Azur | Feast Of The Seven Seas Tasting


The Feast Of The Seven Seas Gourmand Experience. Fancy name. So much so there's a artsy sculpture in the middle of your food. 

Freshly made tempura, made to order.
28 June 2013. 
Normally, I'm not too much of a seafood lover but I do love the idea of eating fresh produce. So when Azur from Crowne Plaza Changi Airport approached me for a tasting, I leapt at the chance. Furthermore, at SGD$88++ a person, I was expecting quite a lot of fabulous things from this hotel buffet. (Oh, and the PR lady does want me to tell you that you can enjoy 15% off when you book online at www.crowneplazadining.com.)

My first impressions when I stepped in was that it was a nice, cosy place with lots of dark granite, and although the buffet line wasn't impressive in terms of selections, it was decent enough. With Eastern and Western stations on the right and left sides respectively, the buffet also featured a fairly comprehensive desserts station, which I did enjoy tremendously. So much so as I became known as the 'dessert blogger' for that night. 

The "Feast Of The Seven Seas" is a first in a series of premium buffet dinners that attempts to "up the ante from what Azur usually offers", as quoted from the press release. My expectations were primed up once again.







We had an amazing platter/bowl/bucket of fresh seafood first. With Steamed Blue Crab, Boston Lobster, Poached Tiger Prawns, Jumbo Bay Clams and Australian Oysters (the actual Fines de Claires Oysters will be served during the promotion instead) on offer, it was quite a visual sight. In short, all the seafood was generally fresh, especially the standout boston lobster's flesh that was really sweet and succulent. Even though I have never really been a fan of the shellfish, I had to add that the clams were decent (and not sandy) and well-processed, as were the oysters. Do try the clarified butter with the lobsters and prawns — the rich, creamy savoury taste is a matchmade in heaven with these crustaceans.


We had the Lobster Bisque (with Tarragon Chantilly Cream with Herb Gougeres — basically whipped cream plus tarragon and a crouton) next. While largely savoury (and almost sea-saltish, I might add), I kinda like the sweet aftertaste of the lobster meat (or maybe it was the cream?) that made for a refined whole finish. It was a nice smooth texture as well, which is what a bisque is supposed to be. 



I think one of the hits for the night was the Black Pepper Slipper Lobster. Think black pepper crab, but so much better — this one hits all the right notes for having a sauce that is less sharp and more full-bodied than the one you get at your normal tze char seafood place, plus they use lobster, which is slightly sweeter than most crabmeats. This would help justify the pretty expensive cost for the buffet, I guess.




The "Hawker Style Stir-Fried Bamboo Clams" didn't fare so well. It tasted strangely fishy, although it was helped with the thick, chilli crab-like sauce that some on the table complained it was too spicy. The meat was tough and strangely sinewy, which isn't a good thing for seafood. Hmm.



I did clarify earlier that although I was not much of a shellfish person, the Parisian Mussels with Fresh Herb Crumbles was decent for me. The savoury aroma of white wine, butter, garlic complemented the mussels well, which helped me take away my fear for eating shellfish that tasted… fishy. (no pun intended). 



I wasn't too big on the Baked Conchigliette Pasta with Shrimp & Mozzarella Cheese, perhaps due to the fact that I was quite full and didn't like anything starchy. The sauce and the pasta were both a little on the dry side for me, and I didn't really taste any of the salty mozzarella in there. 





The other star of the night, however, was the Baked Whole Salmon with Seafood and Aromatic Spices, served with coconut and lemongrass espuma (aka foam), which added this nice 'lemak' action to the whole culinary experience. This was sheer bliss, for it was aromatic with all sorts of things that I could taste — tamarind, a little tumeric, I think a little rosemary, or sage (?) or tarragon (?) — I don't know but it worked. Think a little thai cuisine at its best — sharp, explosive with full-fledged, robust flavours attacking your nose and mouth at the same time. Yet, the seafood tasted like itself, fresh, not masked by some hideously rich sauce; and the salmon was moist (not dry! Ramsay would approve!), filled with other goodies like scallop and squid. Oh, this was really, really good — it was the only dish that night that people went for seconds and thirds for, even though people were complaining that they were full a mere course earlier.




In general, being the pig that I am, I also secretly took the opportunity to sneak in a few other goodies between the courses at the general buffet line. The tempura was pretty decent, as was with the sashimi. It did smell good though. 



I succumbed to my greatest weakness — desserts. I tried almost everything — which made me on somewhat of a sugar high thereafter. Do try the bread and butter pudding (the vanilla sauce is not cloyingly sweet, thank god), as with the chocolate cakes and the raspberry mousse. Oh! The pies were great too! (Okay, now I'm just behaving like a retarded little boy in front of a candy shop). The desserts are generally not too bad in general, and I do recommend them if you can sneak them in (as they say, you always have a separate tummy for desserts, just ask the girls). 



Please don't judge me for what's on my plate.

In all, it was a pretty good experience eating here at Azur — for seafood, it is pretty fresh, and even though the variety isn't spectacular or class-leading even, at least they do certain dishes really well. Yes, there were a few (glaring, even, I may add) misses, but this is worth a shot, even though it is a little out of the way at the airport — but then hey, a buffet like this almost makes this worth the journey of sorts, doesn't it? 



Thank you Carrie and Mabel for the invite.



Azur Restaurant
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard, Terminal 3 Departure Hall Level
2nd Floor

Reservations: 6823 5354

Opening Hours
Lunch: 12PM-2.30PM (Mon-Fri); 12PM-3.30PM (Sat/Sun)
Dinner: 6.30PM - 10.30PM Daily

3 comments:

  1. Thank you very much Mu Yao for the wonderful feature. (With video coverage even!)

    Great honest feedback in this review. Chef Andrew and his team have been working hard on the "misses" and we hope to impress our guests come 19 July!

    Cheers,
    Carrie Sim
    Marketing Communications
    Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie: Thank you very much once again for this review! I did enjoy Azur, and hope my post reflected that! :)

      Delete
    2. You most certainly did! I can tell you really enjoyed our dessert spread. :)

      Delete

 

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