It is never too early to plan for Christmas! Afterall, t’is the season to feast! With Raffles taking a reno-break this year, heritage hotel Goodwood Park is going full blast with their unique seasonal goodies. I have always had high regards for the group especially since they have always married indigenous cultures with our colonial past, judging from their culinary offerings and the renovation works done to its properties in recent years. No other hotels of the same rung would for instance be so bold as to use the Durian as their centre piece, without risk of alienating its international clientele.
I am one of those who does not eat the king of fruits, but that is besides the point. Keeping true to its roots, Goodwood Park Hotel made this year’s Mao Shan Wang Log Cake ($69/500g) a lot better than last year’s, according to my foodie friends who adore the fruit. Creamier, smellier and much more potent, this is every Durianite’s ultimate fantasy. Though you have to try to avoid me after eating this. The classic Goodwood D24 Durian Log Cake ($77/1kg) is also available. I cannot really differentiate between the two but I was told Mustang is a breed with a much mellower body and a bitter finish, and hence appeals to the most hardcore durian fan.
I thought the 12 Treasures Turkey ($268/ 8-10 people) was a novel thought to infuse some Chinese brilliance into the festive season. Most Christmas Turkeys are baked with thyme or rosemary, turning the fowl plain and sometimes a little too dry. With the Chinese herbs and dried fruits, it felt that the turkey was better nourished, moist and turned out more succulent.
Surprisingly the turkey isn’t the most expensive item on the menu. For the record it is the Slow Roasted Iberico Pork Belly with Crackling, Pickled Cabbage and Apple Sauce and Pork Jus ($320/6~8pax) that commanded the highest price. Out of curiosity, we were all drawn to this dear fatty slab of pork. The skin was unbelievably crispy that a clattering so loud we made attracted the unsolicited attention of other hotel guests. The meat, or rather the fat was so tender you don’t even need your jaws to do any work.
To get the texture of the Iberico right, we were told, its preparation was a painstaking process and one that is also extremely time consuming. As a result, only 25 pieces are available each day.
As I left the vultures hovering around the pork, I hit the interesting looking snacks lying at one corner; Turkey Bulgogi Puff, Turkey Gyoza, Turkey Sriracha and Turkey Shepherd’s Pie. They were all very tasty and eclectic, to my delight. The snacks are available as part of several Christmas Combo Sets.
Similarly I like the Mosaic Cakes ($48/500g). Concept wise it was already a winner. It was exquisite, colourful and appealing. No longer one single cake with one uniform flavour, but comprising of 16 squares with 6 different varieties of mini cakes. They were all hard to fault but I thought the Orange Chiboust, Green Tea, Raspberry Earl Grey stood out the most. I assure you if you get the Mosaic Cakes, there would be no leftovers this Christmas.
What is Christmas without surprises?
The Silent Night Sphere ($28/ piece) is specially created to look like a celestial globe covered in a “Milky Way” made entirely of chocolate. As warm chocolate is poured over the sphere, you find some “surprises” inside the melted shell. It is akin to a cross between a piñata and Kindersurprise, more functional like a showpiece than something you would actually want to put in your mouth .
The pseudo ice cream Mousse-icles fared better. I was not exaggerating when I described the Mini Mousse-icles ($16/3 pieces) as taking my breath away. They were essentially mousse cakes encased in chocolate shells. Each of the three flavours; Guanaja Chocolate Mousse, Summer Berries Mousse and Yuzu Mousse has its own merits but I thought the latter drew my liking the most with its well balanced acidity, a refreshing scent of fruitiness and that extra touch of floral note which lends an expensive flair to this seemingly child-like whim.
With so much at stake, better start your preparations right now! Potential patrons of Goodwood Park are advised to book 5 days in advanced via the Goodwood Christmas Call Centre hotline +65 6730 1867 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org
1-26 December 2017, 9am-9pm daily
The above article is written by @ramenking2017. You can find him on instagram where he shares his love for food and travel.
The pictures are taken by Kelvin Dao @sg.food, Engineer by Day, Photographer by Night. For pictorial opportunities please contact him at email@example.com