There are days when we feel nostalgic and really crave food that connect us to our roots. They are food that rejuvenates our souls, that remind us of cultures and traditions that we grew up with, that we will never get sick of.
Yet, revelation always brings us new things and trends, and we lose sight of some of the familiarity along the way. We are then taught to appreciate and cherish, and reminisce the good things that tug at our heartstrings. It can be as simple as Braised Pig’s Trotter with Vermicelli, or a plate of celebratory Yi Bua. And these old fashion stay gold forever.
Sometimes, we are lost for words when we sink our teeth into these nostalgic flavours. But it is quite simply the best kind of feeling when we bite into our favourite food from the past – something that we loved as a child, so pure and unadulterated.
This August, let us all rekindle the good ol’ times as Plaza Brasserie at PARKROYAL on Beach Road brings back all our classic favourites from the different dialects. Celebrate with Flavours of Old Singapore, and treat yourself to what might possibly be the most heart-warming buffet.
THE STARTING POINT
Whet your appetite with starters like Stuffed You Tiao with Seafood Paste, Green Mango Salad and Asian Rojak. Cheese lovers have a cheese board to look out for, and no one says no to a free flow of Brie.
If you need your cold seafood, stuff yourself silly with Tiger Prawns and Flower Crabs. But we suggest leaving some space for some Maki and Roti Prata – yes, you have a live station and everyone loves an Indian Prata man flipping our dough before our eyes. Don’t forget your curry!
TAKE A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
Now, this is tricky. Which to start first?
There is the Cantonese Braised Chicken Wings with Fermented Red Beancurd, and the Hokkiens will be delighted to know that Kan Chia Mee (“Rickshaw Noodles”) is available at the noodle counter on selective nights. Oh, what memories! Our parents would remember paying ten cents for a bowl of these noodles, and that was considered an occasional indulgence. Now, eat your fill as you relive childhood memories with those you hold dear to your heart.
We would love to tell you about just how much we love the Steamed Sea Bass. Plaza Brasserie dishes up a lovely rendition of what we know as comfort food – the flesh is sweet and steamed with precision to promise a full-bodied flavour.
Another dish to keep your eyes peeled on is the Stir-fried Beef with Pineapple. Rejoice, Hainanese! The fuss-free dish that is so common among this dialect group is one highlight of the buffet, and boy, was it so well-executed! Stir-fried tender beef with pineapple slices that the Hainanese frequently use in their cooking; it is almost impossible to find this classic Hainanese dish anywhere else.
What else excites you? How about some Teochew Oyster Omelette? Or a portion of Hakka Stir-fried Abacus Seeds? We are pretty sure the latter is a popular favourite among many generations. Otherwise, you have your usual local delights like Assorted Satay and Laksa – all on rotation basis.
Another Teochew mainstay is the Crystal Dumplings, with both sweet and savoury options. The sweet one comes in the form of mochi-like balls with red bean paste, while the savoury ones are dumplings with turnip filling. And they both boast a homemade clear skin that is not overly gooey and sticky, and adds a complementary texture to the generous fillings.
Many more mains to discover, but we will not spoil your surprise too much, except to tell you that you cannot go without trying the Braised Pig’s Trotters with Vermicelli.
SWEET SECRETS OF THE PAST
One good advice from us is to allocate half your stomach’s capacity for desserts and snacks, because there is a lot to stuff yourself silly with! Most of them are on rotation basis, but we promise there will be something you’d find familiar.
We really loved the Kacang Putih (Indian mixed nuts) counter, just like how it used to be when we were kids and would pester our parents for a few cents whenever we see the Kacang Putih man in our neighbourhood. As trends evolved, the existence of Kacang Putih stalls is threatened and we can hardly fix our cravings these days. So while you may think it is just nuts, think again. And we love Flavours of Old Singapore for bringing this back.
Note: the assorted nuts will be served altogether in a gunny sack, diners will scoop their individual portions into a bowl.
Remember Kueh Tutu too? Pasar malam (a popular street market that sells a variety of snacks, toys, clothes and random furniture – usually found in residential areas) trips would not be complete without a pack of this traditional Singaporean delicacy. Fluffy cake-like snack that is made of rice flour and steamed with peanut or shredded coconut filling, this is ever satisfying.
If you were a kid who frequented humble neighbourhood bakeries, you would remember pointing out to those ever pretty creamed cake slices. Simple vanilla chiffon cake lusciously covered in butter cream – exactly what our hearts need.
Also among our favourites is the Hainanese Yi Bua, a celebratory dessert that was commonly found in special occasions like weddings and baby showers. To refresh your memory, Yi Bua is a glutinous coconut rice cake. Wrapped with banana leaves, these cakes contain a decadent filling of shredded coconut, brown sugar and ground peanut. Simply divine!
There are definitely more to pick from, like the Burbur Terigu, Putu Mayam and Tang Yuan. And it is indeed one party we would love to be a part of.
Flavours of Old Singapore at Plaza Brasserie, PARKROYAL on Beach Road, runs from 1 to 31 August 2014 during dinner buffet (6pm to 10pm daily) at S$60++/adult, and S$36++/child.
Enjoy 15% savings for buffet dinner, applicable to ANZ, DBS, Diners Club, CIMB Bank, Maybank, NTUC and OCBC cardholders. UOB cardholders get 15% savings for total bill.
WIN A ONE NIGHT STAY AT PARKROYAL ON BEACH ROAD’S PREMIER ROOM
When you are having the buffet, post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #PlazaBrasserie and win a one night weekend stay in PARKROYAL on Beach Road’s Premier Room with late checkout and complimentary breakfast for two at Plaza Brasserie.
This contest commences on 4 Aug and ends on 10 Nov 2014. The results will be announced on PARKROYAL on Beach Road’s Facebook page on 8 Sep (2 winners), 8 Oct (2 winners), and 10 Nov (1 winner).
PARKROYAL on Beach Road
7500 Beach Road, Level One
Tel: +65 6505 5710
Daily: 6pm – 10pm
Email: [email protected]
This post is brought to you by PARKROYAL on Beach Road.