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Featuring the Best

Straits Kitchen @ Grand Hyatt Singapore

05 April 2010


First and foremost, thank you to the dinner buddy Glenn for his birthday treat to me at Grand Hyatt's Straits Kitchen. It was certainly an apt choice of a venue because this would be the final installment to my mini Grand Hyatt series, having already featured the likes of Mezza9, Mezza9 Deli, Pete's Place and Oasis.


Straits Kitchen features an Asian-themed (more precisely, Singaporean-themed) buffet that has five different sections to it - locally-inspired appetisers, Malay cuisine, Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine and local desserts. If you are wondering what could be so possibly attractive about this restaurant, I would think that there's two reasons to it: one, it's a showcase of three cuisines under one comfortable setting (perfect for tourists!), and two, it's one of the three Halal-certified hotel buffet venues (with the other two being Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts and Tiffany Cafe at Furama City Centre). Do note that reservations here are a must, as the restaurant operates on a "full-house" on most nights.


The design at Straits Kitchen is chic with an abundance of wood panelling and plush seats. I like the atmosphere of this place and you get the feeling that it somewhat encourages you to just eat, eat, and eat, to pamper yourself silly and to be able to lie there with all the comfort in the world. Service here is excellent too, with some of the most affable and polite waiters around.

Lighting here is quite dim and photography is not allowed actually, but we got permission from Ms Rina (thank you!) who earlier had found out about our Hyatt series and agreed to our request. I couldn't take many pictures anyway because it was getting crowded with people. Still, here's a little walk through the buffet stations that I managed to put together for you!

Local Appetisers


Chinese Rojak



Popiah - Asian Spring Roll



Indonesian Gado-Gado


Malay Cuisine


Satay



Sambal Prawns, Spicy Fish Fillet, Ayam Buah Keluak and Sayur Lodeh



Beef Rendang and Ayam Lemak



Ayam Percik - Spicy Barbecued Chicken


Chinese Cuisine


Roast Duck and Chicken



Chilli Crab



Carrot Cake



Ingredients for Prawn Noodles and Laksa


Indian Cuisine


Briyani Rice and Indian Curries



Butter Chicken (Middle) and Tandoori Dishes (Back)



Indian Fish Head Curry


Local Desserts


Kaya Cake, Grass Jelly and Longan with Almond Jelly



Local Kuehs and Sweets



Local Tarts and Cookies




Assortment of Fresh Fruits


Some of My Plates


I personally liked the tender Roast Duck and Chicken a lot, and they went very well with the fragrant chicken rice. Carrot Cake is something that I adore quite a bit but this rendition by Straits Kitchen was just a bit too sweet for me. The large slices of abalone in the Chap Chye (stir-fried mixed vegetables) were a delight to chew on.


The Laksa and Chicken Noodle Soup were less impressive, with the laksa being memorably milky. I like my laksa less "creamy" with more chilli for that extra spicy zest. The Steamed Fish was a bit tough on some parts, while the Chilli Crab took a little getting used to because I'm not very familiar with one that is cooked with lemongrass.

For the Chinese Cuisine station there's certainly more items on offer like Fried Rice (adequately moist and tasty), Fried Kway Teow (basic fare), Fried Vegetables (the carnivore in me says no), Fried Diced Chicken (tender) and several others.


Perhaps the dishes here are meant to cater to foreign tastebuds, and so you would probably get a little bit more of sweet than spicy (even so, I overheard a tourist commenting to the waiter that many of the dishes are too spicy for her). This is why even the Satay was a little too sweet for my liking. The Ayam Percik meanwhile was quite good, crisp with a spicy marinate, but the Sambal Prawns and Spicy Fish Fillet were again not as spicy as they should be.


I thought the Indian cuisine fared pretty well, especially the Tandoori meats, be it fish, prawn or chicken. The Naan (both plain and garlic are served here) was delicious too, and you could eat it with any of the gravy or curries. The Fish Head Curry was alright but the fish could have been more tender.


We picked up a few desserts as well, but by then were too full (and lazy) to be taking pictures of everything on the table. Other than the Ice Kachang (shaved ice with jellies and flavoured syrup) and Egg Tarts (a little too flaky on the crust, but lovely egg pudding inside), there's also very simple delights like Muah Chee, which is glutinous rice with grated peanuts. I liked this a lot and certainly ate more of this than I should.


The highlight surely, and as a true testament to the extent of my pure indulgence in sweet desserts (unbeatable I tell you), is the delicious, deep-fried-to-a-golden-brown Goreng Pisang that is paired with cold and creamy Coconut Ice-Cream. The waiter scooping the ice-creams was looking at me puzzled and asked, "Are you sure? Ice-cream with that?" and I could only nod excitedly and say, "You should try it yourself. Hot, juicy and crispy with cold, sweet and smooth". The verdict: excellent. It's like doing a hot crumble with ice-cream, but only more sinful. Who cares, I'm a happy boy.


Overall, I found it was a pleasant experience at Straits Kitchen, but food taste and quality wise I suppose I would stick to Grand Hyatt's other restaurants. You may say we can only get the best Singaporean food at the hawker centres (and to a large extent, that is true) but if you want comfort and variety in one place then Straits Kitchen may still be a good option for you :)

Service
Excellent.

Price
$41++ (lunch) and $45++ (dinner) for both weekdays and weekends.

Place
Grand Hyatt Singapore, Level One.

Additional Comment
The kitchen for Straits Kitchen is certified Halal, and the restaurant is very stringent about this. However, Straits Kitchen as a whole is not certified Halal because it serves alchoholic drinks (like wine) at the request of customers.

Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D.

12 Foodie Comments:

Fen said...

Wah, with the amount of Hyatt entries you and Glenn have put up, I am trying very hard not to drop by Hyatt... Yes, it is condemned because of the s****y service of their feedback channel & taxi stand.

Come to think about it, if Yuan were to see your post, he will be bugging me to go to Straits Kitchen (before the bad experience). The buffets @ Straits Kitchen & Mezza9 have tempted him for the past 2 years but we never have the time to drop by...

Hawker fare in hotel comfort, I definitely know what you are driving at and yes, it is worth the price tag... But then again, don't miss out Triple 3. The buffet I had in Jan was so memorable...

April 5, 2010 at 4:05 PM
*Harris said...

Hello Fen! Personally I would recommend Mezza, Pete's and Oasis so much more as compared to SK. Hawker fare should be eaten at the hawker centres, for all the allure and atmosphere that you can soak up. Authentic experience if you know what I mean haha ;)

Service here at Hyatt has been very good to be honest, and in almost all instances I was here as a walk-in guest. Hopefully, they've improved since your past experience.

And on Triple 3, it will be on my to-go list, but I can only stomach so much buffets a month and I'd be heading for Carousel again in the middle of the month for an event. Next month, maybe.

Glad to see you and Yuan yesterday, loved those funny accounts of your HK trip! Hope to see you soon :)

April 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM
Xinli said...

Wow, there isn't a lot of photos or nice reviews with photos of Straits Kitchen.

Finally there is one!

It looks like a nice and comfortable place to bring foreign friends to sample all kinds of hawker food there and its halal too! =d

This is what I found on the Singapore Halal Directory:

"Nature of Business -
Celebration of Singapore's local cuisine serving authentic hawker favourites from the Halal certified Chinese, Malay and Indian theatre kitchens, in a comfortable and contemporary setting.

Certified Section:
- Beverage Section
- Chinese Section
- Cold Section
- Dessert Section
- Indian Section
- Malay Section"

April 5, 2010 at 6:43 PM
*Harris said...

Yeap XinLi, and thank you (!!!) for adding that paragraph from the Sg Halal Directory to lend credence to my post. The only thing is the alchoholic beverages that prevents SK from attaining full certification for the restaurant. I hear the wine glasses are washed in a separate kitchen as SK's!

I actually got even more photos haha, but i've trimmed it down a lot in case the page takes far too long to load.

Cheers bro.

April 5, 2010 at 6:47 PM
ezAnne said...

Hi,
just want to enquire about the buffet prices? Looks really yummy! wanna try it too!

April 5, 2010 at 10:50 PM
*Harris said...

This is odd, I remember an Ezanne leaving a comment here. Sorry for the delay in reply, I was at school :)

It's $41++ for lunch, $45++ for dinner, both weekdays and weekends :)

Cheers! :)

April 6, 2010 at 7:14 PM
Xinli said...

hey, the comment count doesn't seem to tally. my blog seem to have that problem today.

same price for book weekdays and weekends =o

April 6, 2010 at 8:39 PM
foodaholic said...

im experiencing the same prob as you! thk blogger's acting up.

GAHHHH...HARRIS. I'm tempted by hyatt now. =( haha..lovely pictures!

April 6, 2010 at 10:11 PM
*Harris said...

Someone else's comment, asking for the price, got deleted too :(

Thank you Phoebe for your compliment on the pictures, truth be told I thought they weren't all that good because it was quite hurried, taking all those pictures when the people were starting to crowd around the stations and I surely didn't want to be in the way!

I suggest you try Oasis girl, more than SK. Oasis has buffet on Fri and Sat.

April 6, 2010 at 10:47 PM
Frau K said...

I was there last summer with my husband. Intended to blog about it but I'm too intimidated to make pictures inside so I was not able to make some good shoots. May I use some of the photos on your site? Of course I will give your site the credit.You photos did justice to the food and the place. Thank you.

March 26, 2011 at 5:58 AM
Frau K said...

Was there last summer with my husband. Excellent place for tourist who wants to have a taste of Singapore's famous gourmets. I wanted to blog about it but I was to intimidated to take pictures inside, so I haven't got any picture of the spread! Your shoots did justice to the place and the food. May I use some of the photos you took? I will of course give your site the credit it deserve.Thank you.

March 27, 2011 at 1:30 AM
*Harris said...

Go ahead :) Sorry I took so long to reply!

April 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM

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