Posts Tagged ‘The Knolls’

Capella Singapore’s Wellness Initiatives–Starting with creative food festival “Coulicious” from 14-16 April 2017

Capella Singapore Aerial View

To kickstart Capella Singapore’s intention to showcase wellness initiatives for 2017, there will be a creative food festival featuring award-winning French guest chef Olivier Rodriguez from 14 – 16 April 2017. Chef Olivier has a wealth of culinary experience under his belt. He has worked in various Michelin-starred restaurants including Le Chantecler and Les Jardins de Opera in France, as well as the Signature in Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, where he obtained and sustained a one-Michelin star rating for 7 years.

Currently he helms & ecle in Tokyo, and for 3 days only, you will be able to taste his style of cooking and experience the food in a communal dining setting. Coulicious will see Japanese rice dishes undergo French and Italian classical cooking techniques and paired with a unique coulis (aka a thick vegetable or fruit-based sauce).

This communal dining is like no other communal dining I have ever experienced, and I thought I’m Asian! If you and your dining companions order the 5-course Omakase set, each of you will be given different dishes, per course. (There are 3 different dishes per course so it would be ideal if you came in threes so that you can sample all 3 dishes) It’s supposed to be really informal and casual dining, where everyone digs into each other’s plates. To be frank, this sort of communal dining is not for me. I am fine with sharing dishes like you would in most Chinese restaurants, where the dishes are placed in the centre and people can take what they want, when they want it. I draw the line at having to use my used spoon to dig into my dining companion’s plates and vice versa. And besides, these are small dishes we are talking about, 5 mouthfuls per dish I would say? I would be totally stressed out having to make sure I keep enough of my dish for the next person. And what if you received a dish you liked very much and didn’t want to share? Or even more horrifying, what if you are ill and don’t want to spread your germs around? Having said that though, this concept would be great for couples looking for a romantic night out! You one mouth, I one mouth….

Despite what I think is an impractical sharing system, I must admit that Chef Olivier’s food tastes fabulous! The flavours are refreshingly different, no doubt from the extensive experimentation with different types of vegetable and fruit purees to get to the combinations that work. You won’t get bored dining on Chef Olivier’s dishes, that’s for sure. Except for one or two minor issues, the execution was generally spot on too, everything was cooked to the right level of tenderness or doneness.

Scroll down for pictures of the 5-course Omakase meal that we had yesterday (Starter : Coulicious : Ocean : Farm : Sweet). The pricing indicated is for ala-carte orders, but the pricing has been deliberately inflated to encourage you to order the Omakase instead.

Starter

The Knolls - Steamed apple & foie gras, dry fruit compote & cardamom-flavoured apple coulis $42

Steamed apple & foie gras, dry fruit compote & cardamom-flavoured apple coulis $42.

Ima smack any hands that try to take a bit out of my precious foie gras!

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Afternoon Tea at The Knolls, Capella Sentosa

The Knolls - Scone with clotted cream and jam

Every year, I like to take a few days off to just enjoy life in Singapore. Usually, this involves us revisiting all the tourist attractions in Singapore. Singapore History Museum, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve, Bukit Timah Hill, Singapore Science Centre, Botanic Gardens, Sentosa, the lot. I really do think there is much to do in Singapore. Weather wise, you just have to be smart and select the most appropriate day and timing to go. Dress appropriately and arm yourselves with cold drinks and sandwiches, it is possible to feel as if you have been transported to some distant land.

This year, I had a high tea theme for my staycation. Okay, I lied. Every year the holiday involves me stuffing my face, but this year, we dispensed with the strenuous activities and simply just binged.

One of the places we visited was The Knolls at Capella Hotel in Sentosa. On weekdays, few places offer buffet afternoon tea, which is my usual preference. The Knolls offers a traditional 3 tier afternoon set. You can choose either the Peranakan Set or the English Tea Set. I think few Singaporeans will choose the Peranakan Set since we tend to associate that with local (and therefore cheaper) fare. The price for either is $38.

The Knolls - Three tier afternoon tea set The bottom tier comprised of 2 raisin scones and 2 magdaleines. The middle tier comprised of 2 egg sandwiches, 2 cucumber sandwiches and 2 sticks of olive wrap thingy. The top tier, the dessert tier in its brightest glory, comprised of a chocolate cake, an orange cake, 2 raspberry tarts and 2 glasses of chocolate mousse with sago pearls and strawberries.

The Knolls - Scone (2)The Knolls - Scone

On the side, you get a huge bowl of clotted cream, strawberry jam and strawberries. There was so much clotted cream, you could stuff yourself silly if you wanted to. I very nearly wanted to spread the clotted cream on each item I ate. Unfortunately, the clotted cream was not rich tasting so I only ate it with the scones. The clotted cream you can get get at the the afternoon tea at Fullerton Hotel or the Regent Hotel is so so much better. Luckily, the scones themselves were very nice. I wish I could have more. Next time, I’ll just order the scones. They cost only $3.50 per piece which is pretty reasonable considering Dome Cafe charges that much as well.

The Knolls (3) The Knolls - Egg Samdwich with sesame seed top (2) The Knolls - Egg Samdwich with sesame seed top

I liked the egg sandwiches very much. This is the 1st time I’ve ever seen egg sandwiches done in this manner. You’d be surprised how much extra flavour this simple egg sandwich had just with some additional sesame seeds and chives!

The Knolls (2)

The Partner didn’t like the chocolate mousse, however I thought it was great! The mousse had this mild yet sweet chocolate taste. There was some hidden ingredient, lemongrass I believe, which lent an Asian zing to the mousse. And the soft sago pearls gave the soft chocolate mousse some texture and bite. Wish I could have more of this too!

The Knolls - Decademt Chocolate Cake and Orange Cake (2)

The chocolate cake looked great, but tasted only average. It was also slightly dry. Quite disappointed with this actually. I feel that a good afternoon tea must involve great scones and great chocolate cake. If restaurants miss those 2, they should seriously sack the pastry chef.

The Knolls - Decademt Chocolate Cake and Orange Cake

The orange cake was thankfully nicer than the chocolate cake. It had a rich sticky syrup enveloping it. If you remember, I made a light orange cake for Christmas. this is the exact opposite. The heavy type, when you need some comforting.

The Knolls - Cup of Gryphon Tea

The tea was very nice. We were given a menu to choose a tea of our choice. Think we chose the 1st one, which has hints of rose in it. Lovely! Only thing is, The Knolls only allows you to have 1 pot of tea, refillable with hot water only. The Knolls uses tea from the Gryphon brand, which is one of my favourite tea brands. Did you know that Gryphon and TWG were both developed and are headquartered in Singapore?

The Knolls Tea Counter

The Knolls Welcome to The Knolls!

Conclusion: On the whole, the whole afternoon tea experience was nice. The surroundings was lush and peaceful. We were practically the only ones there, apart from the guests lounging at the pool. It was wonderful sipping tea overlooking the pool and the sea. Taste-wise, the scones were great, and so was the chocolate mousse. Everything else was pretty average. I didn’t like it that I was limited to only 1 tea selection. For $38, I thought it was pretty expensive. Don’t forget, you have to pay an additional $5 to enter Sentosa Island.

The afternoon tea at Fullerton Hotel is also 3 tier, but at $42, you get 2nd helpings or 3rds if you so wish. Regent Hotel also offers a 3 tier afternoon tea with tea or iced-chocolate (the ice chocolate is refillable!) at $35 or $38 can’t remember. For less hassle and fantastic clotted cream, I’d go for Regent Hotel over The Knolls.

In terms of decor, I would also choose Fullerton Hotel and Regent Hotel over The Knolls. Some how, the decor at The Knolls doesn’t blend in with the idea of afternoon tea. Where are the comfy sofas and soft carpets?

Click here for pictures of Capella Hotel Sentosa

Read about my reviews on other excellent Afternoon Tea places in Singapore

Ritz Carlton Chihuly Lounge – Part 1 (Sweet)

Ritz Carlton Chihuly Lounge – Part 2 (Savoury)

Goodwood Park L’Espresso

Regent Hotel Lobby Lounge

Hotel Intercontinental Lobby Lounge

Check out 365days2play’s review on where to find the Best Scones in Singapore

Check out Sister Hotel Fullerton Bay Hotel’s Lobby Lounge known as Landing Point.

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