Crab Temptations @ Ellenborough Market Cafe, Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore
We started with a Timbale of Hokkaido Crabmeat Salad with Apple & Walnut. The salad was impressive as we could bite into succulent chunks of crab. The dressing was light. The use of apples and walnuts in this dish made me think of it as a crabby interpretation of a Waldorf Salad. The plating was pretty impressive so we asked if this would be the actual presentation at the buffet. Our hosts clarified that this was just for the tasting session and that their plan was to place the salad in a large bowl at the buffet spread. We all voiced our reservations as this would encourage inconsiderate diners to pick out the crab chunks from the bowl. We hope they have taken our comments to mind and presented the salad in shotglasses so each diner can have their fair share of crab.
The thick soup had conspicuous chunks of crabmeat in it. I didn't like the flat flavour of the soup as it was akin to standard wedding banquet fare. Though I confess to enjoying Shark's Fin Soup, I hope they'll redirect their efforts towards making another dish preferably sans shark.
The Black Pepper Crab was pretty good as the sauce was fragrant but not overly spicy nor sweet. The small piece of crab (I asked for a small portion) that I ate was pretty juicy.
The sweetish, spicy and slightly tangy sauce for this dish reminded me of Mae Pranom's Nam Prik Prao (Thai Chili Sauce), which is used in some Tom Yam Soup Recipes. I like the addition of deep-fried curry leaves in this dish though the sauce in general was a tad too sweet for my liking.
The fried rice contained generous bits of crab meat and the Thai Asparagus added a nice crunch to the dish. The seasoning was just a little too bland for my taste but it was a great way to load up on carbs. Eating crabs can be such a time-consuming and messy affair, having this dish served midway helped offer slower eaters like me a chance to get some food in our stomachs while we worked on extracting flesh from the crabs.
Wok-Fried Sri Lankan Chili Crab
I sampled some of the chili crab gravy. It was not excessively sweet but as I prefer savoury flavours and seemed to be the only one who liked the Nonya Curry Crab, I used the curry gravy as a dip for the Man Tou instead.
I had to leave early and so I left before the Crab Risotto was served. The others teased me about missing out on Ellenborough Market Cafe's Durian Pengat (we were supposed to help ourselves to desserts from the buffet spread). Fortunately for me, I don't like to eat durians or much desserts for that matter, so I wasn't too bothered about the lost opportunity. If you wish to read more about the Risotto and desserts, check out Hungry Cow's or Camemberu's blog entries.
The Ultimate Crab Buffet Dinner promotion is available daily for dinner only.
Ellenborough Market Cafe
Swissotel Merchant Court, Singapore
20 Merchant Road,
Tel: +65 6337-2288
Ultimate Crab Buffet Dinner (from: 25 June to 12 July 2009):
Adult @ S$46++ & Child @ S$23++
HSBC Credit Card or Debit Card holders: One dines for free with every 3 paying adult diners.