The Place Located within the Connexion integrated development in Farrer Park, Jia He Chinese Restaurant just recently opened in late November. The restaurant faces the Race Course Road and is easily accessible from One Farrer Hotel. If you were to drive, do park at the hotel’s parking.
My first impression of Jia He is a pleasant one, as the interior is contemporary and it does away with the traditional aspects of Chinese restaurants like white table cloth and red finishing. There are three main dining sections even though the space is not particularly big, one section for bigger dining groups, the middle segment for smaller groups, and lastly, three private rooms which can be linked or separately depending on the group size.
I was curious about the name Jia He and found out from the staff that it takes inspiration from the Chinese phrase Jia He Wan Shi Xing, a reference to harmony.
The Food Despite being a very new Chinese restaurant, the kitchen team consists of experienced chefs with previous stints in hotel and established Chinese restaurant names. You can expect a wide range of dishes on the menu, from dim sum to roast meats, soups and other classic Chinese dishes.
I started with a series of appetisers like the Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao (S$8 for 6 pieces), Deep-fried Yam Dumpling with Minced Meat (S$5.50 for 3 pieces) and the Steamed Phoenix Prawn Siew Mai (S$7.80 for 3 pieces). The one which interest me the most is the uniquely flavoured Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao, which is infused with different types of herbs in the broth. It is a commendable effort, as the Xiao Long Bao Skin is not too thick and the herbal flavour of the Bak Kut Teh is distinguishable.
The deep-fried yam dumpling has a nice crispy texture with generous yam filling, while the siew mai is also filled with generous minced meat and prawn.
Another appetiser I had is the Deep-fried Japanese Bean Pouch Stuffed With Century Egg and Preserved Ginger (S$12 for 6 pieces). It is a cold starter dish, which should delight if you like Japanese bean pouch. I am not that big a fan of century egg.
The last appetiser I had was the Pan-fried Bacon Wrapped with Tomato served with Salad Cream (S$12). This dish is quite different for the bacon and tomato combination. Have it in one full bite, where the tomato jus would burst in your mouth.
For mains, do not miss the Peking Duck (S$48), which is priced very reasonably and possibly one of the cheapest in a Chinese restaurant in Singapore at the moment.
The best catch which I found out from the staff is that during this month of December, this Peking Duck is only going for S$18++, which is frankly very unbelievable and an unbeatable deal. To add on to the opening promotion, Jia He is also offering a 20% discount on your total bill with a minimum spend of S$50 till the end of December as well.
Quite a traditional presentation where the glistening duck skin is sliced, and you just enjoy it with a simple wrap with some vegetables and the most important condiment, the Peking Duck sauce.
For the rest of the meat, you can opt to have it as is, or the kitchen can fry it with noodles or rice at an additional cost. The quality of the duck is not too bad for its price.
For seafood, I had the Baked Crab with Salted Egg Yolk and Pumpkin (Seasonal Price). The salted egg element is not as pronounced as the pumpkin flavour for me, though you can still expect a a very enjoyable crab dish.
For vegetable, the Poached Ginkgo Nuts, Seasonal Vegetables and Beancurd Skin in Shark’s Bone Cartilage Soup is quite nourishing as the broth is relatively luscious.
My last savoury dish is the Jia He Fragrance Fried Organic Brown Rice with Seafood (S$18). Served in a hot stone, the presentation reminds me of Korean bibimbap. I would have preferred if there is more char in the rice – a familiar feature of most claypot rice.
For dessert, the Chilled Jelly Royale with Julienne Of Snow Pear (S$6) is a refreshing option.
Alternatively, the Chocolate Puff (S$6 per piece) suits the palate of children, while the Deep-fried Sesame Ball with Durian (S$6 per piece) should delight durian lovers. Another item on the dessert menu we tried was the Chilled Black Glutinous Rice with Ice-Cream (S$6) which was served in a coconut jelly bowl. Would not mind a thicker black glutinous rice, as it was a tad too diluted. Having said, this was my favourite dessert of the meal.
Rants Each dish served is accomplished in its own way, but I am hoping to see more surprise and more stand-out elements. I guess this is just an early phase of the restaurant’s opening, and hopefully it will find its footing in the Chinese cuisine arena.
Will I Return Again? Being a very new restaurant, Jia He is a good addition to the dining scene in Farrer Park which lacks a proper Chinese restaurant. Prices are very wallet friendly in a comfortable dining setting, and I do see myself returning to try other dishes on the menu.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Jia He Chinese Restaurant
1 Farrer Park Station Road,
Tel: +65 6694 8988
Tuesday to Sunday: 8am to 10pm
Closed on Monday
Ranted by The Ranter