The Place Taking over the space of VLV at Clarke Quay, The Riverhouse is a multi-concept building and is 1-Group’s latest F&B venture (which also manages concepts like The Alkaff Mansion and The Summerhouse) in the buzzing night life precinct. Housed within The Riverhouse is Mimi restaurant, which also means secret in Mandarin. It might be intentional, but it took me awhile to realise where the restaurant is located as the signboard at the entrance is quite small. Walk through either the Yin bar or the Yang club, and take the flight of stairs to level two where Mimi is located, and it does feel like a step into forbidden palace.
The interior is contemporary and playful at the same time, as the modern artwork on the wall reminds me of Chinese culture yet it breaks away from the conventional Chinese paintings.
The Food Modern Chinese tapas food, that’s the gist of the menu at Mimi where portions are meant to be small plates for sharing. There is no particular type of Chinese element which dominates the menu, but expect influences from Sichuan, Cantonese, Shanghainese and even Mongolian dishes. I started with the Crispy Beef “Jerky” (S$14), one of the Sichuan classic from the Ming dynasty. This is really addictive and easy to pop as the crispy beef slices are quite thin. The spicy and numbing sensation from the mala sauce which coats the beef is also quite satisfying.
One of my favourite dishes of the evening is the “Black Gold” Chicken (S$18). The oven baked black garlic chicken here is really tender and very flavourful, and I could do with another portion of it. Don’t neglect the bottom of the chicken as well where it sits on crispy golden rice, which is equally good.
The Garden Of Mushroom (S$15) is anything but mushroom. As I have seen this presentation at other restaurants before, I wasn’t particularly impressed with this dish. Nevertheless, you get char siew buns disguised as mushroom here, served along with white steamed buns on a bed of oreo crumbs which resemble the soil. You get the garden idea.
For something close to local Singaporean Zichar, the Snout About Stout (S$18) is a pretty decent attempt to prepare pork ribs differently. The deep-fried marinated pork ribs here is served with Guinness Stout espuma and gazed with its secret dark sauce. On the whole, the flavour is quite good.
My last savoury dish is The Unsubtle Truffle Mein (S$20). Order this if you like truffle sauce, as the vermicelli and glass noodles is stir-fried with prawns and asparagus and served with Black Truffle sauce. There’s something comforting about vermicelli, and this version is moist enough and it definitely helps with pouring the truffle sauce over which elevates the flavour of the noodles.
For dessert, I had the Lychee Lust (S$8), a unique rendition of lychee fritters with candied ginger and vanilla cream, served with coconut ice cream.
Rants Not sure if the secret entrance and the inconspicuous signboard works well for Mimi. The exterior of The Riverhouse looks more like a fancy club and bar rather than a restaurant, which potential diners may not spot easily.
Will I Return Again? Mimi has the potential to do well as the food is not the traditional Chinese dishes, so it should appeal to the diverse crowd at Clarke Quay. Prices are reasonable by Clarke Quay standards as competition here is really stiff.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservations instantly at Mimi here.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Mimi at The Riverhouse
3A River Valley Road
Level 2, Singapore 179020
Tel: +65 6261 1189
Monday to Friday: 12pm to 2pm, 6pm to 10:30pm
Saturday to Sunday: 6pm to 10:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter