7 Places to Dine This Christmas 2014

Ah, December. When the weather is perfect for donning scarves and shawls, pea coats and boots. When Christmas trees make for beautiful centerpieces, and strings of tea lights decorate every corner. When good food comes into play, and restaurants offer indulgent Christmas menus. After much wining and dining, we bring you seven of the best places to dine this festive season.

Balzac Brasserie

Balzac Brasserie - Champagne Sabayon with sautéed Winter Fruits and Forest Berries Ice Cream - Review by Gourmet Adventures

A good spot for a heartwarming Christmas lunch ($98 with a glass of crémant or mocktail) is Balzac Brasserie. Begin with the Chef’s signature lobster bisque, a brazenly creamy bisque complemented with roasted organic Tasmanian prawns, before moving on to plump and juicy pan-seared atlantic sea scallops or 48-hour Wagyu beef cheek for a real indulgence. Either way, both are delicious. To top it off, desserts come in a choice of champagne sabayon or chocolate moelleux; the former, a rich buttery custard accompanied by a scoop of creamy berries ice cream (pictured above), and the latter, a traditional molten lava cake of Valrhona 70% dark chocolate guanaja. Old is good for good reason.

Dec 15-31. Balzac Brasserie & Bar, #01-01 Rendezvous Gallery 9 Bras Basah Rd., 6336-0797. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm; 6:30pm-midnight.

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Breeze

Breeze Rooftop Bar at The Scarlet Hotel - Takeaway Festive Menu - Review by Gourmet Adventures

The perfect setting for a romantic candlelight dinner for two, Chef Vincent Teng of Breeze has put together a stellar Christmas Eve set dinner ($85; minimum two persons). Whet your appetite with pumpkin soup with a light truffle cream, and an entrée platter of honey baked ham crostini, and duck pate with pear poached in moscato. While its appetizers are delightful to start with, it’s the mains that will grab one’s attention. A variation of meats and seafood are served with two sides but our eyes are on the prize; chargrilled bourbon beef ribs. Don’t be fooled by its non descript manner. The beef delivers perfectly, falling apart in gelatinous strands under our forks, extremely tender with an amazing flavor profile of smoky sweetness. Deliciously addictive is its seafood option of blue mussels in smoked bacon and celery white wine sauce, where it’s not impossible for one to request for second helpings. End the night with Christmas eggnog creme brulee with a centre of Christmas fruitcake layered with caramelized brown sugar. Nothing beats dining under the stars.

Dec 24. Breeze, 4/F The Scarlet Hotel, 33 Erskine Rd., 6511-3333. Open Mon-Thu 5:30pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-2am, Sun 5:30-11pm.

East 8

East 8 Christmas Menu - News by Gourmet Adventures

Steering away from traditional Christmas dinners of roast turkey and wine, East 8 will be serving a five-course festive dinner ($75; $100 with sake pairing) of incredibly mouthwatering delicacies. Start with a trio of raw ceviche style seafood that’s extremely addictive (tuna avocado, hamachi caviar and refreshingly sweet yuzu scallop) and buffalo cheese wrapped in prosciutto ham and truffle mayo, before diving into a choice of baked lobster dynamite of bourbon short ribs—there’s no right of wrong here; both are equally delicious. On the carb station, bacon angel hair pasta is served with Hokkaido scallop. Rounding up the meal is East 8’s well-loved signature dessert of peanut butter molten lava cake with a twist of burst marshmallow. Chocolate, peanut butter and s’mores? Sinfully decadent, but essential.

Dec 18-24. East 8, 10 Coleman St., #01-21/22 Grand Park City Hall, 6338-8289. Open Mon-Thu noon-11pm, Fri noon-midnight, Sat 6pm-midnight.

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Mezza9

Mezza 9 - Mason Egg, slow cooked egg, winter truffle flan, potato, walnut crostini - Review by Gourmet Adventures

A special a la carte menu crafted for the festive season proves itself worthy of the palate with unique creations like mason egg ($26; pictured above)—a smooth and savory slow cooked egg flanked with winter truffle and potato, with added textures from walnut crostini served with half a dozen oysters baked the classic “Florentine” way with spinach and rich and creamy mornay sauce, and cep velouté ($18)—a light and frothy puree made with pear, hazelnut and chervil for that creative refreshing balance of fruit and nut. Outstanding is the 18-hour slow braised wild boar stew with chanterelle mushrooms, root vegetables and pancetta ($48) that literally falls apart in the mouth. Christmas desserts come in the form of a flambéed Christmas pudding with Irish whiskey and vanilla bean ice cream ($16) and chocolate yule log and brandied cherry ice cream ($16). We trust you know what to do with it.

Dec 1-25. Mezza9, 10 Scotts Rd., Mezzanine Level, Grand Hyatt Singapore Hotel, 6732-1234. Open daily noon-3pm; 6-11pm.

Oxwell & Co.

Oxwell & Co. Christmas Menu Oxmas - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Christmas cheer reigns high with Oxwell & Co.’s Christmas ‘Oxmas menu’. Eschewing from token festive items like turkey and ham, Oxwell opts for comforting creations reminiscent of home-style cooking, which isn’t a bad thing if that’s what you’re looking for. Off to a good start is the steak tartare ($22) with oyster cream and sheep sorrel whose tartness accents the dish alongside the accompanied grilled toast, and refreshingly light blue swimmer crab ($24) served with fromage fraise watercress, cucumber and shaved jamon. We’re less ambivalent of the blue foot mushrooms ($19) that tastes as weird as it sounds, but fire up the oysters ($25 for six) for a sure win. While 30 bucks may seem steep for a main of cauliflower and cheese ($30), this classic dish features different layers and textures of cauliflower; roasted, grilled and dehydrated. End the meal with a banana crumble dessert with ice cream, or better yet, finish with an eggnog cocktail ($22) of brandy, nutmeg and fig leaf milk sweetened with agave nectar and vanilla pods. Brandy sure does the trick.

Dec 1-25. Oxwell & Co., 5 Ann Siang Hill, 6438-3984. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-midnight, Sun 11:30am-4pm.

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Seasonal Tastes

The Westin Singapore Christmas - Pineapple Glazed Ham - Review by Gourmet Adventures

If there’s ever a right time to indulge in a buffet (without feeling the guilt), it is now. Over Christmas Eve ($42 for lunch; $178 for dinner) and Christmas Day ($178), Seasonal Tastes offers decadent dishes requisite of a joyful festive season, and worth every calorie. We’re talking lobster au gratin, goose liver terrine, prawn thermidor, salmon done four ways; with Chinese herbs, Thai cured, coffee cured and smoked, pan fried goose liver… and we haven’t even begun to list the different cuts of meat (the pineapple-glazed ham pictured above is an absolute must try) and endless list of fresh seafood (read: snow crabs, oysters, prawns, deep sea scallops and lobsters)! If you’re not sold, Seasonal Tastes ups the happiness meter with free flow champagne, beer and wine. Eat, drink and be merry.

Dec 24-25. Seasonal Tastes, 32/F The Westin Singapore, 12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2, 6922-6888.

Senso Ristorante & Bar

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Ideal for business lunches, Senso Ristorante & Bar offers a Christmas set lunch ($38 for two courses; $44 for three, served with coffee or tea and coffee or tea and petit four) that’s worth every penny. Start off with a pumpkin soup with chunks of pan seared foie gras that takes the creaminess up a notch before leavening the playing ground with the introduction of vanilla oil and hazelnut, or black winter truffle endive salad with exquisitely smoked duck breast and light walnut dressing. Mains like the fettucine pasta with winter black truffle offer a rich and earthy touch to the tenacious handmade noodle (prepared al dente), while the Chilean cod fillet is beautifully grilled to boast its moist and succulent fresh white meat, its flavors enhanced by an accompanying crustacean reduction. While Chef Justin Foo seems to flourish at savories, his desserts require more muster. The traditional panettone was dry even with the addition of Sicilian marsala wine zabaione. We reckon the cheese platter would be a better bet.

Dec 8-26. Senso Ristorante & Bar, 21 Club St., 6224-3534. Open Mon-Fri noon-2:30pm; 6-10:30pm, Sat 6-10:30pm, Sun 11:30am-3pm; 6-10:30pm.

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Categories: CBD, Dining, European, Events, French, Hotel Dining, International, Italian, Lists, News, Restaurants, Reviews, Western

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