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Featuring the Best

Carousel @ Royal Plaza on Scotts

27 January 2009

My extended family brought the customary reunion dinner forward for the Chinese New Year festival because we wanted to do something different and have a reunion high tea at the Carousel of Royal Plaza on Scotts. My parents love this place and actually come here quite often, but it's my first time here and I must say that this is definitely one of the leading buffet restaurants in Singapore. The service is excellent and the food, for most parts of it, is great stuff too.

The Royal Plaza on Scotts is just one of three hotels in Singapore that has Halal buffets, the other two being Straits Kitchen at the Hyatt and Tiffany Cafe at Furama City Centre. I've not been to Straits Kitchen yet, but I do know that both Tiffany Cafe and Carousel at least have been awarded the Simply Dining's "Singapore Top Restaurants 2008" awards for their remarkable buffets.

The impressive thing about Carousel is the service. Not only do they have staff in-charge of your table (and dining area), but they are also extremely quick in clearing your plates, refilling your drinks (be it coffee, tea or iced water) and even helping you take a picture or two. They take every request with a smile, and I've never seen anyone so excited to sing a birthday song. We were joking that they were a bit too efficient actually, because they were clearing the plates so quickly eventhough my younger cousins were just planning to walk around before coming back to their little morsels of food. Still, thumbs up to all of them.

The Counters

Here are pictures of some of the food counters at Carousel. I did not include the two rows of cooked food, nor did I take any pictures of the soup pots! I think a couple of the chefs were keeping an eye on me, thinking I'm some food paparazzi (indeed, I am) on an under-cover mission, so I tried my best to look like a wide-eyed tourist instead haha.

Bread, Sandwiches and Croissants

For those making up for breakfast

Cold Dishes like Sashimi and Soba

For those wanting to make their money's worth

Cold Salads

For those pretending to be on a diet

Asian Rojak

For those usually amused at how hawkers do it

Cheese and Durian Roti Prata

For those who like unique pratas

Asian Popiah (Springroll)

For those who like to queue

Muah Chee

For those who would pay $40 and then eat something that costs $1.50

Chicken Kebab

For those who want something warm and tender

Ice Kachang and Chendol

For those who want to play with the ice-shaving machine

Cakes and Pastries

For those with a sweet tooth

Chocolate Fondue

For those who believe heaven is made of chocolates


For those deluding themselves that they're having a healthy meal

My Plates

I tried to eat as many different items as I possibly could, but there's really far too many things to eat in one sitting. I didn't take any of the soups, nor did I touch the cold dishes. I heard that in the past there were seafood items like crabs, mussels and prawns, pity that they have scaled down and only offer these at lunches and dinners now. Here's some pictures of the food I tasted.

(From bottom left, clockwise direction) Deep fried chicken wings, fish otah, nasi lemak, ikan bilis, sambal chilli, eggs, deep fried tofu with chicken and prawns.

(From bottom left, clockwise direction) Fried kway teow, fried sotong balls, deep fried tofu with chicken and prawns, prawn fritters, Thai fish cake, white carrot cake, fried chicken dumpling.

(From bottom left, clockwise direction) Fried meat pastry, har gow, Italian pizza, chicken kebab slices, pita bread.

Kueh Pai Tee and Popiah

Chicken Porridge


Muah Chee

(From bottom left, clockwise direction) Macaroon, chocolate tartlet, kueh salat, chocolate cake, pandan cake.

My Nicely Decorated Ice-Cream Sundae

Ice Kachang

Marshmallows in Chocolate Fondue


The Shop (Certainly Not Included in the Buffet!)

I thought some of the cakes looked pretty and I couldn't resist taking pictures of them. Great for special occasions I'm sure.

Overall Comments: 9.5/10

It was truly an enjoyable experience at the Carousel. Although it would have been better if they brought back the seafood, this is high-tea after all and I'm not expecting too extensive an array of food. The desserts are brilliant, don't underestimate the wide spread of colourful and tiny pastries. And if you find the macaroons, grab them, they are a Carousel specialty. To be honest, a staff told me that it's just a "garnishing" for the cakes, but because I had asked her initially if they would be bringing more in, the manager personally took a plate and filled it up with macaroons straight from their little stall at the entrance! Talk about good service, these people really take it up a notch, well done. Little things like this goes a long way to leaving a lasting impression really. The food is good, but if you're looking for even more variety I'd suggest you come for lunch or dinner instead, where you'd get your sushi, crabs, mussels, prawns, sirloin steak etc. Otherwise, the high-tea here is just great and worth the money you're paying for.


Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts
25 Scotts Road, Orchard.

Nectarie le Dessert Patisserie

We were in the mood for some dessert after our dinner at Manhattan Fish Market at The Central, and almost immediately I suggested we try out something new from Nectarie le Dessert Patisserie in Clarke Quay. I think I've developed a habit of eating ice-cream ever since my trip to Hong Kong, where I was eating Ben & Jerry's, Haagan Dazs (Bailey's flavour) and some Milo ice-cream cones every day. I need to kick this craving soon because my tummy can no longer be hidden under jackets as it was in Hong Kong (haha), and I don't think I should accomodate myself by buying even larger trousers! But, I digress.

Orange Sorbet | Bailey's Ice-Cream: 6.5/10

Pardon for the dark shots, I couldn't take a decent shot with the flash on, so I had to make do with these. Kimberly didn't really like her orange sorbet because she found it a tad too sour for her liking. As for me, the Bailey's was okay, but not as strong as the one I had in Hong Kong's Haagan Dazs (see picture below).

Strudle with Wild Strawberries: 8.5/10

Daphne had this, and I brought it straight into the shop (the waitresses were looking at me puzzled) to take a better picture under better lighting conditions. Much better right? On taste, it was quite good actually. The pastry wasn't too dry but it did crumble at every poke of the fork, and it had a buttery taste to it that I quite like. The custard was very cool and smooth, and went along great with the pastry.

Sweet and polite.

About $4 for a scoop of ice-cream,
$6.90 for the strudle.

*Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Blk C, The Cannery, Clarke Quay

Additional Comment
Opening hours:
12 Noon to 11pm - Sunday to Wednesday
12 Noon to 1am - Thursday
12 Noon to 2am - Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holiday.

Marcial Kobe

26 January 2009

Tucked at the basement of The Central at Clarke Quay is a small bakery-like shop that sells mini snacks for anyone who just has the urge to nibble on something. To be honest, it only seems to have mini doughnuts and mini "fish" pancakes, though it makes up for this with a variety of flavours to choose from.

Mini Chocolate "Fish" Pancake: 7/10

I quite like this little thing sitting in between my fingers, it looks almost too cute to eat actually. The chocolate filling is quite good, thick but smooth, and has a hint of dark chocolate to it rather than mere cheap milk chocolate. My only problem with it is that it wasn't very warm, in fact it was actually cold. Perhaps you would like to wait for a new batch, or try to ask for your little fishes to go through a little reheating. Not sure if they would accede to your request, but I think it's worth a try unless you're not so picky.

10 for $4.

#B1-40 The Central, Clarke Quay

Additional Comments
There's a notice on the signboard that says that there isn't any pork or lard, and that it's also suitable for vegetarians (assuming these vegetarians are fine with eggs, milk and other dairy products).

Jetstar Asia

The problem about budget flights is that they don't serve you complimentary food, and if you're hungry you pretty much have to pay for way over-priced food. I ordered this Western platter of chicken chop, hashbrown and vegetables that tasted terribly mediocre. And that's being nice already. The chicken pieces were too little, the hashbrown soggy, and the vegetables hard. Add a can of drink, and it comes up to HK$70. Lesson? Don't board a budget flight on an empty stomach, unless of course you don't have much of a choice because you were running around Ocean Park hours before the flight haha.

Hong Kong: Islam Food II

See, I told you we'd be back! After trying the most delicious Fried Beef Dumpling, we returned here again for dinner two days later.

Never mind the English. It's still good to find a Halal restaurant in Hong Kong, and we were curious about what else they have to offer. Pity there wasn't much dim sum fare for us to enjoy, so we settled on dishes among ourselves.

Sour and Spicy Seafood Soup

This resembles the Chinese "ma la" soup that is pretty spicy. I think they added cornstarch to make it thicker but I don't think this was really necessary. Not much ingredients too.

Fried Thick Shanghai Noodles

Somewhat like fried udon if you ask me. They were generous with the beef slices, which is a good thing because there wasn't much else to the noodles.

Vegetarian Fried Noodles

One of the girls with us was a vegetarian, but she didn't quite fancy this dish because she's just not used to Chinese-style vegetarian. Still, the other hungry boys took a few forkfuls of this and said it wasn't too bad. The mushrooms tasted good.

Honey Grilled Chicken

Nicely marinated and nicely grilled.

Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts

Mildly spicy, but this was one of the favourites of the night.

Black Pepper Beef | Sea Cucumber with Seafood

The beef slices were really soft and tender, though it wasn't quite enough for all of us haha. We liked the peppers and the sweet spicy sauce. I didn't quite taste the sea cucumbers though, but the seafood ingredients were fresh enough for me.

Braised Tofu with Vegetables

I like this dish a lot because the tofu tasted really good! The thick sauce (I think it's oyster sauce) wasn't too salty and went very well with the tofu.

Fried Beef Dumplings

Our favourite snack of all-time, how can we ever miss this? We had a few of the guys who were not with us the last time we were here, and I could tell that they too enjoyed these dumplings. The filling is splendid - minced beef with spices. A must-try definitely!

I'm not so sure about the separate prices, but it's about HK$67 each (inclusive of a bowl of rice and a can of drink each) for nine of us.

Kowloon City. I know, it's huge, but it's near Cambo Thai.

2009 ·*the simplest aphrodisiac by TNB | Official Singapore Food Blog.