went with a friend, who is an accomplished peranakan home chef himself, to ellenborough market cafe for lunch today on 8.10.2015. ^^
this my second time here this year, after a hiatus of probably 8 or 10 years. never get to use the FAR (feed at raffles) 50% vouchers for many years at this or other FAR restaurants either.
ambience was pretty nice. friend who is more familiar with this place thought it’s usually quite packed & was surprised that it wasn’t.
there was a cold appetizer section with prawns, yabbies, mussels.
prawns was good, i guess quite standard.
yabbies nice to look at & admire. as we know, not much meat & also meat is rougher than prawns, not as fine & sweet.
there was a salad section, soup & bread.
there were 2 soup – a chinese lie tong type, pork ribs i think & a cream of tomato with basil. i wasn’t too interested so did not take photos.
i tried the lady fingers. pretty ok.
the prawn mushrooms. ok too.
there was only salmon sashimi & some maki sushi.
i started with sashimi, cold appetiser & salad.
didn’t look particularly great, but the salmon sashimi was quite excellent. fresh & sweet & i like the oily belly cuts. ^^
friend made 6 kueh pie tee (you have to add the ingredients onto the hat yourself).
they were nice, good standard.
i think the chinese ramen was the bestest dish!^^
ramen chef made a live demo, whacking the marble top with the flour noodles.
freshly made & rather thick.
but it was super nice! excellent texture, wholesome taste, a super broth to rival any tonkotsu & very tasty meatballs.
i liked the babi pongteh too. just perfect texture & so flavourful.
liked the chicken too.
very nice curry, some very fragrant galangal taste & ginger fibre texture.
the hong kong steamed garoupa was also very well done.
problem with buffet – you take a tiny morsel here, and there & your plate & stomach are full.
the sea sumcumber duck was also very good.
duck was very tender, very lightly & nicely flavoured. i had a second helping.
did too for the babi pongteh & ayam buah keluak.
din take the fruits nor the ahborling (sesame dumplings) & most other dessert.
basically took some durian pengat.
they were very good.
i generally not keen on main courses on food warmers in buffet, so usually go for semi buffet where the main course is an ala carte order like at one ninety @ four seasons hotel or equinox or basilico, like a fine dining main course.
so in other buffets like the edge or carousel or olive tree (all i mostly don’t really like) or 10 at claymore with ala carte buffet items (which i like), i go for the appetizer & skips most of the main course.
here at EMC, there is very little appetizer to talk about (say c/w one ninety or equinox), and the main courses did not look all that great. fortunately they tasted quite well, though they were robust dishes, and rightly so for peranakan dishes. it’s the grandma comfort food sorts.
i guess the best thing was the price. at S$38pax for weekday lunch & 50% off for FAR discounts, it was just S$19++pax, nothing to complain about, and the best thing was that the dishes were really quite good.
& the great ambience, good company & conversation. 🙂