Sometimes when you really don't know what/where to eat but prefer an air-conditioned place - a buffet can be a good way to find something for everyone. We didn't want to go far or dress up beyond casual gear, so we decided to give Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel opposite Parkway Parade a try.
Ooh good choice! They had a large spread, a little bit of everything, justifying the S$30 per person price tag (which I had earlier thought to be a little steep for a suburban hotel eatery).
Seafood lovers will be glad to know there are mussels, prawns and crabs on ice, along with sashimi (salmon and another fish, probably tai/snapper). I didn't take any crabs though (prefer mine spicy hot with black pepper!). well, sashimi also not the freshest. Prawns too, and a bit overboiled. Mussels OK. No oysters on the rocks but there was some hot oyster forestiere (gratin-style with cream and bacon)
Hubby skipped the hot Asian dishes completely but I just had to try some. Most were decent stuff, I've had worse in places like Greenhouse (Ritz-Carlton), The Line (Shangri-la) and such. Although very simple and light, the fish maw soup was quite delicious. Strangely, they placed a huge bowl of sambal belachan next to the wok-fried beef. Both went well with the noodles (which are almost ee-fu like!). Oh, there was a really delicious green bean soup with sago too.
A huge hunk of ham sat on a carvery. It was a bit too salty although well-flavoured and spiked with cloves. You can have it with some fruit jam - I didn't try what it was.
The western soup - cream of mushroom with butter - I also liked. It's a non-pretentious soup, but a satisfying one. Creamy, savoury and hearty. Goes really well with those thick, crisp, garlic croutons. Next to it were some breads, muffins, pastries and a small cheese platter. Also the English muffins with poached egg, which I did not try.
There were two a la minute stations manned by the same chef - he does both the Italian pasta and the local laksa. Hubby's carbonara turned out quite delicious, very thick and creamy too. Nice in small portions like above.
The laksa is also decent, albeit slightly watery. The sambal chili helps to add more flavour. I also added the mussels and prawns from the cold seafood as extra garnishing. Looks better, no?
Desserts - now the durian pengat (or mousse) is the star of the show, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe it's partly my pregnancy craving, but it was sublime! OK, maybe not as fantastic as the one at Merchant Court Hotel, but this came really close. It's almost like sweet, creamy, mashed durians - you can see (and taste) the threadlike bits of durian flesh. Darn, I wanted a second helping even though I downed a whole bowl. We even gave little Nadine a taste - and surprisingly she didn't spit it out (like she does with all food now). Will she be my future durian kaki (hubby's side of family hates durian)?
Other desserts - hits and misses. Some too dry, some too tart, some too sweet. The bread and butter pudding was not bad with loads of cream, it had this really homemade feel about it. I didn't try everything (other cakes, waffles, ice cream, doughnuts). Free-flow juices (orange, grapefruit and pineapple) with coffee and tea round up the buffet.
In summary, this is a nice, casual place to bring the family (I think one dines free with group of four, not sure if tied to specific credit card). Kinda comparable to The Straits Cafe at Rendezvous Hotel. If you're not too fussy about quality of food, it's a nice place to relax and enjoy a weekend lunch.
Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel Level 3
50 East Coast Road
Breakfast: 06.30 am - 10.30 am
Lunch: 12.00 pm - 02.30 pm
Dinner: 06.30 pm - 09.30 pm