Ellenborough Market Café @ Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore – International Buffet

September 25th, 2010 18 Commented

Buffets have always been a great thing for both my wife and I. So it’s no surprise that we decided to ride on the buffet fever just to satisfy our voracious appetite. There was a credit card promotion as well, so we went for the buffet lunch at Ellenborough Market Cafe, Swissotel Merchant Court. The restaurant serves Straits Chinese, Local and International specialties.

We were huffing and puffing when we reached the entrance because we were running late. However to our surprise, that there actually a long queue in front of the restaurant. The waitress at the reception was very slow and inexperienced in allocating people to their table reservations. A couple from behind even tried to cut the queue. One of the guys in the queue then shouted, “There is a queue, you know.” But the couple ignored him anyway. So this was the little drama before we were seated.

The place is rather spacious, with a mix of colonial and peranankan accents. They have a main area where most of the food is served. Their cold seafood on ice selections and pernankan food are tucked away in a quieter corner, near the pond. Below is the main area where most of the food is served. To the left, this is where all the warm savory food such as mussels in curry sauce, baked chicken, prawns, mixed vegetables, curry chicken and etc are served.

On the right of the main area is an island with a grand sculpture piece. It is surrounded by a variety of salad greens, bread, soup, dressings and some fried food.

Here on my plate we have the curry mussels, spring roll, stir fried prawns, curry chicken, white rice and steamed fish. I enjoyed the curry chicken and the mussels in curry. As for the prawns, I thought they were a little mushy.

I liked the steamed fish a lot though. Fresh and springy.

The prawn noodle was tasty with fresh prawns, authentic soup base and springy noodles.

When I first scooped out some crab meat and vegetable soup, I thought it looked rather thick. But I loved it when I tasted it. It was light and refreshing. Goes well with some french loaf!

The rest of the savory food like the seafood scrambled eggs. mixed vegetables and fried dumplings were great too.

I know the crab looks good. But be warned that flower crabs do not have much meat in their claws. So forget it about it and just go for the body. I thought that the prawns were average – not really crunchy nor fresh tasting. So I must say that I was rather disappointed with their seafood variety and quality. There were no lobsters nor oysters. They do have some mussels on ice but it wasn’t very appetizing.

I think the Japanese selection fared better. The salmon was fresh and nicely cut. The cold soba noodles were chilled.

I mentioned that they do serve Straits Chinese food at the beginning of my post. So how can we go without some warm Chinese dessert? I made myself a special concoction of peanut dumplings soaked in sweet black rice paste topped with some sweet coconut milk placed in an oriental bowl. My wifey raised her right brow when she saw this. Well, I like this lah!

Besides the chinese fanfare, I tried other desserts such as fruit tarts, mango pudding, fruit crumble and etc. I thought they were pretty good. No complains from me. They weren’t exceptionally wonderful but its still pleasing for the soul. Especially for the ladies… Ha.

Juicy and yummy….

Chocolate fondue is available as well. My wife’s juicy grapes coated with a layer of smooth chocolate. Nice. But we didn’t have any ice cream or nonya kuehs kuehs because the selection was too little. So we just skipped that. We were too full to continue stuffing our stomachs anyway. Well, I think if you happen to have a credit card promo then do just come and have a buffetlicious meal. But I doubt you’ll be yearning to come back for the second time!

Official Ellenborough Market Café website

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18 responses to “Ellenborough Market Café @ Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore – International Buffet”

  1. alucard13mm says:

    hmmm there are quite a few good buffets in california XD like Universal Studios Hilton. for 40 dollars you can get shark fin soup, king crab, dungee crab, oysters, lobsters, prime rib, chilled jelly fish, welch conch, sometimes abalone.. and among other things. the sushi was average at best though.

    theres a buffet for 23-28 dollar-ish at Valley View casino on an indian reservations. all you can eat lobster (steamed, not the cheesed stuffy kind), king crab, some scallops, prime rib, and among other things. sushi was kinda crappy as expected. dessert was nice, fresh blue berries, strawberries, rasberry, and other berries XD. if u go gamble often they give u free buffet once a month. the first time you go, you get a free buffet and some money to gamble ;S. im not a gambling person… i hate it, but i deal with it to eat lol.

    • softz says:

      Hmm.. I don’t know about California. But, having so many choices, it does sound nice.

      However, when I was in Washington D.C., I went to for a buffet, around 25 USD per person. The selection of choices are very limited. It wasn’t fascinating. Probably, the food doesn’t suit my taste. Our average 12 SGD coffee shop buffet tastes better (consists of beef, pork, fish, mussel, crab, etc).

  2. Nopy says:

    That looks like one really fancy buffet, it’s so different from the ones here. All we get when we go to buffets are: rice, pasta, beef, chicken, some more chicken, and maybe some pork. We’re nowhere near the ocean so seafood is rather expensive.

    The crab looks cool, I usually see restaurants chop them up, I haven’t seen a whole crab served before. The desserts also look tasty, especially the tarts.

    • alucard13mm says:

      lol even the cheap buffets here for like 7-9 bucks, there are snow crabs (not the best of course), and some have good sushi/sashimi too. its cheap if u eat mainly expensive stuff.

      however, buffets for 9-20 bucks.. they suck..

    • softz says:

      I understand. In fact, this buffet I went to isn’t the best in town. It’s kinda cheap too, only 26++SGD, as compared to other more luxury dining. However, some of their food is great. Furthermore, I only paid for one person, i.e. my mum, and my wifey and I dined for free because of some vouchers. We were happy and glad! :)

  3. Aya says:

    wow such a fancy buffet :D no wonder the quene so Long
    can’t you take a reservation first before ?

    • softz says:

      Oh yeah, of course we made reservation. I guess they made their reservation too.

      Reservations are always required especially when you are dining in hotels. Some (the popular ones) even required you to reserve three days in advance.

  4. alucard13mm says:

    lol wish there was a fight.. like hong kong people that rage on public transporations.

    • softz says:

      Man… you must be thinking too much. *LOL*
      Fighting in public might get jailed. No one from mid- or high-class tier wants that.
      However, in Taiwan, they even fight in the parliament (throwing food, etc).

  5. Ongky says:

    where’s the famous durian pudding?!?!

    • softz says:

      Walao! They have a darn big bowl of that durian pudding. Y’know, I don’t have a liking for durian. Remember my actual day, the sisters tried to fool me with durian. However, my wifey tried that. I bet she likes it. The buffet quite cheap, only 26++SGD. If you want to try, can try asking me along. I can get 50% discount. ;)

  6. Fabienne says:

    no seafood for me please, but the desserts look great.
    Im so picky with food I hope you don’t blame me for that ;)

    I would like to know how the people in Singapore behave at buffets?
    In my country most people put as much food on the dish as they can carry, we also often use the phrase “the fight for the buffet” XD

    • softz says:

      Ah… so you don’t like seafood huh. Singaporeans are seafood lovers. Okay, let’s see… there are actually several types of people.

      Some fill several small plates with a variety of food and place on their table to avoid walking many times.

      There are also those who practice your culture, filling as mush as they could on their plates.

      For me, since I’m taking photos, I prefer placing them nicely on my plate… or else, you’ll see a bunch of messy food photos. *LOL* Also, I don’t mind walking to and fro the food counter as it helps to burn a bit of calories (digest) so that I can eat more. :)

      However, if you happened to patronize the cheaper buffet outlets (around 10SGD per head), you will see another different group. Due to the slow replenish rate of certain dishes (especially seafood), you see many people crowding around and dashing towards those section. I tried the buffet before and ended up dashing and running with them, holding the thong. Darn… what an experience. *LOL*

  7. Xine says:

    The cold soba and the fruit tarts look really yummy! ^^ I like fondue too but I like cheese fondue better than chocolate.

    Oh, can you recommend any good restaurants in Resorts World? I just read from their website yesterday that Joël Robuchon and Susur Lee have their own restaurants there.

    • softz says:

      Frankly, I seldom go to Sentosa. I’ve only stayed in Rasa Sentosa once and tried their international breakfast buffet at Silver Shell Café. Also, I heard that Barnacles Restaurant & Bar has very nice settings too. I really can’t help you much here. There are many restaurants by the beach if you enjoy the sea breeze along with the beautiful night views.

      As for the two you mentioned, I did a search on them. They are both opened this year. I’ve not tried any of them, so I can’t really comment much. But since they are high-end dining restaurants, I’m sure they are probably worth trying. I always believe in high-end dining. They always have that wonderful ambiance, lovely settings, and beautiful food. They will not disappoint you (I hope). :)

  8. Yi says:

    Hungry for some sea food and sweet desserts. That crab looks really ominous but also delicious!

  9. mikiwank says:

    Hey dude can I come with you to market Café ;) I’m hungry :)

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