The Tower Wing of the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has only quite recently completed a massive refurbishment that saw the re-introduction of a newly-designed lobby, new restaurants (including the impressive NAMI which I was at a couple of weeks ago) and brand new rooms. During my recent stay at one of the brand new rooms in Tower Wing, I decided to check out the Lobby Lounge after hearing quite a bit about it.
In the unlikely event that you have not seen photos of the new Lobby Lounge, here it is - the plants that are on the wall are actually real! If you have been to the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore previously and have not been back since the completion of refurbishment, you would want to come check this beautiful space out. Honestly, I am now just thinking of ways to come back more often (I just need to convince my friends to actually make the extra effort to come in here).
The Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore serves up six anchor items in the a la carte menu but they are also offered as part of an semi-buffet lunch for just S$38++ on weekdays and S$45++ on weekends. I decided to dive straight into the semi-buffet lunch on a weekend and I had a choice of one of the following items: Bak Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup (S$24++), Hainanese Chicken Rice (S$20++), Fish Bee Hoon (S$24++), Prawn Noodle Soup (S$26++), Katong Laksa (S$18++) and Chilli Crab and Mantou (S$26++). I also love the little containers on the dining table that contained different kinds of chilies - any Singaporean will know the difference and when to use which one but in the event that you do not, just check with one of the friendly staff.
As if the semi-buffet lunch did not already offer enough value, it also comes with a drink of your choice - I went for the Kopi Tarik (S$8++) which is essentially a coffee version of the famous Teh Tarik in Singapore. This is definitely a legit representation of the local coffee that we love and it is indeed heartening to see how an five-star hotel from an international-chain can create it for the enjoyment of all her guests so effortlessly.
As part of the semi-buffet lunch experience, you will get a choice of main, a drink and unlimited servings from the rather impressive buffet spread. Sure it isn't anything like The Line but this is not about gorging yourself with fresh seafood, cheese and meats. The curated buffet line features a number of local dishes (including proteins and carbohydrates), nyonya kuehs and there was even a live station for popiah and kueh pie tee while I was there. I absolutely love the kueh pie tees and I can't wait to revisit this place for more (I have already made another reservation!).
Anyone who have known me long enough will know that I absolutely love Bar Chor Mee - it is perhaps the only dish I cannot live without. This is the dish that I have also missed the most when I was living overseas for four to five years. The Bar Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup here at the Lobby Lounge is absolutely amazing - the bowl of noodles come with two generous pieces of dried sole fish and mushrooms.
The star of this dish however is the Fish Maw Soup that comes with it - this bowl right here is enough for me to justify the S$24++ a la carte price tag. Trust me when I say that I have been to many hotels to try the different versions of local dishes that are offered in each property but seriously this is extremely legit. The soup itself contains egg, pork, seaweed and fish maw. The broth is immensely satisfying and the complexity that you get from just one spoonful (especially when you have the right ingredients) is just mind-blowing.
The Katong Laksa was also rather impressive but it definitely paled in comparison to the Bar Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup. I was surprised to find that cockles were added to this dish (most hotels avoid this) but they have been cooked thoroughly. The broth of the Katong Laksa is rich and it came with prawns, fish cakes and 'well-done' cockles in it. It was good but I see no reason to pick this over the former dish.
If you are still not full from your choice of main course, feel free to get extra food from the buffet spread. The items that I have picked out above are not exhaustive and there are more dishes in the actual spread but some of them are actually quite impressive.
Make sure you save some stomach space for dessert as well - there were at least 10 different kinds of nyonya kuehs and desserts to choose from while I was there. The semi-buffet lunch also runs longer on weekends (and that is also one of the reasons why it is slightly more expensive) so you can essentially enjoy the company and then go back for seconds while you enjoy the beautiful new space at the Lobby Lounge.
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, you have found your way into my heart through my stomach. The food (yes, that Bar Chor Mee) is delicious and with The Table by Golden Circle (free to sign-up!) membership, you can get at least 10% of your expenses back in rebates which you can then redeem on your next visit or if you dine here so often, you will even be able to redeem them for free room nights and upgrades.
This was an invited media-tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.