Singapore Adventure

Monday, January 15, 2007

Chocolate Buffet
by venitha

"What a beautiful umbrella!" Brian greeted me at his door.

"Isn't it? Makes me feel like Mary Poppins." In truth, Mary Poppins had dissolved slowly but surely on the too-long too-wet journey from my apartment to his, her spirits dampened first by the little girl cowering behind her parents on the lift (She's afraid of what? My freckles?), doused further by the astonishingly-long rush-hour wait in sideways rain at the bus stop, and then extinguished entirely by the drenching wade up the Wilkie waterfall.

By the time I arrived at Brian and Andrea's, dripping with both raindrops and sweat, I was the Wicked Witch, or at least a flying monkey, a minion devotedly on Elphaba's side.

"Poor wicked witches," I told Brian as I removed my waterlogged shoes in a vain attempt to leave the wet outside. "They don't stand a chance in Singapore."


Several hours later, umbrellas safely ensconced in plastic condoms, four slightly damp ladies descended upon the Fullerton Hotel's much-anticipated chocolate buffet, leaving soggy footprints...

from the entree table (cakes, tarts, candies, cookies, mousses, and, of course, grape soup)...

to the chocolate fountain (fruits, croissants, and swirled marshmallow concoctions provided for your dipping pleasure)...

to the meltery (choose your poison - mmmm...hazelnut - then have it enchanted before your eyes into an adorable and steaming cup of vastly-superior-to-Milo hot chocolate).

Of chocolate-y note:
  • La crème de la crème: The one indulgence that was universally ooohed over was the Acacia Honey Chocolate Shooter, an incredibly creamy Bailey's topped with slivered almonds. Do you drink it or do you use a spoon? Impossible to decide; best get another one to study the matter further. We all also made our share of yummy noises over the Fullerton Chocolate Cake and its unidentifiable layers. "Nuts?" "Graham crackers?" "Wheat germ? But not in a bad way..."

  • Chocolate bombs: I have pretty firm beliefs about what should be allowed to contaminate my chocolate. (I may never forgive Singapore Airlines for the mean joke of serving a gorgeous chocolate cake flavored with "Oh, geez, orange? That's downright cruel." Jim: "Yeah, you can have mine, too.") Unsurprisingly, I found lemon, in the form of a frothy meringue-like topping to an otherwise delectable chocolate torte, even less appealing. And in case you were wondering about green tea and chocolate pudding? Ew. Chilled black cherry chocolate yogurt, on the other hand...

  • The chocolate fountain: While delicious, especially coating large succulent strawberries and thin crunchy breadsticks, the fountain, resembling a many-tiered chocolate wedding cake, was a visual disappointment, more of a chocolate fall or chocolate falls in my opinion. Of course, I now realize that my fantasy of an upward-shooting, splashy celebration of a fountain, while more in line with my own feelings about chocolate, would be quite impractical and a bit, well, splattery, and is probably why I'm not employed designing chocolate fountains. Drat.

  • One glaring omission: chocolate cheesecake. There was, however, a scrumptious mango-topped New York cheesecake, about which I have no complaints. It deliciously played its role of palate-cleansing sorbet, and was vastly superior to that abomination they barbarously label cheesecake in Japanese restaurants.

  • I-did-not-know-that fact: One can only eat so much chocolate before she really just does not want any more. Who knew?


By the end of the night, as Andrea and I rushed through the endless downpour to catch the last MRT toward home, I happily noted a new transformation, one induced by exquisite chocolate and treasured female friends, friends who make me think and make me laugh and make me, astonishingly, sad to be leaving Singapore. Miraculously, the Wicked Witch had been replaced, I noted with a radiant smile, by a beautiful ballgown-clad Cinderella.

Or perhaps, I mused, as I slumped, wicked tired and already more than a little chocolate-hungover, on past Andrea's MRT stop, she'd become the rag-clad Cinderella.

Or perhaps, I realized, as I plodded soggily past our dozing condo guard and gawped in the lift's mirror at a damp wreck, chubby cheeked and roundly stuffed with both chocolate and baby, she was merely the pumpkin.