GourmetEstorie.com http://www.gourmetestorie.com Savouring Life's Enthralling Moments Mon, 06 Mar 2017 21:40:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 14531136 Fun is the Word at Jamie’s Italian Pizza and Prosecco Party! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/fun-is-the-word-at-jamies-italian-pizza-and-prosecco-party/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/fun-is-the-word-at-jamies-italian-pizza-and-prosecco-party/#respond Mon, 06 Mar 2017 21:36:31 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28673 Singapore Food Blog and Review

The mind of a chef differs from the mind of one who merely dines. A diner can appreciate good taste when they encounter it. So can a chef, but intriguing flavours also instigate the gears of a chef’s mind to begin whirring. They wonder: how can I replicate this delicious meal in the kitchen? My

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

The mind of a chef differs from the mind of one who merely dines. A diner can appreciate good taste when they encounter it. So can a chef, but intriguing flavours also instigate the gears of a chef’s mind to begin whirring. They wonder: how can I replicate this delicious meal in the kitchen? My mother, who has been cooking for my family since I was a baby, is such a person. She has recently become interested in making her own bread, and even tried her hand at making pizzas. So when I received an invitation to join a pizza-making party to learn how to make pizza from the fine chefs at Jamie’s Italian, I knew who my plus one should be.

When we arrived, the bar at Jamie’s Italian presented each of us with a glass of chilled prosecco in our hands as a pre-party drink. A sparkling Italian white wine resembling champagne (which is from France), the prosecco was sweet and fizzy, and it lifted our spirits in preparation for the pizza-making session.

A wide array of pizza toppings: cheeses such as mozzarella and parmigiana reggiano, different cold cuts, herbs, mushrooms, chilies, anchovies, olives, minced meats, tomatoes…

Once everyone was present, we were led to the back of the restaurant where the party would begin. Our equipment and aprons were laid out neatly on a long metal table with a complimentary teal Jamie’s Italian baseball cap on top of each apron, waiting to be donned. At the far end of the table was a lavish selection of leafy vegetables, cheeses, and meats, our choice of toppings for the pizza we were about to make.

The instructor manipulates the pizza dough

The session began with our chef instructor showing us how to manipulate the pizza dough into the right shape. With some kneading and spinning, the sourdough was made round and flat before it was placed in a generously floured pan. The next step was to spread tomato puree evenly and thinly with a spoon, followed by placing our selected toppings in an orderly pattern on top of the dough.

All participants get to pick out their favourite toppings!

My mother spins the dough as the chef marvels at her skill

After the quick tutorial, we began cracking on our pizzas, scurrying to the toppings table to select our ingredients, then trying our best to emulate the chef’s pizza. My mother proved to be fastest at getting the dough to the right shape, impressing the chefs who were guiding us throughout the process.

Spreading the tomato puree across the dough

The party was boisterous, joyful, and gregarious; we compared everyone’s unique approach to their own pizzas and admired those which were made with beauty and grace. One of the other attendees had brought her little kid, who tried his own hand at making a pizza and endeared himself to the other attendees. The chefs and other staff continued to circle the table, helpfully offering advice and guidance.

Everyone is focused on preparing their pizzas

When a person completes the arrangement of toppings on their pizza, the staff would whisk the pizza to the oven in the kitchen. As we waited for our pizzas to bake, the chef showed us how he would plate the pizza. He first cut the pizza into 4 triangular pieces with a pizza slicer, then placed them in a neat row on a wooden serving board. Additional toppings such as parmesan cheese and salad leaves were laid on as garnishing.

Proud of her freshly baked creation.

Our pizzas emerged fresh out of the oven in ten to twenty minutes. If prepared correctly, the sourdough pizza would be crisp on the edges but soft on the inside, the crusts rising appreciably but the main base remaining thin as a biscuit.

We got to eat our own pizzas, of course, and they were as delicious as we imagined they would be, due to the expert guidance and the fresh ingredients provided by Jamie’s Italian. The chefs went around sampling the different pizzas , so that they could come to a verdict as to who had made the best pizza of all. I felt that my mother’s pizza deserved to win, but of course I’m biased, and the chefs thought differently. The prize – one of Jamie Oliver’s own cookbooks! – was awarded to another attendee, whose pizza did look quite marvellous as well.

My mother and I had some great mother-and-son bonding time!

Even though we didn’t win the cookbook, my mother and I gained something else invaluable that day – a new appreciation of how the best ingredients make the best pizzas, and also some mother-and-son bonding time. This pizza-making party was a really good opportunity for a fun social activity, and I could see it being used as a venue for a birthday party for kids or adults, a small company cohesion, or a bachelorette party. It’s not often that this writer gets to make the food he eats, and I have to say that it was really, really fun.

Thank you Jamie’s Italian for the invitation!


Pizza and Prosecco Parties are available on Monday to Thursday for group bookings from 6 to 20 people, at $48++ per person (comes with 2 glasses of prosecco) or $68++ per person (for free flow of prosecco).

Lunch and dinner menus and $10 standard drinks (housepour spirits, wines and prosecco) are available at an additional cost.

This invitation did not include a preview of the Kid’s Version of this party: in addition to designing their own pizzas, the children will also be taken on a restaurant herb garden tour and an introduction to pasta shapes. This session ends with a lunch of one kid’s meal from the kid’s ala carte menu and fruity water. These interactive sessions are available for bookings for a minimum of 8 kids and are priced at $45++ per child.

For bookings, email sales@jamiesitalian.sg.

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Decadent Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet at Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Singapore! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/decadent-sunday-champagne-brunch-buffet-at-seasonal-tastes-the-westin-singapore/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/decadent-sunday-champagne-brunch-buffet-at-seasonal-tastes-the-westin-singapore/#respond Sat, 04 Mar 2017 21:54:52 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28655 Singapore Food Blog and Review

Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Singapore is proud to launch their weekly decadent, gourmet buffet delight – the Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet! With a stunning view of Singapore’s Marina Bay and the South China Sea through the restaurant’s ceiling-high windows from the 32nd floor of Asia Square Tower 2, diners are promised a spectacular afternoon

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Singapore is proud to launch their weekly decadent, gourmet buffet delight – the Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet! With a stunning view of Singapore’s Marina Bay and the South China Sea through the restaurant’s ceiling-high windows from the 32nd floor of Asia Square Tower 2, diners are promised a spectacular afternoon away from the crowds.

Featuring a smorgasbord of mouthwatering delights, tuck in to a generous selection of fresh seafood, roasts, classic international brunch dishes, local and regional favourites, all on top a free-flow selection of champagne, wine, beer, selected cocktails and soft drinks! The champagne brunch buffet is available every Sunday at $148++ or at $88++ (with only one glass of champagne or drink of your choice). And without further ado, here are some gorgeous pictures to whet your appetite further.

The Verdict

Promise of a panoramic ambience and memorable delights such as the exceptionally fresh portions of oysters and sashimi, buttery foie gras, slivers of fatty pork chop to my all time Pecan tart favourite makes this one Sunday Champagne Brunch buffet worth looking out for! The champagne option is best recommended for those who’d love an endless supply of bubbly and an excuse to possibly lounge in the gorgeous hotel lobby a little while longer as you capture your breath. But for me, and when I do make a return, I would be more than satisfied with a single glass of champagne to accompany what is likely to be a very, promising afternoon.
Thank you The Westin Singapore for the invitation!
This guest article was written by Anastasia.

Seasonal Tastes
The Westin Singapore
Level 32
12 Marina View
Asia Square Tower 2
Singapore 018961
Reservations: 6922 6968
Email: seasonaltastes.singapore@westin.com
Website: www.thewestinsingapore.com/seasontastes

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Enjoy The Best of Plaza Brassiere’s Surf & Turf Buffet from $68++ (18 Feb – 26 Mar 17)! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/enjoy-the-best-of-plaza-brassieres-surf-turf-buffet-from-68-18-feb-26-mar-17/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/enjoy-the-best-of-plaza-brassieres-surf-turf-buffet-from-68-18-feb-26-mar-17/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:00:49 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28549 Singapore Food Blog and Review

In her famous book Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi fondly recalls her unconventional school as a child. One of these memories is of her beloved headmaster believing in the importance of a balanced diet in their lunchboxes, dictating that it should contain “something from the ocean, and something from the hills.”

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

In her famous book Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi fondly recalls her unconventional school as a child. One of these memories is of her beloved headmaster believing in the importance of a balanced diet in their lunchboxes, dictating that it should contain “something from the ocean, and something from the hills.” I daresay the new Surf ‘N Turf dinner buffet menu at PARKROYAL’s Plaza Brassiere may just become as fond a memory as Kuroyanagi’s own lunches at Tomoe Gakuen.

Curry Flavoured Crab Meat Salad

We start our dinner with a sampling of something from the ocean. If you love crab but hate peeling shells, the chef made the Curry Flavoured Crab Meat Salad just for you. Crab meat is shredded, mixed with with curry leaves, diced pepper, onion, flavoured with curry, and moulded into the shape of two eggs. The final result is an oblong creation of sweet and tangy goodness.

Seafood Bisque

The Seafood Bisque was a conventional but nonetheless delicious creamy soup with a dominantly lobster taste. Topped with some mushrooms, scallops, and a smidgen of lobster meat, the bisque was warmly pleasurable to drink. While I appreciated the strong and rich flavour of the soup, I did find it a bit too salty for my taste. I did give my feedback to the restaurant, and I believe the bisque will be just right when you visit.

Grilled Live Tiger Prawns

The Grilled Live Tiger Prawns were conventional but showcased everything that is simply brilliant about a well-grilled prawn. Butterflied and buttered, everything was perfect. Take as many as you want; it’s a buffet!

Steamed Lobster in Hua Tiao Sauce

There is one caveat at this all-you-can-eat: the Steamed Lobster in Hua Tiao Sauce. It’s a premium dish that Plaza Brassiere can only offer one per diner of, so savour every single morsel of it. Cut out a bit of lobster meat, ensure you have some fried garlic on it, and dip it in the sauce flavoured with cooking wine before you bring it to your lips. At that point, its delicate preparation by the chef becomes clear. Don’t forget to rummage in the pre-broken claw for more meat!

Rosemary Mustard Chicken Pullet

When you’re done savouring the ocean’s delights, it’s time to look towards the hills. The chef finds pride in the humble chicken with his Rosemary Mustard Chicken Pullet. I was surprised to find this dish wasn’t unfamiliar to me; I remember savouring the exact same flavours at a French restaurant with my family where they also served a roasted chicken in a mustard sauce. This chicken at Plaza Brassiere is based on the same classic French dish called poulet à la moutarde: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and mild mustard sauce on the side. C’est delicieux!

Duroc Spanish Pork Collar

Do not assume that the rest of the dishes are French; this buffet is as cosmopolitan as it is amphibious. In another section of the buffet, you can find delectable Duroc Spanish Pork Collar from France’s southern neighbour. The chef has elected to cook the pig to a tender,  gentle, doneness, its slightly pinkish hue demonstrating that it has not reached the complete whiteness of overcooked pork.

Garlic & Pork Bratwurst Sausage

More fantastic meat choices can be found in other dishes from different European provenances, such as the solidly good Garlic & Pork Bratwurst Sausage. For any fan of a good German sausage, this is as good as it gets. Tight, firm casing with a crisp edge where it touched the pan encapsulates some well-packed, evenly cooked sausage mince. It goes without saying homemade mustard with coarse relish is a mandatory accompaniment. If this wasn’t a buffet with so much other food available, I’ll be asking for a bun to put my sausage in and call it a day.

Black Angus Ribeye Steak

But the night is young, and what’s a “surf ‘n turf” without beef? This buffet comes with not one, but two high quality cuts: Black Angus Ribeye Steak, and Wagyu MBS3-4 D-Rump. Any discerning steak lover knows the ribeye is one of the best cuts in the cow, and it certainly didn’t fail to disappoint.

Wagyu MBS 3-4 D Rump

The name of the Australian wagyu beef might seem like a serial number to the uninitiated, but the seasoned beef connoisseur will recognise it as referring to the marbling score (MBS) of the D Rump, a part of the cow that includes the sirloin. While it is not Japanese wagyu, an MBS of 3-4 is considered a decent marbling level with plenty of fat streaking throughout the meat while retaining enough muscle protein for a firm overall texture. Between these two choices of beef, there should be enough cow to satisfy even the most fervent beef eaters.

The lesson behind the aphorism ‘something from the ocean, and something from the hills’ espoused by Totto-chan’s headmaster was that it was surprisingly easy for Totto-chan’s mother to fulfil this lunchbox requirement; a bit of creativity was all that was needed to produce a delicious and wholesome meal. Plaza Brassiere’s Surf N’ Turf buffet brings together some of the best classic preparations of seafood and meat honed over decades in a wide range of different cuisines. Your tastebuds deserve a global education.

Available exclusively from 18th February to 26th March, the Surf ‘N’ Turf dinner buffet starts from $68++, with an unlimited alcoholic drinks option at an additional $18++. Select credit card holders get a further 20% off the total bill, making this a buffet worth saving your appetite for.

Thank you PARKROYAL on Beach Road for the invitation.
Dishes were plated for the media session.


Plaza Brasserie
PARKROYAL on Beach Road
7500 Beach Road
Singapore 199591
Reservations: 6505 5710
Website Reservation: Click here to visit website for online booking.

Surf ‘N Turf (An Oriental Original) at Plaza Brassiere begins on 18th February and ends on 26th March 2017, and is available for dinner from 6-10pm. $68++ for adults and $41++ for children. $18 extra provides unlimited servings of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 20% discount on the buffet price for DBS/POSB credit card holders, and 20% discount on the total bill for UOB credit card holders.

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Honolulu Cafe: Are its Fabled Egg Tarts Worth The Visit? http://www.gourmetestorie.com/honolulu-cafe-fabled-egg-tarts-worth-the-visit/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/honolulu-cafe-fabled-egg-tarts-worth-the-visit/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 17:46:00 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28544 Singapore Food Blog and Review

Let’s not beat around the bush: Honolulu Café has an unfortunate reputation in Singapore. You would think that an established brand wouldn’t sink to such depths, but it didn’t take long for complaints to pour in about this Hong Kong establishment’s rude staff, mediocre milk tea, and perennially limited stocks. What can establishments with poor reputations do,

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

Let’s not beat around the bush: Honolulu Café has an unfortunate reputation in Singapore. You would think that an established brand wouldn’t sink to such depths, but it didn’t take long for complaints to pour in about this Hong Kong establishment’s rude staff, mediocre milk tea, and perennially limited stocks.

What can establishments with poor reputations do, besides addressing customers’ complaints head-on? One way, of course, is to hire a PR firm and go on a charm offensive.

This is how I find myself in an almost-empty joint on a recent weekday evening. While I am unable to comment on service or the availability of its egg tarts because I’m on an invited tasting session, I am sorry to report that the tarts and milk tea are not so outstanding as to mitigate the poor press it has gotten. But generally, the food is not bad for its price.

Let’s start with what doesn’t work: its popular milk tea ($3++ hot / $3.50 ++ cold) is much too sweet. Perhaps it was a bad batch, but the tea was so cloying that I could not manage more than a few sips of the iced version. My dining partner was more intrepid and gulped down most of it, but he was soon consumed by an intense thirst. The café would do well to examine if its tea could be less sweet— customers can always add sugar to taste.

Thankfully, its signature egg tarts ($1.80++ each) and pineapple buns with butter ($2++ each) passed muster. One of the things of setting up shop in food-crazed Singapore is that comparisons to other known brands are inevitable. While these egg tarts and pineapple buns aren’t the most outstanding on this island, they are decent enough. The 192 folds that go into making each egg tart are not just a gimmick—I found the tarts pleasantly buttery with a good, firm bite.

I reserve my praise for the café’s newly-launched item, the Beancurd Tart ($2++ each). After carefully experimenting with different blends of bean curd and pastry, Honolulu Café has come up with a preservative-free confection made from 100% bean curd. Encased in a buttery, melt-in-mouth shortcrust pastry, Honolulu’s bean curd tarts are chilled overnight and are best consumed within 30 minutes of purchase. I loved how smooth and cold the beancurd centre was, and would have happily eaten two or more of this if I didn’t have to worry about the calories.

Still, Honolulu Café is not out of the woods. While its pastries are not bad at all, it will not survive for much longer if it cannot convince Singaporeans to visit this quiet corner of Orchard Road. Service is apparently a sticking point for visitors, and while the restaurant may seek to model itself after Hong Kong’s cha chan tengs, poor service should not be on its list of attributes to emulate.

Thank you Honolulu Cafe for the invitation.


Honolulu Cafe
The Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road
#01-33F/G
Singapore 238843
Tel: 6734 6609

Opening Hours:     11 am – 10 pm daily

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Mak’s Noodles: Bigger and (kind of) Better http://www.gourmetestorie.com/maks-noodles-bigger-and-kind-of-better/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/maks-noodles-bigger-and-kind-of-better/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 20:28:34 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28512 Singapore Food Blog and Review

It is unfortunate that Mak’s Noodles has a poor reputation in Singapore. A simple online search reveals numerous complaints about the wonton noodle restaurant’s small portion sizes, salty noodles, and the perception that it provides little value for money. Its lacklustre reputation in Singapore is a far cry from its illustrious Michelin-starred roots in Hong Kong. But

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

It is unfortunate that Mak’s Noodles has a poor reputation in Singapore. A simple online search reveals numerous complaints about the wonton noodle restaurant’s small portion sizes, salty noodles, and the perception that it provides little value for money. Its lacklustre reputation in Singapore is a far cry from its illustrious Michelin-starred roots in Hong Kong. But the situation in Singapore is not as dire as these online accounts would have you believe.

After three visits in the past month to the Centrepoint outlet (there are two other branches at Vivocity and Westgate), I have concluded that:

1) Portions are no longer as small as they used to be. The restaurant has been aware of the charge that its previously palm-sized portions were farcical. It now proclaims— courtesy of a poster placed at its shopfront—that “the bigger (our dishes), the better.” The quantity of noodles compares favourably with most wonton noodle joints.

The Abalone and Dumpling Tossed Noodle ($14.80++) is good value for money

2) Most dishes provide good value for money. Take its King Prawn Tossed Noodle (available only at The Centrepoint; $13.80++), for instance. Featuring a substantial king prawn atop springy noodles liberally seasoned with shrimp roe, the dish was a delight. I felt like I was getting immense value for a dish that would probably cost two times more at an upmarket eatery.

Ditto for the Abalone and Dumpling Tossed Noodle ($14.80++). While the abalones were not particularly large, they were fragrant, firm, and juicy. Together with two substantial accompanying dumplings, I was pleased with so much goodness on the plate.

Shiitake Mushroom & Fresh Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup ($7.90++)

3) Most of the noodle dishes are still salty, however. On my first (invited) visit to the Centrepoint branch, I had nothing to quibble about the Shiitake Mushroom & Fresh Prawn Wonton Tossed Noodle ($8.80 ++). But my latter two unaanounced trips to the same joint showed up the dish’s saltiness. This is a disappointing development, given the eatery’s otherwise promising performance.

Mak’s seemingly humble-looking chilli sauce deserves to be singled out

4) Mak’s Noodles’ chilli sauce deserves praise. I enjoyed how piquant it was. Interestingly, it reminded me of Nando’s Peri Peri Sweet Chilli Sauce in terms of how it looked and tasted.

Would I visit Mak’s Noodles again? The answer is yes. It’s not my favourite wonton noodle joint in Singapore, given its lack of standout quality and inconsistent delivery. But if you are in town and looking for a decent and fuss-free meal, Mak’s Noodles should be on your shortlist. You won’t go too far wrong with it.

Thank you Mak’s Noodles for the invitation.


Mak’s Noodles
The Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road
#01-63/64
Singapore 238843
Tel: 6235 5778

Westgate
3 Gateway Dr
#02-06
Singapore 608532
Tel: 6250 3858

Vivocity
1 Harbourfront Walk
#B2-27 & 27A
Singapore 098585
Tel: 6358 2582

Opening Hours:     11 am – 10 pm daily (last order at 9.30 pm)

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Nanjing Impressions: The Next Big Thing in Singapore’s Dining Scene http://www.gourmetestorie.com/nanjing-impressions-the-next-big-thing-in-singapores-dining-scene/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/nanjing-impressions-the-next-big-thing-in-singapores-dining-scene/#respond Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:00:44 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28414 Singapore Food Blog and Review

There are several possible conclusions to be drawn when a restaurant is packed to the rafters on its opening day. In the case of Nanjing Impressions, its impeccable reputation precedes it—and deservedly so. On opening night, a sizeable majority of the restaurant’s patrons were Chinese. From the snatches of conversation I caught, many of these

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

There are several possible conclusions to be drawn when a restaurant is packed to the rafters on its opening day. In the case of Nanjing Impressions, its impeccable reputation precedes it—and deservedly so.

On opening night, a sizeable majority of the restaurant’s patrons were Chinese. From the snatches of conversation I caught, many of these diners had also previously dined at one of the restaurant chain’s 35 branches in China.

I enjoy it tremendously when Chinese restaurants faithfully replicate the non-essential, but tremendously interesting aspects of their business model to their overseas outlets. Take, for instance, Sichuan’s Hai Di Lao restaurant in Singapore—its complimentary manicures, fruit platters, and ice cream are arguably non-essential frills to its core business of serving excellent hotpot, but these features make the restaurant chain unique. Similarly, Nanjing Impressions’ elderly doormen—garbed as they are in late Qing-era attire while calling out to customers—leave an indelible impression.

Peanuts with Vinegar Sauce impressed with its crunchy peanuts and tangy superior vinegar sauce. One of the other reviewers at the same table could not stop singing the praises of this seemingly simple appetizer. Instead of feeling annoyed, I was very sympathetic to the gentleman’s chorus. I don’t know how much the peanuts cost, but I wouldn’t have minded paying for several more platters.

Nanjing’s famous salt-water duck is to Nanjing, what chicken rice is to Singapore. Dating back to the 1600s, this dish is not easy to prepare. From seasoning the bird to hang-drying it after it has been brined, there are more than 10 steps to preparing the dish. I therefore had high expectations of the Jinling Signature Salted Duck ($16.80++ to $62++, depending on size), but it ultimately disappointed because of the bony portion that I had that evening. It is unclear if the restaurant’s ducks are usually these non-substantial, but it would be a pity to avoid it given the dish’s centrality to Nanjing cuisine. Thankfully, what little meat there was, was delicious and tender.

On the other hand, the Sesame-scented Beancurd Julienne ($11.80++) was heavenly. Almost everyone at the table mistook it for noodles, but it really is beancurd that has been cut by hand into noodle-like strands. Yes, you read that right—the chefs are so skilled in slicing the beancurd that every mouthful of the beancurd feels like you are slurping down fine noodles. The chef’s savoury “special sauce” is the clincher here, and this will be one of the first few dishes I will order the next time around.

Nanjing Chilled vegetarian delights ($10.80++) is apparently a staple for all Nanjingers during the Chinese New Year. But while the shredded lotus root, spinach, mushrooms, carrots and bean sprouts were nice, the dish did not otherwise stand out.

The Jiangnan Seafood Bucket ($18.80++) was filled with fish, prawns, crab and clams stewed in a milky-white fish broth and was meant to showcase the Yangtze’s marine bounty. As I am not a big fan of seafood, I was not too hot about this dish. But I recognise that for its price and quantity, this dish represents good value for seafood lovers.

The Sautéed Silky Gourd with Garlic ($14.80++) was a polarizing dish. A diner at my table complained that it tasted bitter, and the Nanjing general manager who flew in for the opening agreed with her assessment. Promising to pass on the feedback to the chefs, the helpful manager hypothesised that the dish’s bitterness could either have been due to a bad batch of vegetables, or because the dish had been left out too long after it was plated. Personally, I had no issue with the dish, and even thought it to be rather pleasantly piquant because of the garlic.

I wasn’t a fan of the crispy sesame pastry and its relatively high price, but the Baby Rooster Stew with Special Sauce served with Crispy Sesame Bun ($23.80++) is still worth a try, if only because of its aromatic chicken cooked in “special sauce”. It is safe to say that at Nanjing Impressions, the “special” sauces live up to their name—shorn of the sweet sesame buns, I can imagine that the rich stew would go nicely with a bowl of steamed white rice.

I don’t usually regard porridge as good value for money, but Madam Chiang’s Nutritious Beauty Porridge ($6.80++) is my favourite dish at the restaurant. Named after the Republic of China’s former First Lady Soong Mei-ling because she supposedly imbibed this healthy soy milk porridge regularly, I could have gone for two or more servings of this sweet and smooth elixir. Made with lily bulbs and Chinese yam, the porridge would surely appeal to anyone looking for a nourishing dish.

The Poached “Lion’s Head” Meatball ($13.80++) garnered critical praise all around. I have tried a few “Lion’s Head” Meatballs at other places, and none can match up to Nanjing Impressions’ version. Unlike the other rough, crumbly, and salty iterations elsewhere, the version here was steamed in a clear stock with xiao bai cai (baby bok choy). The tender meatball was light on the palate, fell apart nicely in the mouth, and was immensely juicy. I highly recommend this dish.

Perhaps I have grown too used to Taiwanese-style xiao long bao, but I found the dumpling skins of the Celestial Roast Duck Dumplings ($8.80++) to be just a little too thick for me. The flavourful fillings of shredded duck, though, were faultless, as were the amount of soup that was in the dumplings.

I loved the Osmanthus-scented Steamed Sponge ($4.80++). These home-made traditional Nanjing steamed cakes are glazed with osmanthus and have a delightfully chewy texture. They are so good that the restaurant should seriously consider selling these fragrant cakes as a takeaway snack. Sweet-toothed Singaporeans would snap up these sweets by the box.

Ditto the Honey-glazed Stuffed Lotus Root ($12.80++). Sections of the lotus root are filled with glutinous rice pearls, and slow-cooked in a pear-honey syrup. While the result is a sweet and nicely chewy dish, it is not cloying in the slightest.

Nanjing Impressions will almost certainly thrive in Singapore. Not only does it serve rather authentic Nanjing dishes—the restaurant’s management is adamant on staying true to its Chinese culinary roots—the restaurant’s beautiful interiors, attentive service, and lively atmosphere make for a very pleasant dining experience. As always, don’t say I didn’t warn you. The restaurant’s hype is justified, so remember to reserve seats in advance. I know I will when I come back with my family and friends.

Thank you Nanjing Impressions for the invitation.


Nanjing Impressions
Plaza Singapura
68, Orchard Road
#04-46 to 51
Singapore 238839

Reservations: 63527877

Opening Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 11 am – 10 pm,

Last order: 9.30 pm

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