Thursday, August 14, 2008
High Tea at Carousel
Nadine did well yesterday at her annual development review with Dr Bhavani Sriram, the foremost physician for Down Syndrome in Singapore. We always feel good after meeting Dr Bhavani. She is genuinely warm, full of encouragement and love for these children. Oh, and her husband is Nadine's cardiac surgeon too. He's the best around, and has saved many lives.
After the session with Dr Bhavani, we decided to treat Nadine (and ourselves!) to a high tea at Carousel. She enjoys tasting a bit of everything, and it's a great way for us to discover what she likes or not. Used the DSLR and noticed a difference to the quality of photos, compared to those taken at the lunch we had last year. Alas, photos better this time but food not as good. Still, there were some highlights.
Carousel has scaled back its high tea, I think. Last year, there were still cold seafood (mussels, scallops) on ice but now it's just limited mixed sashimi, sushi, and some salads. These looked and tasted like leftovers from lunch.
Nasi lemak with the works - achar, crispy chicken wings, onion omelette, fried ikan bilis with peanuts, a very rich vegetable curry (sayur lodeh), minced mutton curry and fish fillet. Most of it pretty good, but the rice was overly "lemak" (rich), saturated with coconut cream and a bit soggy.
There was doner kebab-style chicken shovaslaki with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pita bread. Edible but not as good as the ones from Zac Cafe. Forgettable mini pizzas in the background.
Lots of Asian stuff at the high tea. Fried kway teow, laksa, congee, soups, fried items. Seafood otah, on the far right, was very good. Meant for nasi lemak, but people had swiped it all during the time I plated my nasi lemak earlier. The serving ladies are almost motherly - one of them said to me the kway teow is fried well today, and asked me to take the shrimp. I don't get this kind of service very often!
We found the fried and dim sum items a little dry. One easy explanation - this place is halal and therefore, chicken is used to replace pork. This does not translate well, as chicken tends to taste dry. Sorry but non-halal dim sum just doesn't make the cut.
I had fun with the DIY ice kachang dessert. There's a cast-iron machine that shaves ice into snow-like mounds but it looks so traditional, like the ones used by stalls in olden days, I was automatically looking for a manual handle before I spied the on-off operation button. Customise your creation with gula melaka, colourful syrups, jellies, coconut cream, evaporated milk, creamed corn, gingko nuts, lotus seeds, and even maraschino cherries.
Ah, just the other day, Keropokman was talking about ban jian kueh, or mee jiang kueh as Carousel calls them. The friendly serving lady gave me freshly made ones, saying these would be nicer hot. The muah chee (glutinous rice dough balls coated with crushed peanuts and sugar) is nicer though.
Turns out the desserts were better than the mains (or the savoury items). There is a small selection of French pastries, as well as Nonya kuehs. I didn't get to sample all of them. Also available (which I had no room for) - a tall chocolate fountain, tubs of ice cream, lots of fruits, muffins and scones with accompanying jams, creams and sweet sauces.
Hubby liked the sweet tapioca braised in syrupy honey, topped with coconut milk; whereas I preferred the bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce - yes, those are real vanilla specks in the sauce!
I see that prices have increased for some meals. The food was not as stellar as what's served at lunch but still, the weekday high tea offers good variety and value-for-money at S$25++ (Citibank cardholders get 15% off, not sure until when). Expect to pay S$32++ at weekends though. Reservations recommended.
(click on "Launch Dining Site" to see sample menus, dining hours, etc.)
Lobby Level, Royal Plaza on Scotts
25 Scotts Road
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