Helmed by Chef Nicky Ng, who has worked at Michelin-starred Hakkasan in New York City, and 5-star hotels in Shanghai, Singapore, and Macao, the fine-dining Cantonese food sometimes has interesting Western influences. It is rare that you find a chef so versatile that he can do both Chinese and Western cuisines well.
The 6-course menu ($174) started with a unique and superb honey barbacued pork loin (蜜汁叉烧 $15). You can taste the granular sugar on the surface, torched and caramelized, so the char siew was sweeter and had more texture than elsewhere. This is a must order.
The Grand Mandarin platter ($58/person) consisted: (1) an innovative soft-shell crab, covered in curry floss, crispy, sweet, tingling; (2) foie gras terrine on a mild mango and aloe vera, which was quite impressive, devoid of that foie gras stench that some terrines have; (3) loving the fresh, slightly choking wasabi mayo prawn, which is how it should be; and (4) the Australian abalone was divine, blanketed with a layer of saltiness on its surface to bring out its flavors.
The double-boiled chicken soup ($20/bowl), with nassarius (sea snails/whelks), dang gui, and tian ma, a Chinese herb for liver and expelling flatulence which tasted like a crispy white Chinese cabbage, had depth, very delicious. Grilled Mongolian-style lamb ribs with poached eggs ($48/portion, below) was cooked beautifully medium, tender, sweet and not gamy. If it were in any other restaurant, this would be the star, but here, I don’t advise you to order it when you go a la carte because of the price.
Yuan yang tofu with Australian scallops ($38/portion, below): really fresh scallops, and I bet the tofu was cooked in lard, with that savory lardy surface, both soaked in two sauces, pumpkin and spinach. For dessert, mango puree, coconut ice cream on bean curd pudding ($10).
The food was top-notched, and the only flaw of this restaurant is the pricing. It is far too exorbitant: for a meal like this, I’d pay $100 at most. But some of the money goes to charity. They donated lunch for 500 underprivileged people recently and intend to make it a monthly affair.
Besides, this is an excellent choice for corporate events or weddings, sitting up to 140-180 people on both storeys. The decor was gold, silver, and black, rather modern, and there is a public carpark beside the building. Private rooms for 4-16 people with minimum spending from $600. Australian and Chilean wines available. Dim sum available for lunch.
325 New Bridge Road #01/02-00 Singapore 088760
T: +65 6222 3355
11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10pm daily
Grand Mandarin Menu
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
ps: Thanks, Jiaxin and Thor, for invite.