Indulging in unlimited good food and free-flow Moet & Chandon…mmm…is there a better way to kickstart your lazy Sunday?
Just as it’s named, MELT – The World Cafe’s Sunday brunch is a melting pot of delectable cuisines. In just three hours, hubby and I sampled Japanese, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Peranakan, Italian, French, Scandinavian, and American food!
Kicking off our marathon meal, I tried the inari, unagi and California maki. Not bad, except that the rice on the maki was a little dry on the edges, probably because of exposure to the air-conditioning. But this is something commonly experienced at buffets; nothing beats freshly prepared sushi.
As I don’t take raw fish, I didn’t try the sushi or sashimi, but hubby said the sashimi tasted fresh and was generously sliced.
What I enjoyed even more was the cold noodles! There’s soba, cha soba, and somen, which I went for. The somen was slippery smooth, and the soba sauce wonderfully chilled and not too salty.
From Asia, let’s go to Europe! Here’s a platter of beautifully arranged smoked salmon, with a choice of bagels to go with (not pictured). The extensive appetizer section also has a wide variety of cold salads (eg. creamy potato salad, Thai papaya salad, etc.).
There’s also a funky DIY salad bar, artisan breads, and a spread of Italian cold cuts and French farmhouse cheeses. For the pics, please view the slideshow or my Flickr set. As I wanted the page to load more quickly, I didn’t post all the pics (total 47!).
The cheese platter has to be the most comprehensive of all buffets that I’ve been to. There’s also dried fruits and nuts for the cheese. Pity I’m not a cheese fan. But what I really enjoyed was the saffron cheese fountain!
No, that cute guy’s not my hubby! But he seems to be crazy about the saffron cheese fountain as much as I am, heh! I really enjoyed munching on crunchy, delicious breadsticks dipped in molten cheese.
Moving on to the most eagerly anticipated section – the chilled seafood counter! With the exception of fresh oysters, all the seafood are cooked. Items are frequently topped up, and there’s about 6 kinds of sauces and dips to go with.
My favorite has to be the Alaskan king crab leg! Soooooo sweet, firm and succulent! Gosh, thought I’d died and gone to heaven!
Perhaps my appreciation of the Alaskan king crab is heightened by watching the intrepid crew on Discovery’s Deadliest Catch risk their lives in the treacherous Bering Sea to bring us this delicacy. Are you a fan of Deadliest Catch too? My fav heroes are the Hansen brothers!
Ok, back to the food. Loved, loved, loved the meaty crab claw! Thumbs up for the Boston lobster, scallop, and tiger prawn too. But I didn’t really enjoy the slightly fishy-smelling sweet clam and chewy green-lipped mussel. Then again, I’ve never liked green-lipped mussel, so you probably shouldn’t take my word for it.
Seafood and champagne pair really well! You can opt for Moet & Chandon, or the more expensive Dom Perignon. Strawberries are thoughtfully provided with champagne. Such a Pretty Woman moment!
What’s brunch without eggs and sausages? Hubby couldn’t stop raving about the veal sausage! There’s also grilled a la minute burgers, which I didn’t get to try.
As with most buffets, the hot dish section ain’t the most inspiring, but a necessity for people who crave their comfort foods. There was osso bucco, pan-fried fish fillets, and a variety of roasted vegetables – potatoes, French beans, and mushrooms. I liked the flavorful clam chowder and shepherd’s pie.
You must absolutely try the Chinese roast meats! That day, only the roast pork (siew yoke) and cherry-wood roast duck were available, but both were divine! I think they came from Cherry Garden upstairs.
The rest of the hot Asian dishes were just ok. The prawns with asparagus were fresh and crunchy, while spring onion ginger frog legs were meaty. I also remember fried rice, Japanese chawanmushi, and a very spicy tom yum soup.
On to the live stations! There’s actually a tandoori clay oven where a chef bakes the meats and naans on the spot. The tandoori chicken was rather spicy; I much prefer the milder saffron chicken. But on the whole, the tandoori meats and naan were of respectable quality.
Next to the tandoori section is the carvery. Available that day was maple-glazed ham, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, and baked seabass. I enjoyed the ham very much, but not so much the dry seabass.
Didn’t try the roast beef (pic in slideshow), cos I’m cutting down on red meat. I also wanted to try the live homemade pasta station, but somehow I forgot! Arghh! There’s also a foie gras station, where they’ll pan-fry your foie gras for you. Can you believe this? Unlimited foie gras!!
On to the dessert section, which probably deserves a post all on its own. I didn’t manage to capture or try out everything, cos I was already bursting. Next time, I should start with desserts first!
Mango cheesecake, opera, mille feuille, fruit flan, tiramisu, panna cotta, macarons – yes, all the “usual suspects” and more are available, thoughtfully cut into petite squares or presented in shooters so that you can try as many as possible. Psst! Look out for the creme brulee!
By now, any self-respecting hotel buffet would have a chocolate fountain. Choose from fresh fruit, marshmallows, and waffles to dip into the bitter chocolate.
Cos I took so much time taking photos, I didn’t have time for the live waffle and crepe station. *sob!* Also didn’t try the Nyonya kuehs. There’s also fresh fruit and freshly squeezed fruit juice. You can even create your own fruit juice blend!
For those with young-uns, you can relax and enjoy your luxurious brunch. There’s a playroom set up with toys and cartoon movie screenings, with a child minder to take care of your kids’ needs. Yippee!
There’s also unlimited mini sandwiches, pastries, cookies, juice, and candy for the kids. Oh, and ice cream too!
The kids had so much fun they didn’t want to leave! And Christophe, the manager of MELT, mentioned that in the past, some parents enjoyed themselves so much (without the kids) that they had to be reminded to collect their children! LOL!
Conclusion: MELT’s Sunday brunch is truly outstanding in terms of quantity and quality. Of course, not everything was perfect, but there was far more I enjoyed than what I didn’t. Ingredients were fresh and dishes were immaculately presented.
Though I expressed my disappointment that I didn’t see hawker favorites like laksa being featured, I had to agree with Christophe when he explained that the direction was to present a more international focus, with dishes that we don’t normally enjoy. Indeed, all the items we had were high value, and this is really the point for diners who expect value for what they’re paying.
At about S$100 per person (without champagne), MELT’s Sunday brunch is extravagant, but a luxury well worth it for that special occasion! Mother’s Day is coming up next week, why not pamper Mom with a special Mother’s Day brunch at MELT?
A big THANK YOU to Kelly of Mandarin Oriental for the generous invitation, and to Christophe and all the staff at MELT – The World Cafe for making us feel so at home with their warmth and graciousness!
Sunday brunch at MELT – The World Cafe is available every Sunday from 11:30am to 3pm, priced at:
S$88++ per person – inclusive of free-flow juices & soft drinks
S$118++ per person – inclusive of free-flow champagne, wine, martinis, beer, juices, & soft drinks
S$288++ per person – inclusive of free-flow Dom Perignon champagne, wine, martinis, beer, juices, & soft drinks
S$48++ per child
Special Mother’s Day 2009 champagne brunch is S$148++ per person and S$48++ per child.
View all the pictures and those not posted here at my Flickr set.