Marriott Cafe spots a new look with clean lines, light stone and wood, giving it a chic but unintimidating ambience. The food is neatly and beautifully displayed around an open kitchen.
Helmed by executive chef Kevin Thomson, a fan of onion, whose culinary philosophy is freshness, you can see that the food is in casseroles and each casserole can serve only 5 people’s portions. Don’t kiasu and rush ok? When the food is depleted, the chefs will cook on the spot and replenish the food, so that the food is always fresh.
For starters, there are salads, charcuterie, breads, cheeses, which I had none of. Singaporeans go buffet got eat such things one meh? Very lugi (“lose out”) right? I’m proud to be a kiasu Singapore so I attacked the cold seafood, which includes prawns, crayfish and oysters, all imported from Europe or Australia. If you don’t like your crayfish cold, you can ask the chef to drizzle it with a light butter and garlic sauce which is freshly cooked.
There is quite a collection of Japanese food, such as Singaporeans’ favorite, salmon sashimi and unagi.
The most interesting section has to be the Western cooked food section. The special of the day was a duck in orange sauce. Besides what are shown in the photos above, there were piri piri “gamefarm” spatchcock (young French chicken) and boudin noir (blood sausage made from pork and pig’s blood). I have never seen any buffets having such items before, items that are suited for fine dining. If you want pasta, the chef cooks it on the spot, customizing to your preference.
Although the cooked western food is interesting, the best food comes from the Western roasted section: roasted beef, mutton and pork. The pork is the best item in the buffet: lean but with crackling skin.
Of all the buffets I have had, Marriott Cafe’s desserts are easily one of the best. Every item is good, from the brownie to profiterole, creme brulee to tiramisu, bread pudding to sticky date pudding. If there is a dessert you must try, it is the Eton mess, a traditional English dessert which is a mess of meringue, cream and (usually) tart fruits, simply because you seldom see it in Singapore.
For an extra $36+, you can get free flow of alcoholic beverages of white wines, red wines and beers.
In general, the food could be a little light for those who have heavy palates; the food can benefit from a more heavy-handed seasoning.
Besides the elegant decor and the special Western dishes, a winning point is that the restaurant is thoughtful to people’s food preferences. For instance, although it is not a halal restaurant, many items do not contain pork and there are labels to state if the dish contains pork.
Price of Marriott Cafe Buffet
M-Sat: $50+ (adult) / $25+ (child)
Sun: $115+ (with champagne) or $55+ / $30+
High Tea (3-5.30pm)
M-F: $35+ / $20+
Sat & Sun: $38+ / $26+
Sun-Th: $65+ / $30+
F-Sat: $75+ / $32+
320 Orchard Road
Singapore Marriott Hotel
T: 6831 4605
PS: Thank you, Joe and Betty, for the tasting.