Despite having a relatively small selection by buffet standards, The Dining Room more than makes up for it with the quality of its international and Asian spreads. Seafood lovers would do well to savour the fresh selection that includes oysters, crab claws, prawns and scallops, as well as the thick cuts of salmon sashimi. If you prefer cooked seafood, the black pepper crab and the baby lobster with ganxiang sauce are your best bets. The crustaceans are coated with fragrant sauces and feature just enough umami that you wish there was more gravy to sop up with the mantou buns. The highlight has got to be the fried laksa, where big, juicy prawns, quail eggs, cockles and fishcakes come together in a heady, spicy coconut mix that would have been perfect if the chef had a lighter hand when salting the dish. Leave some space for dessert and go for the tiramisu, which is moist and not overly sweet; or the durian crumble, which is full of the fruit’s pulpy sweet and bitter flesh.
Situated right off Orchard Road, The Dining Room is just the spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping belt, yet still remain in the heart of the city. Ask for a table right by the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the garden waterfalls and rock pools full of koi fish. Depending on the time of day, light floods into the cavernous space—which is held up by grand marble columns—and leaves an orange glow at dusk.