Festive Dining with Park Hotel Group

Cocobolo's Poolside Bar + Grill — at the Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Written by Mu Yao

I have to be honest here — I don't normally like blogging about buffets. For good reason, since the temptation to stuff one's tummy is far too great to allow one to really taste the food. But in the spirit of Christmas, (and with the kind invite from Park Hotel Group), Xin Li and I found ourselves coming down to Park Hotel Clarke Quay's Cocobolo Poolside Bar/Grill for a taste of Park Hotel's "Magical Christmas 2013" buffet available at both Grand Park Hotel Orchard and Park Hotel Clarke Quay, with our tummies heartily filled with a sumptuous feast after the whole affair.


The lovely ambience by the pool with the Christmas-sy celebrations! DO YOU SEE THE FONDUE!


The balmy evening breeze made the surroundings feel welcoming as we sat by the poolside, admiring the elaborately decorated fixtures amidst the dazzling array of Christmas delights. I couldn't take my eyes of that chocolate fondue fountain. But then again, I digress. 

Frosty the snowman overseeing the wonderful seafood spread. With food this fresh, no wonder he's smiling. 
Fresh Canadian Oysters that were fleshy and sweet. Wondrous. 
The Maine Lobsters with the Australian Crayfish (in the foreground). The Maine Lobster was a must try. 

I kicked off the awesome spread with the seafood selection. With the smiley snowman eyeing my catch, I took a taste of the Canadian Oysters, Australian Crayfish, Maine Lobster and the Chilean Scallops. Oh yes, they had the tiger prawns too (which I didn't try, since I thought they were fairly common). The oysters were deliciously fleshy, sweet, and had none of the briny/salty taste — a delight even for a non-oyster lover like me. The Maine lobsters were fantastic as well — the familiar strong, sweet, succulent taste it is known for is clearly evident. The scallops and the crayfish were fairly okay, fresh but nothing to write home about. I was off to a good start to this. 

Cocobolo's strength at the grill was clearly evident in the quality of its offerings here — especially the lamb cutlet (not pictured here). This picture features the prawns, grilled mackerel and BBQ chicken. 
Just when I was about to leave the dinner table for a second round, I was politely offered by the very responsive and professional service staff an offer to try their grilled/BBQed seafood, which they implored me to try. I took them at their word, and tried the grilled mackerel fish in "sambal", the prawns, calamari, grilled chicken in BBQ sauce and a delicious lamb cutlet (not pictured). Karen (the PR lady) raved about their lamb cutlets and insisted that I try some, recalling an incident about an expat regular who was highly upset when she heard that her lamb cutlets were temporarily taken off the menu for their Oktoberfest promotion recently. True enough, I was quite impressed as well — the lamb was tender and succulent beyond compare, with a robust, savoury flavour that melted into your mouth — a simple, uncomplicated flavour that was just… good. Paired with the mint sauce, it was even better. I am a convert! Only feedback though, was that mackerel fish could have more of that savoury kick of sambal kicking in, but on the whole, the rest of the grilled items were excellent. 

From left to right: Roast Beef Prime Rib with Shallot Sauce, Roasted Australian Wagyu Beef with Thyme Jus and the Roasted Spanish Paprika Crispy Pork Stuffed with Apricots 

Asian-Flavoured Turkey with Cumin
After being delightfully assaulted by plates of grilled seafood and meats, I finally had time to try the piece de resistance of this buffet — the roast meats. (This IS a festive menu afterall, duh!) I tried the Asian Flavoured Turkey with Cumin first — fascinating name, that one. I mean, have you heard of an Asian Thanksgiving bird? I have to say though, it was certainly well roasted (moist in the centre, roast turkey is incredibly easy to turn dry in the middle for some reason) and the flavours certainly needed some getting used too. It wasn't bad, but let's just say it tasted like a very moist chicken satay (especially with the cumin sauce). 

The Roasted Australian Wagyu Hind Shank with Thyme Jus

The Roasted Australian Wagyu Hind Shank with Thyme Jus was marvellous. A well cut portion with a good mix of fat and succulent meat, the melt-in-your-mouth savoury taste of Wagyu soon enveloped my mouth and sent it to culinary heaven. I just felt the thyme jus was a little redundant after that though — Xin Li certainly thought it was good enough to eat on its own. I agreed. 

The Roasted Beef Prime Beef with Shallot Sauce was very good, with great marbling and a crisp, crackly skin, although it couldn't top its namesake Wagyu cousin. I don't blame it either. But still — the Shallot Sauce was good. 

Angus Beef Rib Eye with Foie Gras and Cabernet Shallot sauce

I tried the Angus Beef Rib Eye with Foie Gras and Cabernet Shallot Sauce — which sounded like a decadent mix of premium ingredients rolled into one. And it was, imagine that, all wonderfully melted in your mouth into a luxurious medley of savoury richness— waah. So this is what being a rich towkay is like sia. Welcome to the good life.

Duck Terrine and Apple Compote 

The Cream Of Oyster with Fennel Soup (amongst others, with the Duck Terrine included)

I took a break and decided on something a little smaller — the duck terrine and apple compote. This was a nice break from all the intense heavy meat flavours. The sweetness of the apple compote complemented the smooth, light saltiness of the duck terrine really well. Additionally, I also had the cream of oyster soup (with a fried oyster) which had light, sea-salt freshness packed into the creamy rich soup. Surprisingly good.


The Spanish Paprika Crispy Pork Belly Stuffed with Apricot

Glazed Five-Spice Bone-in Gammon Ham with Orange Cinammon Sauce
The Spanish Paprika Crispy Pork Belly with Apricot was one of the favourites of the night, along with the Glazed Five Spice Bone-in Gammon Ham With Orange Cinammon Sauce. The pork belly was sinfully good with melt-in-your mouth savoury fat was in culinary harmony with the crackling, crisp, skin — nicely balanced with the sweet flavours of apricot at the end. A masterpiece. Likewise, the ham was not too salty of sorts, and it was accompanied by this lovely sweet and tangy orange cinammon sauce that complemented the saltiness (wasn't too salty, have to say) of the ham really well. Both are must tries.

Stollen! 
Christmas Plum Pudding!

After being so stuffed, I took some slices of their indulgently rich logcakes (the chocolate banana was a highlight!). But while I really liked the plum pudding, the real star of the show was the surprisingly humble stollen. A simple fruit cake to end off the meal and fulfil my sweet tooth — it was not rich, but sweet enough to end off this excellent Yuletide feast. 

Looks like I didn't need that fondue afterall. 


We thank Karen and Shi Ying for their warm hospitality and invitation to this event. 

Open House (Level 4), Grand Park Orchard

Countdown to Christmas
Date: 1-23 Dec 2013
Price:
$48++ per person for All-you-can-eat Festive Lunch.
$32++ per person for All-you-can-eat Festive High Tea.
$58++ per person for All-you-can-eat Festive Dinner.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Date: 24 Dec 2013
Price:
$48++ per person for All-you-can-eat Christmas Eve Lunch.
$108++ per person for All-you-can-eat Christmas Eve Dinner (free flow wines, juices & soft drinks)

Kris Kringle's Christmas Day
Date: 25 Dec 2013
Price:
$68++ per person for All-you-can-eat Christmas Day Lunch.
$68++ per person for All-you-can-eat Christmas Day Dinner.
*Top up $50++ for free flow champagne, wines & soft drinks.

New Year's Eve All-you-can-eat
Date: 31 Dec 2013
Price:
$25++ per person for All-you-can-eat Christmas Eve Lunch
$148++ per person for All-you-can-eat Christmas Eve Dinner (free flow wines, juices & soft drinks till 1230am)

Brizo Restaurant & Bar (Lobby Level), Park Hotel Clarke Quay

Exuberant Festive International Buffet (Mon-Fri)
Date: 16-20 Dec 2013
Price: $35++ Adult, $18++ Child  (Lunch)
Date: 16-19 Dec 2013
Price: $48++ Adult, $24++ Child (Dinner)
Date: 20-23 Dec 2013, 27-30 Dec 2013
Price: $58++ Adult, $29++ Child (Dinner)
*Top up $38++ for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Wine and Beer.

Christmas Eve
Date: 24 Dec 2013
Price: $78++ Adult, $35++ Child (Dinner)
*Top up $38++ for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Wine and Beer.
**Free flow of soft drinks for children aged 6 years and below.

Christmas Day
Date: 25 Dec 2013
Price:
$52++ Adult, $26++ Child (Lunch)
$58++ Adult, $29++ Child (Dinner)
*Top up $38++ for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Wine and Beer.
**Free flow of soft drinks for children aged 6 years and below.

New Year's Eve
Date: 31 Dec 2013
Price: $80++ Adult, $40++ Child (Dinner)
*Top up $38++ for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Wine and Beer.
**Free flow of soft drinks for children aged 6 years and below.



Cocobolo Poolside Bar + Grill (Level 2), Park Hotel Clarke Quay

Festive BBQ Dinner
Date: 6, 7, 13, 14 Dec 2013
Price: $52++ Adult, $26++ Child
Date: 20, 21, 27, 28 Dec 2013
Price: $58++ Adult, $29++ Child

Christmas Eve
Date: 24 Dec 2013
Price: $68++ Adult, $34++ Child (Dinner)
*Top up $38++ for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Wine and Beer.
**Free flow of soft drinks for children aged 6 years and below.

New Year' Eve
Date: 31 Dec 2013
Price: $80++ Adult, $40 Child (Dinner)
*Top up $38++ for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Wine and Beer.
**Free flow of soft drinks for children aged 6 years and below.


Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street
Singapore 237983
Tel: +65 65938855
http://www.parkhotelgroup.com/clarkequay/dining/cocobolo-poolside-bar-grill/

Grand Park Orchard
270 Orchard Road
Singapore 238857
Tel: +65 66038855

























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