Straits Kitchen

Upon entering Straits Kitchen, we immediately saw why people have been talking about this restaurant. Show kitchens and contemporary wooden interiors made good use of kitchen utensils as décor (not unlike in mezza9, another Grand Hyatt restaurant).

While the selection of Malay, Chinese and Indian hawker fare is extensive, we, however, found that quantity did not in all cases translate into quality. We started our dinner at the Malay section. We particularly liked the meat and seafood—satay, otah, stingray, and the tender beef rendang—but the eggplant and vegetable fritters were too chewy.

Next, we sampled the Chinese food, which was quite a disappointment. The chefs, perhaps in an attempt to cater to the taste buds of non-Chinese diners, were overly generous with sugar. Dishes that one would expect to have kick and spice, such as the black pepper crab, cockle-free laksa, and kong pau chicken, were strangely sweet. The oyster omelet tasted more like carrot cake while the roast chicken was mediocre. However, the stir-fried vegetables, roast duck, and fried rice proved to be the saving grace.

The Indian kitchen was our favorite with its exciting gamut of colorful dishes. Don’t miss the palak panneer (spinach puree with cottage cheese), as well as the lamb and fish “cakes.”

The dessert station was a hit-and-miss affair. While the pineapple tarts tasted as unappetizing as they looked, the pandan kaya cake was simply lovely. Ice cream served with the option of either a wafer or bread sandwich further added to the authentic Singaporean dining experience.

Service was top-notch, with friendly wait staff who readily offered to help customers with too many plates on their hands. Exemplary service was also displayed by the cooks and the gentleman manning the fruit station, who took time to demonstrate what to do with the fascinating-looking snakeskin fruit. Overall, we had a suitably pleasant dining experience.

Straits Kitchen is on our list of Top Halal Restaurants in Singapore.