There’s one thing that Chef Jet Lo constantly emphasizes on the food he serves at Ding Dong – “It’s not fusion, it’s mod-Asian”. With that, he goes on to dole out some of the nine new and exciting dishes that were created together with Chef-Owner Ryan Clift. The lineup features Chef Jet’s childhood favourites served up in unexpected ways, whilst sticking close to traditional and familiar flavours.
HighlightsEggplant may not be everyone’s top pick because of its sliminess, but the Burnt Nasu with Crab and Crispy Shrimp ($20) is a game changer. In this cold plate, burnt Japanese baby eggplant is topped with textural layers of cooked crab, dried shrimp and crispy shallot. What you get isn’t mush altogether but a good balance of chewiness with crunch.
A new small plate worth our rave is ‘Nan Ru’ Pork Ribs with Ginger and Apricot ($17). ‘Nan ru’ is Mandarin for fermented beancurd. Chef Jet marinates the pork ribs with red and white fermented tofu before cooking it sous vide for a good 12 hours. It is similar to har cheong gai and its salty crust and tender pork rib meat are best had with the accompanying dipping sauce made from ginger, blue ginger, apricot and vinegar. And while you won’t go wrong with the restaurant’s signature Asam Pedas ($22), the Crispy Duck Curry with Cauliflower and Passionfruit ($27) is a dish you really shouldn’t miss (especially if you’re willing to take the heat). Adding passionfruit to the curry wasn’t an accident but a key ingredient behind that symphony of flavours in the bowl. You might want to call for that extra bowl of rice. No curry this good should go to waste.
Desserts don’t disappoint over here at Ding Dong and to end your meal off with that ‘wow factor’, we recommend the Frozen ‘Pulut Panggang’ with Pandan and Coconut ($13). Served in a mortar bowl, the traditional Peranakan grilled glutinous rice dish is given a fresh take with coconut, puffed rice and gula melaka held within pandan jelly walls. To properly enjoy this, plop the frozen pulut panggang on to the kuih rose – made charcoal black with the use of bamboo powder – and enjoy it like an open-top burger. It also makes a dramatic entrance. Order this to see what happens. Note: Besides a monthly-themed ‘Gastro Wonderland’ special featuring five dishes with individual cocktail pairings at $90++, Ding Dong also has a 3-course set lunch promotion ($25++ per person) on weekdays, with three dishes chosen from a menu rotated on a monthly basis. Ding Dong, 23 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069703 See also: Restaurant Recommendations in Tanjong Pagar 6 Best Beef Donburis in Singapore
Written by Peh Yi Wen (Images: Ding Dong)