Flavours of India at MELT, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

If there's something that I find so amazing about the Indian cuisine, these must be its rich aroma, the creative combinations of herbs and spices and interesting stories that goes behind each dish. Needless to say, I've always been a fan of Indian food. Friends know all about my addiction towards papadum, paneer and mutton briyani to name a few. So, when I found out that one of my favourite hotel buffets in Singapore, MELT, is having its annual Flavours of India promotion, I knew that its something that I shouldn't miss out on.

For our tasting dinner, we had a preview of some of the dishes that patrons can expect to enjoy during the 15-day period. To make it more special, they will have an exclusive wine-pairing dinner on 28 October 2015 for only S$98. I've never had wine with Indian food before as I would always get my staple Mango Lassi so this one was really new to me.

I got to MELT right on time and having had to walk quite a distance from the bus station, I gladly accepted my first glass of Craggy Range TeMuna Road Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc from the friendly sommelier. I must have been too obvious that I love white wine a lot that I drank my first round in one big gulp. Either that or I was just extremely thirsty. Oops! I forgot my good manners.

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Before I got to have more glasses of wine, out came the Tandoori Ananas Ke Sharbat which is a pretty shot glass of roasted pineapple drink. I wasn't sure what the glass was lined with but it was yummy! I love the interplay of sour flavor with a bit of savory as the chef added in some tandoori spice. Yum!

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For starters, we had the duo of Murgh Shimla Mirch (tandoori over grilled chicken) and the Jhinga Nasheela (tandoor oven grilled king prawn).  I really enjoyed this one very much as eat bite was literally bursting with so much flavor. I love the king prawns which was perfectly grilled with the meat having a good bite and a very smokey flavor. To pair with this, we had the Craggy Range TeMuna Road Vineyards Riesling. Another white wine but the consistency was heavier compared to the first.

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Moving on to our mains, we had the Kesaria Cod Macchli. A delicious masterpiece of melt-in-your-mouth cod fish with saffron, kashmiri chili powder and lemon juice in orange onion reduction. The fish was so tender and the sauce perfectly matched it. I really had to stop myself from scraping off the sauce off my plate. I was expecting to have white wine with this as white normally goes with seafood but our sommelier made us try the Craggy Range TeMuna Road Vineyards Pinot Noir. Quite interesting to have the deep berry notes of the wine mix with the citrus punch from the fish.

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For the meat lovers, you'll love the Nalli Nihari. Imagine, fork-tender lamb shank stew cooked with yogurt and saffron. Really yummy! I assure you that it was perfectly odor-free and the meat was well cooked and was very very tender. No intense chewing required. To go with this, we had another glass of wine. This time, the sommelier poured a generous amount of Craggy Range TeKahu Gimblett Gravels Bordeaux Blend. The flavor was very earthy with light acidity. Unfortunately, I'm no expert wine drinker so I happily stay within the light and bubbly range.

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It was a very filling meal but for those who just can't live without their carbs. This special dinner comes with Steamed Basmati Rice and a basket of Assorted Indian Breads. Expect to try a good selection of naan (olive, cheese, garlic) as well as some paratha (hello paneer!) too.

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What a filling meal and to think we just had a sneak preview of what the lucky diner of the exclusive wine pairing dinner will be having. To end our delicious dinner, we had the Aam Kulfi Falooda which is a homemade Indian mango ice cream with sweet noodles. Admittedly, this was the only dish that evening that I wasn't too crazy about. I guess, it will take a while for me to get used to the taste of sweet noodles and the ice cream was very rich and creamy but for some reason, it was warm. We also had the Craggy Range Riesling Noble to end our meal which was a very sweet glass of wine. Again, not my kind of bubbly.

Over-all though, the meal was so good and if only I'm not travelling soon, I would have probably made plans to go back to check the Flavours of India buffet line-up too. I'm glad I got the opportunity to have a taste of it though.

Buffet Rate
Lunch (Mon-Sat) : S$68 (Adult)
Dinner (Sun-Wed) : S$82
Dinner (Thursday-Sat) : S$88

Do me a favor, head over to MELT -- the World Cafe anytime from 16 to 31 October 2015 to enjoy this special buffet promotion. MELT is located at 4th level of Mandarin Oriental, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore. Call them at 6885 3500.

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