Although the information on the establishment's website stated that dinner would commence at 6pm, I had to wait till 6.06pm before being granted entry, as the staff had to set up the cutlery for dinner. Although I was invited by the staff to wait at the plush chairs outside the main dining area, as a person who values punctuality, I was still not quite pleased with this matter.
Being very much the greedy goose, l felt the dire need to sample everything offered in the buffet spread. And I almost did, save for the (1) ang ku kueh, (2) lapis sagu, (3) mini ondeh ondeh, (4) the ice-cream toppings, (5) the unsliced green apples and oranges which she's guessing that almost no one eats anyway.
The dessert-cum-durian buffet goes for $24.80++ per person, or for $18.80++ with any ala carte order. FYI the cheapest item on the menu goes for $6++ (chicken tenders?). Note that the food available on the menu, with the exception of the durian ice-cream which goes for $6.50++ per scoop, are all savory items. I was hoping for all the durian pastries to be included in the menu as well, as I was looking forward to trying the durian strudel, but this was not the case. Only the durian puffs, durian oreo cake, durian pudding, durianmisu, as well as the durian roll and durian pancakes which are exclusive to the buffet were available.
To save stomach space and hence make the most out of the price paid, we chose to go for the dessert-cum-durian buffet exclusively.
Goodwood Park Hotel's famed durian puffs feature smooth, rich durian cream sandwiched between light choux pastry. Definitely the most decent ones I've ever had!
Durianmisu (the photo's too ugly haha, why don't buffets serve tiramisu in small individual servings instead of leaving diners puzzled over how to scoop out a portion?): The pungent durian pulp combined well with the smooth mascarpone cheese, but the equally strong flavor of the espresso in the sponge layer did not blend in with that of the former... Have two portions of this, like I did, and I guarantee that you'll be quite bloated.
One of my friends described the Durian Oreo Cake to be very similar to Goodwood Park's famed Durian Mousse Cake, except that it is coated in cookie crumbs. Comprising smooth and creamy durian mousse sitting on a soft sponge base, I would have taken a second slice if I had the stomach space to do so! However, I don't think it deserves its reputation as 'legendary'. Being a durian fanatic, I would have liked a stronger durian kick.
The cheesecake was smooth and light, but was too mild in flavor.
The brownie with mousse (?) was slightly too sweet, so was the Hazelnut mousse with chocolate flourless cake.
Apricot mousse tartlet: Ordinary- it was simply a square of mousse on a stiff tart base.
Bread pudding: Just average, I should have just taken a smaller slice...
Chocolate Crumble Tart: Probably the best non-durian confection around. Note that it was not particularly good though... get what I'm trying to imply about the quality of the non-durian desserts served?
Green tea cake with red bean: The sponge was soft, but lacked in the taste of matcha.
Durian pancakes: The star of the buffet! Save for eating it on its own, having durian in the form of a cold, creamy and pungent oozing out out a thin warm pancake is the best way to enjoy it IMO!
Panna Cotta with Madeleine: Where's the madeleine? The panna cotta was placed in a small cup but there were no suitably-sized utensils provided. Poking through the cup with a fork of almost the same diameter as its opening,
Mango Pudding: More like mango-flavored pudding, average.
The Durian pudding was smooth and revealed generous portions of durian pulp inside. While I enjoyed it, the pudding got a bit overwhelming after a while... perhaps it was also because I was really full then.
There was also a small selection of fruits, Movenpick ice-cream and Nonya kueh. Two traditional soup desserts were served as well: pulut hitam, and gingko nut and barley with beancurd skin and quail's eggs. The pulut hitam was alright, but the latter was not bad at all. The savory quail's eggs matched surprising well with the silky barley soup!
Verdict: Come to this buffet only if you fancy durian desserts available. And do order some savory stuff to go along, I was surprised that I soon got sick of eating sweet stuff although I love my desserts!
Durian oreo cake
durian puffs, durian oreo cake, durian pancakes, durian pudding, barley beancurd dessert