Melt Cafe in Mandarin Oriental

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The resourceful and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM goes to feast at a MEGA Buffet in…

MANDARIN Oriental in Melt Cafe. My first stop was the Seafood Collosseum…reminds me of the Collosseum in Roma…

Boston Lobster split in half and the separated Claws! I adore Lobster Claws! Yummie! Snow Crab, Canadian Oysters, Clams, Green Lip Mussels. I liked the Mango Mayonnaise, Tartare Sauce, Mignonette and fresh lemon juice with the seafood plus a dash of Tabasco!

Boston Lobster, Snow Crab and more!

Lots of Cold Cuts too like Smoked Salmon, Champagne Ham, Proscuitto di Parma (Parma Ham), Salami, Snow Fish and more with Capers, Pickled Baby Onions, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Grilled Zucchini.

Healthy Salads!

The Salad Bar is very lavish! Baby Arugula, Iceberg Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, Romaine, Corn Niblets, Quinoa, Beetroot, Heart of Palm, Kidney beans, Broad Beans, Parmesan, Almonds, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Hazelnuts and lots more! I especially like the speciality Vinegars like Red Wine, Champagne, White Wine, Apple, Balsamico and also the Walnut, Hazelnut and Avocado Oils. Of coourse, there is Extra Virgin Olive Oil too and the usual suspects like Caesar Dressing, Thousand Island, Italian…

Japanese Sushi and Sashimi is on offer too and lots of variations like Kanisarada (crab), Unagi (eel), Prawn and more. The best thing about this mega buffet is that Melt Cafe is very spacious so you do not feel cramped and enclosed but quite liberated as you wander around choosing your personal favourtites to feast on.

Outside in the garden is an Al fresco BBQ where there is freshly grilled Lamb Chops, Angus Beef, Prawns, Lobster, Capsicum, Thai Style Pork Neck…

Wagyu Beef, Roast Pork, Honey Baked Ham and more…

The Carvery

has Wagyu Beef with Red Wine Sauce, Honey Baked Ham, Chinese Style Roast Pork and Steamed Chicken. The Indian Section has Naan Bread, crispy Poppadum, Tandoori and Seafood Curry, Dhal and I liked the Beetroot Tandoori very much. The Executive Sous Chef Eric Tan kindly make a special Truffle Naan and a Cheese Naan for me to try! 🙂 Very fluffy and yummie! Perfect for dipping into curry.

The Travelling GOurmet TM and Executive Sous Chef Eric Tan at the Carvery and Roast Meats section
TRuffle and Cheese Naan!

Say Cheese!

Gourmet Farmhouse Cheeses with Jams, Mostarda, Apricots, Almonds are sure to please the cheese afficionado…

For sweet DESSERTS there are lots and lts of sweet treats including ice cream like Madagascan Vanilla and Strawberry…and the signature luscious gooey MELT Chocolate Cake. indulge in the Valrhona Chocolate Fountain! Dip Marshmallows and Pineapple chunks into the chocolate! Freshly made Waffles with Maple Syrup delight as well!

Sweets for the sweet!

Mega Buffets! OMG! So much food, so little time…My taste buds melted in ecstacy in Melt Cafe 🙂

Melt Cafe

Mandarin Oriental

5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square

Singapore 039797

Tel: 68853500

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Conrad Centennial Weekend Festive Afternoon Tea!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The debonair and dashing Travelling Gourmet TM savours a…

MARVELLOUS elegant Weekend Festive Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Lounge of the Conrad Centennial. The teas are by the famous German company Ronnefeldt and you can also have coffee like cappuccino or machiato, if you prefer. This yummie Afternoon Tea is served course by delicious course…but before the food…your welcome cocktail is brought to you. Called the “Grinch”, the psychedelic cocktail has Blue Curacao Liquer, Lime Juice and is topped with Star Anise petals. A most colourful and refreshing cocktail. When you stir the orange Mango Puree at the bottom of the tall glass, the colour changes to jade green. The reusable environment-friendly straw is made of steel. Years ago, I was in the finals of Bols Cocktail Competition with my Cocktail called “Paradorian Poona” made with Blue Curacao. I came in third place competing against professional bartenders.

Care for some Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea is typically British and has a long history. In 1840, it was Anna, the Duchess of Bedford who always felt hungry about 4pm…so Anna decided to have some makan because it was 4 long hours before dinner at 8pm!

The Duchess asked for a tray of tea, cake, bread and butter vis a vis the Sandwich to be brought to her room. John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718 to 1992) was a gamblerholic and profligate (dissolute and recklessly wasteful person) who invented the Sandwich because he did not want to stop gambling for dinner! Anna’s brainwave caught on and she began inviting her posh pals to join her. Afternoon Tea thus became a fashionable social event. Upper-class hoity-toity society women in the 1880s would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea…usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock. Necessity is always the Mother of Invention, n’est pas mes amis…Top hole old chap!

Sexy SEAFOOD Platter!

Wow! A huge platter of Meeresfruechte was set before me…there were Irish Oysters au naturel, Boston Lobster poached to perfection and fresh Prawn on Ice with fresh cut Lime and Lemon and super-cute minature bottles of Tabasco! There was of course, the Mignonette Sauce too. The classic Mignonette is made with Red Wine Vinegar, Shallots Brunoise and Cracked Pepper. Excellent with Osters and seafood. Yummie!

There are many different flavours of Ronnefeldt tea to enjoy. I tried several and started with Sweet Kiss which has strawberry, pineapple and kiwi flavours. Very nice with a spot of honey. I also liked Granny Garden with fragrant vanilla and fruity rhubarb. A healthy Green tea is Morgantau Sencha. For exotic Whiskey and Cocoa aromas try Assam Autumn tea.

The ambience of the Lobby Lounge is very cosy and soothing with warm wood panels and pillars. A live pianist plays mood music while you savour the yummies. The next yummie was tender Beef Brisket slow cooked with Mushroom on Caramelized Onion Toast. Partaking Afternoon Tea is a really civilised way to spend the afternoon in a leisurely way with good food and nice teas, plus the company of friends and family.

“Tree” of Goodies!

A huge silver “Tree’ arrived! On its branches were many delightful SAS – Sweet And Savoury treats! The exquisite Santa’s Sleigh made of chocolate is outstanding as well as the Chestnut Mont Blanc which is not overly sweet. The green Christmas Gift Box wrapped in silver ribbon conceals a mousse cake. The cute rotund Snowman and Christmas Speherical Bauble were irresistable.

The “Tree” of Food! Top right is Santa’s Sleigh

There’s also a salad in a bowl…Pomegrate, Roasted Beetroot, Cherry Tomato, Green Frisee and Feta Cheese. A Roggen Brot (Rye Bread) open sandwich is topped with Roast Turkey Cubes Paysanne, Orange Marmalade and Brie Cheese. The rectangular Multigrain Tartelette filled with Chicken in BBQ Sauce was tasty too. Tortilla Wrap filled with Cream Cheese spiked with Lemon Zest was quite filling; I would have liked more Lemon Zest for thatzesty citrus bite. After relishing all that yummie food in between drinking Granny Garden Tea, I thought: “No dinner tonight for me, I am getting quite full!”

Super Scones!

After a nice rest, a giant glass dome arrived before me. OMG! It was filled with hot Cranberry Scones and regular Scones pls Spiced home-made Apricot Jam and home-made Strawberry Jam. Yummielicious! I really must praise the Duchess of Bedford for inventing Afternoon Tea in 1840! Bon appetit! 🙂

Scrumptious SCONES!

Conrad Centennial Singapore

2 Temasek Boulevard

Singapore 038982

Tel: 63348888

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Man’s BEST friend!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The audacious and resourceful Travelling Gourmet tells you about…

MAN’S BEST friend…the noble dog.

L’animale e il miglior amico dell uomo:

non fa domande e non critica!

Translated from Italian:

Animals are the best friends of Man:

not so demanding and not so critical!

Conan the Canine Commando! Conan is a Belgian Malinois.

Conan at the White House on Monday.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/25/trump-conan-white-house-dog-baghdadi-isis-raid

De Oppresso Liber!

Who Dares Wins!

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Discover California Wines Tasting

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM tastes…

MANY California wines at the Disover California Wines tasting organised by the California Wine Institute whose last tasting was over 4 years ago. Elaine Brown presented the wines from across California’s wine regions, and talked about the terroir of California…

23.10.19.

Wines tasted:

  1. J Russian River Pinot Gris Sonoma 2018 – all stainless steel fermented, unoaked, mineral notes with a medium finish.

2. Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2018 – intense gooseberry nose and flavours from 6 months barrel aged 90% Semillon

3. Chamisal Chardonnay Edna Valley 2017- Lime and lemons dominate with grapes grown on calcareous soil

4. Talley Pinot Noir Arroyo Grande 2016 – pleasant on the palate with a long finish

5. Oak Farm Albarino Lodi 2018 – fruit in the mid palate with a nose of melon, lovely wine with a hint of ‘sweetness’

6. Ridge Paso Zinfandel Paso Robles 2017 -raisin notes frm 100% Zinfandel Zinfandel is related to Primitivo in Puglia, Italy. The original clone is Crlzenak kastelanski from Croatia.

7. Copain Syrah Mendocino 2016 – herbal aromatics and firm tannins with smoky and savoury notes on the palate

8. Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Happy Canyo of Santa Barbara County 2014 – red berry flavours with muscular tannins from Southern California. Cabernet Sauvignon became the dominant grape varietal in 1997

9. Cline Ancient Vine Carignan Contra Coasta 2017 – 85% Carignan, easy on the palate with fine soft tannins

I also tried some nice wines from Dry Creek Vineyard with John Doxon, the Director of Sales. I liked the elegant and smooth Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis 2016. California is the 4th largest wine producer in the USA. Zum Wohl!

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NOVOTEL Stevens Festive Buffet!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The debonair and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM goes to fabulous Food Exchange to savour the…

MERRY Festive Buffet featuring international specialities to tempt even the most jaded palates. Apart from the delicious food, I also like the spacious and cheerful ambiance of the restaurant. It is also “coool” to feast beside the swimming pool al fresco. The hazard of buffet dining is over-eating…so my humble recommendation as The Travelling Gourmet TM is:

Be selective and do not eat big portions. If you eat slowly, savouring the food and have degustation (tasting) portions, you will be fine. Practice “Mindful Eating”!

Carving Satay Turkey!

SATAY Roasted Turkey!

Classic Traditional Roast Turkey and Boneless Honey Baked Ham are some of the stars of the show. The moist and tender ham was excellent.

Satay Turkey with Root Vegetables and Brussels Sprouts

However, there is a new star…Satay Roasted Turkey! Most innovative! The turkey is marinated and seasoned with Satay spices like Lemongrass and galic…Turkey meat with the mildly spicy Satay sauce is very yummie. There is also Schweinshaxe or German -style Pork Knuckle with crispy crackling which I love.

SEAFOOD on Ice!

I always like that old joke: I am on a seafood diet…when I see food I eat it! Ha! Ha!

Scallops, Snow Crab and more!

The Seafood on Ice section is always appealing with big Prawns, Scallops on the half shell, Mussels, Oysters au naturel, Clams, Snow Crab and more!

The Travelling Gourmet TM and Executive Chef Panniammurti

Lovers of Indian cuisine will find Tandoori Chicken lovingly cooked in the cylindrical clay oven called…the Tandoor. This dish was created by Punjabi Kundan Lal Gujral in Delhi in 1947. Marinated in yoghurt and Masaal spices which comprise Pepper, Paprika, Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic and more…I like to enjoy it with green Mint Sauce and Sweet Mango Chutney. With Naan Indian bread…

Ooo-dles of Noodles!

At the live Noodle Bar Station, traditionalists always enjoy good ol’ Prawn Laksa and Tom Yam Seafood Noodle Soup freshly cooked for them. There are several types of noodles for your choice. There is Char Siew, Roast Pork with Crunchy Crackling and Roast Duck with sweet gooey Plum Sauce too.

Satisfy your sweet tooth!

Sexy Christmas Sweeties Santa Claus is edible Wahahah! 🙂

Desserts! I love desserts especially Christmas desserts. Sweet treats are an integral part of Christmas.

The goodies include luscious Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce, rich Christmas Log Cake, Lemon Meringue Cake, Potong Ice Cream Bars, yummie and rich Christmas Fruit Cake, aromatic Festive Lebkuchen or Gingerbread Cookies and more! The Chocolate Lebkuchen in the shape of Gingerbread men and cute Tannenbaeume (Christmas trees) are very delicious. Lebkuchen are very big in Germany and Austria.

Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr! (Joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year in German)

Food Exchange on Level 2

Novotel Singapore on Stevens

28 Stevens Road, Singapore 257878

Tel: +65 6491 6100

Hours: 6.30am to 10pm

Festive Buffet !

  • Weekday Festive Lunch Buffet, Mondays to Sundays , 12:00pm – 2:30pm, $56++
  • Weekday Festive Dinner Buffet, Sundays to Thursdays, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, $72++
  • Weekend Festive Dinner Buffet, Fridays to Saturdays , 6:00pm – 10:00pm, $82++
  • Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet, Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, $98++
  • Christmas Day Brunch Buffet, Wednesday, 25 Dec 2019, 12:00pm – 3:00pm, $98++

Top up $50++ for unlimited flow of beer, white wines and red wines.
An additional $10++ will be required on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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Venice and Venissa and floods!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The indomitable and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about one of…

MY favourite places to stay and dine in Venice called Venissa the only home of the ancient Dorona grape of Venetian nobility. Now suffering from the terrible floods that have hit Venice. However, Venissa on Mazzorbo Island is very resourceful and is making the best of it!

ACQUA ALTA

Il 12 novembre rimarrà nella memoria di molti a Venezia, la seconda acqua alta più grande di sempre ha colpito la laguna. La vigna è stata completamente sommersa e solo in primavera sapremo se le piante saranno in grado di sopravvivere.

Lo spirito di Venezia ci ha portato a rialzarci velocemente, dal 13 novembre l’Osteria Contemporanea di Venissa, le camere del Wine Resort e quelle di Casa Burano sono regolarmente aperte, la situazione nelle isole è tornata alla normalità e siamo pronti a proporvi un calendario di eventi per questa stagione.

Amiamo queste isole quando il turismo rallenta, l’autunno è il periodo ideale per scoprire una laguna silenziosa e dai colori tenui.

Meanwhile, mio buon amico Gianluca Bisol and his son Matteo are trying to save the ancient Dorona grapevines which were also flooded…

Large parts of central Venice are under water again, including Piazza San Marco, as another exceptionally high tide inundated the Italian city.

Three of the worst 10 floods since records began in Venice, nearly a hundred years ago, have now happened in a week.

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White Truffle from Alba in AURA!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM attends the XX Anniversary World Alba White Truffle Charity Auction dinner in…

MERAVIGLIOSO Aura ristorante in historic Singapore’s National Gallery which used to be the Supreme Court. Aura is a fine dining Italian ristorante helmed by mio amico Chef -Owner Guiseppe “Beppe” de Vito. Amuse bouche featured 3 types of tiny cute canapes…Baby Carrot with Vermouth Gelee, Baby Radish with Anchovy Crema and Baby Zucchini with Hazelnut Panna Cotta. Really whet my appetite! These were paired with a energising sparkling wine made by the metodo classico which is also used to make champagne. The Millesimato Pas Dose (no dosage of sugar added) Contratto Giuseppe from Canelli in Italy.

White Truffles come from Alba in Piemonte in sunny Italy and is coveted by gourmets worldwide. The Governor of Piemonte, Alberto Cirio, told us all about White Truffles and how they are all natural and cannot be cultivated. Tuba magnatum Pico is the scientific name and to put it very simply, the Truffle is an underground mushroom or hypogeous fungus! They are found by Trifolao or truffle hunters with special dogs who can smell the Truffle.

The Travelling Gourmet TM and Alberto Cirio, Governor of PIemonte

The antipasto was appetising Tuna Belly Rolls with Onion Cream, Piedmonte Hazelnuts and with lashings of White Truffle which Chef-Owner Beppe kindly personally grated for me! Truffle has amazing aromas of honey, hay, garlic, spices and more…A lovely red Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012 by Filippo Gallino from Piemonte.

Pasta was next…mouth-watering Delica Pumpkin Tortelli, Cheese Fondue and lashings of aromatic Alba White Truffle. A youthful medium bodied piedmontese Barbaresco DOCG 2106 by Bruno Rocca with red fruit expressions.

Before the main course, it was the World White Alba Charity Auction of Truffles and Wines. A gigantic White Truffle of 1005g was auctioned simultaneously in Moscow, Hong Kong and Singapore by Livestream web-link and shown live on TV monitors. It was finally bought by a Hong Kong buyer for 120,000 Euros!

My main course was a medallion of tender and juicy Smoked Grass Fed Beed Tenderloin done medium with Seasonal Vegetables Bagna Cauda. The beef went hand in glove with a classic Barolo with fine tannins, very smooth on the palate and lots of “fruitti di bosco” (fruits of the forest) flavours. It was Barolo Carobric DOCG 2000 by Paolo Scavino of Piedmonte. This wine impressed me!

Dessert Dome of Kalingo Chocolate was very yummie with Raspberry and Caramel Chantilly. A sweet sparkling Asti Spumante Dolce (sweet) DOCG matched well as the chocolate flavour was not overpowering.

Aura has good food and wines also fabulous views of the Padang and the Singapore City skyline plus the Two Durians and the Surfboard of MBS. Keep calm and enjoy White Truffles! Buon appetito! 🙂

Aura

Level 5 National Gallery

1, St. Andrews Road

Singapore 178957

Tel: 6866 1977

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