Stepping into the dining halls of Ellenborough Market Café at Swissôtel Merchant Court, and you know you are in for something slightly different - Not the usual warm lights, solid wooden furnishing against generic tiles and neutral walls of a typical international buffet restaurant in a hotel. Instead, pretty turquoise walls made bold with sparkling diamond-cut glass wall features, backs contemporary furnishings that stand elegantly on vintage-style Peranakan floor. What a chemistry between heritage and modernity.
Stir Fried Slipper Lobster in Black Bean Sauce 3/5
In a new look, but old fond flavours stay. Led by Executive Chef Louis Tay, not only the team continues to whip up signature dishes, they now expanded the international hot dish selection.
Roast Beef 3.8/5
Well roasted with a pink core, drizzled with the sauce made with its own juice and fats, my salad could not be more sumptuous than this!
La Mian with Lion Head Meatball 4/5
I don't usually take 狮子头 or Chinese Meatballs as they are always just a compact ball of meat like siew mai but theirs turned out to be exceptionally tasty - juicy, tender and sweet, like a exquisite xiao long bao that falls apart easily in my mouth. The broth was sweet and the La Mian, hand-pulled by their La Mian Master was light and springy.
Kuey Pie Tee 4/5
One key ingredient to a delicious Kuey Pie Tee is of course the little golden shells. Though left out in the open, each thin shell remained airy and crispy. Being my own chef adds to the experience - scooping heaps of tunips and vegetables into the golden shell right up to its brim, topping it with succulent shrimps and mash eggs, dressing it with sweet sauce, and down to the sprinkling of ground peanuts and chopped parsley for the final touch. Not forgetting a dash of chilli!
Salads - Nonya Wing Bean Prawn, Chicken Feet Kerabu, Prawn & Mango Kerabu 3.5/5
At the Peranakan station, one of my favourite items are their peranakan appetisers. Tangy with a hint of spiciness, they did get my appetite going. I love the combination of the different ingredients to create that crunchiness, even the deboned chicken feet got my jaw moving quite abit. My favourite is the Prawn & Mango for that extra fruity sweetness. They go really well with the traditional signatures such as signature Ayam Buah Keluak and Babi Pongteh, which are more robust and heavier in taste.
Chilli Crab with Fied Man Tou
Herbal Pork Loin 4/5
Pretty good line-up at their hot station. Their Chilli Crab even comes with fried man tou. The star for me though, its their Herbal Pork Loin. I love the broth. It was light but extremely flavourful with herbs. The chef certainly didn't scrimp on the ingredients. The pork loin was fork tender. If only, there was some dark soy sauce with chilli padi and a bowl of white rice. It will felt like a comforting, nutritious home cooked meal.
Traditional Muah Chee 3/5
While they have a huge chiller full of dainty western patisseries, the star is really their traditional kueys and hot desserts. They have our childhood favourite - Homemade Muah Chee, which was soft and chewy, and if you ain't fast enough, expect to queue for the hot favourite Nyonya Kueh Dadar, which is made fresh in front of your eyes.
Peanut Paste with Ah Balling 4/5
I didn't expect to see such a wide variety of traditional desserts. Do try their homemade Ah Balling. A gentle bite on the delicate skin and out oozes warm black sesame lava.
Durian Pengat 3.5/5
Great selection of food but i wish the selection of their Peranakan dishes could be more. That perhaps allow me more space for their comforting desserts.
Mon-Sun: $52 per adult
Mon-Thu: $62 per adult
Fri-Sun, Eve of PH & PH: $68 per adult
Sat-Sun & PH: $42
Written by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
Ellenborough Market Café
Swissôtel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Court
Tel: +65 62391848
Nearest MRT: Clark Quay (NE Line)
Buffet Lunch: 12pm - 230pm
Buffet Dinner: 630pm - 10pm
Buffet High Tea: 33pm - 530pm
1) Alight at Clark Quay MRT station: Take Exit E. Walk straight to Tew Chew Street. Cross the road and turn right. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]