The festive season is coming, with just more than a month to Christmas and there is still time to make your bookings for a sumptuous yuletide feast.
Diners have been making bookings from as early as March and popular buffet restaurants are expected to be fully booked by early next month. Cafes, too, are starting to get inquiries about their Christmas offerings.
The Westin Singapore's Seasonal Tastes restaurant is already fully booked for its lunch buffet on Dec 17 and Christmas Eve. Others offer two seatings for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
And to sweeten the deal this festive period, some restaurants are either lowering their prices or maintaining last year's prices, a rarity in Singapore, where prices seem to only go up.
At The White Rabbit restaurant in Harding Road, for example, prices are about 15 per cent lower compared to last year, because, as a spokesman for the restaurant's owners, The Lo & Behold Group, says, "the economy has not been doing well".
Prices for its festive set lunches start at $42++ this year, compared to $48++ last year. Its Christmas Day buffet brunch was priced at $118++ last year, and costs $98++ or $108++ this year.
It is offering two seatings with four staggered time slots each for Christmas Brunch and Christmas Eve Dinner.
For restaurants under Deliciae Hospitality Management, its events director marketing communication Charlotte Meunier, 36, says: "All prices have decreased due to the generally slower economy this year."
It has also increased the number of courses for set menus, and at Forlino at One Fullerton, almost all menus include premium ingredients such as Alba white truffle and winter black truffle from France.
The restaurant offers dinner menus at $148++ for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Deliciae also owns French bistro L'Entrecote at Duxton Hill and Suntec City, and Spanish tapas bar Sabio By The Sea at Quayside Isle.
French restaurant Balzac Brasserie may have moved to a more ritzy location at the Fort Canning Arts Centre this year, but it will not change the price for its three-course menu. It will continue to be at $98++, as it has been for the last two years.
For those looking to indulge, hotel champagne brunches are pulling out all the stops with fresh seafood and traditional Christmas roasts.
And if you want to steer away from the usual Western fare, Japanese restaurant Hide Yamamoto has a luxe 10-course meal priced at $450 a person.
So whether you intend to splurge or save, Life has sussed out 20 hotels, restaurants and cafes for you to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones.
Oxwell & Co.
What: The British-inspired gastro-pub offers a Fabulous Feast menu ($110, minimum three diners) which starts off with a selection of snacks such as pork scratchings, olives and spiced crispy corn.
This is followed by a selection of starters, including spiced duck rillettes, salmon gravlax, cullen skink (thick Scottish soup made with smoked haddock).
For mains, pick from dishes such as spiced roasted duck, roasted Irish salmon and slow-roast rolled Kurobuta pork belly. End the meal on a sweet note with an orange and ginger cake to share.
A three-course a la carte dinner ($85 a person) is also available. Kick back with cocktails (from $18) such as Christmas Cobbler, a chilled version of the traditional mulled wine, Spiced Honey and Pear Fizz, and Orange and Dark Chocolate Espresso Martini.
Where: 5 Ann Siang Road
When: From Tuesday to Dec 31, noon to 3.30pm (Tuesday to Friday and Sunday), 6 to 10.30pm daily. Fully booked on Christmas Day.
Info: Call 6438-3984 or go to www.oxwellandco.com
What: For a Spanish Christmas, head to Catalunya for its two a la carte special dishes available from Dec 18 to 27. Spanish Escudella ($14++) is a soup made with beef cheek, chicken, lamb bone and pork belly and served with minced beef and chicken stuffed in shell pasta. The other dish is Christmas Canelon with black truffle. It is a beef and chicken wrapped crepe, doused in truffle bechamel sauce.
Party over the Christmas weekend at Catalunya's three-day Christmas Bingo Brunch with Passion ($98++ a person) from Dec 25 to 27.
Savour Spanish brunch items such as the signature traditional suckling pig and seafood paella on top of free-flow Jamon Iberico and churros.
Where: The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay
When: Dec 18 to 27 (noon to 2.30pm weekday only, 6 to 10.30pm daily), Dec 25 to 27 (Christmas Bingo Brunch, 12.30 to 3.30pm)
Info: Call 6534-0886 or e-mail email@example.com
What: Have a bit of Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine at Me@OUE this Christmas Eve. The restaurant offers a five-course menu ($175++ a person) with a selection of sashimi followed by foie gras terrine; baked black cod on pumpkin puree and salted egg yolk topped with crispy salmon skin; and roasted duck with poached pears. End the meal with a Christmas log cake with Amarena cherry ice cream.
Where: OUE Bayfront Rooftop, 50 Collyer Quay
When: Christmas Eve only, 6 to 10.30pm
Info: Call 6634-4555
The White Rabbit
What: Get started on the holiday feasting with The White Rabbit's festive set lunch (weekdays except Christmas Day) priced at $42++ (three-course) or $48++ (four-course).
Starters include Japanese yellowtail ceviche, Alaskan snow crab, and pumpkin veloute. For mains, options include oxtail and mushroom risotto with shaved truffles and sauteed shimeiji mushrooms; sous vide guinea fowl with chestnut puree, braised kale and cranberries; and pot-au-feu, with wagyu beef cheeks and brisket.
There is also a Christmas Eve dinner (first seating, $108++ for four courses, second seating, $128++ for five courses) with highlights such as poached lobster and duck liver parfait.
Or tuck into a Christmas Day buffet brunch ($98++ an adult, $48++ a child) which has live stations serving roasted prime ribs; appetisers such as smoked chicken Waldorf salad; and a choice of mains including barramundi and braised oxtail.
Where: 39C Harding Road
When: Festive set lunch: Tuesday to Dec 31, noon to 2.30pm, weekday only; Christmas Day Brunch: First seating with four two-hour time slots at 10am, 10.15am, 10.30am and 10.45am, second seating with four two-hour time slots at 12.15pm, 12.30pm, 12.45pm and 1pm; Christmas Eve Dinner: First seating with four two-hour time slots at 6pm, 6.15pm, 6.30pm and 6.45pm, second seating with five two-hour time slots at 8.15pm, 8.30pm, 8.45pm, 9pm and 9.15pm
Info: Call 6473-9965 or go to www.thewhiterabbit.com.sg
Fort by Maison Ikkoku
What: The four-month-old restaurant will host its first Christmas with a three-course dinner priced at $38++ (add $20 for two festive cocktail pairings).
The dinner starts with a surprise Starter of the Day using seasonal ingredients, followed by Holiday Turkey - sous vide turkey medallions infused with truffles.
End off with a Martell Cordon Bleu lavender creme brulee for dessert. The two cocktails are Santa Red - a port-like red wine reduction with bergamot - and The Snowman, a spiced rum with buttered popcorn, hazelnut and milk.
Where: Fort Canning Arts Centre, 5 Cox Terrace, 01-02/03
When: Until Dec 31, 4pm till late daily
Info: Call 6336-0507
What: Indulge in a decadent 10-course Japanese meal ($450 a person) at Hide Yamamoto.
Dishes include "chawanmushi" black truffle egg flan with fresh sea urchin and snow crab and grilled lobster with sea urchin cream sauce.
Where: Marina Bay Sands, 8 Bayfront Avenue, 02-05
When: Dec 1 to 31, noon to 3pm, 6 to 11pm daily
Info: Call 6688-7098
What: French chef-owner Jean-Charles Dubois whips up a Christmas menu for adults ($98++) and children under 10 years old ($52++, includes children's cookbook called Around The World With Sophie And Remy).
Highlights include his lobster bisque; and Cointreau souffle with gingerbread ice cream.
For the kids, dishes include organic pumpkin veloute with buttered popcorn, crispy cod fish and chips, and warm chocolate chip cookie sandwich with ice cream.
Where: Fort Canning Arts Centre, 5 Cox Terrace, B1-01
When: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve, 11.30am to 9.30pm
Info: Call 6336-0957 or go to www.facebook.com/balzacSG
What: Treat the family to a three-course Christmas meal ($79.50++ a person with a glass of prosecco on arrival) at Jamie's Italian.
Highlights include the restaurant's antipasti plank and a choice of mains including Jamie's winter truffle risotto, a chargrilled veal chop and honeycomb cannelloni three ways. Dessert options include Strawberry Eat & Mess, with smashed pavlova, fragola grappa and mascarpone.
Where: Two outlets at Forum Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, 01-01/04, and VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, 01-165/166/167
When: At both outlets: Noon to 10pm (Monday to Thursday), noon to 11pm (Friday), 9.30am to 11pm (Saturday), 9.30am to 10pm (Sunday); From Christmas Eve to Dec 26 at VivoCity only, two seatings for lunch and dinner: noon to 2pm, 2 to 4pm, 5.30 to 8pm, 8 to 10.30pm
Info: Call 6655-7676 (Forum) or 6733-5500 (VivoCity)
The Fabulous Baker Boy
What: Grab a party of at least 10 diners for a Fabulous Christmas feast.
For starters, choose from dishes such as smoked salmon and cream cheese crepe layers served with garden greens and balsamic dressing.
Options for the main course include traditional roast turkey breast; mustard roast beef or wild mushroom tart with ratatouille.
Finish off with a choice of sticky date pudding or passionfruit cheese cake.
With a minimum booking of 10 people, it is $45 or $55 (with a glass of red or white wine) a person.
Christmas baked goodies (order by Dec 20) are also available. Highlights include Valrhona chocolate mint cake ($90) and Ms Aretha ($90), a spiced pumpkin sponge cake with a burnt butter ganache.
Where: 70 River Valley Road, 01-15
When: Dec 10 onwards, 11am to 10pm (Tuesday to Thursday), 11am to 11pm (Friday and Saturday), 10am to 5pm (Sunday), closed on Monday
Info: Call 6694-8336 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Hyde & Co
What: Start with a pumpkin soup, followed by a sharing platter with choices such as turkey roulade and roast crackling chicken, BBQ baby back ribs, or roast beef. Complete the meal with a Christmas sundae.
The set is priced from $68 for two, add $45 for a free flow of Moet & Chandon champagne.
Where: 785 North Bridge Road
When: Two seatings at 6.30 or 8.30pm, from Dec 18 to Jan 2, Wednesday to Saturday
Info: Call 6635-5785 for reservations
What: This cafe's popular Deutsch skillet pancakes are getting a festive spin from Wednesday.
There is Pomegranate Citrus Smoked Duck ($13) where the pancake is topped with Mandarin orange, pear, pomegranate and caramelised cinnamon walnut, drizzled with orange sauce.
If you prefer something sweet, opt for the Creamy Grand Marnier Fruit Deluxe ($12) pancake, with assorted fruit and finished with Grand Marnier sauce.
Get in the mood with its current range of Christmas drinks too: white chocolate muesli frappe ($8), salted butterscotch frappe ($7) and cranberry roselle tea ($6.50).
Where: 273 Holland Avenue, 02-01/02
When: Pancakes available from Wednesday to Dec 31, drinks available until Dec 31, 10am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday), 10am to 11pm (Friday and Saturday)
Info: Call 6219-9807 or go to www.facebook.com/dgoodcafe
Joe & Dough
What: Joe & Dough's chain of cafes serves dine-in items such as Santa Christmas Sandwich ($9.80) with smoked turkey ham, sweet apple- cranberry sauce and emmental cheese.
Pair it with a butterscotch latte $5.60 (hot, dine-in), $6.20 (hot, takeaway) or $6.40 (iced).
For upcoming Christmas parties, add the Valrhona ginger pear log cake ($63), panettone ($40), stollen ($28) or fruit cake ($28) to the dining table. Order three days in advance, by Dec 22.
Where: All nine outlets including Millenia Walk, Capital Tower and orchardgateway.
When: Until Dec 31, various opening hours
The St Regis Singapore
What: French restaurant Brasserie Les Saveurs offers a Christmas Eve dinner (from $208++ a person) which features dishes such as pan-seared sea bass fillet, roasted lamb and roasted turkey, while the Christmas champagne brunch (Christmas Day and Dec 26, from $178++ a person) offers seafood, char-grilled halibut fillet and duo of Kurobuta pork. For Christmas Day dinner ($108++ a person), highlights include beef bourguignon.
The hotel's other restaurants, Yan Ting and La Brezza, also offer Christmas menus, as well as takeaway items at La Patisserie (Dec 1 to 25).
Where: Brasserie Les Saveurs, Lobby, 29 Tanglin Road
When: Noon to 3pm (Christmas champagne brunch), 7 to 10pm (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners)
Info: Call 6506-6860 or go to www.stregissingapore.com/en/christmas
Grand Park City Hall
What: The buffet spread at Indulge At Park restaurant takes on a fruity note with dishes such as orange-glazed pork ribs. It is priced from $50++ (adult) and $25++ (child). On Christmas Eve ($65++ adult, $32.50 child) and Christmas Day ($80++ adult, $40++ child), items include orange oil-scented apricot crust roasted rack of lamb and deep-fried lemon popcorn chicken.
Where: Indulge At Park, 10 Coleman Street
When: Dec 1 to 31, noon to 2.30pm (weekday lunch), noon to 3pm (weekend lunch), 6.30 to 10.30pm daily
Info: Call 6432-5888 or e-mail email@example.com
Sheraton Towers Singapore
What: Seats are filling fast for Sheraton Towers Singapore's The Dining Room restaurant. Festive favourites in the buffet spread include roasted whole baby lamb, fried barramundi and vanilla bread pudding with whisky caramel. It is priced from $58 (adult) and $29 (child aged six to 12). The hotel's Italian restaurant Domvs, and Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant also serve Christmas menus.
Where: 39 Scotts Road
When: Dec 14 to 25, noon to 2.30pm (weekday lunch), Christmas Eve dinner, 7 to 10pm
Info: Call 6839-5621
What: Savour Italian fare at Regent Singapore's Basilico restaurant with its weekday buffets ($57 adult, $28.50 child) and weekend brunch buffets. It is priced from $65++ (adult) and $32.50++ (child) on Saturday, and from $98++ (adult) and $49++ (child) on Sunday (including Christmas Day dinner).
Buffet highlights include braised venison leg; bacon and sage-roasted quail; and roasted monkfish.
The buffet spread is also available for Christmas Eve dinner ($188 adult, $94 child) and Christmas Day brunch ($192 adult, $$96 child). Where: Basilico, 1 Cuscaden Road, Level 2
When: Dec 1 to 31, noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Saturday), noon to 3pm (Sunday), 6.30 to 10pm (dinner daily), Christmas Day brunch: two seatings from 11am to 1.15pm, 1.45 to 3.30pm.
Info: Call 6725-3232 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Westin Singapore
What: Highlights at Seasonal Tastes restaurant include honey- glazed turkey, and spiced pumpkin pie at the Christmas Eve Lunch Buffet ($65++ adult, $32.50++ child).
The Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet, Christmas Brunch Buffet and Christmas Day Dinner Buffet will showcase Nova Scotia lobster, snow crabs, prawns and scallops.
Or head to the oyster bar, where you can have the shellfish prepared in three ways - baked, steamed or fried. Sweet treats, such as the Cheese Yule Log, are also available. All buffets are priced from $148++ (adult) and $74++ (child).
The hotel's Lobby Lounge and Cook & Brew restaurants also have Christmas offerings. For festive takeaways, order three days in advance from Daily Treats (Level 1).
Where: Seasonal Tastes, Level 32, Asia Square Tower 2, 12 Marina View
When: Noon to 2.30pm (Christmas Eve), noon to 3pm (Christmas Day), 6 to 10pm (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner)
Info: Call 6922-6968 or e-mail email@example.com
What: Kick back at Bob's Bar at Capella Singapore with two special Christmas drinks: Pink Rudolf ($18++), a non-alcoholic blend of cranberry juice, vanilla syrup, raspberries and soda, and Christmas Sunset ($26++) with Myer's Dark Rum, African Sunset tea, lemon zest, flavoured whipped cream and cinnamon. Festive set lunch (from $65++), afternoon tea ($48++) and dinner (from $98++) at The Knolls are available.
Where: 1 The Knolls, Sentosa
When: Bob's Bar: Dec 1 to 30, noon to midnight daily; The Knolls: Dec 1 to 23, noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10pm (festive set lunch and dinner); Dec 1 to 30, 3 to 5pm (afternoon tea)
Info: Call 6591-5047 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
What: Book your seats at The Line's Christmas Day lunch and The Rose Veranda's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day high tea buffets.
The Line has 16 live kitchens and the spread includes oysters, sashimi and festive highlights such as roast turkey.
Not in the buffet mood? Head to Shang Palace for Chinese fare ($138, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) or to Nadaman for a six-course Christmas kaiseki menu ($188, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
Where: 22 Orange Grove Road
When: Dec 1 to 25, noon to 2.30pm (weekday), noon to 3pm (weekend and public holiday), 6 to 10.30pm dinner daily
Info: Call 6213-4275
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
What: At the new Colony buffet restaurant, have your fill of Asian fare alongside Christmas classics such as roast turkey, honey-baked ham, warm Christmas plum pudding and gingerbread spiced cheesecake.
Highlight events include the Christmas Eve seafood dinner (7 to 10.30pm, from $188), vintage champagne brunch on Christmas Day (11am to 1pm, 1.30 to 3.30pm, from $208), and Christmas Day dinner (6.30 to 10.30pm, $98).
The afternoon tea (3.30 to 5.30pm) is priced at $49. Gourmet festive takeaway items are available at The Bakery in Colony (Level Three), from Nov 28 to Jan 3, 11am to 10pm daily.
Order three days in advance by Dec 31, noon.
Where: 7 Raffles Avenue
When: Afternoon tea: Nov 28 to Jan 2, 3.30 to 5.30pm (Monday to Saturday)
Info: Call 6434-5288 or e-mail email@example.com
This article was first published on November 22, 2015.
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