Feast on chicken rice, laksa and bak chor mee in the comfort of a hotel lounge
The hype: The first tower of the first Shangri-La hotel in the world, the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore’s Tower Wing, has undergone a massive revamp. Besides tech upgrades and revitalized interiors for the rooms, among other things, the hotel has also gotten a bunch of new F&B establishments, including the reconceptualized Lobby Lounge.
The vibe: Most hotel lobby lounges do not warrant special mention. Perhaps that is why the people behind Shangri-La Hotel Singapore have put so much thought and attention to the remaking of this quintessential space that has been so plainly named.
The centerpiece of The Lobby Lounge is a bar, made visually striking thanks to a cascading wall backdrop of basalt rock by landscape designer Charlie Albone. Try and grab a photo when the bartenders are busy whipping up a cocktail, milo dinosaur or teh tarik using the “pulling” technique.
The food: The stars of the revamped menu are the six locally-inspired signature dishes; namely, the Bak Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup ($24), Hainanese Chicken Rice ($20), Fish Bee Hoon ($24), Prawn Noodle Soup ($26), Katong Laksa ($18), and the Chilli Crab and Mantou ($26).
It’ll be easy to compare these creations with their hawker counterparts and measure them accordingly, but to do so wouldn’t be a fair assessment. The Bak Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup—the recipe is inspired by Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle at Serangoon Garden Way—commands the premium price point, obviously, thanks to an accompanying wholesome bowl of fish maw broth, much unlike the MSG soup we often get from street stalls.
Similarly, the Chilli Crab and Mantou dish, using the now-widespread recipe (the one using sambal and eggs) popularized by Dragon Phoenix restaurant’s Chef Hooi, is a generous serving of a whole mud crab with three fried Chinese buns.
But what truly sets the offerings at The Lobby Lounge apart is the Peranakan semi-buffet lunch ($38 weekday/$45 weekend) that includes an order of one of the six signature dishes. This buffet lineup is no afterthought, and features items such as ayam pongteh, a kueh pie tee and popiah live station, as well as a whole assortment of kuehs like ondeh ondeh, kueh dadar and kueh lapis.
The drinks: In line with the local theme of the venue, you can expect a coffeeshop selection of drinks like Kopi, Teh Tarik ($8) and an even more extravagant version of the milo dinosaur, aptly named Milo Over-The-Top ($12). Or go for the highly Instagrammable Bandung ($8) that’s served with a massive puff of cotton candy on top.
Why you’ll be back: The value is the most enticing draw here. For a good selection of heritage cuisine served in a luxurious setting with great service and ambience to boot (a live band performs sometimes too), The Lobby Lounge is the place to be.
|Address:||Lobby Lounge, Lobby Level Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Rd., Singapore, 258350 Singapore|
|Open since:||July, 2017|
|Opening hours:||daily 7:30-1am|
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