawns, yabbies, mussels.
prawns was good, i guess quite standard.
yabbies nice to look at & admire. as we know, not much meat & also meat is rougher that prawns, not as fine & sweet.
there was a salad section bread soup & bread.
there were 2 soup – a chinese lie tong type, pork ribs i think & a cream of tomato with basil. i wasn’t too interested so did not take photos.
i tried the lady fingers. pretty ok.
the prawn mushrooms. ok too.
there was only salmon sashimi & some maki sushi.
i started with sashimi, cold appetiser & salad.
didn’t look particularly great, but the salmon sashimi was quite excellent. fresh & sweet & i like the oily belly cuts. ^^
friend made 6 kueh pie tee (you have to add the ingredients onto the hat yourself).
they were nice, good standard.
i think the chinese ramen was the bestest dish!^^
ramen chef made a live demo, whacking the marble top with the flour noodles.
freshly made & rather thick.
but it was super nice! excellent texture, wholesome taste, a super broth to rival any tonkotsu & very tasty meatballs.
i liked the babi pongteh too. just perfect texture & so flavourful.liked the chicken too.
very nice curry, some very fragrant galangal taste & ginger fibre texture.
the hong kong steamed garoupa was also very well done.
problem with buffet – you take a tiny morsel here, and there & your plate & stomach are full.
the sea sumcumber duck was also very good.
duck was very tender, very lightly & nicely flavoured. i had a second helping.
did too for the babi pongteh & ayam buah keluak.
din take the fruits nor the ahborling (sesame dumplings) & most other dessert.
basically took some durian pengat.
they were very good.
usually i go for semi buffet where the main course is an ala carte order like at one ninety @ four seasons hotel or equinox or basilico, like a fine dining main course.
for buffets like the edge or carousel or olive tree (all i mostly don’t really like) or 10 at claymore with ala carte buffet items (which i like), i go for the appetizer & skips most of the main course.
here at EMC, there is very little appetizer to talk about (say c/w one ninety or equinox), fortunately main courses tasted quite well.
best thing was the price. just S$19++pax weekday lunch after 50% FAR discounts, nothing to complain about, and the best thing was that the dishes were really quite good.
& the great ambience, good company & conversation.
Terrible place for supposedly one of the better buffets in town.
Horrible experience at this place, starting from the most basic of expectations like water. It seemed that refilling customers' cups were beneath the waiters even when there were only 5-6 tables to be served. I had to walk to a station and wait there for a waiter to come to give me water.
Moving on, food quality. food was absolutely trash. Meatball soup was filled with MSG, seafood was overlooked and tasteless, meat was powdery and hard, absolutely disgusting. Ironically, the best tasting 'dish' was the piece of chocolate on top of the cakes. Coupled with the pathetic selection, I would rather eat instant noodles at home.
Ambience was sub-par, decor was average at best and did not give off a cozy/warm nor bright feeling.
Food placement where desert was mixed in with mains, food was displayed haphazardly and in two different places, and everything looked unappetising.
At $52++ per person, this is an absolute rip off. Nothing I've seen justifies the cost, and there are a ton of other buffets that can beat this place hands down in almost every aspect.
TL;DR DONT EAT HERE UNLESS YOU FEEL LIKE THROWING YOUR MONEY AWAY.
Ellenborough market cafe does not disappoint when it comes to quality of food. The local dishes (nonya) are authentic and the cold seafood are all fresh. There is enough variety for a $38++ buffet lunch. If you have the far card, that's even better with the discount (50% for 2 pax). The durian pengat is delicious as always, not too sweet. The service is good, warm friendly service especially from a staff named Miaw.I will definitely visit again.
For more photos and review, check out my blogpost:http://hazeldiary.com/2015-08-ellenborough-market-cafe-swissotel-merchant-court/
August has been a fabulous month with the celebration of SG50, Golden Jubilee of Singapore and also my birthday month. I had a foodolicious over the jubilee weekend. One of the highlight is the food tasting session with foodies at Ellenborough Market Café, Swissotel Merchant Court. It was my second visit and you can read about my first visit here as a pay customer last year.
What’s so different of this month buffet is that they are having “Heritage Flavours” from 6th August till 23rd August 2015. In conjunction with Singapore reveling in her 50th birthday of the month, the dinner buffet here showcase the tastes, sights and sounds of Little Red Dot’s pioneering traditional cuisine on top of it’s usual dishes. And mega love with the bounteous offering of Fresh Durians and durian-based dishes to delight your palate.
There are live stations for satay, teh tarik ‘pulled’ right in front of you, deep-frying fried durians, pick up roasted nuts from the Kacang Puteh station and many more. What attracts me is the free flow of Mao Shan Wang durians where freshly-opened durians are served on the spot! Look at the mega display! Warning Sign: Try other dishes before indulging in durians as it can be very filling! But if you are aiming on the durian feast, this would be an ideal buffet for you too!
Other than the King of fruit and fried durians, there are durians and bacon fried rice to explore! It is my first time trying this and I think the durian taste mid in the fried rice. Nevertheless, it’s a good try dish for nostalgia moments. Durian Pengat and some other durian desserts are served at the dessert counter.
Grandma’s home cooking dishes are available during “Heritage Flavours” such as Chicken Feet Kerabu, Achar Awak (Nyonya Pickled Vegetables), Lor Ark (Braised Duck) and Steamed Patin Fish with Nyonya Sauce. Their signature slippery lobsters with black pepper sauce were well-received. It was clear every time I walked past and the staffs are quite efficient in re-filling the portions to cater to diners.
On top of these, their usual spreads are available as well. Do not miss the DIY kueh pie tee where you can customize your own ingredients for savoury. Local fried carrot cake and some of the signature hawker foods are available as well. And their chili crabs are served separately with mantou/ buns to dip with the gravy. Peranakan cuisines such as Ayam Buah Keluk is available.
Desserts stations are not to be missed. Serving all kinds of traditional and western style desserts that spoilt you with choices. There is also pandan flavored fondue instead of the usual chocolate fondue to suit the theme of the buffet.Kudos to the chef and management for being so innovative on the dishes.