Yes yes, #SG50 is plastered all over the lion city. I cannot say that I am against it, because really, consumers are the ones at an advantage thanks to the stiff competition everywhere. Definitely not losing out is Capella Singapore @ Sentosa. Before we headed down to The Knolls for a preview of the 1-day-only National Day Brunch Buffet happening this coming Sunday on National Day itself, 9 August 2015, we were already hit with nothing more local than this.
Dubbed The Red Island Cocktail ($26++), this Bob’s Bar’s resident bartender, Vincent Zheng’s creation symbolises Singapore as both an island and a modernised city-state, and aptly coloured red and white. What I love about this cocktail is its representation of the major ethnicity in Singapore. The Chinese is represented by the bingtanghulu spinoff, with blueberries skewered and coated with brown sugar; the Malay represented by the pandan leaf beautifying the glass, torched before serving for the enhanced aroma; the Indian represented by the gentle touch of gold dust; and the Eurasian by the red wine glass in replacement of the usual cocktail glass. I must declare that I am no drinker and I have no experience in it. I just enjoyed the visual treat; the cocktail was sweet and fruity, at the risk of oversimplification.
If the weather is good, alfresco dining might be an option worth considering. Surrounded by the lush greenery and a poolside view, the dining experience will prove to be a different one. To add to that feel, a quartet performs live at the corridor. Their fixed position is a distance away from the seats, ensuring that it does not get too loud for guests to catch up over brunch. What is entertaining is that they do rove about the restaurant, serenading couples, celebrating birthdays and fulfilling song requests.
To come up with new items just for a single day of the year is rather commendable I must say. The efforts in concocting new dishes surely last more than a day or a week. Not only are the kitchen staff at it, the floor staff will also be decking the entire restaurant with red and white flags, bright-coloured flowers, and most intriguingly, portraits of famous landmarks, past and present. We managed to sneak a peek at the portraits of Capella Singapore. See if you can spot them when you are there!
The Roast & Grill Section is always lined up ready to be devoured at the outdoors area (we had suckling pig, for one!); the Oysters Counter were filled with oysters from France the Salty, USA the Creamy (personal favourite), Canada the Meaty and Ireland the Balanced (unofficial names by yours truly to better remember them). The Cheese Cabinet is probably the most popular cabinet I have seen. The previous time I was there, the crowd was hitting the ten over variety of cheese continuously, making photo-taking an unusually challenging one. Then at the end of the buffet line is the heaven for the sweet tooths. Expect yourself not to be able to do the usual ‘one-each’ as some 10 – 20 different types of cakes and tarts await you at the Dessert Counter. During the National Day Brunch Buffet, the below photographed newly-crafted items will be additional to the mainstays, while some will act as a substitute to the less visited dishes.
I was very pleased with the starters, especially the Cold Mee Siam. Due to the nature of the flavours of mee siam, I think the coldness brings out the flavours even more. Sweet, sour and spicy, akin to the refreshing feeling you get from eating Thai Mango Salad. Capellini was used in replacement of the usual beehoon. Take that as a preparation to ready your palate for something more atas.
Forget about rojak with plainly youtiao – here you get France-imported foie gras, seasoned and made into terrine in-house. While the Foie Gras Terrine with Rojak was not too bad, I would urge you to get the Foie Gras Terrine Tart instead if you happen to see one that day. I mean, no one’s stopping you to get both, but just in case you are health conscious (or relatively).
While the Kueh Pie Tee shell was crunchy and not left out too long turning soggy, I did not find the Chilli Crab Kueh Pie Tee particularly exciting / new. I think it was my luck too, that I could not taste too distinctly the chilli crab.
Chicken rice deconstructed and reconstructed into a maki, I think something like this has been done before, but I still think it’s brilliant. From the smell to the taste (the only difference I find is in the rice; sticky rice here), they tasted similar, because notice the parsley, chicken rice chilli and garlic as garnish? The Maki Roll of Chicken Rice surely gets seats in my stomach (theme in line with upcoming Elections).
The oysters used for the Oyster with Local Condiments and Sauce are flown in from Ireland and shucked only on the day of consumption. I find this interesting and really very local with the accompaniments of black fungus, vermicelli and local marinade – very alike to how bamboo clams are prepared. They are served warm. I must say though, I would want to just try this once, but stick to the raw and nude ones.
I find that the Roti John with Mutton paled in comparison to the Local Bun with Mackerel Fish Otah. Even though the bun was thick, it was soft, warm and crisp, and a mouthful of it was still packed full of the otah taste. Indeed very comforting, something I wouldn’t mind having for breakfast every morning.
The desserts this National Day is a very, coconut-oriented one, maybe to signify Singapore as a kampong last time (#anyhow). Maybe because I have tried many of these, I find the Pandan Coconut Creme Brulee rather ordinary. The Pangsat Pisang Trifle was more interesting. The presentation is excellent; pipette is filled with coconut cream, and the base is choked with gula melaka, sago, caramelised banana, light coconut mousse, cashew and coconut crumble. A little complex, but quite distinct flavours and textures from the sago, gula melaka, caramelised banana and coconut.
For something simpler, the Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake should not be left out of your second stomach, the dessert stomach. The durian flavour was reasonably strong in this very light cake (so if you are expecting something very gao (thick and rich), you would be disappointed), which I would prefer especially after a heavy buffet meal.
In comparison to previous year’s National Day Weekend Specials, I find that the mains come out stronger and better this year, while the desserts not as much. I still think that the desserts are not too bad, but if you were there last year, you would know that the bar for desserts was set really high (so much that what I remember of last year’s entire meal are the desserts). In all honesty, the price is steep here. A poor student like me will not be able to afford. But if I were already planning to splurge on a meal this National Day, I think The Knolls @ Capella Singapore is a strong contestant.
$78++ for child (aged 4 to 6 years) inclusive of free flow soft drinks and fresh juices
$118++ for child (aged 7 to 12 years) inclusive of free flow soft drinks and fresh juices
$188++ per adult inclusive of free flow soft beverages and fresh juices
$228++ per adult, inclusive of free flow Taittinger Champagne, wines, specialty cocktails and international beers
$288++ per adult, inclusive of free flow Vintage Taittinger Champagne, seasonal boutique wines, specialty cocktails and international beers
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 1 The Knolls, Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island
Telephone: 6591 5046 / firstname.lastname@example.org (takes reservations)
Brunch Buffet Hours: 9 August 2015 (Sunday), 12.30pm – 3pm
This was a media session.