We were back again at The Line, the buffet restaurant at Shangri-La hotel. It was yet another $29 lunch buffet promotion. The Line serves an international cuisine buffet. Their 16 culinary stations serves a very wide spread of food to suit every taste bud. It was a sort of buffet extravaganza, featuring Japanese food, Chinese dim-sum, Italian cuisine, Indian dishes, and even local favourites like chicken rice, roast pork, laksa, etc.
Many years back when I first visited The Line, it was priced at a premium. Lunch or dinner, it was one of the most expensive buffets in town. Things have changed somewhat, Their frequent promotions means, well, it’s not difficult to find yourself at a $29 lunch buffet like I did. (Besides that, buffets at other hotels have steadily increased in price too, so now The Line’s not considered terribly pricey.)
I used to look forward very much to visiting The Line. It’s premium dining. But my last visit has changed my mind somewhat. Their buffets are getting far too popular. Too many people. Too long queues to get food.
Like, for example, the queue at the oyster counter was just impossibly long and slow moving. I looked at the counter several times and gave up joining the line because, well, I didn’t want to spend my lunch time standing in a queue. Despite there being at least 2 chefs there shucking the oysters, they just weren’t fast enough to cope with the throngs of people waiting in line.
There was a similarly long queue at the Japanese counter. The queue was for the sashimi which is sliced on-the-spot.
I begun to wonder if they called the restaurant “The Line” because, well, there are meant to have long queues.
Anyhow, I did get around to have a small serving of fresh oysters. Sadly, I think the quality has declined. I don’t know how exactly to describe it, except that it simply didn’t taste good.
I wonder if this has become a case of over-popularity leading to decreasing value. It’s probably still pretty worthwhile for $29. But if I had to pay the full price, I would be very dissatisfied.