Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas lunch at Bar and Billard Room

By this time, if you are planning a pre-Christmas lunch with colleagues and friends, chances are that you would be unable to secure a reservation at a good restaurant.

A and I were initially planning to go to Sheraton Towers for a very affordable pre- Christmas lunch international buffet (SGD45+++ per pax) but subsequently decided to splurge on a more atas luncheon at Bar and Billard Room instead (SGD118+++ per pax). Thank God for the Feed At Raffles Card which shaves a whooping 50% discount off the bill for 2 diners.

Many have lamented that the food quality in Raffles Hotel has declined over the years. Being a relatively frequent Feed At Raffles Card diner, I tend to agree. Gone are the good ol days where the chocolate buffet at Bar and Billard was purportedly "the best in Singapore" and the cold seafood section "to die for".

Nonetheless, the buffet spread yesterday did not disappoint. The ambiance was charming, with high colonial ceilings adorned with fairy lights, humongous Christmas trees and giant wreaths.

Bottles of bubbly and fine wines for those who can afford it

A most delicious looking bottle of French liquer. I would have ventured a sip if not for the fact that I am pregnant...

What is a Christmas spread without turkey and ham? In this case, both dishes were executed perfectly. The turkey meat was surprisingly moist and tender. Accompanied with savoury bread and chestnut stuffing and giblet sauce, it was easily one of my favorite dishes.

Piece de resisance. Don't forget to ask for the stuffing!

Not forgetting the ham, which was prettily studded with cinnamon cloves and basked in honey. A little dry but otherwise sublime, especially when doused with apple sauce.

What is Christmas without ham like this?

Ham with apple sauce- a marriage made in heaven

Sauces and side dishes to go with your ham and turkey...stewed carrots, brussel sprouts, squash and cranberry sauce

I happily skipped the cold seafood section (having resolved to reserve room for dessert) -but not without taking some shots of the neatly arranged prawns and glistening oysters.

Prawns arranged in almost military precision.

The forgotten oysters...didn't look too fresh

There was also a special section for ham and cold meat cuts this year.

The salad, cheese and bread sections looked decent but otherwise boring. Next please.

Bar and Billard Room also offers a cooked food station where meat lovers can feast on meat dishes like veal, lamb and duck confit. Based on previous experiences, these dishes are named fancifully but often taste lack lustre.

Red snapper with coco bean and roast peppercorn. I tried a coco bean out of curiousity and it tasted like..emm..just an ordinary bean?

Veal what?

Dry looking duck confit

some other meat dish which looked too gamey for my liking

My eyes started to twinkle after spotting my favorite potato gnocchi with four cheese sauce happily bubbling in the adjourning pasta station. Mama mia!

Three cheers for the four cheese gnocchi

What can I say about the gnocchi? It was creamy, rich and luscious, boasting a melt in the mouth texture. Frankly, I couldn't ask for more.

Strategically placed next to it was a dish of tantalising baked eggplant parmigiana. Being a sucker for all things eggplant, I couldn't resist scooping a generous portion for myself too.

Crumbly soft and strangely reminiscent of the breaded pork chops my late grandma used to lovingly cook for us. How I miss mama.

If you like your pasta prepared ala minute, get the pasta man to whip up something for you.

Dessert was a lavish affair centred around a gingerbread theme (gingerbread ice cream, gingerbread tiramisu, gingerbread cheesecake etc). I couldn't resist taking a small scoop of gingerbread ice cream doused with chocolate sauce and chocolate balls.

Gingerbread and candied chestnut cheesecake

Festive gingerbread tiramisu

Waragaw's gingerbread ice cream concoction..unfortunately this didn't taste great.

For non gingerbread aficionados, there's always Christmas pudding, vanilla ice cream and other chocolate delights to contend with.

some hits and misses. the creme bulee is not bad though

Of all the logcakes featured that day (Green tea azuki, Berry cointreau with cranberry, pear lemongrass and milk chocolate, chocolate truffle), the pear lemongrass and milkchocolate log won hands down, with milk chocolate that was not cloyingly sweet and tangy morsels of pear embedded within.

Prettiest presentation of the lot- the green tea azuki

Summarized in two words: Sour vomit

The Winner!

I like to end off my meals with a cup of good tea and cookies/chocolates/lapis. The restaurant offers quite a good selection of TWG tea. However, being my usual boring self, I opted for camomile tea with honey. This went reasonably well with the Christmas cookies offered at the dessert station. I would have much preferred some chocolate truffles instead.

TWG rocks! love the feel of the muslin tea bags- so quaint

The Christmas cookie selection..all are nice except for the squarish almond studded one at the far right corner

Having thoroughly overdosed on Christmas food (unceremoniously gaining yet another kilo in the process), I grudgingly trudged back to the work with A.

After thought no 1: Always take half day off to recuperate after a good meal.
After thought no 2: Opps! I forgot to eat fruits! (but at least I managed to take a picture of it)


Camemberu said...

What a bountiful feast! :) Making me crave a buffet already!

Waragaw said...

Thanks! This is only the beginning of Christmas feasting =) More to come.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this.


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