Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
The audacious and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM goes to Tanglin to discover…
MARVELLOUSLY modern Hotel Jen Tanglin with its decor full of pleasing geometric shapes like colourful parallelograms and triangles and rectangles. A futuristic Art Deco style reminiscent of an Austin Powers movie set. Real bicycles hang on the walls, I kid you not and in the suites and rooms, the walls are decorated with bicycle motifs too. What used to be the Shangri-La brand’s Traders Hotel is now Hotel Jen. There are 10 Hotel Jens in Asia now and they aim to host leisure and family travellers as well as businessmen because times change. After a S$45 million renovation everything is brand new and it shows. The hotel just opened some 3 weeks ago. One very pragmatic and useful feature are the little lockers where you can charge and lock your mobile phones securely while you dine. There is one to the right of the Reception and one in the modern Gymnasium on level 4 too. I found the Reception counters very chic as they are made of old suitcases and trunks! Another quirky thing I noticed was that the name badges of the staff of the hotel are modelled after the gold badges carried by Los Angeles Police Department officers!
Chill-Out Club Lounge
The exclusive Club Lounge on level 17 is very nice indeed with 24 hour access for Club room and Club suite hotel guests. It is Hotel Jen’s equivalent of the Horizon Club in Shangri-La hotels. A lavish Breakfast plus Cocktails and Canapes like Samosas and Tempura Prawns from 5pm to 7.30pm are served daily. Durind Cocktail Hour, there is also a free flow of wines and Spirits like Stolichnaya Vodka, Bacardi White Rum and Gordon’s Gin. After 10pm just serve yourself with Instant Noodles, Almonds and Cashew Nuts, Biscuits, Coffee and Tea.
Breakfast with a “killer” view of the Tanglin area
Breakfast is good too. I had a most hearty breakfast in the Club Lounge after my daily Gym workout and swim in the pool. Cereal, Muesli, Yoghurt, Fresh Fruits, Pork Bacon, Eggs Benedict…OMG! Yum Yum! The panoramic view is as good as the “makan” (food).
In Restaurant J65, on the other hand, the breakfast is more like a mega Brunch with Wantan Noodles, Ipoh Hor Fun, Nasi Lemak with Sambal, Nuts and Ikan Bilis and Indian Vadai and Roti Prata and Dhal Curry. Lots of freshly baked pastries, Cranberry, Pineapple and other Fruit Juices and even Ice Cream! Colourful Nyonya Kueh Mueh too.
Swim, Swim Swim!
The inviting turquoise swimming pool is 1.2m to 1.6m deep and 30m long so you can work out with laps. It is on the same level as Ah Hoi’s Kitchen which serves up market Singaporean and Malay specialities. I went to work out in the Gym as I do everyday, rain or shine. Most invigorating. All the machines you expect are here to work all the muscles in your body. There are separate Saunas, Steam Rooms and semi-circular Jacuzzi Whirlpools in the male and female changing rooms. The Spa which is also on Level 4 offers a whole menu of facials, massages and beauty treatments…Durga, the Receptionist is very nice and helpful. They also have Linus bicycles for complimentary use. I took a red one for a spin around the area and even cheekily cycled on the pavements, Ha! Ha! The pedestrians scurried out of my way!
Feast in J65!
The J65 Restaurant on level 1 offers South East Asian, European and Meditteranean cuisine…Helmed by cheerful Executive Chef Frederick Kho and Chef de Cuisine Punniammmurti, the food is fresh, tasty and well prepared. The buffet spread is extensive and akin to a Mega Buffet. I adored the Lobsters from New England in the USA! So naturally sweet and yummie! Chef Frederick, who is SHATEC trained told me, “My idea is to keep the food fresh and simple with very good ingredients.” The Scallops and Mussels are also very good and there was a tempting spread of Festive goodies like a big Ham on the bone and Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Sauce as well as a whole large succulent Salmon! Big boiled prawns in their shell delight too. Salad lovers will adore the salads that are spiked with healthy Extra Virgin Olive Oil and are healthy in the Meditteranean style. A Thai inspired salad was the Vermicelli and Prawn dish.
To be continued…
Hotel JEN Tanglin Singapore
1A Cuscaden Road
Tel: +65 6738 2222