The White Rose Cafe in York Hotel Singapore is famous for the Penang Hawkers' Fare which happens three times each year (it's coming back this weekend!). What a lot of people do not realise however is that it actually does not operate as a buffet restaurant for lunch and dinner on a regular day. Instead it serves up local dishes at a relatively affordable rate (especially when you are sharing) and the restaurant has recently added a number of new specialties into the a la carte menu.
The dinner started off with a Chilled Lemongrass Drink with Aloe Vera beverage which was simply but also incredibly refreshing (especially after you have walked up the hill to get to the York Hotel Singapore assuming you came here on foot). There is also a selection of various other local beverages here (e.g. Bandung) if you prefer to have something else.
If you want to savour some satay without leaving the comforts of a hotel (whether you are staying here or not), White Rose Cafe serves both chicken as well as pork satays that are accompanied with the usual condiments - rice cakes, sliced cucumbers, onions and peanut sauce topped with grated pineapple (which is special). While I can't say that this is the best satay I have eaten in Singapore, it is actually one of the better ones that you can get in a hotel here in Singapore.
Now everyone who spent more than a number of years in Singapore must have had a bowl of Mee Siam at some point. Mee Siam (tasting portion photographed above) is new addition to the a la carte menu is a great rendition of the popular dish with a slightly thicker sauce which packs more flavours than usual. Expect the usual sweet, spicy and slightly sour gravy that is created from a homemade rempah spice paste. This version also comes with prawns which is unusual from the ones that you typically get from street vendors or hawker centres.
I also tried the Vietnamese Beef Pho (tasting portion photographed above) which tasted very authentic. From what I was told, there is a Vietnamese chef in the kitchen of the White Rose Cafe and they have tasked her to create this beautiful dish which everyone is familiar with.
The Seafood Mee Goreng is probably one of my favourite dishes that night. Unlike the usual mee goreng that you get outside, this one is packed with flavours and ingredients (at a higher price point too, of course). The shells on the prawns have been largely removed so you do not even have to worry about getting your fingers dirty.
The Seafood Curry is also a highlight from that night - that curry (which reminded me a lot of Indian fish head curry) is perfect with a bowl of steamed rice.
The introduction of new signature dishes to White Rose Cafe's a la carte menu is a much-welcomed move as it builds on to some of the existing dishes which are already very good (my personal favourite is the black ink squid!).
This was an invited media-tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.