Have been MIA for the last week due to a Conference I was organising. It all went well, many thanks to a great team I had and Marina Mandarin for being such hospitable and accommodating hosts. Mandarin has been known for its service and food – made known by the famous chicken rice and ladies in red traditional costume, and it is the only member of the Leading Hotels of the World in Singapore.
So when my company’s organising team had to go for food tasting earlier last month, we had certain expectations in mind.
We had the choice of a Fillet of Goatfish with Shaved Funnel and Baby Garden Greens, or Poached Supreme Breast of Chicken with Seared Peach Salad and Raspberry Dressing.
Just a side note: I feel that the longer the menu and the more detailed the food item name, the more appetizing it sounds to the diner. Contrast say ‘Potato Salad’, with “German Potato Salad with Crisp Fragrant Bacon and Smooth Sour Cream Dressing”. It is probably the same thing. Yes?
A rather busy dish to start the meal. The group was first figuring out what the red round cup was. It was a creative holder carved from a watermelon with salad and balsamic dressing. Rather fusion in taste, but the sweetness of the fruit with the vinegarish dressing didn’t work for me. The ‘critics’ on the table weren’t too friendly about the dry block of goatfish. It being a starter, some moisture or a wetter sauce would have helped.
The Main Course
There was a choice of a Pan-Seared Supreme of Chicken with Baked US Potatoes, Grilled Asaparagus, Tomato & Olive Compote and Sage Glazed OR Slow-Baked John Dory Fillet with Basil Mashed Potatoes, Garden Greens, Caper & Onion Salsa and Thyme Gazed.
I appreciated that the carbs were almost well hidden in a decorative form behind or below the meat. Therefore, what seems to be a light dish could be rather heavy. Every dish is not only food, but an artwork as well. Some items chosen were probably there to increase the vibrancy of colour and taste of the dish. Though some design teachers will say, stick to 3 colours. For this crowded dish, less is more.
Obvious favourites in the house, especially the Millefeuille of Chococolate with Forest Berries and Nougat Ice Cream. I liked that there are crunches of nougats sprinkled on top of the light ice cream in a little cup. The Hazelnut Parfait with Mocha Marble Sauce and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream was rather delightful as well.
In the end, we requested the chefs to make modifications to certain dishes, and they did accordingly. During the Conference, the guests were very satisfied and 98% of respondents surveyed rated the food & beverage “Good” and above. Marina Mandarin instead scores in terms of its exceptional service. And I jokingly said that I would recommend friends here if they intend to have a wedding reception. Special thanks to Sheryl and the Banquet Managers for a wonderful job!