14 kinds of cheese? Check. At least 40 handcrafted desserts using Valrhona chococlate? Check. Knockout views of the city? Check!
Visited 14 Jan, 8pm ($48++ Daily 8pm-12am)
First impressions: After you find the correct Tower 2 lift, sail upwards to the 55th floor and into The Club, where the incredibly popular Cheese & Chocolate Bar buffet takes place every night. it pays to make a reservation (especially for weekends, when they are often unable to accept walk-ins) as you’ll also be able to snag a window seat, with a choice of city or ocean view.
Tip-off: A friend who has been to this buffet five times says: “pick out a few interesting chocolate creations first to whet your appetite. Then head to the cheese counter and fill up on your favourite savoury cheeses. go back to the dessert counter to finish on a sweet note.”
Food Stations: As the name implies, there are two sections. Along one wall is the seasonal specialty cheese station next to the coffee, tea and hot chocolate station–but you won’t have to lift a finger as drinks can be ordered tableside.
Peruse the cheeses that are divided into three categories: hard, savoury ones like the Red Leicester with its pleasing hint of saltiness; mild semi-soft ones like the lusciously creamy Brillat Savarin that drips off your cracker; and the daunting blues with their thin veins of blue-purple mould. While I’m a true blue fan, even the timid can try out the milder blues such as Shropshire that exudes a mild, creamy character on the lighter side of stinky. A selection of jams, honey, dried fruit, nuts like macadamia and sunflower, crackers and breads enhances the cheeses in myriad ways as you mix and match. Try honey, nuts and blue cheese together on a lavosh cracker–a glorious salty-sweet symphony of textures.
We choose to pair our buffet with one wine flight of three wines ($19++), which includes a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Australian Shiraz Cabernet and portuguese port. Assistant manager durgesh enthusiastically helped us with wine notes and pairings, with the white wine a nice match to light cheeses, red wine to dark chocolate and dessert port to items that are higher on the sweet side. The three generous serves of wine are good value and can be shared between two people if you don’t want to get tipsy too fast.
There is not enough room on this page to go through the Willy Wonka-esque landscape of chocolates. The verrines– fancy creations in shooter glasses–are a good start for their unusual flavours. We liked the fruity, unctuous olive oil layer in a dark mousse, while the milk chocolate blue cheese cream with thyme foam was subtle and mysterious.
After that, it’s a feast of cookies, macarons, cakes, tarts, pralines and bonbons to your taste, with marshmallows, brioche and a small selection of fresh fruit to jazz things up. in the end, the quality and variety more than spell their worth, and you’ll be rolling home in a cloud of happy food memories.
Not so hawt: Clumpy chocolate fondue that was drying out from the hot flame.
Final say: What a spread! The palate is well-balanced between savoury cheeses and chocolate desserts that range from sweet and white, milky and creamy, to sophisticated dark chocolate. Wide spacious seating arrangements and the unhurried atmosphere make this ideal for a romantic rendezvous or even birthday party treat. even corporate types in smart suits can be seen tucking in after a hard day’s work–proving that chocolate and cheeses speak a universal language of good taste.