Ding Dong On Ann Siang Hill

Finally, I was at the Ding Dong on Ann Siang Hill with my cousin.

Interior, Second floor dinning area
Interior, Second floor dinning area

The interior looks very much like a bar with lots of Chinese Paper Cutting, mainly in red and some in neon colours. I quite like the Fusion feel.

Ding Dong’s dining area is mainly at the second level with the kitchen at the first. So if you are lazy to climb the steps, you have to forego Ding Dong.

Non-Alcoholic Drink: Mango Passionfruit and Apple Pear
Non-Alcoholic Drink: Mango Passionfruit and Apple Pear

We started with Non-Alcoholic Drink and we ordered a Mango Passionfruit and a Apple Pear. We tasted both the drinks and they were somewhat similar. We couldn’t really taste the distinct flavours of the fruit. Both some how have that Mango sourish, apple flavour. We were rather disappointed.

Spicy beef salad with fragrant herbs
Spicy beef salad with fragrant herbs

Our first dish, a Cold Plate, the Spicy Beef Salad with Fragrant Herbs. Our first impression, it tasted like Yu Sheng. So I joking commented that during non-Lunar New Period and we feel like having Yu Sheng, we can pop by for this dish. LOL!!

Roasted duck dumpling, shitake mushroom w duck consommé
Roasted duck dumpling, shitake mushroom w duck consommé

The next dish was from the Small Plate Menu, the Roasted Duck Dumpling, Shitake Mushroom with Duck Consommé. Neither of us like duck but we chose this because of the Mushroom which is my cousin’s favourite. We were surprised at how good it was. The dumpling was in the shape of an ingot and instead of chopped Roasted duck, they uses a whole piece of duck meat to wrap in the dumpling. The consommé though was a little salty, was full of duck flavour. We enjoyed this dish.

The Ding Dong blue lobster bao w hoisin, cucumber & crispy shallots
The Ding Dong blue lobster bao w hoisin,
cucumber & crispy shallots

We have another small plate, The Ding Dong Blue Lobster Bao with Hoisin, Cucumber & Crispy Shallots. My cousin didn’t like the smell as it has a little fishy-like scent, not too pleasant. So he was pretty worried that it might taste fishy. We are pretty sensitive to this vile taste. Luckily, there was none. We considered this dish average. There wasn’t anything that really stood out, or was there any surprises. We were expecting something better than this and I suppose they could use a better sauce to go with the bun, maybe the XO sauce. I am just thinking aloud here.

Goldband snapper, sug aloo with garam masala Asam pedas salted barramundi w okra & baby eggplant
Goldband snapper, sug aloo with garam masala

Moving on to the Big Plate next, our only Big Plate, the Goldband Snapper, Sug Aloo with Garam Masala. the fish was fresh and nicely pan fried with a crispy skin sat on a generous amount of masala, served with white rice. I find the masala a little too spicy for me but my cousin find it all right. We like this dish very much, but were a little disappointed with the rice as it was too lumpy. We prefer white rice with distinct grains.

Ding Dong’s frozen bibimbap
Ding Dong’s frozen bibimbap

Lastly, the dessert, the Ding Dong’s Frozen Bibimbap. I was curious to find out how would a Bibimbap dessert taste like. In it, the main Bibimbap ingredient rice, is in the form of crispy rice cracker and some chilli, grated coconut, berry compote, cucumber meringue and most importantly that “egg” which is a Mango Puree.  Mix it all up like you are having the Bibimbap and start to degust. Our verdict!? An interesting taste but we wouldn’t classify it as delish. It is mainly a berry based dessert with sweet sourish scent and a little spicy and a little refreshing when you consume the Cucumber Meringue. Try it when you are in the an adventurous mood.

For Ding Dong’s menu, click here

There were some hits and misses, nevertheless, we enjoyed most of the dishes and the ambience before the crowds stormed in at around 7.30pm and it got rather noisy.

Ding Dong
23 ANN SIANG ROAD SINGAPORE 069703
Tel: +65 6557 0189

Opening Hours

Dinner: Monday – Saturday 1800 to 0000
Lunch: Monday – Friday 1200 to 1500

Getting There

By MRT: Downtown line – Telok Ayer station or Northeast line – Chinatown station

By Bus:
– alight opposite PWC Building along Cross Street – 186, 970

– alight opposite Sri Mariamman Temple South Bridge Road – 61, 166, 197

– alight opposite Hong Lim Complex along Upper Cross Street – 51, 63, 80, 124, 174, 174e, 186, 851, 961, 970

Rating: 7/10

The Quarters At The Icon Village, Tanjong Pagar, So Fusion

I have been to the new extension of the Icon Village for a strolled to check out what’s new previously. The last round I tried the TwoMen Bagel House and this time I tested out The Quarters. The menu of The Quarters is with an Asian Fusion theme. It cleverly paired the Asian and the Western ingredients to create marvellous dishes.

When you walked passed The Quarters, one might find it ordinary in the design. Nothing attractive, nothing fanciful. The tables and chairs were very much like the 70s school desk used in Singapore with a little industrial elements such as the cemented walls. The kitchen is hidden behind the cemented wall with the counter at a corner. But I have a penchant for Asian Fusion food so no doubt I will proceed to try.

There is a four page menu. One page each for the Appertiser, Mains, Desserts and Brunch. For the menu, click here.

While I was browsing the menu, a service crew came forward to my assistance and she was able to describe to me each of the mains, which is a total of eight dishes, and the about the two desserts I asked. And mind you, it was with great details. I was very impressed. And this helped in my ordering.

My orders were The Asian Truffle for Main followed by Duraincanboleh for dessert and Cappuccino for drink.

The Asian Truffle, Buah Keluah with Chicken and Capellini
The Asian Truffle, Buah Keluah with Chicken and Capellini

I was shocked to see The Asian Truffle. Indeed, it well deserved the name. The entire dish was blackish. Next I noticed the noodles, it looked like the mee-kia (a Chinese thin noodles). And it was served in a bowl, very much like the way we eat the noodles, with lots of black sauce. I feel like eating it with a pair of chopsticks and a Chinese spoon. LOL. The entire dish has a very strong flavour of the Buah Keluah. Some may find it a little too intense. But I enjoyed it. The texture of the pasta is on the softer side. Very much like eating the Chinese handmade noodles or maybe the ramen.

Duraincanboleh,  Durain Creme Brulee
Duraincanboleh, Durain Creme Brulee

I am not a fan of Creme Brulee but I am a fan of Durain. It is the combination that appealed to me. It’s a perfect combination of Asian Fusion. The durain and the creamy creme brulee paired so well and the sweetness was at the perfect level. The entire creation was superb. I relished the Duraincanboleh.

Finally, the coffee. It was as good as the food. It has a medium body, medium to low acidity and medium aroma. It is nutty with hint of caramel note.

My coffee, Cappuccino
My coffee, Cappuccino

My lunch was awesome.

My verdict? Great food, warm service at a reasonable price, I will surely return for more.

The Quarters
16 Enggor Street, Icon Village, #01-09 Singapore 079717
Tel: +65 6834 4174

Opening Hours

Monday – Thursday 0800 to 2200; Friday 0800 to 2300; Saturday 1000 to 2300; Sunday 1000 to 2200

Getting There

By MRT: North-South Line -Tanjong Pagar station

By Bus: alight at the bus stop either before Wallich Road or after Craig Road – 80, 145

Rating: 8/10

Set At POMO, Value For Money

When I get to know about Set, perched at the second level of POMO shopping mall, I was pretty excited as they were serving 5-course lunch at a$28.80 ++. I really think it is a steal. If the food is excellent, it would be a bonus. Since I was meeting a friend for lunch, I chose to have it there as I thought it was a pretty convenient location.

Set Lunch Menu
Set Lunch Menu

The restaurant has a contemporary design. The tables were pretty spacious and there good spacing between them for some privacy.

Chef Starter, Gratin
Chef Starter, Cheese Gratin

Our Chef Starter was Cheese Gratin. It came with some toast. It wasn’t impressive but certainly above average. It was a good start. I could prefer leaner bacon if I have a choice.

For Cold Dish, I chose Smoked Duck Breast while my friend went for the Tomato Caprese. The greens were certainly fresh. I didn’t quite like the orange salad dressing. There was too much bitter taste and there isn’t enough orangy flavour. It tasted like they added some orange flavouring into it. My friend find that the Tomato Caprese a little salty as they sprinkle some sea salt over the Tomato Caprese. For those who don’t like it to be too salty, you may want to request for no sea salt.

And we moved on to the soup. My friend loves Pumpkin Soup so it was a no brainer for her. We agreed that it was lacking of pumpkin flavour. I am not a soup fan so I went for something safe, the Mushroom Veloute with Peanut Butter. When my friend tasted the Mushroom soup, she commented that there was a burnt taste but I told her it wasn’t burnt but some other taste like BBQ. We were latter informed that the mushroom was smoked before they processed it into soup. Their purpose was to create an enhance mushroom flavour but unfortunately this smokey flavour was not very much appreciated. And was easily mistaken by burnt. I didn’t appreciate the smokey flavour either. I felt that this flavour has spoilt the mushroom flavour of the soup. As they noted that I wasn’t very pleased with the soup, they offered to change it for something else so I chose to try the Double Boiled Herbal Chicken Soup. I could taste some chicken flavour in the soup but there was a little sourish taste as they would have probably either added too much wolfberries or the wolfberries was double-boiled for too long.

Double-boiled Herbal Chicken Soup
Double-boiled Herbal Chicken Soup

Now, it was time for Main. I could decide between the Beef Tenderloin and the Baby Pork Ribs. The service crew mentioned that the Baby Pork Ribs was fatty so that helped me in my selection. My friend opted for the Roasted Chicken Pullet but there was replaced with some Roasted Chicken Thigh. I didn’t get the name of the dish.

The Roasted Beef Tenderloin was by far the best. It was flavourful with marinate but the natural beef flavour was missing. It was quite a shame. I think my friend didn’t have much comment for her main dish.

Finally, the highlights of our meal. We were looking forward to the desserts. Our favourite part of the meal. The service crew arranged three desserts for us. That was a very nice gesture that we appreciate. The desserts were the Espresso Creme Brulee, Pistachio Panna Cotta andd the Poached Pear with Gelato. We started with the Poached Pear with Gelato. The gelato was decent but certain not any high-end brand. It tasted like Meadow Gold. We didn’t appreciate the Poached Pear soaked in Red Wine as we were expecting a sweet pear but it was salty. As for the Espresso Creme Brulee and Pistachio Panna Cotta, these were decent. It didn’t wow us though.

Our verdict, the food wasn’t impressive. Lots of misses but certainly value for money. Would we return? I suppose I would give them another chance.

And my final thoughts, it seems that currently, they are trying to give the customers a lot but at the same time struggling to ensure profit. I think a better strategy would be to reduce the number of courses to maybe four or even three but make sure that in each dish, quality ingredients were used.

 

Set
1 Selegie Road, PoMo #02-01 Singapore 188306
Tel: +65 6337 7644

Opening Hours

Daily 1130 to 2200

Getting There

By MRT: North-South line, North-East line and Circle line – Dhoby Ghaut station

By Bus:
– alight at NTUC Income Prinsep House along Selegie Road – 64, 65, 131, 139, 147, 166, 857
– alight opp Prime Centre along Middle Road – 56, 64, 65, 131, 139, 147, 166, 857
– alight at Rendezvous Hotel ong Bras Basah Road – 7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 162, 162M, 167, 171, 174e, 175, 190, 502, 502A, 518, 518A
– alight at Manualife Centre along Bras Basah Road – 131, 147, 166, 857

Rating: 6.5/10

Babette At Parc Sovereign Hotel

I still went ahead to have our Sunday brunch at Babette with my aunt and cousin after reading about mixed reviews.

Babette doesn’t served an array of food. Some selection of Tapas and Sides, a handful of Mains, Pasta/Salad and Dessert. The menu aren’t exactly exciting.

The first dish that was served was the Steak & Foie Gras Donburi. We were kinda surprise as we were expecting the tapas/sides. The steak was delicious, well marinated. Unfortunately, the Foie Gras didn’t melt in the mouth.

Steak & Foie Gras Donburi
Steak & Foie Gras Donburi

Each main dish was served with a Miso Soup. It has a good flavour of Miso and not too salty but we find it a little too oily.

Miso Soup with the Mains
Miso Soup with the Mains

Next come the Sashimi Salad. Somehow, the fishy taste was a little overwhelming. We didn’t like this dish. I was expecting a sweet fresh taste of the sashimi … What a shame!

Sashimi Salad
Sashimi Salad

Here comes our Tapas/sides finally. We truly enjoyed the Truffle Garlic Fried Rice. The truffle together with the garlic created a great fragrance and we could savour it from the fried rice. We with the tiny mushroom, added an additional texture and fragrance to the dish. It was heavenly.

Truffle Garlic Fried Rice
Truffle Garlic Fried Rice

The next Tapas/side dish was the Crackling Pork Belly. It was crispy and salty. There were mixed opinions with regards to the mustard sauce. I like it though the rest didn’t. So our conclusion was it is very much a personal preference. But seriously, nothing special about this dish. If you love pork, I suppose you will like this dish.

Crackling Pork Belly
Crackling Pork Belly

Lastly, the Duck Confit Donburi. Another ordinary dish with a well deep-fried, well salted duck drumstick. The skin was very crispy. We enjoyed the crispy skin very much. That was about it and nothing more.

Duck Confit Donburi
Duck Confit Donburi

We decided not to try their dessert based on their food standard so far. We enjoyed the Truffle Garlic Fried Rice and the Steak & Foie Gras Donburi. The rest was ok. Conclusion, there are some hit and misses.

 

Babette Restaurant
165 Tyrwhitt Rd, #01-03, Parc Sovereign Hotel Singapore 207569
Tel: +65 6341 7727

FBhttps://www.facebook.com/BabetteSG

Opening Hours

Daily 1100 to 2300

Getting There

By Bus:

– alight opposite Pek Chuan Building along Lavender Street 13, 67, 133, 145
– alight at Hock Send Building along Lavender Street 13, 61, 67, 107, 133, 145, 175, 961
– alight at Hoa Nam Building along Jalan Besar Road 21, 23, 64, 65, 66, 67, 125, 130, 139, 147, 857

Rating: 6.5/10

Vintage British Hainan in Singapore With A History, at Joo Chiat

When I saw the name, British Hainan, I was perplexed, wondering how British and Hainan paired together. The name got me curious and I went down with a friend.

The soft-spoken lady boss explained Continue reading Vintage British Hainan in Singapore With A History, at Joo Chiat