Seven eats to get you into the festive mood

When it comes to year-end dining, we in Singapore are spoilt for choice. But why waste precious stomach space on boring old eats when there are Lego-shaped foie gras to turkey marinated in five spice for us to savour. Here are some interesting eats, available only this time of the year, to satisfy any of your holiday hankerings.

1. Breeze’s Five Spice Turkey

Part of a three-course spread, Breeze’s roasted turkey comes bursting with flavour, thanks to the use of five-spice powder. It is tender, and served as a meat platter (meaning no tedious carving is needed) along with a chestnut stuffing paired with wild berry and pineapple compote. 

With the emphasis on communal dining, the meat platter comes filled with other tantalising items such as the chargrilled bourbon beef ribs, which is worth trying if the turkey doesn’t tickle your fancy. Then end off on an sugary note with this just-sweet-enough eggnog creme brulee before lingering a while longer at this rooftop venue while sipping on some of the restro bar’s unique cocktail creations. Book early as there are limited seats.

Breeze’s three course meal is priced at $85 a person. Available on Dec 24 at Breeze, 33 Erskine Road, The Scarlet Hotel rooftop. A New Year's Eve menu is also available on Dec 31.

2. Poulet’s Roti in Caramelised Apple Sauce

Savoury-sweet is a quintessential festive flavour and this dish delivers that in spades. This twist to its signature brined chicken improves upon the original taste by adding a slightly toasty, fruity aroma into the mix, with none of the hint of saccharine many sweetened dishes often exude. 

A blood orange and cucumber cooler ($4.90), essentially an Italian soda, is also on offer to pair nicely with the flavourful chicken, and is also great for cleansing the palette. To round it off, try the rustic French pear and apple tart dessert ($8.90). While the two starchy fruits in it are meant as highlights, it is the vanilla ice-cream, made using real vanilla pods, which adds a nice, textured finish as it drenches the pastry and fruits in a creamy ensemble.

Poulet’s Roti with Caramelised Apple Sauce is priced at $17.90. Available till Dec 31 at all Poulet outlets, including 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City #B1-65/66.

3. The Halia’s Singapore-style Chili Crab

For many, the allure of chili crab never dies, even during the festive season when the turkey tries to upstage all other meats to take centre stage. Thankfully, The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens offers the signature local dish on Christmas day itself, in the form of a pasta dish, done a la minute, topped with the spicy, sweet and tangy crabmeat sauce. 

It is part of its festive buffet spread, which also features other locally inspired dishes such as the bak kwa (honey BBQ pork slivers) carbonara pasta and its version of the kueh pie tee (crispy tophats) filled with ingredients of your choosing. A carvery station, cold dish selection, desserts, free-flow wines and more round off the experience to ensure you leave The Halia ready for, if not needing, a stroll in the surrounding gardens.

The Halia’s buffet is priced at $128-$138 inclusive of free-flow wines, or $108-$118 inclusive of free-flow soft drinks and juices. Available at The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road.

4. Marks & Spencer’s Christmas hampers

For a spot of guilty grocery shopping, indulge yourself by bypassing the usual supermarkets and heading instead to Marks & Spencer’s Food Halls where the festive mood is in full swing. While the hampers here - filled with delectable mince pies, puddings, a range of cookies, special edition teas, wines and more - are the main attraction, there are some nifty standalone knick knacks that serve well as both decor and nibbles. 

For those lazy to set up an actual tree, the rotating musical Christmas tree biscuits tin ($29) is small enough to sit atop a desk. Or get the Santa’s house gingerbread tin ($35) adorned with twinkling lights to bathe your abode in a warm, cosy afterglow while your guests munch on the spiced biscuits.

Marks & Spencer’s Christmas hampers are priced between $60 and $400. Available at all outlets, including 68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura #02-16/20.

5. Caffé B’s Japanese Risotto with Mushrooms and Scallions

Part of a six-course spread, this dish is a well-crafted take on Japanese-Italian fusion fare Caffé B is known for. The goopy risotto is made with a mix of miso broth and parmesan cheese, then tossed in sake before being topped with golden and Honshimeiji mushrooms, yellow tomato, chives and pan-seared scallops. It tastes heavy with umami, thanks to the miso and parmesan combination, yet balanced enough for you to keep going at it without feeling overwhelmed with flavour. 

While here, do opt for the wine-pairing option, an affordable add-on which also allows you to taste four different wines, and is much-needed to help cleanse your palate after each dish.

Caffé B’s six course meal is priced at $150 inclusive of wine pairings, or $100 without. Available at Caffé B, 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands #B1-15.

6. Antoinette's Foie Gras Lego

Not involving any actual Lego pieces, but still just as cool, Antoinette’s festive edition foie gras is shaped just like an actual Lego piece and made with tart raspberry jelly, caviar, candy pistachio, pistachio sponge and brioche toast on the side. 

This highly Instagrammable creation is part of a nine-course Christmas Eve set dinner, which includes other worthy mentions such as the “egg & bacon” dessert made with coconut foam, candied bacon, sweet olive oil and cocoa nib, as well as the tender braised beef cheek served alongside potato puree, vegetables, crispy quinoa and port jus. Be sure to get some of their beautiful cakes and cookies and bring home some Christmas cheer.

Antoinette’s nine-course dinner is priced at $130 a person. Available on Dec 24 at all outlets, including 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance #B1-08/09/10C.

7. Hungry Heroes’ Special Festive Platters

Featuring meaty meals of massive proportions, this restaurant and bar, newly opened in November this year, is big on communal dining and even bigger on superhero memorabilia. If you’re a fan of either of those things, now is a great time to visit this joint with a group of friends. 

Catering to gatherings as small as three to as large as 10 people, expect a meat feast of honey glazed ham, pulled pork, beef stew, lamb rack, veal osso bucco, pork ribs and more. Then wash all that goodness down with its selection of craft brews, such as the Deschutes River Ale, an easy-to-imbibe pale ale, or the Hazel Nut Brown Nectar, great for pairing with grilled meats. Once done, head on upstairs for a bout of Christmas shopping at Art Art And Away, the venue’s second-storey home decor retail space cum art gallery.

Hungry Heroes’ Special Festive Platters are priced between $108 and $328. Available from Dec 19-31 at 33 Tessensohn Road.

dannonh@sph.com.sg