Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I feel like walking into the Platform Nine and Three-Quarters as I was being led into The Chopsticks, "the restaurant that guests never see" at the Mandarin Oriental. I was invited by my gracious friend at MO to join their Christmas Media Party held at their staff canteen aka The Chopsticks this year, and of course, seeing this as a cool opportunity to step into a place not usually open to the public and me being curious to see what's behind the scene at this well-run hotel, I simply cannot refuse such an invitation.

The restaurant is on one level above The Mandarin Grill, through the unassuming backdoor and meandering corridors which normally is out of sight. Considering it's a cafeteria, it's actually quite nicely decorated, and by the time I arrived, it's already full of people mingling and talking, sipping champagne, enjoying all the food that was brought forth. With fancy Hors d'oeuvre such as piegon puff, pulled pork mini-burgers and a whole lot fine oysters being served, I am sure this is not the usual food that found its way to the staff cafeteria on a day-to-day basis, not to mention mulled wine, champagne and hot chocolates being passed around.

The centerpiece of the evening is the grand showing of Chef Uwe Opocensky's Winter Wonderland that was prepared on a long table in the middle of the restaurant. Starting with chocolate being poured into vases on the table (which turned out to be a chocolate pudding), Chef Uwe and the pastry team quickly assembles the winter village filled with edible goodies right in front of the guests.

Everyone's at awe at the table full of Christmas trees made with sugar, gingerbread houses, snowmen stuffed with Bailey's icecream, chocolate mousse-filled wood log, marshmallow gift-boxes, and edible soil (more chocolate) and snowflakes (icing sugar), and spent no time digging in once it's finished. This is the best dessert buffet table I have ever seen - who said cooking is not an art?

Can't think of a better place to be merry and happy on a Tuesday evening. This is my first Christmas party of the year and I absolutely love it! Thank you MO for such an amazing night!

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