We’re talking Dragon Phoenix’s Chilli Crab, Prawn Noodle Soup from Beach Road Prawn Mee and the original Katong Laksa
Photos: Shangri-La Hotel/Weekender
From three-hour-long line queuers to ravenous easterners travelling to the west for hawker gourmet, Singaporeans are known to be quite the unrelenting foodie.
But what if we told you that there’s now no need to venture far and wide to quell specific local cravings?
In its effort of preserving the nation’s heritage, the Shangri-La Hotel has teamed up with prolific hawkers and restaurateurs to offer seven uniquely Singaporean delights, as well as a series of Heritage Weekender Pop-ups, at The Lobby Lounge.
The gourmet curation was a six-month-long process, where 12 culinary establishments were shortlisted before further narrowed down to six. These hawker stalls and restaurants were selected based on their long tradition in Singapore’s culinary scene. Part of the lead-up to this gastronomic collaboration involved the Shangri-La’s kitchen leaders learning the tricks and cooking techniques by the makers themselves. But with heritage dishes come a chamber of secret recipes – something the owners, understandably, stay tight-lipped about. As a compromise, key components such as broths, gravy and meatballs are whipped up by their creators and sent to the hotel for the final formulation.
While keeping with authenticity, the hotel has also placed its own culinary spin on these dishes as a way to elevate the eating experience. Some of these twists we like, such as the added fish maw to the soup of Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Meat Bak Chor Mee and replacing the crab from Dragon Phoenix’s Chilli Crab with Alaskan crab; however, there are others we didn’t like finding shredded chicken in our Katong Laska (to provide more ‘bite’, we were told), and having brown rice with Rumah Makan Minang’s Beef Rendang.
Along with Shangri-La Hotel’s Hainanese Chicken Rice, the local line-up is part of The Lobby Lounge’s buffet lunch (from $38 per pax), where you get to order one out of the seven dishes to accompany a smaller, but still substantial, spread of heritage food. Offerings include made-to-order popiah, kueh pie tee and an assortment of kueh by Peranakan confectionery HarrisAnns.
Also, look out for the monthly Heritage Weekend Pop-up Series where the usual weekday semi-buffet offering comes with a live station, fronted by a figure from a notable hakwer stall. This coming weekend will see a member from one of the oldest prate hawker stalls Springleaf Prata Place, flipping prata on the spot.
With a posh setting to boot, Shangri-La Hotel is truly a great place to savour some of the best local fare without traversing all over Singapore. Although, dining at the original hawker stalls and restaurants will definitely ensure the authenticity.
Check out all the famed local dishes:
Beef Rendang by Rumah Makan Minang