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City Hall / Bras Basah, Singapore
The restaurant in Mandarin Oriental is welcoming, especially since the first thing you’ll see is the dessert bar filled with heavenly pastries. It’s quite spacious as it can seat 300 diners (including the al fresco area), and it has a family-friendly ambience with its floor-to-ceiling windows that keep the interiors bright during the day—perfect for Sunday brunches.
Melt Café is known for its variety of international offerings served at its show kitchens. There’s the seafood counter on ice which has some of the freshest treasures of the sea. One such item is the freshly shucked oysters with just enough brininess that pleases the palate. The meaty crabs and lobsters have a natural sweetness, while the prawns are big and juicy.
The Indian fare also doesn’t disappoint, and what you get is a selection of the best dishes from this cuisine. Of course, the must-try are the tandoori and kebabs, as well as the naan which come in different flavours. Don’t miss out on the curries featuring chicken and lamb, with a thick, rich and memorable curry sauce.
Dinner from Wednesdays to Saturdays and brunch on Sundays have an additional offering—the barbecue grill. It’s housed in what seems like a small hut at the al fresco terrace and operated by chefs who grill meats and seafood upon order. The whole roasted suckling pig has succulent meat and a nicely charred crispy skin, while the tenderloin fillet steak is not too thick so the smoky flavours are infused in the meat.
The best way to end the meal is with desserts. The Melt Café chocolate crunch gateaux is perfect for dessert lovers as it’s sweet and indulgent without being cloying, while the mango mousse is light and tastes like the real fruit. There’s also the crepe station which prepares the dessert upon order. You can jazz it up with the condiments at the counter such as chocolate balls and candy sprinkles.
The restaurant has an extensive list of champagnes and sparkling, red and white housepours. There’s even one choice of rose and sweet wine. The wines by the bottle are equally impressive as the restaurant has sourced popular labels from the Old and New World wine producing regions.
The tasting for this restaurant was done on a Sunday, and though the restaurant was not fully booked, there were quite a number of diners. Our request to move to a table in the main dining area was still granted. There were enough staff manning the restaurant so drinks were topped up promptly. The wait staff were also very friendly and conversed with diners. They also gave spot-on recommendations on which cocktails to order.
The buffet is on the pricier side with lunch at $62++ and dinner at $82++. The Sunday Champagne Brunch also costs $158++ with free flow drinks. But with the amount of food you get in one visit, it’s well worth the price.