Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sunday Buffet Brunch at Prego, Swissotel The Stamford Singapore

Relatives said the bread was good

My aunt invited us to Prego for their Sunday Buffet Brunch recently, and we were quite excited about it as we heard that the brunch offers good food. As we arrived early, there were only a few guests around and I jumped at the opportunity to take pictures of all the dishes.

L: Tuna Salad; R: Pan Seared Salmon Panzanella Salad

L: Seafood salad; R: Carpaccio Di Manzo

L: Mortadella Ham Salad; R: Marinated Octopus Salad

Regional Italian Cheese

Assorted Cured Meats


Salt Selection and Assorted Dressings (for the salad)

Salad bar

Parma ham, rock melon, fresh figs with drizzled with balsamic vinegar

My mother and aunt had only praises for this station. How often do you get fresh figs in Singapore?

Scallops, white clams, mussels

Smoked salmon
Prawns, oysters

Someone would appear from time to time to shuck the oysters. But I could not say that they were as freshly shucked as those at The Bar & Billiard Room, Raffles Hotel and at The Line, Shangri-La Hotel, because the demand for them was (surprisingly) not so great that the chef had to stand there to continuously shuck oysters.  Instead, most of the time the shucked oysters were left on packed ice and unfortunately some of them became a little dry and mostly dead by the time I ate them.

Pasta station

My mother commented that the pasta was not very good.

Scrambled Eggs, Baked Beans, Egg Benedict



Only five types available. Wish they offered a greater variety of pizza.

Chicken Cacciatore

On the left is pork belly, in the middle is their ribeye steak, and I cannot remember what was on the right.

There was soup and other cooked dishes at the buffet, but as they were all in large metal containers to preserve their warmth, I decided that it would be too troublesome to open each metal container for a picture. I wanted to tuck into the buffet!

Ice cream toppings
Jellies, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Tiramisu

Various desserts

Panna Cotta, Fruit Cake, Cheesecake, Cannoli

I am a sucker for cured meats. It was the first time I had had Mortadella Ham Salad, and its flavour was unique. The Marinated Octopus Salad was another of my favourite salads as the octopus was cooked just right and was not rubbery.

The white clams were bursting with sweetness and I regret only having two of them. I could have eaten a whole pot of them. The scallop and mussel were acceptably juicy, but a little bland eaten plain. The cooked prawn was drier than I liked and tasted as though it had been sitting around for awhile.

The Chicken Cacciatore was one of my more favourite dishes at this buffet. Only plump, tender dark meat was served, and there was a saucepan of extra gravy at the station, rich in flavour from the stewing of tomatoes and peppers.

My mother and I found the pork belly dried up and tough, and later on my aunt commented that she took a slice from the bottom of the dish and it was not so dried up. We were too full by then to have another slice of pork belly.

When I requested for a slice of ribeye steak rare, the chef at the station was happy to oblige. As both ends of the steak were somewhat medium, he sliced the slab into two where he thought rare might be, and gave me a slice, half of which was more medium, and the rest of which was still not rare enough for my liking. Ah well, it is easier to get rare from a piece of uncooked meat than from a piece of cooked meat.

On the whole, the pizza was not bad. What I liked was that the crust was very thin and the edges were crispy. The base under the toppings was soggy though by the time I took the pizza slices, which I guess cannot be helped much unless they bake the pizzas only when people want to eat them.

What I wish I had taken pictures of but forgot to was the mushroom soup and the caesar salad. The mushroom soup was thick and creamy with 80% of it comprising bits of mushroom. It was exactly the kind of comforting soup you would want to have on a cold rainy day (with some toasted bread if you are not Paleo). We usually avoid soup at buffets because they are just fillers, but the soup was so good I had one and a half bowls of it.

The caesar salad is not one of the dishes that people have ready access to. Rather, during the brunch, a server will walk around with a cart holding the ingredients, and will toss the salad on the spot for you if you want some. Another server was walking around with a cart offering lasagne, but we chose not to have any. The reason was that by the time both carts reached our table, the brunch had been on for more than an hour and we only had space for dessert. I was a little disappointed that the carts came around that late in the brunch - perhaps Prego can bring them out earlier and move them around faster.

On the left is a saucer holding some kind of chocolate mousse which tasted average. On the other hand, the cheesecake (middle) was deliciously thick and cheesy, reminding me of NYDC's New York cheesecake. 

The pistachio cannolo (right) was even better. It was my first time eating cannoli and it was splendour in my mouth. The delicate crumbly fried pastry dough shells had a unique taste - what other desserts make use of them? Chopped pistachios added a nice crunch and colour to the cannolo. The ricotta cheese within was slightly sweet, no sour tones, and so light and fluffy that I initially thought it was whipped cream. This dessert is a must-try if you go to Prego, and I do not think you may be able to find it at many other Italian restaurants in Singapore.

One of my relatives thought that the Chocolate Mousse Cake was very good, but I thought that it was somewhat average as well. I prefer my chocolate cakes to have cake in them, and was wishing they had something like Da Paolo's Valrhona Chocolate Cake.  I preferred another kind of chocolate cake that tasted like a combination of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella.

Tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts, especially after having had Da Paolo's. Consequently it was the tiramisu in the desserts section that made me decide to take a break from Paleo. Tiramisu at a famous Italian restaurant - I could not miss that out! 

Big mistake. The tiramisu was a major disappointment. I was quite surprised that the kitchen could serve such a dismal dessert. The tiramisu was all cake. Very, very dry cake. What happened to the base of coffee and liquor soaked lady's fingers? What happened to the mascarpone cheese? There was only dessert-dry cake!!

As all my relatives were raving about the pistachio ice cream, I decided to try some for myself.

Ahhh... definitely rave-worthy. Smooth silky ice cream with pleasant tones of vanilla and pistachio, dotted with chunks of crunchy chopped pistachio nuts. I topped it off with almond flakes for more crunch and an increased nutty flavour. Another must-try at Prego.

As you can see, the pistachio cannolo was so good that it made another appearance on my plate. It looked cute but the little lemon meringue tart tasted only so-so. I could not really taste any lemon in there, and remember the lemon meringue tart from Paul Bakery to be much more lemon-y and have the nice balance of sweet and tartness from lemons. The chocolate biscotti tasted like ordinary biscotti from a box.

Yes - the pistachio ice cream was so good that I had to have another two scoops of it topped with sliced almonds. It was the pistachio ice cream and the cannoli that made up for the terrible tiramisu, and might I even say the highlights of the buffet.


Level 1, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road Singapore 189560

Tel: 6431 6156

Opening hours:
- Breakfast : 6am – 11am (Daily)               
- Deli : 6.30am – 10.30am (Daily)
- Lunch : 11.30am – 2.30pm (Mon – Sat)
- Dinner : 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Daily)
- Pizzeria : 11.30am – 12.30am (Mon – Sat)
- Brunch Buffet : 12.30pm – 3.00pm (Sunday)

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