Although it has not the reputation or the grandiose of hotel super-buffets such as the likes of The Straits Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt, or The Greenhouse of Ritz Carlton, Amara's Element Restaurant sets itself apart by offering its diners a truly value for money buffet experience. Competitively priced for its smorgasbord of quality mid-flight offerings to signature items from Amara Hotel's other restaurants, it is little wonder why it continues to draw the attention of trotting office crowds in Tanjong Pagar.
- The Vibe
Inspired by the five elements of Chinese astrology, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, design firm Wilson & Associates conceptualized the design with a fusion of stylish minimalism and chic sophistication. Design overtones of the five elements are apparent throughout the interior of the restaurant. The furnishings in the dining area are predominantly brownish, as the seats and tables are cleverly used to illustrate the melancholic Earth element. Also a feature at the 120-seater Element is the open concept kitchen which allows diners to see the food – cooked and replenished constantly to ensure their freshness. It also weaves the Fire element into the design concept.
- The Food
The all-day dining restaurant serves its international buffet spread for lunch and dinner at $30 and $36 respectively as well as high tea at $26 on the weekend. You easily glide along the circuit of a delectable spread of international fare but there is not much time for you to grapple with the decisions of which food to have first. The selection can be said to be like an artist's palette, varied, colourful and attractive. It is suggested that you make your visit to the food stations thematically.
Deserving of mention is the Japanese corner with fresh assorted Salmon and Ika Sashimi and a variety of Sushi and Maki for you to choose from. Not forgetting the baskets of deep fried Tempura and Soft Shell Crabs which were crispy and yet, retained the tenderness of the white flesh within. However, do have them as soon as they are replenished as waiting could result in them turning slightly soft and cold.
Moving onto the cooked food corner is where you find an array of local delights such as the Baby Lamb Shank or Stewed Beef. What really impressed was the award winning Baked Cod Fillet. Soft and creamy, with a pleasing buttery taste, the freshness of the fish spoke for itself as to why it remains an award-winning dish.
For some grilled fare, proceed to the Teppanyaki station. The chef will be pleased to grill the meat or seafood in accordance to your tastes and preferences. Also recommended is the Peking Duck, crispy roasted skin with meat and all, rolled up with some crunchy greens, and not at all oily.
For many, dessert is a vital highlight of a meal. Element knows and does enough to ensure any cravings are duly satisfied. Start off with an amuse-bouche slice of American Cheesecake which was soft and luscious. With a chef formerly from Hilton Singapore 's Checkers Deli, it certainly warrants a stamp of quality and standard. The Strawberry Panna Cotta, a gelatin-thickened custard with silky smoothness, gets the thumbs-up.
- The Service
The service crew seemed a little understaffed on a weekday noon, especially when they have to constantly clear the plates and fill our glasses of water. Nevertheless, you hardly notice any fluster about it as they steadily and efficiently carry out their tasks to the best of their abilities. They are friendly and attentive to the needs of the guests, ensuring that the dining experience is nothing but pleasurable.