Anthony Bourdain Knows What He”™s Talking About: Unbelievably Good Food at the Singapore Grand Hyatt Hotel

by Janis on July 1, 2010

Enjoying dinner at the Straits Kitchen in the Singapore Grand Hyatt Hotel

Last week we were in Singapore. Before our trip, we had done a little advance research, so we were looking forward to visiting one of the Hawker Centers and trying the variety of Chinese, Malay and Indian food that Singapore is famous for like chili crab, chicken rice and satay.  

Our only obstacle was the sweltering heat and humidity.  We set out for a Hawker Center, hungry to try new foods.  Between walking outside, then into a blast of icy air conditioning on the subways and underground mall walkways, then back outdoors into the heat , we arrived to miserable to enjoy eating outside.

Luckily, we remembered that on his show No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain had eaten in a Hyatt hotel restaurant that was created like a Hawker Center.  A quick Google search and we found The Straits Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt was just around the corner from our hotel.

What a discovery.   

The Straits Kitchen is a Singapore-inspired restaurant showcasing an endless parade of hawker favorites from Chinese, Malay and Indian open kitchens.  

It’s air-conditioned to a perfect temperature with comfortable seats, white linen napkins, and attentive wait staff.  In a city packed with great places to eat, it’s a tourist hotel restaurant packed with locals.  We knew were on to something good.    

As soon as we were seated, our waiter, Kok Sing, came over to greet us and take our drinks orders. The dining is a fixed price ($45 Singapore dollars/person) for all that you can eat. Kok Sing patiently explained the eight or so different food stations where chefs make different styles of food to order.  “Only take a little bit of each dish,” he said, “or you won’t be able to try it all.”  

It was overwhelming; where to start?  The satay grill, with chicken, beef and mutton and all of the accompaniments was closest to our table. 

A sample of the diverse foods of Singapore like chili crab

 At another station, the famous Hainanese chicken rice, or roasted duck.  There was the Laksa and Nasi Goreng. Seafood delights including spicy chili crab.  Fish in banana leaves.  Watching the Indian chefs grill the fresh hot Roti Prata, along with dozens of curries and cumin-roasted prawns.  It was incredible.  The best of the Hawker Centers and food courts, in a comfortable hotel atmosphere.

Once a plate was finished, it disappeared and new fork and knives and/or chopsticks appeared by an army of waiters.  Finger bowls of warm lemon water appeared to deal with the stickiness of chili crab. 

And small bites or not, there was too much food. Various chefs and waiters encouraging us “you have to try this.” We couldn’t try it all. Desserts appeared anyway – how could we resist the restaurant manager saying, “I brought you a special dessert.”  It was tapioca with a brown sugar cane swirl of sauce with a tiny scoop of coconut ice cream.

After we stumbled out into hot humid night back to our hotel, stuffed and happy, we knew we had to return another night, to try more of the specialties of the Straits Kitchen.

The Straits Kitchen  Grand Hyatt Singapore Hotel, 10 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228211

 

Have you experienced Singapore cusine?  What you’re favorite dining experience in Singapore?

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