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Chocolate Lovers Cheer as Fullerton's Chocolate Buffet Returns

By Thursday, June 07, 2018 , , , , , , , , , ,

You've been warned. Chocolate lovers will revel in the fact that Fullerton Hotel's The Courtyard has brought back their Chocolate Buffet (S$45++ per adult; S$22 per child) and it is only on Fridays and Saturdays from 8.00pm to 11.00pm.


Bigger, better and helmed by Executive Pastry Chef Siddharth Prabhu, the weekend evening affair features a slew of novel creations that will tantalise the tastebuds of both young and old.

Chocolate Savouries


(From top left in clockwise direction) Bitter Sweet Chocolate Lime Arancini, Cocoa Spice-rubbed Baby Pork Ribs, Wagyu Beef and Peruvian Chocolate Poblano Chilli Empanada and Baked Ocean Trout Mini Quiches

I was really intrigued by the savoury section of the buffet as I've always heard of beef with chocolate sauce but I've never ever tried it before. Moreover, most people think of chocolate as a sweet treat rather than paired with a meat.

What I liked: the pork ribs and mini quiches. The ribs were so tender and fell off the bone (no wonder there wasn't any knives on the table) and although the chocolate powder was a tad bitter at first, it does melt into the meat upon chewing and provides a nice flavour. You MUST eat the meat together with the fried curry leaves to add another dimension of flavour.

The quiches were fun and bite-sized although one of my quiches had too little trout for me to taste it. My aunt was dreaming of spinach in hers. No chocolate in this dish but it does help break any overwhelming chocolate taste in your mouth that you may already have.

What I didn't like: the empanada and arancini. Sorely disappointed in both dishes. The wagyu filling wasn't well seasoned and because of that, I started to be a bit picky with the pastry as it wasn't flaky nor rich tasting as you'd expect from either a puff or a Cornish pasty.

Arancini is essentially a fried risotto ball and while I liked the crispy outer layer, the burst of chocolate in the middle didn't quite go. Lime? What lime? Me no taste lime. Meh. Skip the carbs and move on.

Interactive Stations

Executive Pastry Chef Siddharth Prabu at the Live Nitro Station

Cue the theatrics at the Live Nitro Station, where liquid nitrogen is flamboyantly used to instantly freeze liquid chocolate into a ball and placed on a bed of meringue.


You probably can't see from the photo above but there are wisps of 'smoke' from the liquid nitrogen. Crack it open and...


The core of Valrhona 70% Chocolate sponge, crumble, espuma and meringue is revealed. My aunt and I really loved this dish as it was fun in terms of presentation but it was also very light! It was amazing how the sponge and meringue simply melted into your mouth, which made me feel like I was eating chocolate flavoured air. Delightful!

Create Your Own Hot Chocolate Station


Besides eating chocolate, you can also drink your chocolate the way you like. Select from 3 types of chocolate (white, milk and dark) and add your choice of spices or matcha. The chef there told me that if it's white chocolate, it would be with matcha while dark chocolate is preferred with the spices. 

I chose to have dark chocolate with all the spices. The result was very rich but it could use a bit more cinnamon. Perhaps they should've used the powder instead of the bark itself.

Valrhona Tasting Table

Good quality chocolate is used for all of the creations at this buffet and it's really cool to see the 12 varieties of chocolate in bite-sized 'coins' of varying cocoa percentages so guests can sample the delicacies in its purest form.


I chose one to try out (see the bottom left corner) where it is a 40% milk chocolate with notes of caramel and vanilla. I liked the idea of the tasting table because you get to taste the real chocolates first, so I do suggest trying these first before hitting the other delicious goodies.

Chocoholic Wonderland

Chefs topping up the chocolate fountain

They've kept the ever popular Chocolate Fountain that's accompanied by choux puffs (it already has chocolate...so why would I want to double the chocolate?), fresh fruit and marshmallows. Too bad the air-con isn't cold enough to harden the chocolate after you take it out from the fountain.


There were so many other creations such as cakes, mousses, tartlets, macarons and even 3 different types of Chocolate Ice Creams. There were frozen Matcha and Milk Chocolates too, and I guess it's supposed to be a little bit like the Japanese Nama Chocolate? They're not very hard despite it's frost-bitten look (see above, bottom right).

There were cake pops such as the Snickers which looked like a dressed up Petit Four but really tasted like a massive Snickers bar. I also liked the White Chocolate Caramel cake although my aunt found it a tad too sweet. Do note that the jars can also be opened for more chocolate coated nuts or chocolate balls. 

I just wished that there were better descriptions to tell you what you're eating. They had a tray simply named "Selection of Pralines" and although it was a nice surprise to bite into a lavender flavoured centre, it would've been really helpful to know what I was eating. Some of the desserts had no description and you just had to guess the flavours as they hit your tastebuds.

Dessert Cocktails

Milo Zero mocktail (left) and Mile Zero cocktail (right) with cocoa cereal bar (bottom)

More liquid desserts in the form of cocktails (S$25++ per glass) are available, such as the Tolberone Martini, featuring vodka, butterscotch, milk, Kahlua and chocolate sauce. Specially created for the Fullerton's 90th anniversary, the Mile Zero cocktail (additional S$15++) is a chocolatey drink made of vodka, Bailey's and milo; while a child-friendly Mile Zero mocktail (additional S$9++) is a drink of fresh milk liberally topped with Milo powder and Milo Cereal crunch balls. 

The drinks are so-called because Fullerton is the starting point where milestones were measured from. You can read more about the milestone system in Singapore here. Thus, it is quite apt that these drinks contain Milo, which is quite the Singaporean favourite for both young and old.

Initially, I didn't quite like the cocktail as I found it a bit diluted due to the choice of milo instead of chocolate milk. Nonetheless, it did grow on me and was quite nice to sip on throughout the meal. This might actually taste better than my favourite Chocolate Mortinis at Morton's. As for the mocktail, think of it as Milo Godzilla on crack. Yup, it is beyond the Milo Dinosaur. It really is Milo gaogao. One sip and I was done. And I actually like Milo Dinosaur.

Chocolate Calligraphy


At the end of June, Clarence Wee of Craft Varies will take up residency at The Courtyard to personalise dining plates with his beautiful calligraphy. You can have your name written in chocolate or dedicate a special message, then plate up your unique creation at the buffet.

Conclusion

You can taste that the chocolate used is of very high quality and if you love bitter chocolate, you'll definitely be in chocolate seventh heaven. I'm not so sure whether the children would really appreciate all the dishes, but they'll definitely be happy that there's such a thing as a chocolate buffet. S$45 may seem like a lot to pay for chocolates but when you think about the quality of the chocolate and how each creation really takes a lot of effort to produce, it really is value-for-money.

I think my tastebuds have changed as I aged. If I were still in my 20s, I think I'd be revelling in the buffet and you'll see me grinning from ear to ear on a chocolate-high. As much as I indulge my sweet tooth, I find that sweets are a good finisher to a meal and I wish that I could taste every single creation on its own at separate meals. But I'll go back for the cocktails!

For more information and reservations, please call Dining Reservations at +65 6877 8911 / 8912 or visit www.fullertonhotels.com



Photo credits: In Chef Mode and The Fullerton

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