As I mentioned in my post about M Bar, Mandarin Oriental is offering a series of pop-ups throughout the year, the latest of which is a special Lobster and Bubbles menu at Café Causette, available until the end of August. I was invited to check this out and unsurprisingly found it impossible to resist.
Café Causette is a perfect balance between casual and elegant. It isn’t overly pretentious, yet still has that element of luxury that you can expect from the Mandarin.
The café’s normal menu features something for everyone – there are Asian dishes, western dishes and a selection of healthy organic dishes. Forget those for the moment, as you can have them all year round, and jump straight to the Lobster and Bubbles menu. There’s something about both lobster and bubbles that just makes you feel special, particularly when there’s a whole menu dedicated to just them.
To start our decadent feast, two lobster skewers came beautifully presented on a mini “barbecue.” This was a simple yet outstanding dish, cooked to absolute perfection and served with a delicious lobster mayo.
I would never order a prawn cocktail. It’s just not something that really appeals to me and I’ve always thought it a little out-dated. I approached the lobster cocktail at Café Causette with a similar mind-set and yet was very surprised at how delicious it was. The lobster, again, was cooked to perfection and the flavour wasn’t masked, as is often the case, by too much sauce.
I was also impressed by the lobster tempura, which offered a decent selection of chunky pieces of lobster and tasty veggies. I also couldn’t get enough of the accompanying wasabi mayo.
I was immediately excited by the sound of lobster tacos, but actually found them a little disappointing. At the bottom of the hard-shell taco (not my favourite kind of taco) was a thick layer of lettuce that meant I often got a mouthful of just lettuce. The lobster meat itself was tasty, but there was a rather overpowering hit of English mustard, which I thought seemed a little out of place here.
The Lobster Dog was also smothered in English mustard. Whilst this can enhance the flavour, here it completely obliterated any hint of lobster, which was rather a shame considering the theme of the menu.
The Lobster Thermidor, however, was excellent. It was rich without being overly heavy and those chips were outstanding; I had to move them out of my reach to stop myself from filling up on their crispy yet fluffy goodness.
Adding an Asian twist to the menu, the lobster wonton soup was also delicious. The classic broth was wonderfully comforting, whilst the soft, sizeable lobster wontons elevated this simple Chinese dish to another level.
I wasn’t overly excited by the lobster mac & cheese, but then again mac and cheese isn’t generally something I get excited about. I did, however, like the addition of the oats, to give it an added crunch.
Bolognaise, on the other hand, is one of my favourite dishes of all time, and Café Causette’s lobster bolognaise was truly fantastic. The flavours were incredibly fresh, made the more so by the addition of fresh parsley and basil and saffron linguini. I think this was easily my favourite dish of the night.
From the Lobster and Bubbles menu, we tried the ‘Peach’ dessert, which was a lovely light and summery dish that consisted of fluffy puff pastry, poached peach and rosé champagne sorbet.
From the regular a la carte menu, unlike everyone else around the table, I found the Mandarin Cheesecake a little too dense and heavy. I did like how it wasn’t overly sweet, but it’s not a dessert of which I could handle more than a single spoonful.
The warm apple, berry and hazelnut crumble, however, was lovely, with just a subtle hint of hazelnut amongst the perfect biscuity crumble.
Obviously this was all paired with a selection of ‘bubbles,’ including a deliciously smooth and easy to drink 2011 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut.
The Lobster and Bubbles menu is available daily for dinner, and as a select lunch menu Monday to Friday until 31st of August. Considering the quality and quantity of the lobster you get and the fact that you’re dining at one of the best hotels in the city, prices are remarkably reasonable, with starters around $168 and mains around $228. There’s also the option of a 2-course meal with a glass of bubbles for $408, or 3-courses plus bubbles for $488. It’s definitely a meal that will make you feel special!
5 Connaught Road
Tel: 2825 4005