Food, glorious food
From offering drunken chicken to takeaway turkey, Brazilian barbecue to ginseng specials, hotels and restaurants are surpassing themselves to delight diners
SOME PEOPLE MAY be still undecided whether to play host to a Christmas meal or allow someone else to do the catering. Either way, it helps to know where to go for the best seasonal fare. Here is a round-up of what some hotels, restaurants and bars are offering.
From Christmas Eve until Boxing Day, Cinecitta will present a six-course La Vigilia di Natale set menu ($600 a person). The highlight is baked milk-fed lamb loin with a crust of hazelnuts, candied garlic and artichokes on potato flan. Wines can be paired with each course at $268.
Japanese food lovers can enjoy seven kinds of sushi at Kokage for $320, or nine kinds for $380. The Christmas set menu at La Cite includes Parisian favourites, such as air-dried duck breast, black truffle, pigeon and goose liver. A set menu costs $358 a person on December 24 and 25.
Ye Shanghai will serve a sumptuous 14-course meal that includes spicy sliced sea cucumber, drunken chicken and pan-fried king prawns with XO chilli sauce. The Grand Holiday Celebration menu (December 24 and 31) costs $6,680 for 12 people and $3,340 for six.
Dan Ryan's has a three-course Christmas special between December 24 and 26 at $328 for adults and $190 for children. The menu includes cream of mushroom soup, oven-roasted turkey with walnut stuffing, vegetables and mashed potato or prime rib beef; bread and butter pudding or apple pie. Call 28454600 (Pacific Place), 22658811 (Festival Walk), or 27356111 (Ocean Terminal).
An Italian twist is on the menu at Amaroni's. Dishes include a chowder starter; lobster and seafood angel hair pasta or herb-crusted lamb rack with mushroom risotto and vegetables; and Italian gelato served with fruit. The menu runs from December 24 to 26 and on December 31 and January 1. The price is $328 per person. Call 2265 8818 (Festival Walk) or 28918855 (Wu Chung House).
Diners spending $300 or more in December will be entered for a draw with prizes from Crabtree & Evelyn. They include hampers worth between $1,000 and $3,000, and daily prizes.
A turkey takeaway service is available from Amaroni's and Dan Ryan's outlets for $900. It includes an 18- to 20-pound turkey, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce. Orders should be placed a week in advance.
Christmas dinner at Coyote costs $198 a person. The main courses on offer are a choice between turkey marinated in achiote paste and served with chorizo sausage, yam potatoes and pecan stuffing; or poached salmon fillet in lime, orange and cinnamon tequila stock served with roasted kernel corn and saffron cream sauce.
The Brazilian barbecue ($158 per person) includes slow-cooked beef sirloin, dry rubbed lamb chops or herbed baby whole chicken, each served with peppers and onions, rice and salsa. Call 28612221 or e-mail email@example.com.
Apres has a two and three course set roast turkey lunch ($110/$125), which includes mince pies, Christmas pudding and mulled wine. Call 25247722.
Buffet dishes at Cafe on the Park at the Royal Pacific Hotel include sweet potato and watercress soup, roasted fillet of beef with grilled endive and tomato sauce, and warm chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream. Lunch buffets between December 24 and 26 are $158 to $218 for adults and $108 to $138 for children. Dinner buffets are $268 to $378 for adults and $168 to $248 for children. Tea buffets and late-night buffets will also be available. The Safari Bar at the Royal Pacific will serve Christmas cocktails from December 17 at $66 a glass.
The Excelsior hotel has eight special menus at its restaurants. They include lunch ($350) and dinner ($400) buffets, set menus ($320 to $390). The hotel's Yee Tung Heen is offering a special Chinese Christmas menu. The Carnation ($5,388 per table of 12) includes a barbecued whole suckling pig, Szechuan-style cuttlefish and clams, and double-boiled lotus seed syrup with lily bulbs and red dates.
The Peony menu ($5,888 per table of 12) includes suckling pig, plus delicacies such as braised sliced abalone with goose webs and vegetables, braised conpoy stuffed in marrow, and double-boiled papaya with snow fungus. Call the banquet office on 28376951 for details.
On Christmas Eve, Man Ho Chinese restaurant at the JW Marriott hotel has set dinners for two and four people from $1,688. A table for six is priced at $2,388, and for eight or more at $368 or $388 a person. The hotel's other dining outlets will also run buffets and set menus. Call 28413853/3938 for details.
Belvedere at the InterContinental Grand Stanford is adding a twist to the traditional eggnog, which will be served as a souffle. Christmas Italian style at The Mistral will include a traditional eel dish from the Puglia region. Ginseng specialities will be served at Hoi King Heen throughout this month.
And at Tiffany's New York Bar a menu of festive cocktails at $88 a glass will be served. These include Santa Nova (Prosecco, strawberry liqueur), eggnog and egg custard martini. Call 27215161.
Buffets, high tea, dinners and galas are in abundance at The Peninsula, but if you prefer to dine in your own home and let The Peninsula chefs do the cooking, call the Peninsula Boutique on 23153262. They offer roast turkey and beef wellington, honey-glazed ham, homemade goose liver terrine, desserts, cookies and more.
Main St. Deli at the Langham Hotel is also offering a takeaway service with its turkey-to-go combo priced at $950 (six to 10 people). Included is a 10-12 pound turkey, pumpkin soup, assorted vegetables, and either pumpkin pie or maple-glazed pecan pie. A second combination with a 20-22 pound turkey, larger portions of trimmings and two pies for dessert serves 16 to 20 people and costs $1,550. Call 23751133.