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Boasting modern interiors with Mondrian-like feature walls and high ceilings, coupled with floor-to-ceiling windows that let natural light in, the restaurant feels breezy and spacious. With an open-air concept, you are privy to the theatrical action in the kitchen, wok flames, and all. Even though the restaurant is located on the street level, past the hotel lobby, overlooking the busy Upper Pickering Street, the frangipani trees and water “streams” lining the exterior give off a restaurant in a garden vibe—an extension of the Parkroyal on Pickering’s hotel in a garden concept—that instantly makes you feel at ease. Request for seats near the window where the sofas are great for lounging in between buffet rounds. The close proximity of some of the tables, especially those at the back of the room, may be too close for comfort for some. But if this is not a problem, the long communal tables near the salad and dessert tables allow easy access to the buffet spread. A private room is also available.
The Hokkien giant king prawn noodle soup, although simple with just yellow noodles, beansprouts and a single juicy prawn, is hearty, thanks to its rich but slightly oily, prawn stock. You can also make your own Nonya fruit rojak here, or if you prefer, head to the salad station for your own mix of salad greens, or whet your appetite with the refreshing mango or pomelo salads. The spread at the seafood station includes tiger prawns, golden clams, black mussels, as well as freshly shucked oysters, which are plump, sweet, and with a mineral finish. Meanwhile, the sushi and sashimi counter offers a selection of maki sushi as well as fresh salmon, tuna and octopus sashimi, which are sliced up and nicely plated upon order.
At the hot food station, we try the fork tender coq a vin or chicken in red wine, which goes well with jasmine rice, but our favourite is the salmon in a slightly sweet orange sauce, which pairs well with the oven-baked red-skinned baby potatoes. You can also order pasta cooked a la minute, but we opt for char kway teow, which is wok fried to order with choice ingredients such as Chinese sausages, cockles, prawns and beansprouts with flat rice noodles, replete with plenty of “wok hei”.
Remember to leave room for dessert, which is an attraction in its own right at Lime. From the Nonya kueh lapis and bubur cha cha, to the bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce, and green tea chocolate fondue (which you dip into with a selection of fruits, choux puffs and honeycomb candy), you will be spoilt for choice. But if you can only pick one (okay, two), then, the zesty Yuzu meringue tart and the light and airy New York Cheesecake with a crunchy base, nicely rounds off your meal on a sweet note.
There is a decent selection of champagne, white, red and rosé wines from wine-producing regions such as France’s Burgundy, Australia’s Barossa Valley and Chile’s Central Valley, all available by the glass. While our waiter offered some brilliant wine suggestions, we were disappointed that our single glass of cabernet merlot was pre-poured before it was brought to the table. Give the signature Limenade a try. You can choose to spike the refreshing fresh calamansi, lime infusion and soda mix with a shot of vodka, tequila, rum, gin or chartreuse.
Service was unobtrusive and efficient, but it would have been better if it came with more smiles. Dirty plates were cleared promptly and water glasses topped up, even though this slowed towards the end of the night. This was the same when it came to topping up food at the buffet stations.
$48-$78 for lunch and $65-70 for dinner, excluding wines, which average $24 per glass, as well as beers, spirits and cocktails.