Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Crabs! Crabs! Crabs!
Lovers of crabs should pay attention. Ellenborough Market Cafe at Swissotel Merchant Court will be launching an Ultimate Crab Buffet ($46++ per adults & $23++ per child) from 25 June to 12 July.
So it's time for crabs, crabs, crabsssss.
Do note that as this was an invited tasting session, the presentation may differ from the buffet offerings.
Salad of Hokkaido Crabmeat with Apple & Walnut was a light-tasting affair with the gentle sweetness of the crab, slight tartness of the julienned apples and textural crunch of the chopped walnuts.
Then the Braised Shark's Fin Soup with Crabmeat appeared. A rather thick soup with a generous serving of skinny flesh from crab legs. Oh yes, fresh crabmeat that has already been deshelled. How convenient! :)
I loved the Fragrant Thai Sauce Crab for its meaty crab pieces in a savoury-tangy-spicy sauce that just coated the pieces.
The Nonya Curry Crab was equally good! I don't get what made this dish Nonya but the marsala mix used in the gravy was good. Leaning a little more to Indian flavours. Yum.
All-time crab favourites Black Pepper Sri Lankan Crab and Wok-Fried Sri Lankan Chilli Crab with Man Tou were there too. The black pepper taste was a tad over-powering for me. I think I would have preferred white pepper.
The chilli crab was saucy and slightly sweet with a little chilli heat coming at the back. The mini-sized man tou was very handy and if not careful, one could easily pop one too many of these deep-fried pillows.
A disappointing item was the Crab Risotto. I felt it lacked much taste and the rice was overcooked. Perhaps a better quality rice or control over the cooking, and a drizzle of crustacean oil would lift this dish.
There was also Crabmeat Fried Rice with Asparagus & Flying Fish Roe. I felt this was dominated by corriander. Yay for some, boo to others.
Mooving on to the sweet stuff.
Desserts at the buffet counter featured cakes, chocolate fountain, bo bo cha cha, cheng tng, sweet glutinous rice balls, black sesame paste, bread & butter pudding but but but...
leave space for the Durian Pengat- a dessert that has been long-associated with Ellenborough Market Cafe.
A creamy paste of durians, cream and sugar (gula melaka?), this was quite a good treat to end the meal. Of course I'll prefer the fruit itself but the pleasure of durians without seeds and horrible durian-scented hands can be tempting.
And when I thought it was over. The Kueh Dardar showed up. Not that I'm complaining though. Freshly-made, it had a really soft, delicate texture with a ground coconut and gula melaka filling.
And to add on a small note. There are other offerings beside crabs at the buffet too.
Big thanks to Sok Hoon and Yvonne of Swissotel Merchant Court for the invitation and for hosting me. Also, special thanks to the kitchen staff whom I bet had spent a lot of effort extracting crabmeat.
Ellenborough Market Cafe
Swissotel Merchant Court
Tel: 6239 1848
Chew On This: Especially if you crave a crab buffet. Happy crabbing!