The (Mandarin) Oriental at the Marina recently reopened after a few months of renovation. I squeezed in a last day visit to the hotel and ate at the coffee shop, called Melt. The place offered practically every popular food from different ethnicities: Nasi Goreng (Indonesia); Tom Yum Khoong (Thailand); Hainanese Chicken Rice (Singapore); Hamburger (America) and Sushi/Sashimi (Japan). A group of friends from different cultures need not worry about not finding what they like in the menu. The place tries to please everyone.
I just ordered the Tom Yum Khoong (the mildest sort was still very spicy) and the Hainanese Chicken Rice, both having big servings. The Tom Yum Khoong was
actually meant for a full entrée, although they will accommodate your request of making it an appetizer-sized portion. The Hainanese Chicken Rice was how it was supposed to be. Despite being served in such a hotel, this fare did not suffer from any glamorous make-over; thank goodness.
We sat in the first part of the restaurant, partitioned by a decorative and porous wooden wall, through which we could see the second part of the place, which in turn overlooked a garden. In the second room, there were two long tables that I interpreted to be communal tables (unless they were preparing for a major tour group dinner or something like that). One end of the room had smaller sized tables for four. The other end of the room was used for buffet area. There was another area behind the desserts bar in the first area of the room, but I did not get to explore the room. The color red predominated the restaurant, accented by the beech-wood-like furniture that looked and felt rather cheap, unfortunately.
Service was good, and a waiter by the name Ganeson was particularly very attentive. Instead of asking general questions, such as, “How is everything?”, he was more specific (“Is the Tom Yum Khoong too spicy?”) and seemed very patient in responding to every diner’s questions. I saw him serving several tables and chatting with customers about the restaurant, the food, and the hotel. Small gestures like those added to the enjoyment of the dining experience.
Perhaps the next time I am in the area, I will come when they serve the buffet, so that I can compare their fares to other hotels’, such as the Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Straits Kitchen.
Melt: The World Café
at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
5 Raffles Avenue
Marina Square, Singapore 039797
Tel: +65 633-8006