Sensibilities Of Contemporary Chinese Cuisine

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A slew of restaurants are here to elevate Singapore’s modern Chinese dining landscape.

By ShuQi Liu

“Impress your future parents-in-law, or celebrate a momentous milestone at Madame Fan.”

Madame Fan
The NCO Club
32 Beach Road
Singapore 189764
dining.reservations@thencoclub.com

Famed restaurateur Alan Yau gives Chinese dining a shiny new status with Madame Fan, a sumptuous re-staging of Singapore’s colonial heritage, and a sensuous, charming take on Cantonese cuisine.

Balancing old school classics with progressive lifestyle preferences, this dining experience combines craft, service and ambience in an unforgettable gourmet journey.

The food

Ushering a new era for Chinese dining in Singapore, the menu is based on modern authenticity. Using ingredients that represent the heritage and taste profiles of a given recipe, table orders are presented as sharing plates, nudging diners towards an eclectic fluidity, which nestles in between multiple course dining in traditional European and Chinese restaurants.

Specialties include:

Four Treasure Soup, double boiled, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried Hokkaido scallop ($28) The invigorating use of fresh young coconut enhances the nourishing, soulful flavours of a traditional Cantonese broth.

Drunken Mud Crab, rice noodle, 20 year Gu Yue Long Shan rice wine ($22 per 100g)

A big hearty dish with an authentic Cantonese taste profile, the intensity of the rice wine pairs naturally with fresh flavours of the Alaskan King Crab.

Taiwan Noodle, braised, wind-dried pork, La La clams ($16)

The ultimate comfort food, this is a Chinese take on the classic Italian Pappardelle Vongole.

The Interiors

Curated in a French art deco inspiration, one enters Madame Fan via a nondescript entrance enclosed by The NCO Club, then up to the glass elevator on the second floor. The main dining area transports one back to the glamorous fifties. Settle into any of the intimate, four-seater circular tables, and sit back while a jazz band serenades centre stage.

Most distinctively, the formal table settings expected of a fine dining establishment is diminished into relaxed, smaller renditions. While one luxuriates in the grand nostalgia of old world decadence and decorum, the space makes one feel safe enough to nurture a connection between dinner guests.

Verdict

Impress your future parents-in-law, or celebrate a momentous milestone at Madame Fan. Open for dinners from 6pm to 11pm, Tuesdays through Sundays, one can immerse in a dining experience that’s personal and unique, perfect for creating irreplicable memories with those you hold near and dear.

“Open from 6.30am to midnight daily, Yellow Pot is a nice restaurant for an important business dinner.”

Yellow Pot
Six Senses Duxton
83 Duxton Road
Singapore 089540
Reserve at OpenTable

Inspired by the age-old Chinese philosophy of balanced living and healthy eating, Yellow Pot is a modern Chinese restaurant and antiquarian-themed bar located at Six Senses Duxton. Committed to wellness and sustainability, this new kid on the block is focused on delivering classic and innovative Chinese cuisine with healthful, sustainably-sourced ingredients, underscored by Six Senses’ signature brand of warm service and emotional hospitality.

The food

In line with Eat With Six Senses philosophy, the menu draws flavours and inspirations from celebrated culinary provinces in China, setting the stage for an authentic Chinese repertoire, refined with natural ingredients and nourishing touches.

Unhealthy additives such as flavour enhancers, lactose, gluten and sugar are largely avoided in favour of fresh, natural ingredients that promote a healthy immune system and offer better digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Highlights are:

Roast Duck ($32++ for half)

Sink your teeth into crispy skin and tender meat. Marinated for two days with a fermented bean curd filled with herbs, star anise, bay leaf, cinnamon and locally produced five-spice powder, this all time family favourite is fragrant, and not too salty.

Wok-seared Organic Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin ($36++)

For a good, hearty dish, beef is cubed and cooked in a honey-pepper sauce to medium-rare doneness. It is finished with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and crispy garlic, which balances out yin and yang energies.

Lemongrass and Calamansi Jelly ($8++)

House-made lemongrass jelly is served with fresh calamansi and tropical fruits. A refreshing finish to the meal.

The Interiors

Clad in the striking palette of black, gold and yellow that acclaimed British designer Anouska Hempel accorded to Six Senses Duxton, the 50-seat restaurant is tastefully embellished with yellow pots of various sizes and configurations.

Connecting a rich tradition with modern city sensibilities, large golden fans adorn the dining space, infused by Chinese screens of black lacquered wood and glass for privacy.

Verdict

Open from 6.30am to midnight daily, Yellow Pot is a nice restaurant for an important business dinner. In the safe confines of a spruced up heritage shophouse, the service is excellent. Most importantly, humble fair is focused on nourishment. You don’t have to worry about an expanding waistline. There’s just enough food to feel satiated.  

“If you are in the mood for a leisurely semi fine-dining dinner, Restaurant Ibid is the place to indulge.”

Restaurant Ibid
18 North Canal Road
Singapore 048830
hello@restaurantibid.com

Restaurant Ibid is the culinary vision of Woo Wai Leong, lawyer-in-training turned chef and first winner of the inaugural MasterChef Asia season.

Drawing on dual inspirations, Nanyang-style cuisine is a natural synthesis of Asian and Western culinary backgrounds, which are totally relatable by a large diasporic Chinese population in Southeast Asia.

The food

Modern and accessible, the menu is characterised by a constant search for East-West origins and identity. Cleverly presented in a minimalist setting, each dish takes one through a multicultural fusion of flavours and creative renditions of familiar favourites.

With sample menus starting from $78++ and above, these include:

Spring Onion Shao Bing | Yeasted butter | Laksa leaf

Stuffed with spring onions, mozzarella cheese, black pepper and sesame oil, the Shao Bing is fried till golden brown on both sides. Like a pre-dinner snack, it is dipped with yeast paste that’s added to soft butter for a smooth, creamy finish. Garnished with laksa leaves, this is a curious combination of Chinese and European traditions.

Tea Egg Soubise | Mandarin pu-er broth | Gingko

All egg lovers can break into an organic yolk, sous vide at 65 degrees for an hour. The gooey goodness oozes into a broth made from a blend of aged mandarin peels, pu-er tea leaves, crystal rock sugar and kelp. The flavours explode as it blends with toppings of white onions, sour cream, fresh shiitake mushrooms and gingko nuts.

Short rib | Black garlic | Black fungus | Angelica root | Chinese pear

Get ready for braised short ribs that melt in the mouth! They are paired with pickled black fungus that’s charred for a sour, crunchy texture. Featuring angelica root, the truffle of Asia which is often used as a medicinal product, it is cooked down a lot and infused in the jus.

Soy milk ice cream | Sesame cake | Almond foam | Sarawak pepper

There’s something familiar, yet strangely different about this dish. White pepper is used in a dessert creation, where soy milk and tofu are combined to make into ice cream, accompanied with almond espuma and sesame cake.

The Interiors

Be greeted by a feature wall of wooden traditional Chinese medicine drawers. Highlighting the restaurant’s Chinoiserie theme, it reminisces the pre-war era, where architectural roots from Southern China and European colonial influences are suitably powerful and nostalgic.

The rest of the restaurant is filled with modern Chinese accents and zen-like details. A simple aesthetic is achieved by utilising clean geometric lines and a cool colour palette of off-white, greys and celadon in natural materials.

Verdict

If you are in the mood for a leisurely semi fine-dining dinner, Restaurant Ibid is the place to indulge. Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Chef Woo Wai Leong has showcased a creative grasp of Eastern and Western flavours with MasterChef finesse.

Bring a loved one here for a date night, and take in the food’s quality and execution together. The youthful staff also adds cool vibes to an experimental cuisine that depicts the past and present. Gordon Ramsay will be proud to see Nanyang-style cuisine blossom in the years to come.

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