15h May 2013.
Truth to be told, this is my first time visiting the beautiful Shangri-la Hotel of Singapore and my maiden visit to the Line, an old-time international buffet restaurant in Singapore before Triple 3 and Todai came about.
It is probably one of the grand dames of the buffet venues in Singapore like Mandarin Oriental’s MELT The World. The warm interiors of the Line is like a fusion of old school ah-go-go and the contemporary.
Starting from this weekend, Thai food fanatics like me would be delighted to know that the Line is offering a delicious spread of Thai food items in its buffet line prepared by the admirable Resident Thai Chef, Ratree Khongthong, a passionate female chef who begun cooking from the age of 14.
The evening started with a quintessentially Thai welcome with orchids and a glass of Tom Yum Mojito prepared by the Line’s bartender. A cocktail infused with the herbal, spicy and sour flavours of tom yum such as lemongrass, chili and onions. The drink is also available during the duration of the Spicy Thai theme.
Our evening Thai feast begun with a simple and popular street snack in Thailand known as Miang Kam (เมี่ยงคำ) ,which is unfortunately, not part of the buffet menu but the flavours it presented pretty much sums up what you could expect from the buffet line with the sweet, salty, spicy and savoury flavours of Thailand.
The Miang Kam features an array of condiments such as fresh shallots, roasted peanuts, chili padi, toasted coconut, assam sauce wrapped up in ginger scent leaf which you would consume like a kueh pie tee. I first encountered this on the Loy Nava in Bangkok and at Sweet Salty Spicy, it was really good despite its simplicity.
For starters, we had Khaotang Nga Thong which is fried rice crackers served with assorted chutneys such as pork sauce, Thai chili jam and egg with baby eggplant paste. Together with the already numerous kinds of chutneys offered at the Indian station, I think these three Thai chutneys will be a wonderful addition for the buffet.
Other starters include the Lab Gai, Minced Chicken with Ground Rice and Mint Leaf, Yam Woon Sen, Spicy Glass Noodle with Poached Prawn and the Yam Sam O, White Pomelo Salad with Shallot Flake. Of the three, I thought the Yam Sam O was really good, nicely poached prawns with a fruity, crunchy salad works for me. Beware though, the Yam Woon Sen (middle), may look innocently plain but it is the spiciest of the lot.
How can one not have the famed Tom Yam Goong in a Thai buffet? This spicy prawn soup with lemongrass and coriander was prepared in the Chiang Mai style which is milder than the Bangkok style which we are probably used to.
But the star of the meal has got to be the Hor Mok Souffle, Steamed Fish Mousse with Pandan Leaf. The English translation sounded like otah, but this has got to be the tastiest otah I had thus far. It was so smooth, firm yet delicate and paired with a perfectly seasoned coconut cream sauce that accentuates and complements the flavours of the herb and spice fish mousse.
Hot items you could look forward to in the buffet include the ever-popular Kaeng Khiew Wan Gai, otherwise known as Green Curry with Chicken and Eggplant, the perfect companion for your serving of Khao Soy, steamed white rice.
Then there is also Phad Graprao Moo, Wok Fried Minced Pork with Garlic and Holy Basil, a spicy but rather addictive and spicy dish to enjoy with your rice and some Stir Fried Kale (Phad Phak Kanah) for some greens.
Something would be amiss in a buffet if there are no sweets. To end our makan journey to the Land of the Thousand Smiles with smile, we had Khao Niew Mamuang, the not-to-be-missed Sticky Rice with Mango, one of the finest Mango Sticky Rice I had thus far with sweet mangoes from Thailand, a moist and sticky rice ball and some not-too-strong but sweet coconut cream. Do take note the desserts won’t be plated like that in a buffet line.
If you prefer something that is more familiar to the local palate, why not try the Kluay Thod Nga Khao, Banana Fritter with Sesame, which resembles our local goreng pisang.
Lastly, our Thai journey in the The Line won’t be complete without the freedom to munch on the various foods offered by an international host of theatrical kitchens such as the seafood counter with oysters and mussels….
Or the Japanese section with an array of sashimi and tempura offerings. I enjoyed the salmon and tuna sashimi.
Or the Salad Bar offering cheeses and a myriad of salads such as our local Rojak and Thai Mango Salad.
And many many more....
Finally, I ended off with a pleasant cup of Teh Tarik, a signature of The Line and we got these traditional Thai sweets known as Luk Chup which is sweets shaped like fruits. A sure hit with the kids.
So if you are planning to celebrate some special occasion and love Thai food, head down to the Line for its Spicy Thai feast from 17th May to 26th May 2013. This promotion is available for dinner from 6:30 to 10: 30 p.m. daily. There would be Thai dances throughout the evening too, led by Naree Sawong who would present the various Thai dances from the different regions of Thailand.
The buffet is priced at
$72++ per adult (including coffee and tea) on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday,
$78++ per adult (including coffee and tea) on Friday and Saturday.
$92++ per adult on Tuesday and Thursday (including free flow of house pour, sparkling wines, red and wine wines, draft beer, soft drinks, chilled juices, coffee and tea) and $36 per child (including soft drinks and chilled juices) daily.
You could also reserve online through Book a Table where you could enjoy discounts by booking online or find other available promotions by HSBC. I spotted a 25% buffet discount on certain dates and a 15% online reservation discount.
Many Thanks to Shubhra Rao and Josephine Tee of Shangri-la Hotel for the remarkable hospitality and invitation. Not to forget the excellent service and food from the people at the Line.
22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350