The Place One random evening walk led us to Dining Place By Chef Heman at Mandarin Gallery, a relatively new contemporary Chinese restaurant which also has outlets in Centrepoint and Millenia Walk. The setting of the Mandarin Gallery restaurant is modern and spacious, while the ambience retains the oriental warmth look with much formality. The Executive Chef of the restaurant is none other than Chef Heman Tan, who is a familiar figure to many in the culinary industry – having been behind Soup Restaurant and the JP Pepperdine Group.
The Food Expect all day Dim sum, Irish ducks and a wide variety of dishes on its menu. The prices are frankly on the higher end here at Dining Place.
Their signature, the Dining Place Roasted Irish Fat Duck (S$42 for half, S$78 for whole), comes served with a tart base topped with guacamole, sliced cucumbers for the extra crunch and balsamic vinegar to add another dimension – definitely a very inventive way to present and enjoy the juicy meats. That said, we really doubted the “nationality” of the ducks here, with the meats missing a nice layer of fats which the Irish Ducks are famous for.
Having said, their Signature Honey BBQ Pork with Crispy Garlic and Macadamia Nuts (S$21.90) was rather satisfying. Nice char on the outside, with tender juicy meats on the inside, the crispy garlic and macadamia nuts adds more crunch to the meat. Perhaps my favourite dish here.
While a signature here, this is not a new dim sum item amongst restaurants in Singapore, the Dining Place’s Signature Black Pepper Duck Bun (S$6.90 for 2 buns) was unfortunately too dry on the crust. The fillings lacked the punch with tough meats and they could up the intensity for the black pepper here.
One of our fellow diner was excited to order this Pig’s Gilbet Congee (S$12.90). Not as smooth on the palate as compared to the other casual Chinese chain restaurants around, and was rather bland. However, the congee gets served in a claypot and can fill up to 4 small bowls.
A good choice to compliment the meal here, the Bamboo Noodles Collagen Soup (S$16.80) is basically Wontan Noodles. The noodles here gets done with woods made from a bamboo tree, therefore it’s name; and has a nice bite to it, and doesn’t has that alkaline taste which we are more than happy to avoid. The dish gets topped with a perfect egg, which one of the panda savoured it in whole!
The Chef informed us that the Chef’s Heman Blackberry Rice (S$13.80) was once a Thai Royal Family exclusive grain. Since, the grains have became more accessible; and the restaurant seeks to present this together with the traditional Chinese sausages, reminding us of the typical claypot rice. The grains are definitely more dry, not mushy at all, with a sweet aftertaste.
Rants Price-points here are relatively high, which heightened our expectations as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to our expectations.
Will I Return Again? With other Chinese restaurants just in the vicinity, and dishing out more satisfying dishes, doubtful should this restaurant be amongst our to-go.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Dining Place by Chef Herman
333A Orchard Road, #04-21
Tel: +65 6836 1188
Daily 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm
Ranted by The Rantee