I have always aspired to attend a fancy dinner party, the type where everyone comes in their prom-like dresses and tuxedos, walking gracefully down a flight of white marble steps donned with a red carpet into a grand ballroom, where waiters go around with silver platters of petite-sized nibbles and glasses of champagne. No doubt this imagery stems from watching too many glamorous Hollywood events on television, but still, a boy can dream…
Though Time Out’s Dine Out Tasting Event was located in Fullerton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, it was far from the fancy dinner party I had in mind. No tuxedos or prom dresses, I even spotted a guy in shorts! Still, with 14 eateries (actually 13 because Zento was a no-show) showcasing their unique culinary styles, I knew that I was in for a treat. Just think about it, as every eatery prepared roughly 3-4 dishes, we had over 40 dishes to choose from, talk about a spread! And what’s more, it’s a buffet with free flow wine (more than 10 types to choose from by Baws Winery and Magma), Margaritas (by Cafe Iguana) and whiskey (by Baws Winery)!
Starting off with Fullerton Hotel’s own Town Restaurant & Bar, I had their Laksa which I thought was very well done, very thick and rich broth. They also served Bak Ku Teh and Chicken Rice which I didn’t try (who eats such stuff at a standing buffet anyway?).
Jim Thomson evokes an imagery of perhaps a whiskey or bourbon label, but definitely not a Thai restaurant! Located near Dempsey, it is one of the more expensive Thai eateries in Singapore. An ala carte meal would probably set you back by $60 per pax. That night, they had something like a kueh pie tee, some mince meat over a fried shell. I also tried their Rice Crackers with Spicy Meat. I felt that these dishes were somewhat forgettable. Didn’t manage to make a round back for desserts so I didn’t try the Mango with Sticky Rice.
One of the most highly raved about Italian joints in Singapore, Ristorante Da Valentino whipped up 2 simple Italian dishes, Beef Lasagna and Chicken Pasta in a tangy tomato base. The Lasagna was pretty good, but the chicken pasta had a zing which was a tad too sourish for my liking.
My favourite dish that night had to be from Magma. In France, they call it Tarte Flambee, but in Germany, it’s known as Flammkuchen. Cooked ala minute, these thin crust “pizzas” came out piping hot topped with sour cream, lardons and onions. I couldn’t get enough of it and this was probably why I didn’t manage to try more of the offerings from the other restaurants. Very savoury and palatable, I thought the Flammkuchen went well with one of the sparkling red wines from Magma (can’t remember the name but will definitely find out soon. I can only recall it costs $29, really affordable!). That same sparkling red happened to be my favourite wine of the day!
Another eatery worth mentioning is Vanilla Bar & Cafe. I really enjoyed their mini Vanilla Dirt Cakes. Cream Cheese layered with Orea Crumbs, high on taste and aesthetic appeal!
As for the rest of the restaurants, namely Krish, Al Qasr, Perla’s, Moghul Mahal, Cafe Iguana, Nazt and Marble Slab, I shall I let the pictures do the talking…
Had a wonderful time at this tasting event and will am already looking forward to next year’s.