It had been a trying and stressful few months so the classic Christmas offerings prepared by executive chef Richard Moreira and his team were a most welcome respite and repast for yours truly. Cocooned in the homey confines of Top Hat, I found myself warming up to the frothy and soothing glasses of liquor-spiked Eggnog and bosom friends.
We were treated to the restaurant's renowned Peranakan (Straits Chinese) appetiser of Pie Tee - those crispy, frilled top hat-shaped batter cases that come filled with shredded yam bean, carrot and black mushroom. In this instance, the dainty morsels were adorned with slivers of foie gras for an unexpectedly luxurious touch.
From the festive Christmas menu, we sampled a summery Prawn and Mango Salad Mesclun with Basil and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing that seems quite apt for our tropical Yuletide weather.
Tropical flavours abound in this salad
The Caesar Salad with Lemony Dressing and Shaved Parmesan was tantalisingly light on the palate with just the right degree of richness while the Deep-fried Egmont Cheese with Avocado and Plum Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing proved to be an intriguing combination of buttery smooth, softly succulent and crisp textures intermingled with refreshing, sweet and briny accents.
It's a toss between a timeless classic and a new creation
Three main courses in one sitting sounded absolutely indulgent but shared between our party of five, the Roast Beef, Roast Turkey, Grilled Rack of Lamb worked out to be just nice.
The melt-in-the-mouth tender Roast Beef (Ribeye) accompanied by puffy mini Yorkshire puddings, roasted parsnips and Brussels sprouts with lashings of rich black pepper sauce were something to write home about.
Taking centrestage next was the golden brown and scrumptiously juicy Roast Turkey...accentuated with aromatic sage, rosemary and other fragrant herbs, and complemented by sweet roasted parsnips and Brussels sprouts for textural contrast. Cranberry sauce and turkey gravy completed the flavour palette.
Tasty turkey & all its trimmings
Simpler but no less hearty is the medium Grilled Rack of Lamb with a fresh and subtly tangy mint and kiwi sauce. For takeaway, Chef Moreira proffers Boneless Roast Leg of Lamb.
Science of the grilled and roast lamb...
Rounding off our lavish meal is the decadent Christmas Sampler: mini Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, mince pie, mini Grand Marnier fruit cake and a wedge of Christmas ice-cream cake.
My heartfelt appreciation to Maria Danker and the Top Hat team for bringing Joy to my World! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all my followers too!
Top Hat restaurant
3 Jalan Stonor
Tel: (03) 2142 8611/2144 1963
Fax: (03) 2141 3611