GOURMET goodies like foie gras (goose liver), truffles, whole chestnuts and fresh turkey are baked to perfection in a crisp pastry.
But if you are thinking of sinking your teeth into this yummy-looking turkey pie, you just might be biting off more than you can chew.
Its price: $450. The Baked Turkey Pie with Truffles and Goose Liver in Champagne Cream will be sold as a takeaway dish from 17 Nov at Prego Deli and the Cafe Noel booth at Raffles The Plaza, as part of the year-end holiday season. Another item with an eye-popping price tag is the roasted goose stuffed with whole lobster and crab roe.
That costs $420.
It will also be sold during the same period as the pie. At such princely sums, are these delicacies to be enjoyed only by those with fat wallets?
Mr Otto Wiebel, the director of kitchens at Raffles The Plaza, said: 'Everybody is our target. People want a nice Christmas to enjoy with their family, and having some good food to celebrate is a nice treat after working the whole year.'
However, most of those The New Paper on Sunday spoke to felt that the money could be better spent.
Mrs Georgia Lee, 51, director of a shipping company, would rather spend it on '100 plates of chicken rice'.
Even property agent Poh Siew Choo, 45, who wouldn't mind spending a few hundred dollars a person on a meal, felt that $450 is 'too much to swallow'.
Before you cry 'daylight robbery', Mr Wiebel has a justification for the exorbitant prices.
THE RIGHT STUFF
It's the ingredients, the 60-year-old explained, adding that they make up 70 per cent of the cost of the pie. While the pie does not have gold flakes in it, the black truffles that he uses costs as much as $3,000 a kilogram.
The goose liver, which has to be cooked at exactly the right temperature, costs $900 a kg. The lobsters come at $80 a kg, and two big lobster tails are needed for each stuffed goose, the Swiss chef said.
He also felt that the dishes were not expensive, considering that one stuffed goose serves 12, and the pie, which weighs 2kg, serves 10.
If you do not have a big party, a smaller 250g pie at $48 each is available. Mr Wiebel added: 'We are a five-star hotel, and we need to keep to the quality. I'd rather not do it at all than do it cheaper.'
Customers can also tell the difference, he said, especially those who have travelled and eaten the best food. 'They know what is good and expect that from us as well.'
Raffles The Plaza are not the only ones charging such high prices for food.
Les Amis offers seared turbot served with 'petit marmite' (broth) of fennel and tomato at $120 a serving, and Saint Pierre's most expensive dish is entrecote de boeuf (Black Angus beef), which costs $180 and serves two.
Explaining why the fish costs so much, corporate communications manager for Les Amis Raymond Lim explained: 'The turbot is line-caught by artisan fishermen who go out to catch fish in small boats. The fish are sold to the market faster and have fewer bruises than those caught by a trawler.'
Restaurants serving Western cuisine are not the only ones charging high prices.
A dish called Koh Yong Abalone served at Tong Lok restaurants (above) cost $168 for each serving of the 12-head abalone.
Buddha Jumps Over The Wall costs $1,288 an urn at Chinese restaurant Spring Ju Chun Yuan (below). The soup, which involves more than 24 hours of laborious preparation, also includes shark's fin, abalone, scallop, sea-cucumber, terrapin side, fish maw, fish lip, pork tendon and flower mushroom.
Marina Mandarin Singapore's Double-boiled Superior Shark's Fin with Mustard Green in Supreme Soup costs $88 a serving.
Spring Ju Chun Yuan's Buddha Jumps Over The Wall costs $1,288 an urn.
But is there really a high demand for such quality food?
When gourmet burger restaurant Uberburger opened in February this year, its $101 wagyu burger also made headlines. But 10 months after it opened at Millenia Walk, it closed due to poor business.
However, Ms Belladonnah Lim, Raffles The Plaza's senior marketing communications manager, is 'confident' that the turkey pie and roasted goose would 'go down very well with the public'.
Miss Lim feels that this is because of Singapore's 'buoyant' economy.
'Overall, there has been an increase in the spending power of the public. More people are travelling abroad and receptive to try out new, innovative products,' she said.
'In addition, people are more discerning and they are willing to spend on good quality products.'
She said the hotel was inspired to roll out the dishes after learning some mooncakes were sold for $888 a box during the Mooncake Festival this year.
'Despite the high prices... the mooncakes were sold out quickly,' she said.
One of those who would not mind paying for such pricey food is Ms Claire Wong, 30, a manager.
She said: 'I can understand that the high-quality ingredients for such food are expensive. I have tasted such dishes overseas and most of them are really good.
'But I would not eat them often as they would burn a hole in the pocket.'
There are also some who would buy such food, but not to enjoy it themselves.
Miss Chen Sheau Ing, 30, a former lawyer, said: 'Unless I am giving the dish to a client to establish some goodwill, I would never spend so much on food.'
Others, however, are adamant on not forking out the money.
Miss Pamela Seet, 23, a human resources officer said spending so much on food was 'ridiculous'.
She said: 'It's just a status symbol. People would spend so much on the food just so they can tell other people about it. But I wouldn't want to risk so much on something I have never tasted. What if I don't like it?'
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