Showing posts with label .Station: City Hall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label .Station: City Hall. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Masses @ Arcade The Capitol Kemposki - Relocated to a More Centralised Place While Maintaining the Pricing Affordable

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The Masses by Chef Dylan Ong has relocated from Beach Road to the prestigious Arcade at the Capitol Kempinski Hotel. This new chapter introduces a refreshed menu that marries contemporary French cuisine with bold Asian elements, delivering a unique Franco-Asian dining experience. The menu offers a cuisine with a French core harmoniously layered with Asian elements.

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Squid Ink Kueh Pie Tee 4.2/5

We began our culinary journey with the Squid Ink Kueh Pie Tee ($12.90/4pc). Unlike the traditional version stuffed with cooked jicama, Chef Dylan elevates this snack by infusing the shell with squid ink and topping it with fresh crab meat. The sweetness of the crab pairs beautifully with the savoury crunch of the shell, making for a delightful start.

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Smoked Pu Er Caviar & Beignet 4/5

Next, we tried the Smoked Pu Er Caviar & Beignet ($9.90/2pc). These fluffy beignets are filled with yuzu creme and topped with Avruga caviar, which has been smoked in-house with pu er tea. The tea's subtle aroma and the caviar burst create an elegant and unique flavour profile.

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Steak Tartare 4/5

The Steak Tartare ($26.90) here is a symphony of flavours and textures. Served with sour cream, wasabi, mustard, charred onion, and pickled chye sim and topped with fried garlic chips, shallot chips, and caviar, it offers a rich and complex taste. Spreading the tartare on the accompanying shiso Kueh Loyang adds a crispy contrast that enhances each bite.

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Salad Nicoise 3.5/5

A refreshing and healthy option is the Salad Nicoise ($23.90). This vibrant dish features gem lettuce, seasonal vegetables, tomatoes, olives, and aburi swordfish, all dressed in a tuna emulsion and topped with a soft-boiled egg. It perfectly balances flavours and textures, making it a standout salad.

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Moules Marinieres 4/5

The Moules Marinieres ($16.90) is an innovative twist on the classic chawanmushi. Beneath the uni sabayon sprinkled with Espelette pepper lies a soft and creamy steamed egg custard with blue mussels. It's a delightful mix of textures and flavours paired with a crispy rice paper cracker.

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Wagyu Beef Tongue 4/5

The Wagyu Beef Tongue served atop a crispy scallion pancake, is layered with red wine onion marmalade, pickled mustard seeds, pickled onions, shiso leaf, Dijon mustard, and lemon vinaigrette. The sweetness of the marmalade and the sharpness of the pickled elements create a harmonious balance, making this dish a highlight.

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Stuffed Zucchini Flower 3/5

The Stuffed Zucchini Flower ($29.90), air-flown from Holland, is filled with mozzarella cheese and drizzled with lavender honey. Though the flower-to-cheese ratio felt a bit off, the lemon and caper aioli lifted the dish, adding a zesty finish.

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Lemon Sole Meuniere 4/5

The Lemon Sole Meuniere ($39.90) makes a grand entry with a whole sole fish served in an "Asian Grenobloise" sauce topped with coldwater shrimp and sliced almonds. The unique twist of salted vegetables blended into the sauce offers a nod to the traditional Teochew steamed fish.

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Dry Aged Spiced Roasted Chicken 4.5/5

A favourite is the Dry Aged Spiced Roasted Chicken ($21.90/half). The tender chicken served with parsnip puree, chilli jam, and charred kailan in a soy sauce chicken jus, stands out for its flavorful skin and well-balanced accompaniments.

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Duck Confit 4.8/5

The Duck Confit ($21.90), a signature dish from Chef Dylan's early career, is served atop rice noodles with local mushrooms and mirabelle plum vinaigrette, finished with house-cured egg yolk. This dish reinterprets the local moonlight Hor Fun, adding a nostalgic yet innovative touch.

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Steak Au Poivre 5/5

The Steak Au Poivre ($29.90) features 2GR Australian Wagyu seared and served in a browned butter sauce accented by lemon and capers. The tender shoulder cut is packed with robust flavour, and the black pepper sauce is truly the soul of this dish.

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Corn & Cereal 4.5/5

For dessert, we had the Corn & Cereal ($13.90), a warm toffee and corn pudding served in whiskey caramel sauce, topped with cereal and housemade cereal ice cream. It's not overly sweet and offers a delightful play of textures and flavours.

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Truffle & Tulakalum, TNT 4.2/5

The Truffle & Tulakalum, TNT ($15.90) is a savory-sweet chocolate-based dessert. Housemade black truffle ice cream is paired with Valrhona Tulakalum chocolate ganache and piped chocolate mousse and finished with shaved black truffle, sea salt, and lemon verbena oil. This dessert is a must-try for chocolate lovers.

The Masses at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel offers a sophisticated yet approachable dining experience with its Franco-Asian cuisine. Chef Dylan Ong's innovative take on classic dishes and his use of premium ingredients make this a must-visit destination. The varied menu ensures there is something for everyone, and I'm excited to see how the menu evolves over time.

Note: This is an invited tasting.


The Masses
Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski
13 Stamford Road
#01-84
Singapore 178905
Tel: +65 6518 4988
Facebook
Instagram
Website
Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 1130am - 1030pm

Direction:
1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit B. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Monday, May 13, 2024

WO WO DIAN 窝窝店 @ Raffles City Shopping Centre - Buns Made with 130 Years Old Recipe

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Established in 1889 in Mianyang, Sichuan, Wo Wo Dian (窝窝店) recently opened its first overseas outpost at Raffles City. Over the past 130 years, it has become renowned for its steamed stuffed buns made with real Laomian (traditional sourdough). Today, Wo Wo Dian offers a menu that encompasses traditional Sichuan cuisine for a complete dining experience.

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Traditional Sauced Pork Buns 4.5/5

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Traditional Pork Bun 4.2/5

The buns here are truly superb. Crafted using traditional sourdough, the bun skin is exceptionally light with a slight chewiness that leaves you wanting more, even after indulging in three buns. Two types of pork buns are available: the Traditional Pork Bun ($8.90) and the Traditional Sauced Pork Bun ($7.90). The latter boasts a more flavourful and aromatic profile due to the marination, while the traditional version offers a more straightforward taste with a slightly porkier flavour.

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Crispy Bamboo Shoots 2.8/5

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Mouth-Watering Chicken 3.5/5

We tried a couple of cold dishes - the Crispy Bamboo Shoots ($6.90) and the Mouth-Watering Chicken ($10.90). While the bamboo shoots with peppercorn dressing didn't quite suit my palate, the Mouth-Watering Chicken was much more appetising with its well-balanced piquant chilli dressing, although the portion was relatively small.

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Firecracker Chicken 4.5/5

The Firecracker Chicken ($13.90), a common dish in Sichuan restaurants, is one of the better versions I've tried. Each morsel is crispy yet tender inside, with just the right amount of heat.

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Kung Pao Eggplant with Shrimp 4/5

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Boiled Pork Belly With Spicy Sauce 3.8/5

Other side dishes include the Kung Pao Eggplant with Shrimp ($22.90) and the Boiled Pork Belly With Spicy Sauce ($25.90). The Kung Pao Eggplant with Shrimp features a mild in-house sauce that pairs well with the spongy texture of the deep-fried eggplant cubes and the prawns. On the other hand, the Boiled Pork Belly With Spicy Sauce feels like a hearty hangover dish, mainly because its finishing touch was a douse of hot oil. While the meat was tender, it lacked its own distinct flavours.

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Classic Chicken Broth Rice Noodles 3.5/5

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Szechuan Beef Broth Rice Noodles 4/5

There are two noodles options: the Classic Chicken Broth Rice Noodles ($14.90) and the Szechuan Beef Broth Rice Noodles ($13.90). Both feature silky rice noodles imported directly from Mianyang, as well as kelp and chickpeas. While the chicken broth was rich and thick, I found it needed more depth of flavour. In contrast, the beef broth was robust and heady.

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Poached Pear in Rice Wine 4.2/5

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Three Delicacies Iced Jelly 4/5

Be sure to try their dessert. The Poached Pear in Rice Wine ($6.90) and the Three Delicacies Iced Jelly ($4.90) are delightful options. I particularly enjoyed the poached pear for its rice wine infusion, and neither dessert was overly sweet. The Three Delicacies Iced Jelly is a refreshing choice to cleanse the palate after a hearty meal.

Penned 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.


WO WO DIAN (窝窝店)
Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
B1-13/14/15
Singapore 179103
Tel: +65 6513 5598
Facebook
Instagram
Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon–Thu: 1130am – 9pm
Fri–Sun: 1130am – 10pm

Direction:
1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Butcher's Block @ Raffles Hotel Singapore - Refreshed Spring Menus Forged Through Fire, Rooted in Hawaiian Philosophies

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I revisited Butcher's Block at Raffles Hotel Singapore to explore its refreshed Spring menus, showcasing the best of nature through produce sourced directly from the restaurant's local farm. Partnering with Singaporean indoor vertical farm, farmd, Butcher's Block demonstrates its commitment to food sustainability, reflecting the Hawaiian values of Aloha Aina (love of the land) and Malama Aina (to care for the land).

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Hokkaido Milk Parker Roll, Konbu Butter 4.8/5

A signature delight, the complimentary Hokkaido Milk Parker Roll with Konbu Butter sets a high standard. The fluffy Asian milk bun paired with konbu butter is irresistible, though one might need to resist filling up before the main course.

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Australian Lamb Tacos, Chermoula ($15 for 2pc) 4/5

The Australian Lamb Tacos ($15 for 2pc) present a delightful fusion of flavours and textures. Shredded lamb shoulder rests atop a crisp yellow endive leaf, accompanied by a vibrant medley of yuzu kosho, chermoula, pickled fennel, green apple, and coriander. Dusting green powder adds a pop of colour and an extra layer of flavour. Drawing inspiration from Mexican cuisine, the traditional tortilla is replaced with endive, offering a refreshing and crunchy vessel for the succulent lamb filling. This innovative twist is reminiscent of Korean barbecue, where grilled meats are often enjoyed wrapped in greens, known as 'ssam.' The result is a taco experience that balances bold flavours with fresh, crisp elements, creating a unique and memorable dish.

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Western Plains Spam ($38 for 2pc) 4.2/5

Chef Jordan's rendition of the Western Plains Spam ($38 for 2pc) pays homage to the beloved Spam Musubi, a popular snack and lunch staple in Hawaii. Drawing inspiration from this iconic dish, Chef Jordan crafts his own version using premium ingredients and a touch of creativity. Instead of using store-bought spam, Chef Jordan takes the extra step to make the spam from scratch, using free-range pork sourced from Western Plains, Australia. The grilled spam is artfully sandwiched on top of a block of Yumepirika rice, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavours. Wrapped together with nori, reminiscent of Japanese onigiri, the dish offers a delightful combination of savoury, salty, and slightly sweet notes.

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Australian Lamb, Carrot Brown Butter Puree 4.2/5

From the "Whole Animal Butchery" section of the a la carte menu, we indulged in the Australian Lamb ($55), showcasing this noble meat's versatility. The dish presents three distinct cuts of lamb — rack, leg, and saddle — each meticulously prepared in-house and cooked using three different techniques: grilling, smoking, and sous vide. The lamb rack, tender and succulent, boasts a perfect char from the grill, while the leg offers a smoky aroma and a melt-in-your-mouth texture, thanks to the careful smoking process. Meanwhile, the saddle, cooked sous vide, delivers unparalleled juiciness and tenderness, ensuring a memorable dining experience with every bite.

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Pork Loin Char Siu, Pork Belly, Prosciuto Tuile 4/5

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Pork Tomahawk 4.8/5

Another standout from the "Whole Animal Butchery" selection is the Whole Pig from Western Plains ($120), meticulously prepared in-house to showcase five distinct parts of the animal, totalling 350g of delectable meat. The five different cuts include the Tomahawk, Pork Loin, Pork Neck, Pork Belly, and Prosciutto Tuile. Among these, the Pork Tomahawk steals the spotlight, aged for at least 21 days before being expertly grilled with the skin on. The result is a pork dish that is impeccably clean in flavour and tender in texture, with a satisfying crunch from the puffed crackling on the skin. Another noteworthy preparation is the Pork Neck, executed in the Chinese Char Siu style, which exemplifies the diversity inherent in Hawaiian cuisine, blending various culinary influences to create a truly unique Hawaiian cuisine.

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Rangers Valley Full-blood Wagyu OP Rib 4.5/5

From the expanded "Chef's Prime Selection" showcasing premium beef from Rangers Valley in New South Wales, Australia, we indulged in the Rangers Valley Full-blood Wagyu OP Rib ($480), accompanied by kabocha squash bone marrow puree. Aged for up to a week to enhance its flavour profile and boasting a marbling score of Mbs 9+, this exquisite cut is bursting with rich flavours. Its succulent meat is complemented by a delightful crust on the surface, achieved through the gentle kiss of an open flame.

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Butcher's Block Farm Salad, Comte Cheese 4/5

To complement the delectable mains, we savoured a variety of sides, including the Butcher's Block Farm Salad ($14). This refreshing salad features a medley of fresh greens and herbs harvested directly from the restaurant's own indoor vertical farm. Tossed with a flavorful roasted garlic aioli and finished with grated comte cheese, each bite is a burst of vibrant flavours and textures, showcasing the essence of farm-to-table dining.

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Grilled Asparagus, Potato Koji 3.5/5

Sourced from France, the seasonal White Asparagus is brushed with butter and delicately seasoned with lemon zest, lemon juice, and fleur de sel. The asparagus is lightly grilled to perfection. Paired with a delicate koji foam dusted with shiitake mushroom powder, each bite offers a harmonious balance of flavours and textures. The natural sweetness of the white asparagus is beautifully complemented by the buttery richness and tangy zest seasoning, creating a delightful dish.

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Crispy Potato, Brown Butter Emulsion, Sunomono 5/5

Indulge in the irresistible Crispy Potato ($14) at Butcher's Block. These twice deep-fried smashed potatoes are a true sensation, boasting a perfect balance of crispiness and tenderness. Tossed in garlic butter and generously dusted with furikake and dehydrated kimchi powder, each bite bursts with layers of flavour. The garnish of fresh chives adds a refreshing touch, enhancing the overall palate experience. Despite being served alongside sunomono and brown butter emulsion, these potatoes shine on their own and are undoubtedly a must-order item for any visit.

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Kinmedai 4.5/5

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Transit from the land to the sea with the exquisite Japanese Kinmedai ($107) at Butcher's Block. This delightful dish features tender Kinmedai adorned with spring onions, marigold leaves, onion flowers, and fennel flowers, creating a symphony of flavours and textures. What truly surprises the palate is the ingenious use of Cantonese black bean sauce, showcasing the diverse culinary influences found in Hawaiian cuisine. This fusion of flavours highlights Hawaii's rich cultural melting pot, resulting in a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience. A side of Hokkaido Sushi Rice with Furikake is served to complete the dish, allowing diners to enjoy the succulent fish with the perfect accompaniment. This nod to Hawaiian dining traditions adds depth and complexity to the dish.

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Grilled Squid Luau 3.8/5

Indulge in a modern twist on a traditional Hawaiian dish with the Grilled Squid Luau ($48) at Butcher's Block. This innovative reinterpretation features grilled squid, expertly cut into thin strips and seasoned with a tantalising blend of lemon chilli vinaigrette and chermoula. The squid is then paired with a Japanese taro leaves sauce, creating a harmonious fusion of flavours. To elevate the dish further, it is garnished with vadouvan spiced almonds, farmed radish, onion flowers, and fennel flowers, adding layers of texture and complexity. A drizzle of coconut cream provides a touch of richness and decadence, balancing the bright and refreshing flavours of the dish. While the flavours are undeniably bright and appetising, some diners may find the squid cut too thin to appreciate its texture fully.

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Grilled Peach, Blood Orange Sorbet 4/5

Concluding our meal at Butcher's Block, we savoured the delightful Grilled Peach ($14) dessert. Nestled atop a bed of sable crumble, the Spanish white peach exuded a natural sweetness enhanced by a slow grilling process over a wood fire. This imparted a caramelised sweetness with a subtle hint of bitterness, adding depth to each bite. Complementing the grilled peach was a scoop of refreshing blood orange sorbet, providing a burst of citrusy flavour that balanced the sweetness of the fruit. The dish was further elevated with the addition of a delicate charcoal tuile, offering a subtle smokiness and a crisp texture. Garnished with fennel flowers and marigold leaves, the presentation was as beautiful as it was delicious, adding a touch of elegance to the dessert.

Overall, Butcher's Block continues to impress with its innovative dishes and commitment to quality ingredients. The Spring menus offer a culinary journey that celebrates the essence of nature and showcases the restaurant's dedication to sustainability.

Note: This is an invited tasting.


Butcher's Block
Raffles Hotel Singapore
Raffles Arcade
328 North Bridge Road
#02-02
Singapore 188719
Tel: +65 6337 1886
Instagram
Website
Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW, NS Line), Esplanade (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Lunch (Thu-Sun): 12pm - 230pm
Dinner (Wed-Sun): 6pm - 945pm
(Closed on Mon and Tue)

Direction:
1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Junction of North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Esplanade MRT station. Take Exit F. Walk to Beach Road. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Friday, March 15, 2024

Tiffin Room @ Raffles Hotel - Return of The Wondrous Flavours of Holi

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Tiffin Room at Raffles Hotel is once again presenting Holi Festival Specialities, exclusively crafted by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Kuldeep Negi, at the historic Tiffin Room. The Wondrous Flavours of Holi will be available from 18 to 31 March 2024 for both lunch and dinner.

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Stuffed Yellow Lentil Dumplings 3.5/5

Our dinner began with Chef Kuldeep's Welcome Dahi Gujia (Stuffed Yellow Lentil Dumplings With Sweet Yogurt, Tamarind And Spicy Mint Chutney), a beloved North Indian snack, involves lentils ground and shaped into a half-moon gujiya, generously adorned with yoghurt, tamarind chutney, coriander mint chutney, and an array of Indian spices. Combining the chutneys and spices resulted in an explosion of flavours - a delightful interplay of sweet, tangy, and savoury notes infused with aromatic undertones. The addition of nuts provided an enjoyable textural contrast to the chaat. Personally, I would have preferred a bit less of the tamarind chutney, as it leaned towards the sweeter side.

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Pickled Spicy Tandoori-Grilled Chicken Wrap 4/5

Next is the Achari Murgh Tikka Kathi Roll, featuring Pickled Spicy Tandoori-Grilled Chicken Wrap served with Beetroot, Radish And Onion Salad. The chicken was tender and flavourful with a heady blend of spices, which was quite nicely balanced by the herbaceous mint chutney and the side salad.

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Pan-Seared Black Cod 4.5/5

The Main Course was served in its classic tiffin set. Tawa Masala Fish was the crowd's favourite, featuring Pan-Seared Black Cod in a Special Blend Of Spices, Onion And Tomato Masala. The tangy and fruity sweetness of the masala complemented the inherent richness of the cod.

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Boneless Chicken Leg 4/5

Murgh Madras is a crowd pleaser with tender Boneless Chicken Leg in curry rich in mustard seed and spices.

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Pahadi Gosht 4.2/5

Pahadi Gosht is a rare treat that serves Himalayan-style Lamb Chop Curry with Fresh Herbs And Spices. The lamb was delightfully tender, and this more robust form of curry proved to be a good pairing with the meat's flavours.

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Yellow Lentil Curry 3.5/5

The Tiffin set also includes Shahi Dal, a curry made with Yellow Lentil with Black Beans and Red Kidney Beans. I enjoyed the textural interplay of the various beans and lentils, but I prefer a more spice-forward curry that tastes bolder.

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Tomato Mint Pulao 5/5

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Butter Naan and Laccha Parantha 5/5

Despite the curries being the main focus, the Tomato Mint Pulao, Butter Naan, and Laccha Parantha truly stole the spotlight for me. The Tomato Mint Pulao was a delight, featuring light and fluffy basmati rice infused with the fragrant essence of mint and cardamom, punctuated by sweetness from softened fresh tomatoes. Both the naan and parantha proved equally satisfying, boasting the desired texture and a rich, buttery flavour that added a layer of joy to the overall dining experience.

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Dessert 3/5

The Dessert is a platter of Makai Halwa, Gujia, and Gur Para (Sweet Corn Halwa, Traditional Sweet Dumplings Stuffed With Coconut And Dried Fruits, and Jaggery Bites). However, I found these selections a bit too heavy for a dessert course after the fairly rich dishes. Perhaps a lighter option would have provided a more balanced and refreshing conclusion to the meal.

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Options of 2 glasses and 4 glasses alcoholic beverages pairing are available as well.

Photograph and 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.


Tiffin Room
Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road
Singapore 189673
Tel: +65 63371886
Facebook
Website
Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW Line, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Lunch: 12pm - 145pm
Dinner: 630pm - 845pm

Direction:
1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Junction of North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Esplanade MRT station. Take Exit F. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]