A Joyful and Merry Christmas from me to all my readers! The year is drawing to a quick close with just the weekend left. As almost tradition each year, Christmas is spent with rejoice, celebration and with family. Christmas, being the birth of Christ, is also my mum’s birthday. For this year’s festivities, we returned to The Line at Shangri-La Singapore. It’s been a long time since we visited The Line for Christmas, 3 years to be exact. We were excited once again to partake in the delicacies and cascade into a legend that we once knew, all to celebrate the birth of Christ and my mum’s 52nd birthday!
Presenting to you GourmetEstorie’s 2012 Christmas Special!
Arriving at the Shangri-La, it was an amazement to see the whole hotel well decked in lights and hues of red, green and gold. The lobby of the hotel reminds me of a mansion from the past with their beautiful columns and wide spacious feel.
And then the magnificent Christmas tree. It was a real stunner with the star tip almost grazing the bottom of the crystal chandelier.
This year outside The Line, toy soldiers took the liberty of guarding the entrance. I definitely felt secure for the night. Don’t mess with the one with the baton, he looks fierce. It has to be the moustache.
The Line retains the same clean, spacious concept with each station featuring a hallmark cuisine. From fresh seafood (with freshly shucked oysters) to beautiful roasts, my favourite salad section, pasta, pizza, Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine, desserts and a teh tarik bar, this is one buffet to satisfy the senses.
Orange and White hues for warmth and comfort
The Roasts and Western delicacies section
This is probably one of the most tantalizing delights for the night. The roast beef was nicely seared throughout with a good layer of fat lining by the side. Slice through the meat and allow the flavours to permeate through. Fantastic! Pair with the side of yorkshire pudding and beef jus for the decadent dinner. I wish I had another serving, but I was too full by the end.
The roasts section this year was however a little lacklustre in any visual appeal. There was no whole Honey Baked Ham or even a whole Roast Turkey for that fuzzy, warm satisfaction. Instead, roast Turkey legs were provided as a substitute. They tasted good, had delicious accompanying sauces but something was sorely lacking without any of the traditional Christmas dishes I’ve come to associate the season with at a buffet line.
Roast Pork with Apple Sauce
Raisin Pilaf Rice – Fragrant and Sweet
Baked Fish with Cheese
I commend the chef behind the prawn tempura. Simple yet gratifying. Nothing too heavy with clean tastes of the batter revealing the sweetness of the fresh prawn within. Crispy and succulent, man this is making me crave for tempura at this hour.
My next favourite station is the salad bar. Look at the spread available! Customize your own, take a portion from the freshly prepared sets or indulge in a little appetizers or cheese to satisfy a savoury dessert craving.
Smoked Duck Breast – Tender with the flavours of duck and a crisp layer of fat and skin by the side.
Pate – Aint it a beaut!
Thai Pomelo Salad, Salad Condiments (lots of pine nuts, cashews, dried apple slices, cheese, pistachios, mmm)
Prosciutto wrapped around slices of honeydew. Sweet, salty with the touch of satisfaction. Only if the ham were a little oilier.
The always popular fresh Sashimi and Japanese cuisine counter
Name your pick of sashimi. Kudos goes to the exceptionally fresh cuts of salmon. The slices of scallop were heavenly for its soft, firm texture with sublime sea sweetness erupting from within.
Tako & Hotate – Nice contrast in textures, from the slight chewy to tender cotton
The Seafood Counter – Where all the oysters begin
The seafood were all good. I especially enjoyed the lobster, scallop and freshly shucked oysters. The oysters (I didn’t get a shot as I was too busy enjoying the two pieces here) were very fresh. Its flavour of scented sea in a texture of crisp creaminess was intense delight. Top it up with squeezes of lemon juice and some Tabasco.
The lobster had that beautiful orange roe by the side. Not to be missed at all. The only after thought I had from the seafood spread is the way each dish was presented. It was too well organized in kempt little metal bowls. I’ve half come to expect the spread well laid out at the entire counter with scarcely a gap in between to at least symbolize the bounty the restaurant has. With all that empty ice space in between, it just seems a little unflattering.
The Asian and Indian cuisine counters
Braised Duck – Mum enjoyed this!
Black Pepper and Chilli Crab fresh for the picking. Mmmm. I wish I had the stomach to go for this. It looks good.
Buffet is never complete with the selection of sweets from the dessert line. And perhaps it’s something about Christmas and the festive spirit that makes me look forward to these delights.
These look very dainty.
Everyone was done with the end of the meal and I was just returning with a glass of Kopi tarik when Chef Khaled stopped by my table. He arrived with a simple yet exquisite sweet creation of Konafa specially for mum’s birthday. This Egyptian dessert is a luxurious combination of filo pastry, butter, pistachio, cream and a good dose of ice cream to serve by the side. Addictively sweet and nutty, it was the best personal touch of the night. Chef Khaled’s culinary skill is truly delightful.
Me and Middle Eastern Chef Khaled Elelimi
Singing in a smooth, jazzy voice that makes you close your eyes and imagine the calmness of the night
Dinner was over, but the night was not yet done. For the hour after the feast, all of us took to lounging around in the decorated lobby, charmed by the sweet serenade of the night’s singer.
Christmas dinner at Shangri-La The Line this year was decent with most of the spirit made up from the already wonderful decor of the hotel. The spread in the buffet seemed at most slightly special from their usual line up, with an unfocused specialty centred on the roast beef. It would have been great if there were more on the visual appeal part that would really make the buffet spread a Christmas buffet spread. My visit back in 2009 was better as it really set the benchmark to how I envisioned the quality The Line has.
It was a beautiful night made complete as the entire experience is more then just dining at the restaurant. To immerse oneself in the coziness of the lobby, with sweet music to indulge in, that is an experience and a wonder the hotel has plenty to offer.
22 Orange Grove Road
Reservations : 6213 4275