MELT CAFE

T. Dining by Singapore Tatler - - Indian -

This haven at the busy end of Or­chard

Road of­fers an am­ple spread of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional fare. Start with the oys­ters, which are de­li­cious and worth queue­ing for. One of the high­lights of the West­ern se­lec­tion is the crispy pork sad­dle, rolled in a mari­nade of prune, pancetta and herbs; it’s served with a choice of quite a few sauces, of which the most hearty is the jus from the roast­ing pan. The pork is ten­der, with a very crispy crust. For those with a pen­chant for seafood, the lo­cal high­light is the Sin­ga­pore chilli crab, which looks more fiery than it ac­tu­ally is. For dessert, the sticky date pudding, served with a de­li­cious warm cus­tard sauce, ticks all the right boxes. Ser­vice is prompt, cour­te­ous and knowl­edge­able. Man­darin Ori­en­tal Sin­ga­pore, 5 Raf­fles Av­enue, Ma­rina Square, S(039797)

TEL: 6885 3500 The buf­fet of­fer­ings here are ex­ten­sive, with a good va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional fare. Pro­duce is fresh and the qual­ity is spot-on, ev­i­dent in the seafood se­lec­tion com­pris­ing Alaskan king crabs, oys­ters, prawns and mus­sels—brim­ming with fresh ocean flavours. Save some space for other stel­lar dishes, too, which you’ll find across the In­dian, South­east Asian and Ja­panese sta­tions. Worth not­ing are the sashimi and sushi, which are ex­tremely fresh and sat­is­fy­ing, as well as the ke­babs—you’ve got a choice of lamb, chicken and veg­eta­bles, among oth­ers. Desserts also at­tract with choices rang­ing from the deca­dent The Melt choco­late cake to the Asian-in­spired mango kaf­fir lime cheese­cake. Thanks to the lay­out of the din­ing room, the buf­fet ar­eas never feel crowded, even on a busy Fri­day evening; there’s no need to sidestep guests or servers. The staff are ef­fi­cient in clear­ing used plates, yet are never in­tru­sive. They also dis­play a lot of ini­tia­tive, from sug­gest­ing cold drinks at the start to of­fer­ing hot tea and cof­fee when we re­turned to the ta­ble with our desserts.

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