WE TRY: SINGAPOREAN DISHES AT GINGER, A PASTEL-HUED, TROPICAL-THEMED BUFFET RESTAURANT

Lush palms frame the entrance of Ginger, a pastel and tropical-themed wonderland that’s arguably one of Singapore’s most photo-worthy buffet restaurants. Fresh from an extensive refurbishment, the all-day dining restaurant at Parkroyal on Beach Road now welcomes guests to its colourful space for á la carte buffet featuring local favourites and Southeast Asian dishes.

Masterminded by award-winning Singapore-based Australian designer Emma Maxwell, the interior design is at once eclectic and calming. You’ll find rattan fans overhead keeping the space pleasantly cool, alongside wallpapers and furniture textiles by fabric designer Kerrie Brown that feature local blooms such as the ginger flower, simpoh lak, and freycinetia javanica. Accented by brass and nickel, the tables and chairs are made from natural materials like timber and stone for a cozy feel. Bringing the outdoors indoors, the restaurant offers a relaxing ambience that nicely showcases the city-state’s botanical backdrop.

A hearty spread of local and regional dishes.

A meal here starts off with a platter of five dipping sauces, including the spicy sambal chili and the piquant cincalok (a paste made from fermented small shrimps)—each one meant to pair with your subsequent dishes. To maintain social distancing, guests can simply scan a QR code to view the digital menu before ordering their preferred item and portion size.

Among the whooping 53 items available, standouts include the low-braised beef rendang, which features Australian beef cheek marinated in spices and cooked till tender perfection, as well as the homemade Penang laksa, which was flavourful to the last slurp. Local dishes take centerstage here, with the likes of Hainanese chicken rice, rojak, homemade otah, and roasted duck, all of which satiated our cravings. Special stations, which are rotated on the daily, also serve the Peranakan-inspired kueh pie tee that’s stuffed with ayam buah keluak (chicken, tamarind gravy, and buah keluak nuts).

Kueh pie tee.

That said, we recommend ordering smaller portions of the above and saving your appetites for the restaurant’s signature crab dishes, which are only available at dinner. Executive chef Vincent Awthe’s rendition of the classic chili crab offers a fine balance of spicy and sweet flavours, while the kam heong crab has a nice wok hei (wok’s breath), having been stir-fried with condiments like curry leaves, curry powder, dried shrimp, shallots, garlic, and chilli.

While enjoying your meal, look out for staff making their rounds with complimentary salted egg and garlic cream cheese buns, which are inspired by the recent Korean food trend. Fancy a sweet ending? Make a beeline for the chendol ice cream, a contemporary remake of the Southeast Asian ice dessert. Presented in a young coconut, a swirl of coconut and gula melaka soft serve is topped with green rice flour jelly, sweet corn, and attap chee for a satisfying treat.

More information here.

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