Celebrating Christmas with my family has always been special. It is both the picture of Nativity and my mum’s birthday. And for each year, the family has committed a tradition that the celebration will take place at a different hotel. For this year, Christmas came special at The Shangri-la Hotel. But perhaps it is more unique, as this time round, dinner has become a legend of finesse, with an alluring ambience that leaves a heartwarming emotion.
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Amazement and a sense of impressiveness enveloped me as I witnessed the gorgeous spread of buffet available at each counter of The Line Restaurant. From the ubiquitous Fresh Seafood and Sashimi section to the finery of garden salads and a cheese entourage, there was a sampling of different cultures around the world.
The allure of individual crab claws, scallops, mussels and fresh oysters being opened before your very eyes!
You could be in lobster and bamboo clam heaven here.
I enjoyed the seafood very much. For many years, I tend to avoid the oysters as they were usually laid out bare open on the ice for many buffets. But I was game enough to tickle my tastebuds this time round with the treasured seafood as each oyster was opened immediately upon request. And darn, I did not get a single pearl.
Oysters, Mussels, Scallops
The Japanese sushi and sashimi section was impressive for one important factor – the availability of Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe as part of the spread. Very nice spread of sushi and sashimi as well.
Sushi and Sashimi. You can imagine the long queue Singaporeans will form. But I did enjoy the Fresh Hotate Sashimi, though I reckon it would be better if the portions were better chilled.
Now these were what left me impressed. The complexity of sea urchin goes very well with the salty salmon roe and seasoned Japanese rice. Not too strong in flavours that only those with an acquired taste can enjoy, it is perhaps a lovely marriage of two of the best seafood creations.
There was also a Garden Salad coun
ter that had a wonderful spread of Cheese to sample. Apart from which, there was also beautiful goose liver and seared tuna that was very good.
Grandma’s selection of salad items (left), and of course the tasting of Cheese. Oh, those with the lovely blue streaks in them carried an exquisite nutty flavour and texture.
Goose Liver (left) and Seared Tuna with Herbs
Now what would a Christmas buffet be without any roast? Acclamation goes to the simply tempting Honey Baked Ham (right). Not too salty, with the right amount of jelly fat in each slice, it was heavenly. But just add that with the sweet and savoury golden brown skin, it was the zenith of the dinner.
Presenting the Turkey in all its glory and shine.
Italian Counters would never be complete without the serving of Pizza. A bit lackluster in flavour, but that can be easily remedied with a good sprinkle of salt, the pizza stood very well with a generous garnish of vegetables, pineapple and cheese.
I took the liberty to order a Spinach Fettuccine with cream sauce. Crisp, firm bites accompanies the creamy and light umami flavours of the sauce. A sprinkle of cheese, pine nuts and dried chilli flakes completed the taste.
The Line also offers a good spread of Indian cuisine. From naans to prata, tandoori to lentils, each dish was rich in herbs and spices that left lasting complex flavours.
This was my first time trying a Cheese Naan. Toasted and warm, the mozzarella cheese melted to perfection. It was like a fusion between both Italian and Indian. Each bite gave way
easily, only to reveal long stringy strands of the viscous cheese trying to break free. The whole family loved this. Kudos to the chef.
For something a bit more local, there is the Satay section. Beef, Mutton, Chicken, each stick of skewered meat is well braised in savoury and sweet sauces that goes very well with the peanut gravy and freshly blended pineapple sauce.
Ketupat and Mutton Satay
If you’d like, there is also a roast meat section to endeavour into. A selection of Char siew, roast duck and roast pork is available. I didn’t really take to the Char siew as I found it a tad dry for my liking.
I didn’t really go for the traditional Chinese cuisine, but Mum was adventurous in trying them out.
Drunken Prawns with herbs and alcohol. These were Mum’s favourite.
Marmite Pork Ribs and Salted Egg Yolk Butter Crabs. The pork ribs were delish with that savoury umami flavour but the crabs were a little dry for my liking.
Desserts and cakes are always a good way to end the meal. Macrons aplenty with log cakes all well decorated, nothing spells Christmas more than the dessert section.
I was pleasantly pleased to discover a crepe counter. Children and adults literally stand and wait for the chef to whip out each and every piece of the warm French dessert. Scattered with a generous portion of mixed fresh fruits on the top for that refreshing taste, I had both the Mixed Berries and Brownie Chocolate fillings.
They simply had to put a Chocolate Fondue there to top the buffet off, don’t they?
Mango, Mocktail, Pineapple, Mixed fruits with Red Grapefruit juices. More aplenty.
Chink Chink, Champagne to toast the lovely dinner and to mum.
Mum’s Birthday Cake. Compliments of Shangri-La.
With an excellent service and hospitality to boot, The Line is certainly one of the finest International buffet restaurant in the nation. I had a remarkable time there with very personalised service, excellent food and an outstanding yet delicate ambience.
I took the buffet priced at $88++, inclusive of a free flow of mocktails and fruit juice. And it was definitely worth the value. Hmmm, I might just be back again next year for more =)
22 Orange Grove Road
Experience the splendour…