Foodie: MELT @ Mandarin Oriental
February 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Family went to MELT at Mandarin Oriental to celebrate our birthdays. Mom (21st Feb), sis (12th Feb) and I (4th Feb) are all February babies, 3 consecutive weeks worth of ‘em, so to save our stomachs and figures from obesity we try to celebrate it together.
This year we went to MELT, which is a great restaurant in Mandarin Oriental. This place is exorbitantly pricey during peak periods but the food is excellent as far as buffets go. Digressing, all the restaurants in Oriental are excellent. There’s Morton’s, of course, which needs no introduction. Cherry Garden, the dim sum place, which according to the author of ieatishootipost is the ‘sort of place you bring your future in-laws to when you’re going to break it to them that you’re marrying their daughter’. [There's the weekend dim sum a la carte buffet here at $45+++ per pax that is worth every penny.] There’s also Wasabi Bistro, the Japanese restaurant. The weekend brunch a la carte buffet is $58+++ per pax but is also worth every cent you put down. In short, you can’t really go wrong with any of Oriental’s offerings. It may be a little pricier than some others, but I subscribe to ieatishootipost’s Leslie Tay philosophy of not wasting my calories on yucky food. (Almost) nothing makes me feel grumpier and more dissatisfied than poorly prepared food especially if it’s going to my waistline.
COMING BACK TO MELT, yes… This isn’t the first time we came here, probably the second. We were here one Christmas as well. Because it’s her birthday month Mom had the option of having 15% off or 1 person dining for free (we took the latter option) when using UOB. They also gave us complimentary yummy praline cake, two big slices of it (which we were so full we had to tar-bao).
Now I don’t know about you, but to me the two most important parts of a buffet are the appetizers (read: sashimi and/or cold seafood) and the desserts. Everything else in between is a filler and forgivable if it isn’t up to par. So I always rate my buffets by how good the sashimi and desserts are.
Sashimi here is one of the best you can get on a buffet line. Fresh, not a hint of having been left out too long. Wasabi that kicks you in the nose and makes your eyes water. [No tuna for me, personal choice the same way I don't take sharks fin.]
Cheese platter. I love cheese. Almost every kind of cheese. Except maybe blue cheese. It’s always nice to go for buffets with expansive cheese selections to have a taste of stuff you normally only get on European breakfast tables. [If you really love cheese, try the buffet at Fullerton hotel. They have a cheese selection that will leave you dumbfounded.]
If you want to eat anything from the mains, go for the Indian cuisine, of which there is a lot of. They also have an entire Chinese section, pasta, western and all your usual suspects in an international buffet, but the Indian food is pretty yummy. I think it tasted better to me the last time we were here. This time I don’t think anything about it has changed, but my tastebuds have tasted the awesomeness of the cuisine while I was Sri Lanka last year, so it wasn’t as yums to me as it was previously. MELT has one of the most expansive buffet selections ever. I don’t have many pictures of it to share because I nibble on the mains and my plate therefore looks fairly pathetic and unphotogenic. So we’ll move on to the desserts.
Now they don’t stinge on their desserts either. Seriously, they offer more than any dedicated dessert shop any day. There’s drawers and plates full of cakes and creams and fondue with not just fruit but cookies on sticks.
And then the servers brought out two slices of this cake! It’s a praline with a crunchy nutty base. [Conrad has this cake too which we ordered some years for birthdays that is really really good.] Two slices because Mom told them there were 3 of us celebrating birthdays. We tarbao-ed them home because we simply couldn’t eat any more.
The service was great. I guess it’s not peak season for students to work there so most of the servers were filipinos and there was an ang moh manager. (Actually I don’t know if Oriental takes in waiting staff who are students, their service has always been impeccable in my memory.) One of the staff charged us wrongly for one of the glasses of wine and they gave it is to us complimentarily after mom notified them of the mistake.
Good service accompanying a satisfying meal, which is just about all you could want for a happy tummy and a happy mind.
MELT is definitely on my memorable-buffets-list, but it comes in somewhere after Oscar’s (Conrad) and The Line (Shangri-La) and before Town (Fullerton) for international buffets. This is not even including the Chinese and Jap buffets.
(I love food too much and should shut up now.)
Sometimes I think I should just blog about food because it makes me happy.
Kay off now.