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Thursday, 4 December 2014

[Media Invite] Dinner at The Square Restaurant @ Novotel

177A River Valley Road, #07-00 Novotel Clarke Quay, Singapore 179031
Tel: 6433 8790

Located on the 7th floor of Novotel Clarke Quay Hotel, international buffet restaurant The Square exudes a simple but elegant and cosy ambience, with a good mix of quality food on display at various stations.

A casual exploration of the restaurant began with the Salads stations - Caesar salad, seafood salad, platters of greens and beans for one's own special creation.

Next, we see the cured meat station - parma and salami surrounded pretty wedges of lemon atop grapefruits. And the succulent looking shelled items - mussels, prawns and oysters.

Then there were other tantalizing items such as Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab and Indian Rojak etc - all familiar local cuisine well known and well loved by us.

As Christmas is around the corner, there were also the Roast Lamb and Roast Turkey stations, both looking tempting and palatable.

Before I made the turn into the delectable Desserts corner, I passed by the counter with cheese and accompaniments, and wondered if I might have time for some of these indulgences.

There we were - rainbow cake, log cakes, strawberry pudding, madeleines, brownies, panna cotta etc, each looking pretty in its own palate-seducing manner.

This is the lovely Christmas setting decor on our table. The friendly managers asked us to get started, and so we scattered, each attacking a different section of the buffet. We were told that besides all the delicious food on display here, the Chefs would also be preparing some of the hotel's specialty dishes for us.

I started with this plate of Caesar salad, beancurd skin sushi, raw oysters, mussels and tuna sashimi. The items were fresh and I loved the Oysters slathered with lemon and Tabasco sauce especially.

Then the managers brought this treat to the table - raw Canadian oysters! Of course we lapped up the juicy tastiness of these sea delicacies.

Next, the Cheese Chicken Risotto - redolent of delicious cheese flavor and cooked with very tender chicken meat. The hotel manager prepared another bowl specially for me later - with dashes of white wine into the risotto - everyone who tried it agreed that the flavor was doubly enhanced because the white wine brought out the natural flavor of the cheese and chicken further.

I attacked some kidney beans, seafood salad, "mini green apples" olives, shrimp cocktail and seafood Char Kuey Teow later. The shrimp cocktail and seafood salad were invigorating to the tongues, but I was addicted to the crunchy olives and couldn't help but took more thereafter.

Now, the Chilli Crab were being served. As it was Indonesian-style preparation, the gravy was very spicy, but complemented the sweetness of the crab really well. We were tempted to ask for some rolls to dip into the gravy but we were very stuffed at this point in time.

I had to try some Mutton Soup and the Roast Turkey, both rather strongly recommended. The turkey meat was unexpectedly succulent and soft, an amazing texture though the flavor was bland like chicken. The mutton soup was lovely and perfect for a rainy day as such, flanked by pieces of tender mutton, carrots etc.

The Durian Penget was the other item that was very strongly recommended - a durian cream dream for durian lovers. It was sticky, rich and thick with durian's fragrance, butter smooth except for bits of real durian flesh mixed into it.

Last but not least, my desserts plate of a bit of Chocolate Log Cake, Orange Log Cake (or Swiss roll??), Rainbow Cake, watermelon, dragonfruit, Brownie and Fruit cake. The rainbow cake looked better than its artificial sponge flavor, and the brownie was a tad hard. I loved the fruit cake though, there was a faint Brandy flavor to it and the texture of the cake was firm but not hard.

Finally, I tried one piece of the really adorable Gingerbread Men - described as having strong ginger / spices taste but I could not detect it at all.

Nonetheless, it was a hearty meal enjoyed with lovely people, with some really tantalising dishes and excellent hosting. Thank you The Square of Novotel and of course, Hungrygowhere!

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