• Samantha Chiew

Hawker Semi-buffet at The Luxe, Shangri-La Orchard


Every hotel has its own buffet spread with its own culinary theme. One that really impressed me (and hotel buffets rarely do), was the semi-buffet over at the Luxe in Shangri-La Orchard that features comforting hawker food.

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But if you were to come here on your own accord (without vouchers), why would you pay a premium hotel buffet price just to eat some hawker food you can get cheap?

And here's why:

Firstly, the ambiance. The Luxe just radiates class and being indoors with aircond was definitely a plus!

Towards the back to The Luxe, you’d notice that it’s decorate to resemble a library. The perfect spot to take an #OOTD.

Secondly, once a month, The Luxe will invite a famous hawker chef to personally come down and cook his or her best dish for you!

And on top of that, which you will not be able to find at your typical hawker stalls, is the semi-buffet on the side that features an array of more than 20 dishes.

I wouldn’t deny how a single bowl of laksa or bar chor mee would be super satisfying, but do you really feel full after? And that’s where the buffet spread comes in to fill the space, literally.

And lastly, where else would you be able to find all of Singapore’s best hawker foods in one single spot?!

Not forgetting, $42++ on weekends and $38++ on weekdays is honestly an affordable price for some classy dining, five-star service and amazing food.

I would say that this is a pretty good place to bring your foreigner friends who would like to try the best of the best in Singapore and more.

So for those of you who don’t frequent semi-buffets, this is how it works. You pick one single main course, which will be served to you, and you’d get to enjoy the buffet spread on the side.

We tried a few of the main courses The Luxe has to offer. Here’s a look at some of them.

Here’s a dish I, as a Malaysian can say that Singapore does it better. The Hainanese Chicken Rice by Shangri-La Hotel features a tender poached chicken with a bowl of fragrant “oil” rice and a side of sauces on the side. Their garlic chilli sauce was awesome and kept me wanting more.

The Prawn Noodle Soup by Beach Road Prawn Mee can easily be considered a heritage dish. The Beach Road Prawn Mee is a family-run noodle shop that dates back to 1928 and has been passed down from generation to generation. I absolutely loved the huge and fresh prawns! The broth also has a nice spicy kick to it that made this dish so much more appetising.

Here’s a luxurious take on a fairly popular local dish. The Bak Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup by Seng Kee Muchroom Minced Meat Noodle must be eaten immediately when it’s served while hot! And don’t forget the soup on the side that’s also filled with lots of meat. This is truly a dish for you meat lovers out there.

The Luxe would not settle for any laksa but the best Katong Laksa by The Original Katong Laksa (Janggut). Fair warning though, although the broth was every bit thick, creamy and bursting with flavours, this can be a little heavy and might not leave you with much space for the buffet spread. But that shouldn’t really be an issue if you come empty bellied!

People say that the best way to cook a crab is Chilli Crab style. And here’s another heritage Chilli Crab and Mantou by Dragon Phoenix. Gracing Singapore with this amazing dish since the 1950s, Dragon Phoenix adds sambal and eggs to give more oomph to the gravy. The Luxe did one better and elevated the dish by using Alaskan King crab and topped the sauce with XO.

As a Malaysian I have not been accustomed to the Bak Kut Teh here in Singapore, which features a more peppery broth rather than a herbal one like the ones back home. But this was Legen-wait for it-dary! The Bak Kut Teh by Legendary Bak Kut Teh is made with Indonesian pork that was so tender, it easily slid off the bone. I guess this would be something Singaporeans would appreciate, but I personally would still prefer the herbal one.

If you order the ala carte ($38), this dish will come with a side of special house-blend tea that I just loved! It has a subtle taste of rose and went very well with the Bak Kut Teh.

Last but not least, we tried the Beef Rendang by Rumah Makan Minang. Don’t worry the rending was made the way it should be made – not crispy! The rendang was beautifully stewed such that it was so soft, you could easily cut through the meat with a spoon. And the eggplants on the side was mind-blowing with the sambal that accompanied it.

And if you think this is it, this isn’t… You’d be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a main dish.

And now on to the buffet spread!

The absolute must-try is the popiah and kueh pie tee. I couldn’t get enough of it and went back for seconds.

You can watch your popiah and kueh pie tee being made right before you at the live station. And if you didn’t already know, you’re supposed to eat your kueh pie tee in one single bite!

Make sure you save some space for some of the Nyonya dishes that just goes so well with some rice!

My favourite among the lot was the Braised Pork Belly. This literally melts in your mouth.

Check out also the Otak-otak. You can add this to your laksa or even beef rendang dish!

How about some Achar to cleanse your palette and add some greens to your meal?

And we’re still not done! I’m just getting started on the desserts.

Check out this array of Nyonya Kuehs! The Ondeh-ondeh was one of my favourites, as well as the Kueh Talam. Mmmmm.

You must have some of the Cheng Teng! Filled with red dates, white fungus and longan, this refreshing dessert is the best thing to end your meal!

Or if you’re looking for a dessert that’s sure to hit the spot, try out the Pulut Hitam (or Black Glutinous Rice). I loved that it wasn’t too sweet and you’d get to put as much coconut milk in it as you like.

And oh, drinks are included in this semi-buffet. Have your choice of free-flow tea and coffee, made traditional or western style.

Okay, I’m finally done. You can only imagine how full I was after my time here! The buffet ends at 4pm (on weekends), so take your own sweet time eating and enjoy the day! But, be sure to make a reservation as it was full house when I was there.

The Luxe

Lobby Level

Shangri-La Orchard Singapore

22 Orange Grove Rd,

Singapore 258350.

Tel: +65 6213 4398

Email: dining.sls@shangri-la.com

Semi-buffet hours:

Monday to Friday 11.30am to 2.00pm

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday 11.30am to 4.00pm

#hotelbuffet #shangrila #theluxe #hawkerfood #nyonyafood

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