SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Thanks to an extensive renovation of Shangri-La Hotel Singapore's Tower Wing, a new restaurant has emerged.
The Lobby Lounge may be an uninspired name, but the fare it offers is inspiring food lust in me.
The hotel is one of the most historical in Singapore, so it is appropriate that its menu is a tribute to some of our best local dishes.
Dining here is akin to eating at a hawker centre, only you are surrounded by art and books, with air-conditioning and great service.
There are outstanding heritage dishes available, and the bak chor mee ($24) is my favourite. The accompanying soup - usually a throwaway item - is the main reason why.
It is from a recipe by Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle and is made of pork bones and dried sole, with threadfin fish maw, pork, egg and topped with stewed mushroom slices. You almost do not even need the noodles.
The fish bee hoon ($24), made from Ka-Soh Restaurant's recipe, is on the Bib Gourmand list, and deserves to be there.
It is a hearty and tasty dish that has an almost creamy quality, perfect if you need comforting. The chilli crab and mantou ($26) dish started to take its present form at Dragon Phoenix Restaurant, so you are tasting history. But history tasted a little too tart for me.
The bun is good for sopping, but it didn't manage to reduce the sharpness of the sauce.
The prawn noodle soup ($26) is the version from Beach Road Prawn Mee Eating House. The soup is the make-or-break element of the dish, and I like how much prawn I can taste in it.
What I appreciate about a meal at The Lobby Lounge is the value. When you pick any of the six mains, just pay a little more for the semi-buffet spread (from $35 including a main, between 11.30am and 2.30pm on weekdays, and 11.30am to 5pm on weekends).
It is a daily rotation of traditional desserts and starters. If you see the popiah, eat that.
And the ondeh ondeh (from HarriAnns) will always make me squeal with joy.
Order the spread and one of the local drinks - the Milo dinosaur ($8) or the bandung ($8) are good choices - and you will have a most enjoyable time.
The Lobby Lounge is at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road, opens daily from 7.30am to 1am, tel: 6213-4288