The Place A Chinese restaurant which has been around for 38 years in Singapore is hard to come by, and it can’t be any more timely for Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel to undergo a revamp. I love the new look of Min Jiang – it is chic, contemporary and very tastefully designed by acclaimed architect and interior designer, Ernesto Bedmar, who is also behind the look for Min Jiang at Dempsey.
The first detail which caught my attention is the tiled flooring of the main dining hall, which adds to a homely dining vibe. The round pendant lighting at every table is another statement piece, all handcrafted with a reference to Asian fishing baskets. The attention to details extends to the dining cutlery, such as the red chopsticks which contrasts starkly with the white marble table top.
The six individual private dining rooms are equally stunning. The partitions allow the rooms to be enclosed individually, or fully open to form a massive elongated space for your multi-generation meal, that’s when the situation allows in future.
And if you fancy the Singapore weather very much, the outdoor tables definitely add to that nice resort dining vibes.
The Food Helming the kitchen of Min Jiang for almost 10 years is Master Chef Chan Hwan Kee, who honed his skills in Cantonese and Sichuan cuisines. I visited the restaurant on a weekend lunch, and one of the charming aspect is the dim sum pushcart service, which is hard to come by in Singapore these days.
For dim sum, I had the Min Jiang Land and Sea Quartet (S$16.80 per order) is a mix of the Steamed Prawn and Carrot ‘Rabbit’ Dumpling; Deep-fried Pork ‘Char Siew’ and Pine Nuts in Glutinous ‘Carrot’ Pastry; Steamed Squid and Sea Cucumber Dumpling; and Steamed Prawn and Chinese Stem Lettuce with Tobiko ‘Starfish’ Dumpling. This platter is exquisitely done, especially the handcraft which goes into each item. My favourite is the deep-fried pork char siew, done to a nice golden brown texture and the char siew filling is delicious.
Moving on another dim sum dish, the Deep-fried Chicken Parcel (S$6.20 for 3 pieces) might look small, but it packs loads of ingredients with the likes of king oyster mushrooms, turnip, red carrots, celery and preserved olive vegetables. The fried skin is actually housemade crystal dumpling skin, which is not too thick in texture yet it holds all the ingredients so well.
My dining group couldn’t resist ordering a few more dim sum items as the pushcart came along – Baked Barbecued Pork Pastry (S$6.20/3 pieces), Pan-Fried Carrot Cake (S$6.20/3 pieces) and Steamed Chicken Feet with ‘Gui Lin’ Sauce (S$6.20). I personally love the Baked Barbecued Pork Pastry, one of the best version around.
Next up was a soup dish, the Spicy Sliced Red Garoupa Soup with Preserved Cabbage (S$18). This soup is slightly spicy, yet very appetising and satisfying. There are thick chunks of sliced garoupa fillet, preserved cabbage, semi-dried tomato, soft tofu, fish soup, as well as two types of dried Sichuan peppers – ‘xiao mi jiao’ (小米椒) & ‘zhi tian jiao’ (指天椒). The flavour is the soup is luscious, slightly sweet and I really enjoy it.
The next dish is one which caught me by surprise in terms of the presentation – the Roasted Chicken Skin with Prawn Paste in Sesame Pockets (S$36 half/S$72 whole). The presentation reminds me of Peking Duck a little, but instead of crepes, you get sesame pockets here!
The dish is inspired by the traditional ‘shao bing’, and the way to have it is to fill the sesame pocket with the deep-fried chicken skin with prawn paste, Australian rock melon, Japanese cucumber, crispy beancurd skin, and add bits of the slightly spicy sauce which has Sichuan pepper oil.
Overall, the sesame pocket is slightly crunchy, and the combination of flavours hold very well together, especially the crispy chicken skin.
I also had the Slow-braised Beef Brisket, Tendon and Radish (S$36/small), which is the perfect dish to go with some white rice. The braised sauce is really the highlight for me, which adds much flavour to the beef tendon, beef brisket and white radish.
My last savoury dish was the Stewed Wanton Noodles with Argentinean Red Prawns (S$18/person). It is served with a big piece of deep-fried wanton, and the price tag is attributed to the huge Argentinean red prawns. I like that the sauce for the noodles is heavy enough for my palate, a combination of dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and fragrant oil made with lard, garlic and shallots.
For dessert, I do recommend the Deep-fried Purple Sweet Potato Crispy Milk (S$20 per portion/8 pieces). Visually, it is quite unique especially the purple texture. It is not too sweet, although there are also elements like gula melaka coconut syrup. The ball size portion is also just right for a sweet ending to conclude the meal.
Rants Be prepared to splurge at Min Jiang.
Will I Return Again? Beautiful new interior at Min Jiang, and the food quality lived up to expectations. I am keen to return for more dim sum, and the Roasted Chicken Skin with Prawn Paste in Sesame Pockets.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Tel: +65 6730 1704
Monday to Saturday: 11.30am to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Sunday: 11am to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter