The Place Perched at the top of Ann Siang Hill, Ding Dong sports itself as a casual chill-out restaurant and bar, serving Asian cuisine with a twist. Located in a shophouse, level two houses walk-in guests and drinkers along the bar tables, while level three is reserved for diners with reservations made. Walking up via the centerpiece spiral staircase, the all-white walls and pop-out red murals gives the restaurant a chic and fun vibe.
The Food Imagine how typical Southeast Asian fare will turn out under the good hands of Ding Dong’s chef Jet Lo, who has Sabah roots, using modern cooking techniques from his stint in Switzerland and Australia previously. The menu is split into three sections, Cold Plates, Small Plates and Bigger Plates; and of course the exhaustive Cocktail list as well.
Starting with the Cold Plates, Burnt Nasu with Crab and Crispy Shrimp ($20), Spicy Beef Salad with Bittermelon, Asparagus and Tamarind ($19), Vegetable ‘Kon Lao Mee’ with Sliced Pork ($18) and Homemade Black Miso Tofu, Daikon & Ginger Salad with Japanese dressing ($15). Great appetisers to kick-off the meal, with my favourite being the Spicy Beef Salad (less the bittermelon) and the Black Miso Tofu!
My preferences are usually with the hot snacks, with the Small Plates impressing the dining crowd here. Catching our attention first was the Carbon-battered Prawn Tempura Red Curry Marinade & Soy Wasabi Mayonnaise ($16). Well-flavoured batter, with an even more palate-exciting dip; only gripe is the small portion and before you know it, it’s all gone.
This finger-friendly snack, ‘Nan Ru’ Pork Ribs with Ginger and Apricot ($17), has such tender meats that I can’t resist licking my fingers after being done with the ribs. For those who are unaware, Nan Ru refers to fermented bean curd. Perfect bar snack for any drinking night (or day).
And if you are hungry, grab some of their mains (i.e. Bigger Plates). I highly recommend the Wagyu Beef Char Siew with Pickled Papaya and Cherry Tomato ($29), it was such a delight having this. I had my least favourite papaya (pickle) to go with the meats to taste all that Chef Jet wants to bring across in this dish. Slow cooked for 48 hours, with the short ribs marinated with their own char siew sauce, I will be back just to have this again.
We all had curry before, but rarely with Duck. This Crispy Duck Curry with Cauliflower and Passion Fruit ($27) was delish, with the tender duck meats going well with the curry, sweetened by gula melaka!
The highlight of this Asam Pedas Saltwater Barramundi with Okra & Baby Eggplant ($22) was the last item – the Baby Eggplant. Done sous vide, the shape and taste remains very much intact, avoiding the usual soggy version we are familiar with. The texture went well with the pan-fried fish, absolutely enjoyable!
This innovative dessert is the Frozen ‘Pulut Panggang’ with Pandan and Coconut ($13) ice-cream. Use your fingers to pick the jelly-like texture up, and finish it in one mouth. The explosion of flavours was a real treat for the palate, although it does come with a high price tag for a dessert.
Rants The Bigger Plates are definitely more value for monies. If you are here for drinks, the bar bites will be biting your wallet back.
Will I Return Again? Without a doubt.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Ding Dong (relocated to Amoy Street on 21 June)
115 Amoy Street, #01-02
Tel: +65 6557 0189
Monday to Friday: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm (last order for food: 10.30pm)
Saturday: 6pm to midnight (last order for food: 11.30pm)
Ranted by The Rantee