Following their recent Chinese New Year buffet offerings, Mercure Bugis is back again with a splendid new showcase. From 8 March to 27 May, Thursday to Sunday evenings and weekend lunches, prepare to indulge in Mercure’s first ever Surf and Turf buffet. This meaty galore houses an exquisite selection of more than 30 meat and seafood delicacies, all specially concocted and prepared by Executive Chef Nicholas Sia. Unlike the usual international buffet that reigns Royale Restaurant, the regal dining enclave of Mercure Bugis, Chef Nicholas has decided to bring the best of both worlds to diners through his signature East-meets-West cooking style. Hence, do expect a delectable fusion of flavours that will definitely leave your palates dancing with joy at the end of the feast!
To whip up your appetite before the actual feasting begins, every diner will be served a Surf and Turf Welcome Platter. As with everything else on the menu, this welcome platter is nothing short of hearty. Featuring an aesthetically plated Black Pepper Crab in a Bucket, look forward to tantalising pairings such as a cheesy “Jumbo Clam Gratin” a Beef Slider. As someone who tends to the side of chilli crab, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Royale’s fragrant black pepper crab. The evenly coated sauce was not overly peppery nor sweet, a delightful balance. The Jumbo Clam Gratin was also a tastebud pleaser with the addition of the savoury cheese coating. Do note that it would be best to chomp down these delicacies as soon as they arrive to retain the chewy pull of the cheese as well as juiciness of the beef patty!
Introducing the main highlights of the menu proper
Treasures of the Sea
I am sure many of you are familiar with lor mee, a hot favourite in the local hawker scene. I, too am a major fan of this starchy, thick-gravy noodle dish, complete with fried flour bits and fish pieces. Yet, have you ever heard of lor mee with… crayfish? I certainly have not and it was to my great delight that the Homemade Lor Mee with Crayfish was featured on Royale’s Surf and Turf menu.
With the luxurious addition of a battered fried crayfish, this homely option was immediately raised a few notches. Prepared at a live station, the smoky fragrance of the deep fried crayfish left our senses tingling with excitement upon being served. And I have to say, this lavish rendition did not disappoint. Apart from the juicy, slightly crunchy crayfish meat, the chicken bone gravy broth which was simmered for four hours left us singing praises as well. Truly a crowd pleaser and not to be missed!
Another outstanding oceanic treasure would be the Nyonya Baked Seabass Fillet with Pineapple Slaw. This heritage-infused dish is marinated overnight to ensure thorough coating of flavours. As the marinade is made with a blend of seven spices such as lemongrass and candlenut, every mouthful delivers a multitude of taste, invigorating the taste buds. The exterior is also deep fried to a perfect crunch. This seabass extravaganza is best served alongside a juicy and refreshing pineapple slaw.
Bounty of the Land
Apart from fresh sea produce, do expect to feast on an equally mouthwatering selection of juicy meat cuts.
The highly raved about Mongolian style slow braised Lamb Leg with Red Sago, Rose Wine and Spices was an eye opener for me. Said to be one of Chef Sia’s signature dishes, the Lamb Leg this time was cooked with a twist and drenched in a specially concocted sauce. I have never been a fan of lamb meat because of the pungent aftertaste and smell that often comes along with it. However, there was completely no hint of a gamey odour and that delighted me greatly.
Now, this dish was an interesting deal. Seemingly normal BBQ Pork Ribs was slow cooked till tender with caramelized charred edges and adorned with… Lychee Pearls! Exotic don’t you agree? It was quite a novel sensation chewing off the pork ribs whilst biting into the little crystals of lychee pearls for that extra (literal) burst of sweetness. However, we all found the BBQ sauce a tad too sweet and hence, the dish would have fared better if cooked a little more savoury.
Rounding up this post, I will feature a personal favourite of mine from the plethora of meat choices. The Duck Leg Confit with Tomato and Garlic really left me grinning with glee. Having undergone a thorough marination of salt and mixed herbs, the tender duck meat was savoury and fragrant. Additionally, besides the fact that the meat was fall off the bone tender, the duck skin was also crispy – a stark, crunchy contrast to the soft leg meat.
For a sweet ending to your meal, or perhaps invigorate your next round of feasting, Mercure’s Surf and Turf Buffet also offers an assorted selection of desserts. Though not extensive, these sweet treats were well delicately crafted and no doubt delicious.
This Vanilla Tapioca Pudding was a refresher from the wholesome meat paradise. Initially rather mild in taste, the fragrance of vanilla tends to build up upon a couple of mouthfuls. I truly enjoyed the smooth texture of the pudding base and mini tapioca balls which added a new dimension to the usual buffet pudding offerings.
Last but not least, I would like to present you my absolute love of the night. As a dessert enthusiast, I was plenty thrilled to have tasted the Chocolate Pandan Financier. Though not the main highlight of this particular buffet and offered at other timings throughout the year, this financier won my heart with its moist interior and slightly crispy edges. The scent of pandan was subtle but substantial and when doubly coated with chocolate (from the chocolate fountain), satisfied my sweet tooth sufficiently.
In a nutshell, Royale’s Surf and Turf Buffet will please the palates of all meat-lovers. Do note that there is also a cold section and baked goods counter to balance off the acidic content of meat abundance, guaranteeing a fulfilling meal for you and your loved ones to celebrate the weekends or, pre-weekends!
Royale Restaurant, Mercure Bugis
122 Middle Rd, Singapore 188973
Nearest MRT: Bugis, Bencoolen