The Singaporean semi-buffet lunch in The Lobby Lounge in the newly revamped Tower Wing of the Shangri-La hotel is definitely not one to be missed. If you love local food then you’ll find all your favourites including Laksa, Chicken Rice and Chilli Crab on the menu as well as other popular hawker dishes in which you can select one as a main course as well as delve into the array of all-you-can-eat starters and desserts on offer for just $38++ on weekdays and $45++ on weekends. The price also includes either a Teh Tarik (Singaporean tea made with condensed milk), Kopi (Singaporean coffee) or regular tea or coffee.
The buffet has a good range of appetisers including pork, duck, beef, chicken, vegetable and rice dishes and you can order freshly made Popiah (pancake roll usually filled with turnip, other vegetables and prawns) and Kueh Pie Tee (thin, crispy pastry shell filled with a spicy, sweet mixture of thinly sliced vegetables and prawns) from the chef at the buffet counter.
I tried the majority of starters there but nothing really stood out. The Rojak (fruit and vegetable salad with a sweet and spicy dressing) and Acar (spicy pickled vegetables) were nice although the Rojak sauce could have had more of a kick to it. The Popiah and Kueh Pie Tee were also very tasty however the rest of the dishes were mediocre and the beef in the Beef Rendang (coconut beef stew) was unfortunately tough and dry.
I chose to have the Chilli Crab and Mantou for my main and I have to say that this was definitely the best choice in my opinion. The sauce was spicy, tangy and very flavourful and I was given a crab claw and a shell full of shredded crab meat so it wasn’t too messy to eat. This was topped with X.O. sauce for an added kick and the fried mantou buns were great for soaking up the delicious sauce. The server actually informed me whilst ordering that the sauce is quite sour and spicy and therefore not to everyone’s taste but I really liked it and it was definitely one of the best Chilli Crab dishes that I’ve had. Yes it was slightly sour but it had a lovely citrus undertone and was spicier than most Chilli Crab dishes. It’s quite a filling dish especially if you eat up all the mantou which I couldn’t resist doing but just make sure you leave room for dessert!
The desserts were amazing! I love kueh and there was a good selection of different types. All of them were fresh and delicious, definitely the best I’ve had in any buffet and maybe even elsewhere. They also had Bubur Cha Cha (sweet coconut milk with sago, sweet potato and yam) and Pulut Hitam (sweet black glutinous rice porridge with coconut milk), both were very good and served warm.
My friend had the Prawn Noodle Soup for her main course which was almost as tasty as the Chilli Crab depending on what you like. It apparently closely resembles the famous Beach Road Prawn Mee, although I’ve never tried it before. The broth was very flavourful and the portion was big.
The Teh Tarik which I had with my meal was really good – very strong, not too sweet and perfectly frothy.
I love how nearly everything was served in cute Peranakan tableware, from the dishes served in the buffet area to the condiments on our table.
Service at The Lobby Lounge was polite and efficient. We were there on a weekday and had reserved a table for 11.30am when lunch started so it was pretty quiet when we first got there but the place filled up quickly and was nearly full by around 12.30pm. When reserving a table try to request for one by the window as otherwise you may end up sitting side by side next to some noisy businessmen and close to the buffet area where everyone comes and goes – not great if you’re looking to have a leisurely lunch. Anyway with that said I will definitely go back soon for their Chilli Crab and Kueh! They also do a 3-tier local afternoon tea set on weekdays from 3pm to 5.30pm for $30++ per person and includes either tea, coffee, Teh Tarik or Kopi. The afternoon tea set usually has Kueh Pie Tee, Popiah, Ngoh Hiang (five-spice pork rolls wrapped with bean curd skin) and five different types of Kueh but it’s sometimes different depending on availability.
The Lobby Lounge at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Address: 22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350
Tel: 6213 4288
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 7.30am – 1am, Friday & Saturday: 7.30am – 2am
Lunch Semi-buffet: Monday – Friday: 11.30am – 2.30pm, Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 11.30am – 5pm
Hope you’ve enjoyed my review of the lunch buffet at The Lobby Lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, please feel free to leave a comment below with your own review or if you have any questions!