December is my favourite time of the year with festive cheer in the air, a little more time to catch up with friends and family and of course, feasting and merrymaking. I was invited to a tasting of the festive specials by the Park Hotel Group at Open House, located on the 4th floor of Grand Park Orchard.Grilled Chicken with Rum & Raisin Sauce Available from 10 – 25 Dec on rotation basis on the buffet line
We started with some appetizers from the buffet line which featured the usual salads, cold cuts and smoked seafood while waiting for the specials to be served. The first festive special served that evening was Grilled Chicken with Rum & Raisin Sauce. It was my favourite dish of the evening as the succulent and slightly savoury chicken was complemented by the aromatic, earthy flavour of molasses from the rum and a burst of sweetness when biting into a plumped up raisin. This is definitely a Must-Try! It’s available on a rotational basis so if you want to try it, do enquire ahead if they’ll be serving this dish on the day of your visit.Braised Beef Cheeks with Red Wine Available from 10 – 25 Dec on rotation basis on the buffet line
The next festive special was Braised Beef Cheeks with Red Wine. The fork-tender chunks of beef cheek had been stewed to perfection in a richly flavoured red wine-based sauce. A modern interpretation of the traditional Boeuf Bourgignon, the stew doesn’t have pearl onions nor mushrooms but was served with dollops of fresh tomato salsa to lighten the flavour. Also available on rotational basis, this is a Must-Try if you see it on the buffet line.Roasted Australian Rack of Lamb with Dried Fruits & Nuts @ S$98 (1.2kg)
We then sampled the Roasted Australian Rack of Lamb from their Christmas Goodies takeaway menu. The lamb was just a tad on the dry side but it was tasty. As I do not have a sweet tooth, I didn’t particularly take to the dried fruits and nuts crust. I enjoyed the mango salsa that was served on the side but felt that it could do with just a little spicing up (some Tabasco, maybe) to add an additional dimension to the dish. Grand Park Orchard will be serving Provencal Rack of Lamb on a rotational basis on the buffet line as well during this period.Char Siew Turkey with Five Spices
What would Christmas (or Thanksgiving) be without turkey? In addition to the traditional Roasted Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing, Giblet Gravy & Cranberry Sauce, Grand Park Orchard will be serving Char Siew Turkey with Five Spices and offering Low Temperature Braised Turkey with Soya & Blue Ginger on the takeaway menu. We sampled the Char Siew Turkey with Five Spices. The turkey had a briny flavour whilst the five-spice infused sauce was pretty salty so the combination of both was too salty for some of my dining companions and I. The watermelon slice that was served with the turkey helped to add moisture and to temper the saltiness of the dish. We gave our feedback to our gracious hosts who will be making the necessary tweaks for future batches.Claypot Assam Fish
If you love fish and spices, give the Claypot Assam Fish a try. Prepared a la minute, the Claypot Assam Fish contains fresh and sweet chunks of snapper cooked in a warm and slightly spicy tamarind juice-based sauce. This is one of their signature dishes along with the Teriyaki Chicken Pizza and Waxed Meats Claypot Rice (aka Lap Mei Fan), all of which are prepared to order. I like the claypot rice here too so do save room for some when you visit.Laksa
Open House also serves Laksa, a local hawker favourite, amongst other options such as Wanton Noodles. The prawns were fresh, firm and juicy but the Laksa gravy was not spicy nor salty enough for me. This is worth a try if you have a low tolerance for chili.
If you love Chinese food, try the Dim Sum such as Siew Mai (Steamed Prawn & Pork Dumpling) and Har Gao (Steamed Prawn Dumpling encased in a crystal-like thin wheat starch wrapper), and a platter of assorted Cantonese-style roasted meats and braised soy sauce chicken.Jade Midori Cocktail Midori, sour apple, passionfruit & pineapple juice
The Christmas lights along Orchard Road is reinforcing the festive atmosphere, a time for revelry. We sampled some cocktails that had been created by the mixologists at Bar Canary, an al fresco bar located on pool area on the 4th floor of Grand Park Orchard. The Jade Midori Cocktail was refreshingly fruity and had a beautiful jade green hue.Grand Canary Champagne Cocktail @ S$26++ Veuve Clicquot Champagne with Ginger Purée
My favourite drink for the evening was the Grand Canary Champagne Cocktail, a well-balanced concoction of Veuve Clicquot Champagne with fresh young ginger purée. The young ginger purée added a touch of spice without overwhelming the crisp flavour of the Champagne. This is a Must-Try!
1) Quote the promotion code “Festive at Open House” when making your reservations to enjoy a 20% discount off the lunch / dinner buffet price from 10-23 December 2012.
2) To win a S$100 F&B voucher, visit: Blogger Festive 2012 Giveaway and submit a short entry form before midnight on 20 December 2012.Roasted Char Siew Turkey with Five Spices *Image reproduced with permission from Park Hotel Group Festive Buffet Prices : (remember to quote “Festive at Open House” when making reservations for a 20% discount between 10-23 Dec) 10 -24 Dec : Lunch @ S$ 42 ++ per person 10-23 Dec : Dinner @ S$58++ per person ——————- 24 Dec : Dinner @ S$98++ per person* * Includes free flow of wines, chilled juices & soft drinks ——————- 25 Dec: Lunch / Dinner @ S$68++ per person** ** Add S$50++ per person to enjoy free flow of Champagne, wines & soft drinks ——————- 31 Dec : Lunch @ S$33++ per person 31 Dec: Dinner @ S$148++ per person*** *** Includes free flow of Champagne, wines, beers, House Pour spirits & soft drinks till 12.30am Daily Operating Hours:
Lunch: 12pm to 2.30pm Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.30pm (31 Dec: 7pm to 11pm) PS: Thank you, Kelyn, Karen and Executive Chef Chua Yew Hock from Park Hotel Group for the hospitality.