Bugis Street restaurant is hidden away downstairs in the Biltmore Millennium Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, but it is worth discovering. Named after a famous street market in Singapore, the upscale Chinese eatery specializes in authentic Singaporean dishes along with hybrid dishes to please the traditional Chinese food diner.
On a quiet Monday night, our family found ourselves almost alone at the restaurant, though on weekdays the restaurant is known to be bustling with business people from the surrounding downtown. While Bugis Street is housed in a luxury hotel, the prices are incredibly reasonable. Appetizers ranged from $6 to $10, and specialties were $13 to $16.
Head chef Horace He, a 15-year veteran of the Los Angeles Chinese culinary scene, artfully renders the menu of signature Singaporean and Malaysian specialties such as Singapore Laska (vermicelli noodles, shrimp, chicken, spicy coconut soup and Thai basil) and Hainanese Chicken and Rice (poached chicken,
chicken flavored rice and chili sauce), as well as Cantonese and Szechuan dishes such as Kung Pao Scallops (vegetables, spicy chili, peanuts and black bean sauce) and Wonton Noodle Soup (chicken broth, minced pork dumplings, egg noodle and scallions).
My adventurous six-year-old son sampled the tempura fried Salt and Pepper squid with red chili, and he loved it. We all tried the Fried Bee Hoon, a stir-fried dish of vermicelli noodles, pork, scallops, shrimp, and green peppers, which was delicious.
We also all sampled the satisfyingly not-too-sweet desserts, Mochi ice cream, banana fritters and ice cream with lychees.
Chef He uses fresh and authentic ingredients such as Thai basil and Malaysian spices locally sourced locally from farmers markets in Chinatown.
The space was formerly Sai Sai Noodle Bar before it became Bugis Street, which is already a successful
dining concept at four other Millennium & Copthorne hotels in the U.K.
Bugis Street Brasserie is open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 10:00pm. Guests can enter through the hotel or via the restaurant’s separate street entrance at 501 S. Olive St. L.A., CA 90071. Don’t forget to validate parking to a reduced fee of $6, or else your parking may cost more than your meal. For a menu and more information, go to http://www.millenniumhotels.com/usa/millenniumbiltmorelosangeles/