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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Square @ Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay

Starting from the Month of August 2015, there will be a special cuisine theme at The Square of Novotel from time to time. With such innovative idea from the initiative of marketing team from The Square @ Novotel , they have Peranakan Cuisine to kick start with.

The Square is conveniently located at the lobby level (7th Storey) of Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay, just right in front of the reception area.

Settings of the Restaurant was pretty classy in its furnishings and lighting. Area was spacious with ample of room along the tables walkways. There are also some "private"section apart from the main dining area, ideally for family as well as big group dining.

The Sqare @ Novotel
Let's start to tantalized your taste buds by starting with the dishes!

Nonya Style Asam Fish came in two styles, fried or steam with only fresh grouper or snapper used. Fish was both lavished with orangy Asam gravy sprinkled with a handful of spring onions and vegetables like lady's fingers & egg plants were mixed in.

Nonya Style Asam Fish (Fried)
Assam gave a good kick to the palate and was made appetizing. However for both dishes, I felt that the taste of Assam was not totally absorbed by the fish as its flesh still lacked the natural spiciness and sour combination of what is in an Assam.

A good comparison between the fried and the steamed version, I would prefer the former as its meat was more chunky and holds together even though the battered portion had turned soggy by its gravy.

Nonya Style Asam Fish (Steamed)
Ayam Buah Keluak is not a dish to miss out if you are having a Peranakan cuisine. Involving tender chicken in its braised texture, I would say it can be done better if the taste had went in a little deeper into the meat. Apart from that, I'm someone who like to have some hands in handling food, thus digging out the edible part from Buah Keluak never fail to give me the good feel that I'm really on that particular cuisine "mode". However, over here we need not have such hands on experience as we were all pampered by the chef who had took them out, placing them into the dish before us.

Ayam Buah Keluak
This is da bomb! Don't judge the chicken by its colour. Though it may not look that spicy, the taste is fiery. This Chicken Devil curry was made with love from fresh chilli padi and turmeric. Unlike the usual curries we had, Devil curry has a sharp taste from the spices too which tantalized the taste buds.

Chicken Devil Curry
Chef Kishen who is leading the Peranakan Theme this month did a twist from the usual Peranakan Recipe, the Bakwan Kepiting was done without the use of crab meat. As such, this combination is more friendly, even those with seafood allergy are free to try this out. Despite that the meat ball has a chewy texture, the only shortcoming would be in its soup that tasted salty.

Bakwan Kepiting
Kueh Pie Tee is always my favourite snack. This little delicate cups were crunchy even though it was containing moist food items like vegetables,diced hard boiled egg, turnips and prawn meat. Many of us could not resist a second helpings from the chef.

Kueh Pie Tee
For healthier diet and better flavours, the used of pork belly was replaced by ribs in the Babi Pongteh dish. Taste had accentuated into the mushroom as well as the meat, with savoury gravy to go with a bowl of fragrant rice. A pet peeve was that the ribs (Meat) hardness were unfriendly on our teeth.

Babi Pongteh
Every cuisine has its sweet portions, so does the Peranakan's. Assorted desserts like Agar Agar and Kuehs were all nicely arranged on the platter.

Traditional Nonya Kueh
The oyster fritters dish was a special creation by the Sous Chef Jimmy. Each piece of oyster was juicy coated in its fried batter. We were really honored to have tasted such unique creation!

Special Creation
Sous Chef Jimmy did not reveal much on its ingredients but he did mention that it was an accidental creation when something drop into his mixing bowl. How beautiful and coincidental that such concoction in his recipes actually turned out well!

Oyster Fritter

Take a look at the chefs who helmed the kitchen. From left to right, Sous Chef Jimmy who did the creation of Oyster Fritters for the night as well as the food from the buffet line while Chef Kishen, he is the lead of Peranakan Theme in the Month of August while as for Chef Sin Siak, you can't believe that he was the one behind all the sweet sensations coming up in the pictures. In fact he was being featured in July's La Vie Magazine as the Chef of the month.

Chef Jimmy, Kishen & Sin Siak (Left to Right)

Pior to the Peranankan Buffet launch, The Square Restaurant offers a wide spread of international buffet which includes our local dishes like Laksa, Rojak, homemade Dim Sum & Roast meat, not forgetting the wonderful spread of creative desserts done by Chef Sin Siak.

Fruit Juice - Watermelon & Orange


Truly Singapore, they have even featured one of the dishes of what Singapore is known for, the black pepper crab. Enjoy these crustaceans with the use of crab crackers provided by them.

Black Pepper Crab
They have a very good showcase of our local food even with Singapore's Salad (Rojak), fruits like red/green apples, beansprouts and cucumber were nicely arranged. The best part about having buffet is that you can pick the ingredients according to your liking.


Tau Pok

Enjoy the Middle Eastern Style Dish, Chicken Shawarma. Devour yourselves into such wonderful treats on the wraps with chicken shavings, vegetables like bell peppers, cabbages and so on. If you enjoy biting the Kebabs, this is recommended.

Chicken Shawarma
In case you were wondering, the meat of Chicken Shawarma was featured by the block of meat that was kept warm by heating consistently on the rotating pit. You can even request to have the meat alone without the wrap.

Rotating Pit
You can even request your bowl of a la minute risotto over the counter. What caught my attention was this huge Parmesan Wheel. Do you know that you can actually get your cheese crumbs here?

Parmesan Wheel
Well, I could not resist having some hands on experience by scrapping some cheese off from such a big Parmesan Wheel and I did it here!


Another highlight was its roast of the day, with roasted lamb was the scene stealer among the bed of vegetables. At the sight of it, the glorious crackling skin had pulled me even closer to the dish itself. Herbs garnishing was spread onto the baked potatoes which not only elevates the presentation of the dish but also boost its fragrance to another level.

Roast of the Day
Walking down the food line, we have cooked dishes readily heated up in the warmer. Let's take a look at some of the yummy stuff!

Readily Cooked Dishes
As clam lovers, its too hard just to leave the shells alone. Clam in white wine sauce were fresh and yummy. Apart from that, there were no trace of any seafood odour. Thumbs up!

Clam with White Wine Sauce
Delicious and simple lamb stew served in its traditional manner. Peas, potatoes and carrots had definitely reached the desired softness level.

Traditional Lamb Stew
While the last on the warmer table will be the snapper cooked in caper sauce. These fishes were seared to achieve a crisp in its skin and then mixed into the assorted ingredients together in the sauce. There was a little fishy smell that was not to my liking.

Snapper with Caper Sauce
It's kind of interesting to see an array of olives to pair along with your salad. Who says salad are dull now?

Are you dare enough to give the cheese a try? That includes the blue cheese, help yourselves!

Say Cheese!
Signature Durian Pengat is the MUST TRY! Fresh durian flesh were used with a good blend of gula Melaka which enable the sweet and creamy based of this pleasant dessert. So durian lovers, you won't want to skip this.

Durian Pengat

These small little shot glass was almost the size of the Kueh Pie Tee Cups. Out of the three choices, I would go for the panna cotta even though it could do a little better if it is served chilled.

Champange Jelly, Lemon Grass Jelly & Panna Cotta
And welcome into the world of sweet treats! Have you spared a room space to indulge on Chef Sin Siak's creation?

The cakes section was just more than eye pleasing.

Lemon Meringue Tart
The raspberry Earl Grey was beautifully adorn with hardened curvature chocolate drizzle and with thin chocolate slices surrounding it.

Raspberry Earl Grey Cake
Surprisingly, the cake's texture was wobbly with a thin layer of raspberry jelly on top of the cake. You can also get to taste the real raspberry fruits and seeds cradled in its middle portion. There was not much of Earl Grey taste perhaps raspberries its nature scent were just too overpowering as compared to the tea.

Wanna Have A Bite?
Orange Tea Cake was fruity and totally enjoying with hints of Earl Grey taste. I will give it as my best vote..

Orange Tea Cake
Chocolate Nutty Cake was not too bad either just that personally I felt quite "Jelat" after having a small piece. Probably not my good choice of cake after a buffet meal.

Chocolate Nutty Cake
Every piece of cake looked elegant and it felt such a pinch to disturb such lovely masterpiece by removing a slice out of the whole cake.

Mango Mousse Cake
Pineapple and chocolate? Have you ever heard of such fusion?

Chocolate Pineapple Cake
As an overall, I'm pretty drawn to the creativity and style done on the cakes. It must have required lots of patience in forming out such delicate creation. The black forest cake for example is quite true to its namesake. The bitter-sweet taste of the cake with bites of wine cherries gave a good summary to the actual black forest cake.

Black Forest Cake
As far as I knew, even myself who is not a cake person had spent a fair bit of time at the cakes zone admiring the pieces. Temptations VS Sinfulness? Tell me how should I go about drawing a line between these two?

Their Nonya / Peranakan buffet is only available from 1st to 31st August 2015 during dinner. Prices start from $58++ and you can top up $26++ to enjoy their bottomless beer.

Rating:  3 / 5

The Square
Location: Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay, 177A River Valley Road Level 7 Singapore 179031

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