The Place I was keen to check out Yun Nans (云海肴) as I rarely come across a Yunnan specialty restaurant in Singapore. I visited on a Sunday late morning and there was already a queue even before the restaurant opens for the day. As the largest Yunnan restaurant chain in the world, Yun Nans is the first overseas outlet outside China under the Yun Hai Yao (云海肴) group.
I would have thought that the interior of Yun Nans would lean towards an oriental look, but boy was I wrong. Instead, it has adopted a contemporary interior design, and I like that there is some greenery within the restaurant which draws my mind to the highlands of the China province.
The Food The restaurant specialises in Gao Yuan Liao Li (高原料理), or Highland Cuisine, where you can expect dishes such as its signature Steamed Pot Chicken Soup and a Singapore exclusive Yunnan Rice Noodles in Prawn Broth with Black Truffle, inspired from our local prawn noodles.
I started with one of their signature dish and the trademark dish of Yun Nans, the Steamed Pot Chicken (S$23.90) soup. This soup took two years to perfect and the Chef is very particular about the details in preparation including the type of pottery to boil the soup. Taking four hours to prepare, a layer of oil forms on the soup which is served in a huge pot, good for sharing even for four persons. The soup itself is quite tasty, though might be oily for some.
The way to eat this is to extract all the chicken meat from the soup and transfer it to the accompany plate, before drizzling chilli oil over the chicken. Quite an interesting way to enjoy the dish, and I like the very tender and flavourful taste of the chicken especially with some hints of spiciness.
One of my favourite dishes here, then Truffle Rice Noodles in Prawn Broth (S$13.90) is a must order. This dish is exclusive to Singapore, and is reminiscent of our local prawn noodles. The prawn broth is rich and full of umami, which somewhat reminded me of Wah Kee Prawn Noodles but a more refined version. The black truffles bit is gimmicky in my opinion, as it does little to the flavours of the noodles.
Another noodle dish I highly recommend is the Braised Chicken Noodles with Dried Chilli (S$15.90). This noodles is interesting as it is slightly crispy, somewhat similar to our local ‘sheng mian’, tossed in brown sauce which is quite tasty. The chicken meat was flavourful, and overall a competent dish.
Another of the twelve signature dishes at Yun Nans, the Poached Pork Collar with Pickled Chillis (S$16.90/small) is relatively spicy. It is a little bit of the “ma” flavour due to the peppercorn, though quite mild. The thinly sliced pork is tender and tasty with the “ma” element, and there are also bits of rice noodle buried beneath.
The last dish I had was the Grilled Pork Trotters with Spices (S$13.90), which takes up to 25 minutes to grill. The thick, collagen rich skin of the pork trotters is covered with spices, though it really is not at all spicy. If you love collagen, and pig skin, this is one dish you should go for. The slightly charred skin, with the chewy and gummy bear texture of the inside, you just need to stop counting calories while enjoying this.
Rants Service could be more attentive in general, in terms of refilling our tea hot and clearing the plates in a timely manner. The opening hours was erratic when I visited. While the website states 10am on Sunday, I called to enquire and was told it is 11am. Upon reaching the restaurant, there is a sign that says 11:30am as the kitchen wasn’t ready. Teething issues, I hope.
Will I Return Again? Yun Nans is an interesting addition to Singapore and I find the dishes very unique in itself. The quality is above average for Chinese restaurants, and definitely a stop worth trying if you are at Jewel Changi Airport.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Yun Nans (云海肴)
78 Airport Boulevard
Jewel Changi Airport #02-217
Tel: +65 6908 3677
Daily: 10am to 10pm
Ranted by The Ranter