A couple of weeks on a gastronomic merry-go-round

1 04 2011

Carousel on a full page of the I-S Magazine Restaurant Guide 2011. Behind it is my kikki.K Daily Notes, and the Korean red string bracelet from The Boy Wonder. Interestingly, the bracelet took the shape of a "C"... for Carousel!

I VIVIDLY remember being on a carousel ride only once in my life.  I never knew I’d make up for it big time as an adult.  For 13 days.

Carousel, the international buffet restaurant on the ground floor of Royal Plaza on Scotts, 25 Scotts Road Singapore, afforded me a couple of weeks to indulge in my unbridled, lustful passion for good food.  It was as if I was guaranteed a seat on an amusement ride that, much like the actual animal seat mounted on posts, moved me up and down, galloping towards all the edible art my heart, soul, and tummy could handle.

Royal Plaza on Scottts... where the magic carousel ride brought me to a memorable gastronomic adventure.


Fresh flowers floating in a bowl of water greet guests at the restaurant entrance.


One of many blown glass chandeliers that hang from Carousel's ceiling.


A view of the dining hall

An ad printed on the pages of I-S Restaurant Guide 2011, published by Asia City Publishing Pte Ltd., gives credence to Carousel’s rightful place in the food mecca that is Singapore:  Best Buffet Restaurant in Singapore by The Straits Times, Best Buffet Restaurant in Singapore by AsiaOne People’s Choice Awards, and 1 Gold, 6 Silver & 2 Bronze medals at Food & Hotel Asia.

Clearly, my sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t alone in appreciating this place and raving about it is warranted.  Actually, Friendship, upon learning that I would be billeted at Royal Plaza on Scotts, was quick to send me a text message saying something like, “that’s the one with the nice buffet!”

Halal-certified and catering to just about every imaginable kind of diet or picky eater, Carousel’s extensive breakfast spread gave me my much needed kick-start to my hectic days.  With my olfactory nerve stimulated by the smell of freshly baked bread and pastries (the mini-muffins were just so pretty!), my eyes allowed to view an otherwise overcast day through pastel-colored macarons, and my ears attuned to the rhythm of slotted turners making omelets to-order, it was easy to understand why, even if I would catch my zzz’s very late into the night, I didn’t ignore my wake-up call to make it to breakfast.

Muffin love! Cranberry, Apple Crumble, and Double Chocolate Chip muffins made fresh daily! Brother loves these!


Macarons!!! Simply the best. From the foreground – coffee, pistachio, hazelnut cream, green tea, and caramel.


My first mushroom and cheese omelet being made by the very accommodating, very pleasant chef. Forgot his name! I think it starts with an "S".


The chef allowed the button mushrooms to render their goodness in a little clarified butter.


The freshest eggs and grated mozzarella cheese were added and voila! My mushroom-and-cheese omelet was ready!

There was never enough time to cover as many of the stations as I wish I could, so I ended up gravitating towards my favorites – the noodle station, the dimsum spread, the wide array of bread, butter, jam and jelly, the egg station (for omelets and eggs over easy), and the fresh fruit juice bar.

I would come to Carousel for my first bites of the day but I would always remember it not only for the great food but also – if not more importantly – for the amazing chefs, staff and crew.

Carousel is open daily for beakfast (6:30 – 10AM), lunch (Mon – Fri, noon – 2PM / Sat – Sun, 11:30AM – 2PM), high tea (3:30 – 5:30PM), and dinner (6:30 – 10:30 PM).

My mushroom-and-cheese omelet shared space with a slice of roast beef cold cut, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, chicken cheese sausage, a slice of white bread, and a breakfast roll.


I ate the white bread with the roast beef and sausage. The roll, I tore piece by piece and stained with lots of unsalted butter. Yum!


Clockwise from bottom left: Mushroom Ragout, Char Kway Teow, Steamed Phoenix Roll in XO Sauce, Chives Swee Kao, Chicken Cheese Sausage, Julienne of Chicken with Tomato Salsa, and a Grilled Tomato with Oregano and Garlic.


What I would have given for a chance to be behind the counter and whip up a sumptuous pasta sauce out of lots of these grilled tomatoes! In my head, I imagine the resulting sauce to be chunky, robust, bursting with smoky goodness!


Nasi Lemak is THE love!!! Here, I paired it with Chives Swee Kao, Steamed Phoenix Rolls and Ho Fan dunmplings!


How could something so simple, like these rolled rice paper noodles, be so delicious?!


I fell in love with these Chives Swee Kao!


These dumplings called Soon Kueh were simply awesome! Dipped in a combination of sweet soy and chili sauce, they were simply divine. I would wait for these all the time.


Soon Kueh, here I am!


How could anyone not love a dumpling as pretty as this?


I'm ashamed to admit just how many of these I could gobble up in one go. I don't want to be banned from Royal Plaza's buffet!


Scallop Dumplings in Enoki Mushroom Sauce on top of steaming hot, fragrant, flavorful, nutty white rice!


Scallops, Enoki Mushrooms, White Rice... what's not to love?!


First of many bowls of noodles on day four. Mee Kia noodles, enoki mushrooms, brown mushrooms, beansprouts, and poached chicken.


Second bowl on the same day as the one above. This one had lots of Taiwan pechay.


First bowl on day five.


On day six, I started my noodle course with Mee Kia with Chee Siew (slightly sweet braised pork).


Second bowl on day six, my first time to incorporate Chee Siew in my noodles. By way of greens, I had lots of the bok choy.


On day seven, the extent of my noodle adventure meant having rice noodles in place of my favorite mee kia.


This bowl was specially made for me by Chef Balvinder. Thank you so much! I won't forget this bowl!


This was the only plate that really struck close to home. My Singaporean version of the Filipino "cornsilog." Corned Beef, Nasi Lemak, and Egg Over Easy.


I love my eggs over easy!


I would always have lots of the grapefruit juice and orange juice!


When I told Christian that the glass of my orange juice had a crack, apart from profusely apologizing, he made up for it by making me a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice! I find the action to be decisive, customer-oriented, and a good representation of the hotel.


A couple of peach halves for dessert!


Carousel's fine cutlery


I would write down all the stuff I ate!


How I'd look after stuffing myself crazy at the buffet!


I took all my sweet time at breakfast on my last day there!


A quiet homage to everything I liked about Carousel, components of my noodle soup arranged daintily on top of pristine white rice.

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