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2 Reviews
Lobby Level, Four Seasons Hotel
Telephone: (65) 6831-7250
Restaurants » American, International
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  1. hburn10
     25 Mar 2010 at 9:19 am

    Small issue but....

    I thought I should inform this very small issue that my friend and his family of 6 in total went for a Happy Birthday Champagne Brunch on 14 Mar 2010 and 3 came down with food poisoning thereafter.

    Why 3 you ask? Because the 3 (my friend and his parents) went to get and ate some oysters first, and then when the other 3 family members went over to the same counter, they couldnt see the oysters anymore. The staff told them that the oysters were not fresh and had kept them.

    Opps. Too late.

    They wrote in to the Director of F&B and they offered to refund the monies for 3pax. But were also defensive and kept emphasizing that the oysters are checked before serving etc etc. So how did the un-fresh oysters reach the buffet counter? Hmmmm...

    I personally tried the brunch in 2009 and it was quite an enjoyable experience. Not sure what happened but I hope something has been done about it. After all, I'm sure food poisoning is not something that a Four Seasons would want to be associated with. I thought their service recovery will be better than this too.

    And this time they only had (unfresh) oysters and prawns at the cold seafood counter.. quite pathetic given that they are charging $148 per adult. For the same price, Ritz is way better.

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    Rating given:2 stars
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    1. feizhu
       12 Jul 2008 at 9:14 am
         One Ninety - Restaurants   One Ninety - Restaurants   One Ninety - Restaurants   One Ninety - Restaurants   One Ninety - Restaurants

      It was a visit high strung with expectations. After hearing so much about the famed Wagyu burger from One Ninety, my gf and I popped down for dinner one weekday evening. Ironically, it wasn't the ala carte Wagyu burger option we settled for, but the dinner buffet, which serves up limitless portions of food from a variety of 40 dishes on the small bites dinner menu. Think tapas sizes. According to the manager, this is probably the only western buffet in town which prepares your orders when you place them.

      Located at lobby level of the classy Four Seasons Hotel, One Ninety exudes casual chic with its open display kitchen and wooden floors yet retains its warmth and homeliness through the use of ambient lighting. Such a setting makes One Ninety ideal for that intimate dinner for two and group dinners alike.

      Complimentary Bread - Its the first time I've seen bread dished up in a pan, or a square pan for that matter, whose main purpose was to keep the bread warm. The bread was of two different variants - the plain bun and the bun with sweet potato filling. Personally I prefered the sweet potato one as it was, well, sweet.

      Chicken Consommé with Shrimp Dumplings & Mushroom Cappuccino with Roasted Porcini - Soups to start off our meal. The clear chicken consommé was light on the palate with a slight tinge of tomato after taste which I personally found refreshing. The shrimp dumpling that found its way into the soup was chock full of huge shrimps that were crunchy to the bite. Very good.

      The relatively thick mushroom cappuccino hinted very heavily of mushroom (duh!) but did seem a little too bland for my liking. If you like lighter stuff, then this is probably for you. As for me, a dash of salt will do the trick.

      Portobello Tempura Fries with Horseradish Dip - This is a rather interesting dish and is essentially portobello mushrooms coated with tempura batter and deep fried. The batter wasn't too thick which meant less oil absorbed and allowed the taste of the portobello to permeate through. Add a drizzle of sweet sauce (Terriyaki I believe) and you have a nice sweet crispy mushroom dish. Great as a snack!

      Coriander Tuna with Sesame and Citrus Pea Salad - Cooked on the outside yet rare on the inside, the tuna slices were void of the overwhelming fishy aftertaste that usually plagues tuna dishes. A dash of sesame seeds give it aroma and a slightly oily texture. A nice dish but didn't exactly wow me because for one, I've had better.

      Honey Glazed Duck Breast with Périgord Truffle Sauce - I like all things duck so I'm probably biased when I say this dish was quite good. The right amount of chewiness sans the strong fowl taste had me relishing the duck slices. A pity it was a tad too dry.

      Risotto Balls with Kikorangi Cheese Dressing - The first disappointment of the day and it had to be the risotto balls. Risotto with Kikorangi cheese (a New Zealand blue cheese) encrusted with flour and deep fried I believe. Terribly bland with the risotto a tad too mashed up for my liking. Between the 2 of us, we finished half a ball. Guess that says a lot, doesn't it?

      Angus Beef Cheek with Beetroot Mash and Shiraz Reduction - Melt in the mouth tender and served on a bed of beetroot mash that tasted like a sweet version of mashed potatoes. Whats not to like about the Angus beef cheek?

      Green Lip Mussels Casino - The green lip mussel, which hails from New Zealand, was recommended to us by our wait staff. And although I don't really like mussels, I must say that it was a good recommendation. Coated with what seemed like garlic spread and baked till the spread hardened and turned a beautiful golden brown, the mussels had not so much a hint of the raw seafood taste. Only gripe I had was the excessive salt levels in it.

      Black Soy Prawns with Pumpkin Confit - Undoubtedly the pièce de résistance of our mains, I am unsure where or how to begin complimenting this dish. The prawns were huge, succulent, sweet and carried tons of bite. And the accompanying sauce gave it a light artificial sweetness which complimented the inherent sweetness of the prawn. Second servings are highly recommended.

      Organic Pork Belly on Tropical Asian Salad - The ubiquitous pork belly and a personal favourite of mine. The skin was crackling crispy without the meat being too salty and the fats gave it a nice chewy texture. However, the health conscious me would prefer a leaner cut. Talk about being 自相矛盾.

      Crispy Crab Cakes with Black Pepper Sauce and Asian Greens - I'm rather partial towards crab cakes so it didn't bowl me over or anything. Made with real crab meat, the crab cakes were savoury without being too fishy. I guess thats how good crab cakes are supposed to be like, no?

      Thinly Sliced Turkey Breast with Blueberry Vinaigrette - Salty. That was the first word that came to mind as I chewed on a slice of turkey breast (more like ham really). The taste of the blueberry vinaigrette was very faint and when eaten with the turkey, virtually non existent. Rocket leaves with walnuts are nice though.

      Seared Foie Gras Celeriac Puree and Truffle Foam - Foie Gras is the epitome of sin in terms of food indulging due to its adverse impacts on the waistline and the heart. The seared foie gras offering had a slightly crispy exterior but was a little too soft for my liking. I would like to think that One Ninety's foie gras was worth it but sadly, though decent, it isn't something that I'll want to order again. The health and taste equation just doesn't tally.

      Grilled Grain Fed Sirloin with Creamy Fondue and Guinness Sauce - Grilled to medium well instead of medium rare, the sirloin was still reasonably tender and tasty. But it did seem a tad too dry though. Overall a decent but forgettable dish.

      Lobster Thermidor - The lobster was fresh and crunchy with a slight milky taste to it. Lacked the distinctive thermidor taste (derived mainly from mustard) though. I would have liked this member of the crustacean family better if it was bigger but hey, its a buffet, so I can order as many as I want, never mind the hassle.

      Crispy Cod Fish with Oriental Mango Slaw and Wasabi Aioli - You can seldom go wrong with cod fish as the fish itself has a very smooth texture. This simple dish accentuates the smooth flesh by encrusting the fish in flour to contrast the soft slick smoothness of the flesh to the crispy exterior. Nicely done except that it was a wee bit too oily for my liking.

      Seared Scallops with Avocado and Pimento Coulis - Topped with roe, the scallops were a tad too soft for my liking and could have done with more searing in my humble opinion. Honestly, I couldn't quite decide if the pimento coulis (cherry pepper sauce) added any flavour to the scallops.

      Peanut Butter Chicken - A very interesting dish created by marrying peanut butter with chicken. The result? Tender chicken cuts dunked in a creamy concoction with the occasional peanut chunk that hinted very strongly of salty peanut butter. Not exactly my cup of tea really as I can't really accept the salt peanut butter combination.

      Hazelnut Royaltine Cake - Excellent would be most apt in describing the hazelnut royaltine cake. Crunchy biscuit base with finely toasted hazelnut paste and rich chocolate just the way I like it, not too sweet. The accompanying scoop of ice cream was excellent as well, smooth and milky. As with the soy prawns, second helpings of this is strongly encouraged.

      Raspberry Breton with Passion Fruit Sorbet - Another excellent dessert, the raspberry breton had nice smooth mousse slouching atop raspberries and a soft biscuit base with a milky undertone (ps: Can anyone tell me what breton is? I'm guessing its a brand of biscuits). The passion fruit sorbet was sour sour sour!

      Traditional Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Wild Berry Compote - I couldn't quite make out the vanilla beans in the Crème Brûlée but I'll give it the benefit of a doubt due to its rather impressive quality. The layer of sugar wasn't too thick or overburnt and didn't stick to my teeth when chewed on while the pudding was smooth and light. On a side note, the wild berry compote tasted sweet.

      Warm Chocolate Cake Served with Passion Fruit and Lemon Sorbet - I know of many people who are suckers for warm chocolate cake and yours truly falls within that category. However One Ninety's rendition failed to ignite any sparks. Vicious and not too sweet chocolate enveloped by a semi hard cake crust, the cake's texture tended a little more towards the pudding side which was a little discomforting to me. And yes, I've had better ones.

      Folding Layer Mango Tiramisu - The second disappointment for the night and one of my well liked desserts, the humble tiramisu. For starters, the sponge was a little too hard and there was no trace of alcohol whatsoever (I'm an alcoholic). However, what was interesting was that the faint sweetness from the mangoes permeated through. If only the sponge had been moist.

      Bitter Chocolate Mousse with Lemon Curd - An unremarkable but decent enough dessert. Smooth and lightly bitter mousse coupled with sour lemon curd which smacked strongly of what tasted like alcohol.

      Strawberry and Tomato Cobbler with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Another most interesting dessert. The strawberry and tomato cobbler had a nice oven baked flaky pastry covering which revealed a warm mixture of strawberries and tomatoes when broken into. Overall it tasted like very well made apple pie except that it was tomato and strawberries in lieu of apples. I must point out that although I am not a fan of tomatoes, this dish really impressed me. And the icing on the cake came in the form of the smooth and wonderful vanilla ice cream which was made from vanilla beans.

      Walnut Napoleon with Espresso Ice Cream - There are only 2 positive things that I can think of with regard to the walnut napoleon. First, the amount of walnuts present was generous. Second, the espresso ice cream was smooth and didn't come down too heavy on the coffee taste. Other then that, this whole dessert tasted normal.

      Soy Bean Panna Cotta with Sesame Tuile - To be honest, the panna cotta would have tasted rather bland if not for the red beans, which fortunately, were a little sweet. But therein lies the problem. The taste of the red beans overwhelmed and suddenly, its like eating red bean with pudding! I liked the sweet sesame tuile that came atop the shooter glass of panna cotta though, but not the mochi wannabe that was stuffed with crushed nuts and came across as way too dry.

      One of the best dinners I've had this year cost about $122 for 2 pax. I will make no attempts to hide my disdain for buffets but for this case, I'm more than happy to put my prohibitions and reservations aside. From my understanding, this buffet is still under evaluation and will run till the end of July before the management will decide whether to extend its run or take it off. In my humble opinion, with food, variety and aesthetics this good, the buffet is here to stay. Coupled with excellent and non condescending service (especially to a guy who was wearing shorts and flip flops), One Ninety has truly shown its mettle and ranks top on my return list.

      See all my pictures here.

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      Rating given:5 stars
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      Comments on this review:
      1. claud
        claud said:
        seriously, u're those one of a kind who goes everywhere in shorts and flip flops while dine likes a king! u win! haha! this place looks good. hope they continue the buffet menu.
        28 Jul 2008 at 4:57 pm
      2. Lucardia
        Lucardia said:
        Claud, they did continue the menu, but raised the price to $68 per pax. Damn, i'd still go the it though.
        31 Aug 2008 at 8:50 am
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