Lunching 70 floors up at the Equinox Singapore
I love buffets for their variety and take comfort that everyone gets to choose what they want to eat. When it came to selecting a venue for our mom’s 75th birthday celebration, my sister and I considered many options as we had a group of 20 people. It was Singapore’s National day and we wanted a place that everyone could mingle and enjoy lunch and yet not feel rushed. Somewhere that everyone would be happy with the food, somewhere special. What better place to have a surprise 75th birthday celebration than at Equinox, located on the 70th floor of Swissôtel, Singapore, in the heart of the city?
Having an enjoyable food experience for me is not only about the food, it’s the atmosphere of the place, the company, and even the service comes into consideration. Going to Equinox has always been special to me, the experience starts when you walk from their front desk on the ground floor, through a dimly lit corridor to the lift. It almost feels like you are going somewhere sacred, mysterious and magical.
During the journey in the lift to the 70th floor, my ears got blocked many times due to the rising air pressure. My heart was racing as I knew that the view that would greet me would be fantastic. When I stepped out of the lift and into the main restaurant, I was not disappointed. I’ve always been mesmerised by the view of Singapore from Equinox. You really see how Singapore has progressed though the years through the buildings seen. When looking at the landscape (more buildings than land, though). It was a clear day so the view was beautiful, and the same scene at nighttime is also breathtaking.
Going to Equinox literally makes you feel on top of the world and we were lucky enough to be able to get 2 tables next to the windows. In such a fantastic setting, the food almost becomes secondary. But it did not take long before my cousin and I were checking out the buffet spread before the guests arrived. The Equinox does not allow pictures to be taken of their buffet spread, so I did my best to showcase their array of food through my chosen dishes at the table.
I started with a cream of celeriac with some toasted pine nuts. The other choice of soup was miso. The cream of celeriac was not too creamy was an excellent entrée.
Next I had sashimi and sushi, which were very fresh. Clockwise from the top left is hokigai (surf clam), hiramasa (king fish), sake (salmon) sushi and inarizushi (bean curd skin stuffed with sushi rice). The hokigai has been cooked slightly to give it beautiful crimson red at the top. In a nutshell, inarizushi is made from fried tofu skin (aburaage) that has been simmered in a sweet-soy sauce based stock, drained then stuffed with sushi rice. The Equinox chefs have creatively topped the inarizushi with flying fish roe, minced crabstick, diced avocado and Japanese mayo. Honey loves this photo and thinks it’s the best one I took from my whole trip 8)!
I then moved on to have a cold seafood platter and made my own dipping sauce to go with it. I was trying to be healthy and made a non-creamy sauce. Somehow, a creamy seafood sauce goes so much better with fresh cold seafood. The cooked prawns were the best and I had many serves of it. The oyster just came in second and I loved their size as it reminded me of the time that I had to cut my oysters into three in order to eat them as they were so big.
We also had a choice of mains, I had the ‘All natural grilled Sirloin with morel mushroom fricassée, new potatoes and grainy mustard jus. My cousin had their ‘ Artisanal smoked Tasmanian salmon with roasted shitake mushrooms and apple-celeriac puree’. They also had a vegetarian option that unfortunately, no one opted for – ‘Market vegetable barley risotto with aged balsamic drizzle and shoved parmesan’. The beef was cooked to perfection and exactly how I requested it to be done, and together with the jus, it was sensational.
Mid meal, we realised that we could order foie gras and we did, allowing us to further sample the diverse range of cuisines on offer that made our lunch so enjoyable. I did not quite like the way the foie gras was done as I felt that the sauce did not compliment the dish. The foie gras itself was creamy but did not hold the richness of others that I had tasted before. The best part of it was the poached apple as it complimented the dish and it cut through the creaminess of the foie gras bringing a nice finish to the palate. There were many more options available, but I just could not fit all of it in. If I could have taken a picture of their buffet spread, I would have taken one of their cheese and dessert spread as it was amazing!
Instead, this is their selection of deserts, it made me think of Honey though, as she’s the one with the sweet tooth and appreciation for desserts. I really wished she could have been there to gawk with me. Unfortunately I think I have been spoilt by Honey because while the desserts looked very pretty, I found that they were not very fulfilling, and I had high expectations after the brilliant food I had for the rest of the meal. I really liked their strawberry ice-cream that they make themselves, though. The flavour of the strawberries was intense and it was not too sweet.
The restaurant even gave us a cake for mum, it was very pretty, but I must admit that I did not get the chance to sample it as I was too full. All in all a really diverse and lovely spread of international cuisine that left us all feeling very satisfied. That is until I saw this……….
When I first saw this, my heart skipped a beat. Wa ku kueh (translated as ‘cakes in bowls’)…. The steamed soft sponge cakes are garishly coloured which just scream out ‘eat me!’ You dip them into orange sugar and freshly grated coconut and it just transports me back to my childhood. I remembered eating them at night markets and really savoured these as they are really hard to find in Singapore now. I was really happy! My sister and I were very happy with our choice of restaurant for mum’s birthday. And mum was really shocked and happy and felt very loved. She was still talking about her birthday lunch for days afterward.
So what do you remember eating when you were a child that you can hardly find now?
Equinox Restaurant at swissôtel The Stamford Singapore
2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882
+65 6837 3322