For this year’s Ramadan, Grand Hyatt Singapore’s StraitsKitchen will be celebrating with a spread of Middle East Cuisine in addition to its already delectable fare at the buffet table. Available for dinner everyday from the 20th of July to the 18th of August, the selection features a range of dishes from Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Egypt and more. The promotional period sees a team of chefs and host specially flown in from Grand Hyatt Doha who will be preparing appetizers, mains, and a selection of mouthwatering desserts such as the Kunafa Bil Cream.
Deciding where to break fast this Ramadan period? Read on to see a selection of dishes available this season!
I arrived at Grand Hyatt Singapore slightly early for lunch and was wandering around till I saw this beautifully landscaped garden. Though I could not venture outside as the door was locked, it was still a sight to behold, what more with the miniature waterfall.
I was quite impressed when I first stepped into StraitsKitchen. Fresh, wide with a good view of the live kitchens all around, it was a delight walking through them.
The focus today brings the buffet to the variety of Middle Eastern Cuisine specially catered for the Ramadan fasting month. Start off with Mutable (Smoked Eggplant with Tahina Paste, Lemon Salt). I admit that I am very impressed with the flavour and intensity of the range of appetizers, especially the Mutable. With deep rich earthy smoky flavours well permeated throughout, and a tangy aftertaste pattered with bouts of salt, this was a beautiful takeaway and it went extremely well with pieces of hollowed pita like breads.
The Beetroot Mutable (Boiled Beetroot with Tahina Paste) was just as good, with hugely different notes in terms of texture and colour. The purple presentation aside, it was the finely julienned pieces of beetroot that stood out. A little crisp, with a firm bite, this dish is best enjoyed with the bits of feta cheese on the top.
For a hummus that is traditional and probably a little more familiar in Singapore, there is the Hummus Beruity (Chickpea mash with Tahina paste, lemon salt and parsley). Thick, and vibrant in earthy flavour, the highlight was the smoothness through and through.
Bread to go along. I combined all three appetizers within and had a filling mouthful.
Available from the Grill, is first up the Shish Taouk Bil Labhne. These pieces of charcoal-grilled skewers of marinated chicken cubes with black pepper, yoghurt and lemon juice were a savoury bite all in one. The insides were a blend between juicy and firm meatiness, wrought about with a slight glaze of smoky fragrance and a flavour that hinted slightly of citrus.
The Turkish Adana Kebab (Minced Lamb, Chilli Paste and Baby Eggplant) were an unique creation on its own. It was hearty and filling, although a little dry. But still good.
The main of Beef Shakria stood out for its combination of dark brown sliced beef and pure white yoghurt sauce. Yogurt and beef are good complements to each other as the rich flavours of the beef is clearly brought down by the sourness of the yogurt.
However, I could not really appreciate the Dawood Basha. I am not too sure if its a tradition of the Middle East Cuisine, but the meatball were a tad salty which were most likely brought out further with the natural umaminess of the tomato. Yet, if I were to pair this with Cous Cous, I think it would be an excellent dish altogether.
And right along comes the Couscous, all naturally presented with an adornment of Pine nuts at the top. A wonderful blend as the couscous soaks up the gravies all over the plate.
The Couscous goes naturally well with the Seafood Tagine. A rich, tomato stew made with fillets of sea bass and sliced squid, this was a good depart from all the meat and heavy appetizers.
A favourite amongst all is the Fried Chicken with Potato and Lemon. Nothing exceptionally fancy or unacquired, this is one creation that would be appetizing for all. The uniqueness comes from the lemon acids drizzled generously all over, lending a sparkle to the pieces of fried potato and meat.
Take a break from all the richness with this traditional brew of mint and herbs tea, and a well suggested accompaniment to the desserts to come.
My favourite was the Um Ali with its decadent assortment of almond flakes, pistachios and pine nuts. This dessert is so soft and intensely scented, that I coined it to be liquid bread. Excellent, I could have gone for seconds if I was not so full by then.
The Passion Fruit Mohalabia is a cross between milk and flour topped with a sweet and viscous passion fruit sauce.
The dessert is almost like a blend between the smoothness of tau huay to the stretchiness of liquid cake mix that it makes a popular sweet ending with a unique texture. However, the passionfruit sauce can be a bit too sweet, but that could just be me.
The last dessert featured today is the Rice Pudding with Fresh Berries. Reminiscent of a muesli bar with its varied colour contrast, the rice pudding was a sweet version of the familiar risotto. It was good, and very filling but I still preferred the Um Ali.
But hey, the buffet spread is more than the dishes featured above. Now for a pictorial journey of a teaser of the selection present. (oh btw, I heard that dinners come with Chilli Crab as well)
Mr. Mohamed Ramadan serving up the specialty Mint Tea. Look out for him in his traditional attire when dinner starts!
Me with Mr. Mohamed Ramadan, Chefs Sam Alam and Amro Omar, the team from Grand Hyatt Doha
The creations from the Grand Hyatt Doha team are truly a delight to indulge in. With the fast observed each day in Ramadan broken at sunset surrounded by family and friends, the spread at StraitsKitchen would be one to satisfy many. I did not try the buffet selection present but from the pictures I took, it sure looks good. Although the spread might be plentiful with local dishes, this is one place to enjoy the highlights of Singapore in the comfort of a snazzy cool restaurant. I look forward to making a return visit, and perhaps then get a chance to try the rest of the cuisine.
Many Thanks to Grand Hyatt Singapore for the invitation
10 Scotts Road
Reservations : 67321234
20 July to 18 August
Adult : $68++
Child : $38++
6.30pm to 10.30pm daily