Having met the stringent requirements, Asian Market Café at Fairmont Singapore is now halal certified. During the month of Ramadan, the restaurant rolls out the authentic flavours of the Middle East combined with traditional Malay cuisine, boasting an extensive spread including pan-Asian cuisines and local favourites with live cooking stations, fruit and salad stations and a dessert station.
S$55++ per adult / S$30++ per child (6-12 years)
Separate male and female prayer areas adjacent to Asian Market Café are available, and the traditional fast breaking experience is further enhanced with television monitors placed around the restaurant indicating Salat al Magrib (the time to break fast). Each table is provided with a complimentary plate of dates and a serving of ayram (yoghurt drink) to be consumed upon breaking fast.
The dim lighting lends a distinctive cosiness, but you can choose to sit at the area closer to the food stations if you prefer somewhere brighter. Roomy with ample seats, the atmosphere is perfect for family gatherings, and a great place to bring foreign friends to experience authentic Asian cuisines.
Commence your meal at the fruit or salad stations; the fresh produce will get your appetite pumping for the main course.
Toss up your salads with the condiments and dressings provided.
Bamboo shoot with baby shrimp
Grab some fresh buns, pita, crispy crackers or papadam to pair with the nutritional hummus spreads and Farrosh salad.
Savour the high notes of briny freshness as you slurp on the juicy oysters. The sizeable molluscs are soft, fleshy and distinctively fresh; you wouldn’t mind loading your plates with this low calorie appetising food that has lots of health benefits!
The Japanese cuisine offered includes various sushi, mini servings of soba and chawanmushi.
Clockwise from top: Fresh oysters, chawanmushi, turmeric chicken, deep fried fish, salmon sashimi
Kept warm in a traditional bamboo steamer, the tasty chawanmushi is light and so smooth that it slides right down your throat.
The hot favourite salmon sashimi gets polished off very quickly, so the staff will be busy replenishing them the entire evening!
Chicken Shawarma with condiments
The sumptuous buffet is complemented by live action stations that include meat carving, satay grilling and roti prata making, where you can watch the chefs show off their nifty skills!
The “Ouzi-style” lamb leg from the carving station looks juicy and tempting.
Satay (meat skewers)
The fried oyster omelette is the ultimate crowd pleaser. The chef is kept busy the entire night as the dish gets wiped out as soon as it gets to the tray! This dish certainly does not lose out to the famous hawkers out there! The ratio of flour, egg and oyster is perfect, and the aroma certainly attracts diners to the station like bees to honey!
The deep fried mantau (bun) is yummy enough to be eaten on its own – crispy on the outside and not oily. It also pairs the chilli crab gravy perfectly. Time to get your hands dirty!
Fried beehoon (rice vermicelli)
Nasi goreng (fried rice)
The sambal stingray is flavourful with a slightly spicy sauce that is bursting with richness. The stingray is slightly tough; a little tenderness would have made it a perfect dish.
Deep fried fish with Thai spicy sauce
The deep fried fish with Thai spicy sauce is amongst the top favourites. The batter insulates the fish so well that the flesh remains tender. The sauce isn’t over-the-top fiery and the spices are well integrated.
The turmeric imparts an exotic fragrance to the chicken. The only disappointment is that the chicken turns out to be a little dry for my liking, though it certainly does not lack the taste factor.
Sayur Lodeh (Indonesian vegetables in coconut curry)
Sambal Udang Belimbing (spicy sambal prawns)
Daging Lembu Masak Lada Hitam
Nonya chap chai (mixed vegetables)
Kabsah Dajaj (Arabian “Briyani” with tomato and onion braised chicken on tomato rice)
The intense flavours and well-defined grains make a well-executed Arabian briyani. You will find this hard to resist once the aroma reaches your nostrils!
Foul Modmes (braised broad beans with tomato, onion and spices)
Ayam Panggang (roasted chicken with fresh spices)
The ayam panggang has to be my favourite chicken dish! The well-seasoned chicken is lip-smacking tasty and tender, unlike a few of the chicken dishes in the spread that turn out a little tough.
The mutton rendang is well executed in terms of texture, creaminess of the thick curry, the spiciness that is just right, and the robust aroma. There is no gamy smell at all.
Beef Semur (Indonesian beef stew)
If you like your meat well done, you will enjoy the aromatic beef semur – well marinated and full of flavour. The beef may be a little chewy for some who enjoy their meat done slightly rare, but the authenticity of this dish is definitely evident.
For the adventurous, you can try the exotic Moroccan Harira soup with chickpeas. The various textures from the chunks of tomato, lentil and chickpeas is palpable in every spoon. The soup is slightly thick and perfectly seasoned.
Soup Samunpai (Thai herbal soup)
Those with a lighter palate will enjoy the nourishing Thai herbal soup consisting of chicken, dates, ginseng and other herbs. The chicken meat is so tender – with no traces of fat – it falls apart easily. The soup is flavourful and must have been simmered for hours!
Cook your own piping hot bowl of laksa with many condiments provided. Laden the noodles with the thick and rich laksa gravy that smells absolutely mouthwatering.
Roti prata (Indian pancake) station
Hop over to the roti prata station and watch the master in action, from kneading the dough to flipping the roti prata, and finally cooking it on the flat grill. You can have the traditional plain prata or egg prata, perhaps even a cheese prata! The friendly chef will gladly oblige to your requests as long as the ingredients are available.
Roti prata (Indian pancake)
The prata is perfectly browned, crispy on the outside with an eggy interior. Amazingly, it does not feel oily at all. Drench it in the accompanying fish curry, and you’re all set. The fragrant curry is so tasty, I am tempted to drink it like soup!
You can order a cup of teh tarik at the live station, where your tea is pulled till foamy and frosty.
An aromatic cup of coffee is available upon order.
Save room for desserts – a dazzling array of sweet indulgence awaits!
Sweet papaya soup
For something healthful, go for the sweet papaya soup with white fungus, ginger and dates.
The beautiful array of Nyonya kueh neatly arranged in contrasting colours sure make you want to sample every piece!
Ang Ku Kueh
Crème caramel flan
Baked jackfruit tart
The jackfruit tart is baked perfectly with a nice crispy texture that is slightly crumbly. The buttery tart has tiny bits of the fruit.
Macau egg tarts
Turkish semolina cake
Unlike most cakes that are light and airy, the Turkish semolina cake is rich and slightly dense, and yet does not feel heavy on the palate. There is an extra punch of flavour from the orange zest that adds a fragrant citrusy zing. The texture is perfect and the cake isn’t crumply; cake lovers have to try this.
Durian fans must not miss the rich durian purée, a best-seller at Asian Market Café for more than 15 years!
You may also try your hand at making your own ice kacang (shaved ice dessert) at the ice grinding machine with various syrups and toppings.
Service is prompt and swift, and in fact, a little too efficient at times. You may not want to leave your food unattended, as it may be cleared once you leave the table!
The vast variety of delectable food offered at the Asian Market Café Ramadan buffet will make you wish for an extra stomach. Definitely a memorable Buka Puasa experience.
The buffet is available until August 30, 2011.
What is your favourite type of rice dumplings? Are you a traditionalist or do you prefer new flavours? Tell us in the comments!
Fairmont Singapore, level 2
80 Bras Basah Road
Tel: +65 6431 6156 | Website