Will travel for food. With that mantra in mind, the BITES team journeys through the eight conservatory kitchens at the newly-opened Colony, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
Visited 8 Oct, 12.30pm ($58++, Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm)
First impressions: Calming. Shades of tan and camel (i.e. light brown). Soft music of English, Mandarin and Malay songs play lightly in the background. At lunch, it’s plenty bright thanks to mother-of-pearl skylights and ample windows (this used to be a restaurant called Greenhouse after all). There’s lots of cute stuff inspired by Singapore’s British colonial past to look at, such as old weathered maps, and framed photographs and postcards written in fountain-pen calligraphy (not really vintage).
Reservation tip? The booth seats for two are cosy, spacious and give a sense of privacy.
Food stations: Outwardly, you’ll only see a few live stations, but there are eight conservatory kitchens hidden around the corners.
You’ll first encounter The Patisserie, which lines up a decadent cavalry of cakes, desserts in a tea cup (but of course), assorted Nyonya kuehs, house-made artisan tea chocolates and ice cream.
Move to The Ice Bar for your fix of crustaceans, freshly shucked oysters (dinner), sushi, sashimi, salads and charcuterie (cold cuts, cheeses from France).
On your left, a doorway leads into a room filled with aromas from The Grill & Rotisserie, where you’ll find hanging shao la (Asian roast meats), beef wellington and grilled satay.
Don’t miss The Fruit Stall for whole fruits (they have blackberries and nectarines) and freshly cold-pressed fruit juices, with green juices on request.
Remember the East India Company? To us, that part of history takes shape at The Tandoor, which serves up authentic Indian meats, idli, roti cooked in a traditional tandoor oven and seafood, with chutneys and other spice-filled dips.
The Wok serves tze char fare like Singapore chilli crab (dinner) and seafood fried rice with XO sauce; while The Steam Basket offers Asian hand-pulled noodles, soups, homemade lobster balls and dim sum.
Finally, you’ll find The Bakery tucked in an alcove. Try The Upper Crust, a reference to the noblesse oblige who could well afford the luxury for a spot of tea and crumpets at that time. It’s the marriage of a cookie crust and a muffin base in four different flavours (think coconut raisin with pandan coconut kaya). Oh, and they have gluten-free bread and pats of Isigny Ste-Mère butter.
Not so hawt: Probably one of the few buffets where we ignored the seafood on ice because everything else was calling our name. That said, the items are fresh with an adequate selection to choose from. We also wished the desserts were all labelled—easier to pick our fave flavours when budgeting precious tummy room.
Final say: Almost got our desserts first due to the station’s strategic location, but have to tahan lah. There’s so much food on display, we’ll have to return again and again to manage
to try everything. Nothing to dislike about this buffet; food quality is above average. Excellent for casual gatherings or even business lunches. Ambience is amazing.