I don’t usually like to blog about buffet, but guess I’ll just make this rare exception. As usual, most buffet restaurants have their hits and misses, and likewise I found at Flavours for their Afternoon with the Bibiks high tea. In the first place, $28++ is a reasonable price for a hotel restaurant, and under such circumstances, one cannot really expect loads of seafood. Yet, Flavours’ variety certainly did not disappoint. Despite branding it as Peranakan and Dim Sum high tea, they do serve a little beyond the main theme, with a very slight touch of Japanese and Western to go along.
Let’s look at my first platter, comprising Mee Tai Bak Goreng, Roti Jala with Chicken Curry, Chicken satays, fried carrot cake, Fish Tofu, Siew Mai, & Har Gau. The truly outstanding one here has to be their Mee Tai Bak Goreng, its appearance alone was already eye-catching, and fried to the right altitude, with enticing aroma that matched its taste. I found their fried carrot cake a tad plain though, blame it on my high standard perhaps, but ever since I tried Toa Payoh Lorong 1’s Chey Sua carrot cake (white), I never found any other pleasing. Siew Mai and Har Gau were satisfactory, above average, but may be it’s the mass-produced effect, I found them a little dry for my liking. I was initially impressed by the large satay, and greedily took a few sticks to satiate my desire. It turned out to be a slight disappointment. Firstly, I’d love the gravy to have more peanut paste (and more spices please!), but more importantly, the satays needed to be grilled longer until a little burnt, just so the meat could be more fragrant and offer some crunchiness on the bite. I understand it would be more sinful to the health, but this was how it was done traditionally. Just by grilling it lightly and rinsed with satay gravy doesn’t turn it into real satay, it’s just chicken stick that’s all, that failed to integrate with the gravy.
Alright, nothing to complain. I love sashimi, and these were just that little extra Japanese essence Flavours offer beyond their high tea theme. In-between, I also had steamed custard bun, steamed char siew bun, Kueh Pie Tee, kon-bak pau (Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Bun), tuna sandwich, egg sandwich, but non of these impressed me although mum was full of praise for their char siew bun and kon-bak pau. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s poor, just that these lack that oomph factor that stand out from the rest. There were also various hot dogs, Popiah, more sandwich varieties, gorang pisang, as well as nonya pastries which I did not take because I’d love to reserve my capacity for other more appealing food… 😀
I always love pastries and desserts, and I must confess, despite the limited variety, Flavours satisfied me with their desserts, including their chocolate fondue! The Durian Pengat is a must try, and recommended by many reviewers for its aroma, in fact it was so good, it paled the sago pengat right beside.
I next made my own shaved ice, I’m not sure whether to call it ice kacang or chengdol, but I mixed everything miserably and created something too ugly to be pictured. But one thing I mixed it right would certainly be the following…
For a beginner, I couldn’t fault my own work, but if I have to be mean (to myself), I would like to quote Gordon Ramsay’s favourite phrase… LOL (it definitely is NOT “LOL”)! Partly, I’d blame the prawn paste. It’s not that bad, just that I found it rather diluted despite adding quite a portion. The better rojak in Singapore all have thicker prawn paste, notably Soon Heng Rojak over at Toa Payoh HDB Hub across the highway, whom I regard as the best in Singapore. Again, having tried that, I have to say sorry to Flavours, they have much room for improvement on this, notably their prawn paste.
After Rojak, I had a cup of Chin Chow drink (Bandung also available) before taking a durian potong ice cream. I was a little disappointed with these ice cream option, I’m not referring to the flavour variety, but offering potong ice cream is a big step backward for a good restaurant in terms of image. I can understand price constraint, but I personally feel it will be better offering F&N Magnolia ice cream, they have durian flavour too! To me, those scooped ice cream not only offer better taste, but better image too!
Alas, coming to the end of this post, there is one thing I’d highly recommend, the staffs at Flavours! Their presence and spontaneity were simply outstanding as they thrived to please customers like me, who didn’t even bother to dress for the occasion. In part, perhaps because the restaurant was not congested (over a Sunday afternoon), but the waiters and waitresses cleared our emptied plate promptly, and was very helpful when my mum asked for coffee and sugar. Like I elaborated, the food quality can be further improved, but it’s already moderately good enough if I don’t view it as a restaurant. Also worth mentioning is their long high tea duration, from 1pm to 5pm, though I very much doubt I can eat that long. LOL! Needless to say, I skipped dinner that evening.
Flavours at Zhongshan Park
Level 1, Ramada Singapore
16 Ah Hood Road