16.11.14

[Invited Tasting] Seasonal Tastes, Westin

I remember when the Westin hotel chain sold the iconic Stamford Road hotel to the Swissotel group back in the early 2000's and exited entirely from Singapore. I spent a large part of that decade referring to the hotel as the Westin, confounding taxi drivers and bungling up many a meetup with friends. Even now, I sometimes catch myself thinking of the Swissotel as Westin.

The Westin has now returned to our sunny shores, occupying the top floors of Asia Square Tower 2 in the Marina Bay downtown financial sector of the CBD. In spite of its prime grade A locale, the hotel doesn't quite afford the expansive view of the bay or the sea beyond because it's flanked all round by equally towering office blocks. Very unfortunate, methinks, because the lack of a seaview in most rooms would likely work against the hotel because staycationers would naturally look for a seaview to wake up to.

Seasonal Tastes, Westin's in-house all-day buffet restaurant, recently launched their themed dinners, and invited a few of us food bloggers for a taste of their Italian-centric Mamma Mia Pasta Nights on a Monday. Despite the complimentary tasting, I found Seasonal Tastes to be a largely middling buffet, as most buffets tend to be. It wasn't the worst, but it was far from the best. And, if you ask me, I wouldn't pay the $62 pricetag for dinner.

Because we partook of the same buffet as the rest of the public, there wasn't an incognito revisit done as per the usual invited tasting S.O.P.. The food is listed below in descending order of preference.

The Good

The Cheeses were decidedly limited, but they were excellent. 

The standout Wenleysdale Cranberry was my favourite. Studded with dried cranberries for a muted tartness, the cheese was creamy and mild.

The always reliable Gouda

And the pungent polarising Viking Blue

Sweets to satisfy every sweet tooth out there

Green Tea Opera

Clockwise from top left: Assorted Nonya Kuehs, Grand Cru Chocolate Hazelnut Royal, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cheesecake

Earl Grey Tea with Strawberry Mousse

Sea Coconut Jelly Shots


Live-Cooking Pasta Station - pasta as you like it

Juice Station


The Average

Summer Berries Tart


Smoked Turkey

Vegetable Lasagne

Chicken Tikka

Cannelloni stuffed with Mushroom, Ricotta and Chicken

Oven Baked Penne with minced beef stew and cheese

Basmati Rice with Eggs - looked innocuous but turned out fluffy and flavourful

Chocolate Fountain with biscuit sticks, marshmallows, berries

Assorted Chocolate

Roasted Beef

Salami

Bierschinken

Smoked Salmon

Assorted Fresh Cut Fruits

Make-Your-Own Salad Bar



Fusilli Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Shaved Prosciutto

Chilled Prawns

Crabs

Crayfish

Butterfish with Soba and Miso Paste

Wardorf Salad with smoked chicken

Italian Macaroni Cheese Salad with smoked chicken

Caprese Salad with tomato, mozzarella and kalamata olives

Bavarian Potato Salad

Greek Salad with feta


The Bad

Kimchi Fried Rice - insipid


Salmon Sushi - amateurish

Sashimi - slicing was jagged



Assorted Maki

Assorted Sushi Rolls - clumsy

Chilled Scallops and Mussels - rubbery

Vegetable Pakora - batter was soggy and vegetables dried out

Marmite Chicken - dry and tough

Braised Ee-Fu Noodles with roasted duck and wild mushrooms - noodles were tasteless, duck was dry and gamey, but at least the mushrooms were lovely

Gosht Saag (mutton with spinach sauce) - gamey

Wok Fried Black Pepper Beef- gamey, tough and chewy, but the peppers, mushrooms and sauce were decent

Stir-Fried Ginger Pork Belly - dry and tough

Stir-Fried Long Beans in sweet chilli paste - overcooked, too limp

Bhidi Masala - lady's fingers were so overcooked they'd turned into mush

Braised Eggplant with salted fish - ditto, they'd spent too long a time in the cooker

Lobster Russian Salad with Vodka Mayonnaise - too much sour cream

Thai Seafood Salad with glass noodles

The Ugly

Gratinated Crayfish - less than fresh and mushy, and waaaay too much cream


Thanks to the HGW people for the invite and Melissa and Myra of the Westin for hosting!


Seasonal Tastes
Westin Hotel Level 32
12 Marina View
Asia Square Tower 2
Tel: 6922 6968
Open daily from 6.30am to 11pm;
Buffet Lunch from 12noon to 2.30pm ($42 per pax);
Buffet Dinner from 6pm to 10pm ($62 per pax)

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