Straits Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Singapore occupies a special place where hotel buffets are concerned. In a country with a fast-changing f&b landscape, this restaurant’s hugely popular buffet has kept itself relevant for more than a decade – a rarity when it comes to the Lion City. Not only does it attract locals looking to savor spicy hawker-style dishes all in one roof, it has also become the de facto venue for tourists looking to sample Singapore food without having to brave the food courts. Even the renowned travel guide, Lonely Planet, cites it as one of the recommended places to eat in Singapore.
Personally, Straits Kitchen is one of my favorite hotel buffets in Singapore. You might not find freshly shucked oysters here or lobsters – and that is not what this buffet is about either – but I’ve always thought the offering left little in terms of fillers. There are just so many specialties here in this halal buffet – from the delectable soya sauce chicken to the flavorful Indian dishes down to my favorite muah chee for desserts. The venue is definitely one I always look forward to visiting.
There are three cuisines represented in the buffet and these are Malay & Nyonya, Chinese and Indian.
Personally one of my favorite sections in the buffet, the Indian station is a hearty affair with plenty of curries. The chicken curry in particular was notable with a wonderful gravy. For those who love lamb, the Keema Mattar is a fantastic choice. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians including Palak Paneer, Makki Khumb and Aloo Shimla Mirch. Slather the gravy over some freshly made naan (my personal pick is the garlic naan) or roti prata to complete the meal.
Aside from the curries, you will also find plenty of grilled dishes in the buffet including Mutton Tandoori, Lassuni Kebab (boneless chicken) and Prawn Tandoori for a good balance between “wet” and “dry” dishes.
The largest of the three sections in the buffet, the Chinese selection at Straits Kitchen offers a microcosm of what you might find in most hawker centers. There’s plenty in the way of stir-fried dishes. During the dinner buffet, you will even get an additional dish in the way of chili crab or black pepper crab.
My attention however was turned to the chicken and duck section. The soya sauce chicken in particular was especially juicy and tender with every bite. I helped myself to a couple of portions. Another highlight is the roast duck which is best eaten shared and slathered with plum sauce.
You will also find a noodle section here where you can order bowls of prawn noodles, laksa or chicken noodle. My personal pick here is the chicken noodle soup which has a highly fragrant broth. You can pick and match what you want to include. I topped mine with some prawns, balls and fish cakes.
For some local comfort food, there are staff members who make popiah on the spot, best eaten with a bit of chili sauce inside for that extra kick.
Malay and Nyonya
By this time, I was already quite full and wanted to save some tummy space for dessert so I was not able to try much from the Malay section save for a couple of items such as the satay and the Ikan Assam Pedas, the latter a delight for those who love sour flavors.
The dessert station is another highlight and you definitely need to save some tummy space for it. There are too many things to sample here that it’s not immediately evident where to begin. You could start with something cold such as a bowl of chendol filled copiously with gula melaka or some colorful ice kachang. Both are excellent choices especially during a hot sunny day.
In my case, I headed straight to the muah chee station. It’s quite a rare dessert to find these days even in hawker centers and even more uncommon when it comes to buffets. Straits Kitchen does this dessert well and this deliciously nutty glutinous snack is my favorite each time I come here.
Next to the chendol/ice kachang area, there’s a small provision from where diners can get helpings of goreng pisang. As they are quite filling, fried banana fritters is probably the last thing I would normally grab in a buffet but I just could not resist the crunchy exterior. This is best to have when topped with a scoop of homemade ice cream. Straits Kitchen offers plenty of tropical flavors such as coconut, durian and even soursop.
Lastly, what I like about the venue is how free-flowing juices are automatically included in the buffet. Admittedly, the drinks are of the chilled type but hey, at least you don’t have to pay extra for refreshments.
Lunch: SGD 52++ (adult), SGD 28++ (child)
Dinner: SGD 62++ (adult), SGD 35++ (child)
Between lunch and dinner, difference is that there’s an additional dish for dinner – either chili crab or black pepper crab.