Straits Kitchen at Grand Hyatt

Had dinner there just now with a very good friend and I am still recovering from bloat. It’s the newly revamped buffet place at the Grand Hyatt on Scotts Road.

Think of a very high-end hawker centre, buffet-style. Don’t expect Mezza9 service and quality.

It has your Oh-luak, Laksa, Satay, Bryani, Tandoori, Rojak, roast duck, chicken rice, BBQ Stingray, Popiah, Peranakan… you get the picture.

The resturant is Halal which makes the Chinese and Peranakan spread tasteless as there is no pork lard and because of localization, most of the food tasted bland.

Damn common denominators.

Of course, being a buffet-style resturant, most of the food was left on for a tad too long which did not enhance the taste at all.

I went for the more common items:

  • Oh-Luak: Bland with huge pieces of starch with one or two pieces of oysters. The omlette was done haphazardly. I’ve had oh-luak that tasted great even when cold, sadly this is not it. Surprisingly, it was the most popular with the guests, but I suspect no one went for seconds. I certainly did not finish mine. No pork lard = No Taste! Also they used the wrong chilli sauce for it.
  • Rojak: Fresh tasting. Great as an appetizer but there was no kick in the chilli and the prawn paste was skimpy.
  • Roast duck: Not bad. A little skinny with a chewy texture. The rice was not well cooked; dead-tasting grains that tend to clump together.
  • Soya Sauce Chicken:This was nice. Just the right salty fragrance with plump flesh.
  • Tandoori: The mushrooms were dry tasting and cold. You almost feel that you should smoke them instead. The meats were overdone that was neither dry nor juicy. Of course, the sauces made up for that.
  • Satay: Beef, mutton and chicken. Chicken and beef was ok. As usual, the mutton was dry. I tend to believe that satay should have a small piece of fat in between the meat to keep it moist.
  • Sauteed Bok Choy: Believe it or not, this was the only guilt-free thing available. Fortunately, this was done well, but damnit, it’s a high-end resturant!
  • BBQ Stingray: Mediocre and cold. Alas.

Fortunately the company was good.

Sampled 2 desserts:

  • Coconut Ice-cream: The saving grace. Fresh, creamy and subtle. Had 2 large servings.
  • Gula Melaka: I suspected it would be a bad idea to take it, but it’s been years since I had this. Alas, the sago was not well prepared, hence it clumped together and the worst part was that the coconut milk was watered down. Sigh.

All in all, I don’t think hawker centre food should be done buffet-style and you would be better off going to the nearby Newton or slightly further down Bukit Timah hawker centres for the same food at better prices.

Posted on 24th Aug 2005 in Asian


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