With new rules surrounding social distancing as well as restrictions in terms of “sharing” consumables, hotels have turned to creative ways in order to maintain a good chunk of their pre-2020 business after the Singapore government announced Phase 2 in late June. Indeed, the idea of diners scooping up their favorite dishes from the buffet spread seems to be a distant reality for now. The all-you-can eat concept remains alive and well and I checked out five different hotels (four for buffets and one for its new menu) to see how they have adapted to the new normal – some through the clever use of technology while others through age-old hospitality practices.
Without further ado, here are some noteworthy hotel dining promotions to check out under the new normal (phase 2 in Singapore):
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
Window on the Park, the all-day restaurant at Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre has a 1-for-1 dining deal from as low as S$68.89 net for 2 persons (roughly S$34 nett per person) for its international buffet. Diners can expect dishes like Double-boiled Soup, Wok Fried Seafood Mee Goreng, Laksa, Satay as well as a bountiful cold seafood and dessert section. Prices vary depending on lunch or dinner sitting as well as between weekday and weekends. Here is the summary of the buffet pricing at Window on the Park:
- Monday to Thursday lunch buffet for S$68.89 net for 2 persons (roughly S$34 net per person)
- Friday to Sunday lunch buffet for S$84.75 net for 2 persons (roughly S$42 net per person)
- Monday to Thursday dinner buffet for S$82.65 for 2 persons (roughly S$41 net per person
- Friday to Saturday dinner buffet from S$101.69 for 2 persons (roughly S$50 net per person) – prices differ between 1st and 2nd seating
- Sunday dinner buffet from S$101.69 for 2 persons (roughly S$50 net per person)
Reservations: Window on the Park is also halal-certified. Pricing stated above is inclusive of a 10% discount on top of the 1-for-1 offer. Do note the 10% discount is not applicable if you reserve directly with the restaurant. You can book the discounted vouchers here.
Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore
Colony at Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore is one of the Lion City’s most popular buffets. Personally, I have found their offerings to be of consistently high quality – with many deliciously concocted dishes despite the mass-produced nature. Under the new normal, Colony still offers something different for each day. I dropped by on a Friday to check out their Seafood Dinner (S$96 per adult / S$48 per child on Fridays and Saturdays) and was quite impressed with the level of service and also the way dishes were presented.
Out of the 4 buffets I visited during the new normal, I would have to say that Colony’s presentation was the best of the lot. Even though I was well aware it was an “ala carte buffet,” it had seemed as though I was going through a fine dining meal as each course came in exquisite plating.
The ordering system being implemented at Colony is via QR code. There is a different QR code to be scanned dependent on the type of meal you are there for. Overall, I found service to be quite attentive. I had no problems finding a staff member who could take my orders. Dishes also came out quickly. Highlights during the seafood dinner include the A la Plancha Boston Lobster, Beef Rib (my personal favorite), Wok-fried Pork Leg Bee Hoon and the Colony Peanut Wrap.
Aside from the Seafood Dinner on Fridays and Sundays, Colony also has its Sunday Champagne Brunch (S$178++ per adult) served in a similar format.
Reservations: +65 6434 5288
Conrad Centennial Singapore
Oscar’s at Conrad Centennial Singapore is taking advantage of National Day for its buffet theme. It is offering 55 dishes until end of September 2020 for the price of S$55++ per adult. Diners order via a paper menu that doubles as a table mat.
Despite the Singapore theme of this buffet at the surface, the menu actually reads like a run though of both local and international dishes although I would have to say there is a stronger focus in local dishes here. For instance, they have zichar favorites such as Coffee-glazed Pork, Black Pepper Beef and Sweet & Sour Pork. There are also a few Peranakan dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak. International dishes include Seared Scallop, Duck Confit and even a long list of plant-based courses. If you are looking for an ala carte buffet with a slight twist – they even have laksa presented as congee – then Oscar’s is a place to check out.
Reservations: +65 6432 7481
St. Regis Singapore
You can now have a hotel-quality kind of weekend brunch from the comforts of your own home. St. Regis Singapore goes a step further by providing an upscale brunch solution to folks who are still not keen to venture out. The hotel has collaborated with Moet Hennessy Diageo for a “boozy brunch” that includes no less than 15 types of dishes including Boston Lobster and a decadent Crab Salad topped with caviar, 4 kinds of cocktails (2 servings each), fruit juice and even a bowl of rojak. At S$398 and meant to be good for 2 persons, it is priced roughly in line with a 2 person Sunday brunch at the hotel’s Brasserie les Saveurs. The new format of the dine-in Sunday brunch also comes with no reorder and instead of a slew of cocktails, diners receive a serving of champagne. While it is probably difficult to recreate the ambiance of Brasserie les Saveurs at home, the “boozy brunch” for takeaway is definitely of great value vis-a-vis St. Regis Singapore’s dine-in version. Available from 12pm to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays, St. Regis Singapore’s boozy brunch is also available for delivery at a flat S$15 per order.
Order online here
Of the hotel buffets I have visited under the new normal, Shangri-la Singapore’s system is probably the most advanced I have seen. While you no longer see the humongous spread at The Line, their whole buffet menu has gone virtual. Even ordering is done virtually. Within minutes from clicking the send button, diners will receive their chosen dishes. The Line’s buffet has the theme “flavors of the world” and indeed, the menu is a run through of international cuisine. Featuring over 35 dishes, diners can expect mainstays from Japanese, Western, Indian and even local cuisine but what’s surprising is the inclusion of Lebanese cuisine for this season. Middle Eastern specialties such as Fishna Beef Kebab and Asbe Djej are definitely rarely found in Singapore.
Another thing to note about The Line’s ala carte buffet menu is that dishes are all the same regardless of which timing you go for. This means you get the most bang for your buck if you go during weekday (Monday to Thursday) dinner or Friday lunch. The buffet is priced at S$68++ on those days while it is priced at S$78++ for Saturday and S$88++ Sunday lunch and S$88 for Friday to Sunday dinner.
Reservations: You can purchase dining vouchers for this buffet here
Ash and Elm at InterContinental Singapore has revamped its post-circuit breaker ala carte menu with one that’s called Ash and Elm Fuego. Spanish for fire, the addition of this word in the theme is not a mere figurative one. All you need to do is sit through a meal to see exactly why. Expect a lot of theatrics – a signature move by Executive Chef Eric Neo who used to employ a lot of theatrics as well when he was heading the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Man Fu Yuan. You’ll practically see dishes burst into flames -from the flambeed Triple Tomahawk (S$180 for 1.5kg / S$480 for 5kg) to the Smokey Copper Pot (S$30) – consisting chewy morsels of Spanish Octopus.
Even the desserts here are not spared from the theme. The Flaming Strawberry (S$22) is first covered in cone-shaped paper and is then burned by the server in order to reveal a most exquisite strawberry shortcake.
Reservations: You can purchase vouchers here for an additional 10% discount at Ash and Elm.
You can also check out more buffet deals HERE for as low as S$14.79 per person!