The Sqaure located on the 7th floor of Novotel Clarke Quay and in fact inter-connected with Liang Court is pretty accessible. The setting of the restaurant is that of simple yet sleek and exudes scents of classiness. One of the highlight to the restaurant is that they offer a couple of round table seating too!
We were honored to have the first taste of their Peranakan line before their launch in August! The Square at Novotel Hotel has their buffet line menu changed on a monthly basis, last month was Sweet Indulgences which showcased Chef Sin Siak sweet creations in the cakes and dainty dessert cups and upcoming in the month of August is Peranakan Style by Chef Kishen. Here’s an insight to what you can expect from the Peranakan Style in the Month of August.
Kueh Pie Tee – Crispy kueh pie tee cup filled with light tasting mixture of diced eggs, prawns and turnips. Indeed this appetite stimulating Kueh Pie Tee will make a good appetizer to kick start a meal.
Bakwan Kepiting traditionally is meatballs made of pork and crab in a light yet appetizing soup base. Instead of crab, Chef Kishen has decided to make a twist to it and replace crab with chicken. The meatballs were very firm but with a little sourish and salty note to the soup though.
Nonya Style Assam Fish (Deep fried and Steam Style) with grouper steamed / deep fried before adding the sauce on to it. The taste is a little light and fall short of the assam flavor, instead i thought it tasted more like sweet and sour fish. Nevertheless, the fish meat itself was real fresh and sweet.
Chicken Devil Curry -note the keyword Devil! Don’t underestimate an un-intimidating looking curry as it can brings you wonders and surprises to your palette. Fresh herbs and chilli padi were used in this curry concoction to bring about a powerful tingling hot sensation to your taste bud. I’m someone who can and definitely love taking very spicy stuff, the kick and shiok-ness is way beyond words! Not for the faint-hearted! But control of heat could be done better here to ensure that all the chicken meats are cooked evenly and not some being undercooked or overcooked.
A rendition was made to the traditional Ayam Buah Keluak. Instead of stuffing the fillings into the Buah Keluak, the chicken meat was cooked separately. It was my first time eating Buah Keluak, it’s another love-hate relationship, either you’ll like it or you’ll not like it, there’s no co-existence. The Buah Keluak has a strong nutty astringent taste which did not quite click well with me. But the gravy of the sauce was commendable.
Babi Pongteh – Stewed pork with fermented soya beans. Second twist was made to this dish was the replacement of usual pork belly with a healthier choice of pork ribs and for better flavors. Usually the dish comes with companions like the black mushrooms and potatoes. The pork ribs were really tender and easily detached from the bones. Flavors were well absorbed into the ingredients, thick savory gravy yet not too salty. One of my favorite for the night!
Traditional Nonya Kueh – Not a fan of nonya kueh due to the use of coconut and sweet nature of their kuehs so naturally i prefer the lighter in flavor agar agar squares.
Here’s a special creation by chef Jimmy – Oysters Fritters! Oyster was fat and juicy in a coat of tempura-alike light and fluff batter. So crisp and one bite into it, with the juice bursting in your mouth.
That’s what The Square has installed for you just for the month of August. Look forward to their peranakan dishes as part of their buffet line!
Other than that, we are lucky to not only have a glimpse of what was included in their buffet line but also give it a go to all these delicious and yummy looking delicacies! I’m glad to share that this is one of the buffet with a good variety and included food of different categories and cooking methods. They strive not to serve repetitive food which just differs in cooking method.
1. Seafood on Ice
May not be a wide selection but their seafood are definitely fresh and succulent with milky and creamy Oysters being their signature.
2. Japanese Counter
Instead of the typical salmon sashimi you see, what they are serving here is the tuna sashimi. Besides the sashimi, they have assorted sushi and cold appetizers like the octopus and jelly fish.
3. Salad and Cold Cuts Corner
Very fresh and crunchy greens with a good selections of dressing available to toss out salads of different flavors. Among the cold cuts, personally preferred the smoked duck and smoked salmon the most.
4. Live Cooking Counter
There are 4 dishes available for ordering – Laksa, Mee Rebus, Pasta and lastly Risotto. A good mix of Asian and Italian flavors. I’ve tried their Mushroom Risotto, it was creamy yet grainy. Surprisingly the rice wasn’t like the soft kind yet the dish was still able to bring out the creaminess and taste of a risotto. With that being said, note the interesting looking pot alike thing? It was none other than a whole wheel of Parmigiano cheese which the chef will freshly scrape from within and add it into the dish that was served to your table!
5. Roast Deli Counter
Roast of the day was Korean Chilli Rub Roasted Lamb. Very innovative use of condiments, the lamb is first marinated with sake and korean chilli before it is roasted to a coat of golden brown lustrous color with the meat within staying pinkish! Another delectable carving to look forward was this crunchy, juicy and tender Chicken Sharwama, tender meat wrapped with thin popiah skin and some crunchy greens like lettuce and capsicums.
6. Cooked Dishes
Assorted dishes brimming with either their own local flavors or filled with fusion nuance. Among all, i like their Fried Kway Teow, not too soggy and salty and Clams in White Wine Broth, light yet meaty and succulent the best. But their fishes and crabs generally falls on the saltier side which was quite disappointing. With their Chilli Crabs being the signature, on certain days, other flavor such as Black Pepper or Salted Egg might be served instead. Despite the crab claws with decent size, the meat within have actually shriveled and one bite into it is nothing but saltiness. I guess they should not have soaked their seafood in salt water for too long a time so as to retain the freshness and sweetness of them.
7. Make Your Own counter (Rojak)
8. Bread and Cheese counter
9. Desserts Corner
You will definitely be spoilt for choice! Welcome to the galore of desserts ranging from cakes to Dainty dessert cups, Durian pengat, Chocolate fondue, Ice cream and Fresh fruits! Their handmade cakes are filled with distinct flavors with each of them bringing a different taste and experience to your palette. If you prefer something lighter in taste, you should go for their Mango Mousse Cake, Lemon Meringue Tart (with the unsolved mystery of what i tasted it to be like melted marshmallow instead of what was suppose to be meringue) and Orange infused with Earl Grey, whereas if you are up for something heavier and intense, their Nutty Chocolate Cake is a must try followed by Chocolate Pineapple Cake and Devil Chocolate. Among the dainty dessert cups, Deconstructed Cheesecake filled with cookie crumbs as topping is praise-worthy while the Lemongrass Aloe Vera is one that you can give it a miss as the lemongrass was overpowering leaving a very bitter astringent taste on the palette.
Without the following chefs, there will be nothing as what you seen above. Once again, it’s my pleasure to meet these chefs and enjoy the delicacies they have prepared for us! Their buffet prices were quite reasonable given the ambiance and selections – Weekday Lunch Buffet: $38++, Weekend Lunch Buffet: $48++ and Daily Dinner Buffet: $58++. Undoubtedly, also big thanks to Openrice and Spencer for hosting this wonderful dinner.
Address: Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
177A River Valley Road Level 7
Value for Money: 3.5/5