Shang Social, Jewel: Shangri-La Group’s First Standalone Restaurant, Crystal Jade Tastes Better

I am going to plagiarise the introduction from their website:

Shang Social at Jewel Changi Airport marks Shangri-La Group’s first venture in standalone dining establishment outside of a hotel setting and pays tribute to three distinctive Chinese cuisines – Cantonese, Huaiyang, and Sichuan.

Shang Social menus are carefully curated with inputs from three of Shangri-La’s highly acclaimed master chefs [Michelin-starred Cantonese Chef Mok Kit Keung; Chef Joe Hou, a protégé of Huaiyang master Zhou Xiaoyan and recognised as China’s Huaiyang cuisine global ambassador; and Sichuan cuisine Chef Rick Du], featuring classic Chinese cuisine while staying true to their authentic flavours and roots. With close to 100 delectable dishes to choose from, there is something for everyone at Shang Social.

Triple combination roast meat ($26)

There are two areas: one upscale atas and one casual. The upscale accepts reservations for certain timing whereas the casual only accepts walk-in.

We wanted to go to the upscale one but unfortunately we were there at 5.30pm, and it only opens at 6. Didn’t want to wait so went to the casual side.

Sichuan spicy dumpling ($16)

The adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” is true here. The menu is messy and the food is of varying standards.

For the triple combination roast meats ($26), the siew yok roast pork belly is slightly gamy on its own without the mustard and the skin has char scraped off, but the balance of fats and meat is proportional and it is tender. The roast duck is gamy. While the char siew is sliced chunky–which is nice–and tender, it is nothing special tastewise.

Braised beef brisket with daikon ($22)

I thought the Sichuan spicy dumpling (6 pieces, $16) would be like hong you chao shou 红油抄手 but there is no vinegar here, making the dumplings monotonous.

Braised beef brisket ($22) is nice, tender, but nothing unique. Too oily: a film of oil covers the sauce.

Their signature sheng jian bao 生煎包 ($2.50 a piece) is pan-fried pork bun; its bottom is pan-fried, studded with sesame seeds. Tastewise, nothing great. I rather eat Nam Kee pau.

Century egg & pork congee ($10)

For staples, there is a choice of congee or noodles. There are 5 different choices for congee. The congee is good: the rice grains cooked so well that the texture is sticky and smooth.

There are more choices for noodles, but most of them are a combination of just adding the roast meats or braised beef brisket.

The signature dan dan noodles  ($12) is the traditional type: without peanuts. I wanted to flip the table when I ate it. It tastes just like noodles in chilli oil without anything unique. Why is this their signature?

Dan Dan Mian ($12)

For desserts, they have the usual osmanthus jelly 桂花糕 ($6.80), mango sago ($6.80), almond cream ($6.80), and snow fungus ($6.80).

But what is more interesting is their soft serve flavours: Yunnan pu er tea ($8) or Yunnan ham ($8). Had the pu er flavour and it is nicely bitter and sweet.

Most of the food we ate were not satisfactory. Don’t think we will be back. It’s a pity that a renowned brand does not maintain its standards. We paid $130 for four persons.


Shang Social
Jewel Changi Airport #01-219, 78 Airport Boulevard Singapore 819666
t: +65 6346 0260
9am – 11pm

(Reservation is for the atas part of the restaurant. For the casual side, they only accept walk-in.)

Food: 5.75/10
Price / value: 6/10
Decor / ambience: 7/10
Service: 6/10

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Diamond Kitchen, Science Park: New Dishes for Mother’s and Father’s Days but Old Dishes Are Still the Best
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Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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