Luxury-hawker food sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? To me, and others alike, hawker food in Singapore is luxurious; it’s the ultimate foodie paradise. Like Anthony Bourdain so accurately proclaimed on No Reservations, “If you love food, Singapore just might be the best place on earth”. And it’s a measure of how food crazy they are in Singapore and how seriously Singaporeans take their food that even at food courts and major chain hotels–the food does not suck. Since Bourdain had such a ravishing time at the Grand Hyatt, and I wholeheartedly share his love and adoration for the tiny city-state, we just had to experience the posh hotel’s food for ourselves on our most recent trip to Singapore.
The Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Straights Kitchen restaurant takes the hawker experience to another level. Air conditioning, beautiful, comfortable surroundings, with all the hawker style favourites you would find at Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, one of Singpaore’s most famous hawker centres.
The design at Straits Kitchen is chic with an abundance of wood paneling and plush seats. We enjoyed the atmosphere of this place and you got the feeling that it somewhat encouraged you to just indulge, pamper yourself silly while relaxing with all the world’s comforts. Service here was excellent too, with some of the most affable and polite servers around.
Straits Kitchen is a Singapore-inspired restaurant presenting the best local cuisine in a contemporary uniquely-showcased marketplace setting. We indulged in an endless parade of celebrated local hawker favourites from Chinese, Malay and Indian halal-certified open kitchens – including Singapore Laksa, Nasi Goreng, Satay, Beef Rendang, Gado Gado, Hainanese Chicken Rice, and Roti Prata with Chicken Curry, Murtabak, Tandoori Chicken and Naan, etc. For dessert, we devoured a lovely selection of South East Asian treats such as Almond Jelly, Banana Fritters and home-made Durian ice-cream. The open kitchens took centre stage as chefs prepared all orders à la minute upon our request.
Once you’ve had laksa – a spicy Peranakan (Chinese/Malaysian) noodle soup – other types of soup dishes just seem inadequate. The Singapore variety usually possesses a spicy hellbroth of fresh cockles, slices of fish cake, beehoon noodles in coconut milk, and seasoned with garlic, red chillies, belacan (dried shrimp paste), lemongrass, galangal root and turmeric. Straights Kitchen’s Laksa was slightly less impressive than laksa I’ve had elsewhere – with their laksa being memorably milky and lacked that usual extra spicy zest. Regardless, laska is one of my all-time favourite dishes and it was such a joy to experience the soup again in Singapore. All the other dishes offered, like lamb satay and chicken rice, were top notch and we spent hours indulging ourselves in the sheer multitude of Singaporean delicacies.
Overall, Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Straights Kitchen is a luxurious street-food experience with all the comforts of a 5 star hotel. The restaurant is a lovely introduction to the tastes, sights, and smells of infamous Singaporean hawker cuisine.
Lunch buffet: $44 SGD per adult and $24 SGD per child, plus taxes and service charges
Dinner buffet: $50 SGD per adult and $28 SGD per child, plus taxes and service charges
Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road, Singapore, Singapore
Tel: +65 6732 1234
Hours: 6:30am – Midnight