StraitsKitchen is not your typical hotel buffet; if you’re looking for super tasty local food in an elegant, comfortable, air-conditioned setting, here’s where to go, mama!
Got guests in town keen to experience local food, but unsure where to take them, mama? One of my tried and tested go-tos is StraitsKitchen at Grand Hyatt Singapore. This isn’t your typical hotel buffet; tables are filled with local families and tourists alike, all with heaping plates of local delicacies like chicken rice, pepper crab, rojak, satay, chicken tikka and many more.
I first heard about StraitsKitchen from none other than the food/travel god Anthony Bourdain, a known Singapore food lover, on his show The Layover. While I absolutely love visiting Hawker Centres, StraitsKitchen is a good alternative (or supplement) for a number of reasons:
- It offers a full gastronomic tour through all of Singapore’s famous cuisines (Chinese, Indian, Malay and Peranakan). While you can certainly seek out a few great dishes at a hawker centre, chances are there won’t be that full breadth on offer in any one place. If your guests are pressed for time, a swing through StraitsKitchen is like hitting up Little India, Chinatown, Geylang Serai and Joo Chiat all in one go.
- The food is seriously just as good as what you’d find in a hawker centre. When the Grand Hyatt launched StraitsKitchen back in 2004, it was only after a 6-month quest to seek out the best local food and hawkers on the island. The hotel then employed a number of local hawkers as part of the culinary team to ensure that the food, ingredients and techniques were fully up to snuff.
- Topnotch ingredients and the highest certification standards: All the seafood within the Grand Hyatt’s restaurants is MSC-certified sustainable. StraitsKitchen is also one of just a handful of restaurants in Singapore that is Halal-certified under the rigorous standards set by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), Singapore’s governing body for the Islamic community. None other than our superstar Editorial Assistant, Syazana, rate StraitsKitchen as one of the best Halal-certified restos in Singapore!
- It’s air conditioned. Even if you’ve lived in Singapore for ages and are totally acclimated to the heat, chances are out-of-town visitors might not be. On more than one occasion the heat at an open-air hawker centre has seriously detracted from my guest’s enjoyment of the delicious food; with StraitsKitchen’s comfy booths, cool design, and convenient location within walking distance of Orchard MRT, none of this need be a concern, mama!
As you enter StraitsKithcen it almost feels like a hawker centre as you’re bombarded with scents like chili, coriander, and smoke from the satay grill wafting by. Look one way and you’ll see long tandoori skewers alongside a traditional naan oven, in another direction a chef is rolling popiah, across the room another chef tosses prawns in a wok. Besides delicious local drinks teh tarik and kopi, you can enjoy freshly squeezed juices, and even fresh coconuts.
My personal favourite at StraitsKitchen is their legendary chicken rice (available in both roasted and steamed varieties, with a cornucopia of spices and accompanying sauces) — it stands up to any of the best stalls at Maxwell, in my opinion. I seriously love something from each and every station; make sure you try some local desserts (the doughy muah chee is to die for) as well, mamas.
While StraitsKitchen is obviously a fab place to bring out of town visitors, it’s an equally excellent spot for anyone in the mood for local food (particularly when you and your dining companion are hankering for completely different cuisines). When I stopped by for dinner recently with a friend, she had no idea that the buffet at the Grand Hyatt specialized in local food at all. Next time you find yourself in the vicinity of Orchard Road and find yourself craving chicken rice, you know where to go, mama!
Buffet lunch at StraitsKitchen is SGD52++ per adult inclusive of a free-flowing selection of chilled juices, coffee & tea; children are $28++ inclusive of a free-flow chilled juices. Buffet dinner is $62++ per adult inclusive of a free-flow juices, coffee & tea; children are $35++ inclusive of free-flow chilled juices.
Opening hours: Lunch 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm, Mon to Fri; 12:30pm to 3:00pm, Sat, Sun + PH. Dinner 6:30pm to 10:30pm, Mon to Sun.