This insanely popular "halal"-certified buffet spot is the go-to place if you have Muslim overseas guests who wanted to try local Singaporean delicacies. After all, it's located in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who's a pretty orthodox Muslim. Perfect spot for me this evening to bring my bunch of visiting Emirati colleagues.
Separate food islands offered an array of dishes to suit almost every palate & taste. They include:
1. A Malay-Singaporean station, with skewers of chicken, beef & lamb satays sizzling away atop hot braziers, and banana leaf-wrapped marinated seafood being barbecued over open flames. Malay curries: fish, chicken and the ever-popular beef rendang, together with a selection of Malay "ulams" (raw vegetables with various chili and marinated shrimp paste dips)
2. A Chinese-Singaporean station, with stir-fried chili crabs (not good - the crabs weren't fresh), tofu-prawn-omelette, vegetable stir-fries, double-boiled black chicken with Chiense herbs, Hainanese chicken rice4, and roast duck.
3. An Indian-Singaporean station, with tandoori items, Indian kurmahs, dhansaks, dhals, etc. with a selection of parathas, naans and other Indian breads & briyani rice.
4. A "popiah"station with the chef handrolling spring rolls to order, a "rojak" station where fresh fruits, cucumbers & turnips where hand-mixed with prawn paste, crush groundnuts & other local condiments, and an "ice kachang"/"chendol" station churning out bespoke shaved ice desserts.
5. The fresh fruits station offered a wide array of tropical fruits: jackfruit, dragonfruit, rambutans, longans, etc.
6. A local desserts station with Nyonya "kuehs" and other sweet desserts like mango pudding, grass jelly, "longan" soup, etc.
Warning: This place is absolutely *packed* every single day, with lots of corporate bookings for large (usually 8-12, or more) groups of diners. So do reserve ahead if you don't want to be turned away at the door. Service is erratic, and the beautiful waitresses can be pretty clueless - most of them are Mainland-Chinese with rudimentary command of English.
My fave items from the buffet?
- Double-boiled herbal black chicken soup, which was a bit oily, but has a nice balance of Chinese herbs & sweetened slightly with red dates.
- The surprisingly up-to-standard Singapore laksa, though it lacked the raw cockles.
- Two good local desserts: Malay "kueh lopis" made of gltunious rice and coated with fresh grated coconut and served with a generous drizzle of molasses; and the "Chendol", which is one of the best I'd had in Singapore.
I heard the satays, Hainanese chicken rice and spring rolls were good, too, but I didn't fancy having to queue up at the daunting food lines.
Lobby Level, Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
Tel: +65 6732 1234