For the month of May, Citibank Gourmet Pleasures is offering S$10 culinary treats for buffet spreads, subject to conditions set by individual partners.
Since we were already planning to take mom-in-law out for high tea, we thought we’d take advantage of this promotion. I flipped through the brochure and saw that The Dining Room at Sheraton Towers has this offer where the 3rd diner dines at S$10 for weekday lunch, weekend high tea and dinner.
The Dining Room’s Saturday high tea is an Asian-themed buffet (12pm to 3pm). We got there late, about 1pm. It was full house. No doubt many were also there to take advantage of the promotion.
The first station I saw was the live sandwich station, offering a variety of breads with tuna mayo, otah, and egg mayo.
The hot savoury section didn’t look very promising. The items looked kinda, hmm, not so posh.
The gado gado didn’t look very appetizing either……
For desserts, besides these Nonya kuehs — which I didn’t try — there was a mini chocolate fountain, assorted mini cakes and pastries, Movenpick ice cream, durian pengat, red bean soup, bread & butter pudding.
There was also a live station preparing chocolate lava cake, aloe vera jelly, and soy beancurd (tau huay) for dessert.
First round: Started with open-faced otah sandwich and dimsum.
Otah sandwich: The otah was mushy, like a paste. Tastes like otah mayo, is there such a thing?! Hmm, sounds strange but tastes better than it looks.
Dimsum: Shouldn’t have bothered! Siew mai and glutinous rice barely passable, but har gau (shrimp dumpling) was EPIC FAIL! The tough har gau skin was nearly 1/2 inch thick!
Second round was better.
Chilli crab + mantou: Interesting presentation. Crabmeat in chilli crab sauce made for convenient eating.
Fried items: Reminded me of those fried items from Old Chang Kee.
Assorted satay: Nice blend of spices and aromatics. Beef was ok, lamb a bit tough, chicken was the most delicious of all three.
This was hubby’s plate. I don’t eat roast beef and sashimi, so I asked for his verdict.
Roast beef tenderloin: Excellent! Very tender and juicy.
Sashimi: Salmon and prawn were good. The rest were ok. The yellow thingy is tamago.
Ee-fu noodle: Very ordinary.
Grilled salmon: Surprisingly good. Mom-in-law went for second and third rounds.
The Dining Room’s laksa is quite famous. Indeed, it was superb. The laksa gravy was very smooth and creamy, with well-balanced flavors and aromas.
Other items we tried but didn’t like: sushi (dry and not fresh), Indian rojak (hard and oily), and raisin scone (dry).
Perhaps this was high tea, so the focus was more on pastries rather than savouries. Indeed, we found the desserts to be much better. In fact, all the chocolate items were good. Starting from top left row:
Chocolate praline with crunchy layer: Divine! We all loved the rich bittersweet chocolate with crunchy wafer.
Chocolate mousse in cone: Nice mousse, but the cone had already “lau hong” (lost its crunch), possibly due to moisture from the mousse.
Almond jelly with longan: Nice but ordinary.
Unidentified Nonya kueh: I didn’t like it.
Marble cheesecake: Nice!
Banana and chocolate cream puff: Very nice! Like I said, all the chocolate items here are safe choices.
Another popular item at the buffet was durian pengat. Thicker and more flavorful, I thought this was marginally better than Merchant Court’s version.
I only discovered this live dessert station later. Was already very full at this point, but luckily I persevered in trying the ala minute chocolate lava cake (waiting time 5 mins).
Not the most delicate lava cake I’ve tried, but definitely one of the high points at this buffet spread!
The aloe vera jelly was extremely refreshing! A variety of condiments were provided — sweet sea coconut, soursop, strawberry, etc. A good choice to wash down all that rich food.
There was also fresh fruit, but very limited — only slices of watermelon, rock melon, honeydew, and decorative pieces of dragonfruit.
The Dining Room’s weekend high tea is priced at S$35.80++ per person, which works out to about S$42.15 after taxes.
With the 3rd diner paying S$10++, we paid S$96.05 for 3 people, which averaged out to S$32 per person.
Even with the discounted price, I didn’t feel it was worth it. The lack of quality control over several dishes was just unforgivable.
The sweet items were decent, but the savoury items were disappointing. Only the laksa, roast beef, sandwiches, sashimi, and satay were worth the tummy space. The worst were dimsum (tasted factory-made) and Indian rojak (cold, hard, and oozing with oil). The canapes and sushi didn’t look fresh either.
I wonder if the $10 promo has caused corners to be cut, for the quality of the food doesn’t reflect the status of a 5-star hotel.
With each subsequent visit to The Dining Room, my impression of it seems to be going downhill. That’s such a pity as I really like the ambience here, with its tall windows, lush outdoor greenery and waterfall.
Hubby got bored while waiting for me and MIL to finish eating, so he went out to the garden. He took this photo. Nice or not? 🙂