Media Tasting at Ding Dong
When it first opened its doors at Ann Siang Hill, Ding Dong has been surprising our taste buds with its innovative Mod-Asian cuisine. 5 years down the road, it may have changed its location to the hip Amoy Street and revamped their menu, but their creative spirit still lives on. Ding Dong’s newly appointed Head Chef, Miller Mai and his team are proud to present 18 new intriguing dishes that are transformed from traditional Asian cuisine through unique and modern culinary techniques.
The dinner started off with a cold plate – Kuih Pie Tee, Singapore Chilli Crab. A local twist on the popular Peranakan favourite, the spicy and sweet chilli crab meat chunks was encased in a thin tart shell. We love texture contrast from the crispy shell and the soft crab meat.
Kuih Pie Tee, Singapore Chili Crab at S$15.
An old favourite among the diners, the British Classic’s scotch egg gets a makeover with a Vietnamese twist. A flowy quail egg is encased in a layer of zesty minced meat and crispy panko crust. I love the use of the dainty quail egg so we can enjoy all the flavour in one bite.
Ding Dong Scotch Egg, Nouc Cham at S$22.
Served with a Jaew dipping sauce, the Thai Grilled Pork Collar was succulent and tender. There is a nice balance of the lean meat and glistening fats. Along with the zesty and spicy Jaew sauce, this dish packed some powerful flavours.
Thai Grilled Pork Collar, Jaew Dipping Sauce at S$22.
The next dish is best for sharing to lessen your guilt. Spicy otah paste is stuffed in the crisp charcoal you tiao and topped off with kaffir lime mayonnaise, which helps balances out the spicy otah. To enjoy the crispy you tiao, make sure to eat the dish well it is hot.
Stuffed You Tiao, Otah Otah, Kaffir Lime Mayonnaise at S$16.
Inspired by the chef’s background in the Zi Char field, the baby octopus are fried to golden brown, all enveloped in a sinful salted-egg like sauce. These crispy morsels are downright addictive and we can’t stop munching on them throughout the night.
Baby Octopus, Golden Fragrant Sauce, Curry Leaf at S$17.
A rendition to the Kong Bak Pau (Braised Pork Buns) , Ding Dong serves tender pulled beef on a fluffy steamed bun, topped with pickles and coriander. The pickles added some good crunch to the otherwise soft-textured meat and bun. Though it was a tad salty, I love this flavour combination!
Pulled Beef Cheek Bun, Rendang, Pickle Cucumber at S$16.
Paying homage to Filipinos’ love for pork, Ding Dong’s rendition of the Filipino Crispy Pata features a beautiful golden-brown crackling skin. We dipped the fried pork into tangy atchara and vinegar to cut through the rich flavour and saltiness. Crunchy on the outside and succulent on the inside, this pork knuckle is sinfully delicious.
Crispy Pork Knuckle, Spiced Vinegar, Atchara at S$32.
Moving on the bigger plates, the star of the night for me was none other than the Peranakan-inspired beef short ribs with a rich buah keluak sauce and wing bean salad. The sauce was fragrant and the ribs was flavourful and tender. This is a dish that I foresee coming back for.
Beef Short Rib, Buah Keluak, Wingbean Salad at S$38.
Accompanied with a fragrant peanut sauce and ketupat, the duck leg was crisp on the outside. The consistency of the peanut sauce is slightly more watery than the usual one we are familiar with and is perfect to be drizzled on rice.
Duck Leg, Satay Sauce, Ketupat at S$30.
Another dish that is great with a bowl of rice is the lamb shank that was served with sauce merah and chickpeas. Braised till fork-tender and smothered in a bold-flavoured sauce Merah, the dish is anything but dry or boring.
Lamb Shank, Sauce Merah, Chickpea at S$32.
A Thai-inspired dish, the beautiful green curry is smooth and bursting with flavours while the red snapper was sweet and moist. The subtle flavours of the seafood gets a boost from the rich green curry which was not too spicy. I can’t stop drenching the curry onto my rice.
Red Snapper, Green Curry, White Clams at S$30.
We rounded off the dinner with some unique desserts with a touch of nostalgia. A twist from the traditional sago dessert, Ding Dong presents a beautiful melon sago topped off with rock melon ice cream and winter melon foam for a whimsical look.
Melon Sago, Rock Melon Ice Cream, Winter Melon Foam at S$12.
If you are a big fan of Chendol, do not miss out their Coconut Snow, Gula Melaka Ice Cream, Attap Seeds. A nice balance of sweet and savoury, the Gula Melaka ice cream was the bomb. I just wish there was more of the ice cream to go around.
Coconut Snow, Gula Melaka Ice Cream, Attap Seeds at S$14.
Last but not least, the star dessert of the night is the Durian Alaska. The exterior of the Durian spiky shell was created by hand-piping the meringue. Encased in the thick meringue was the real deal – a slab of Mao Shan Wang durian ice cream. As a big fan of Durian, this ice cream has won my heart. However, it was a pity that the proportion of the meringue and durian ice cream was off. Sadly, the thick meringue overpowered the charms of the Durian ice cream. I will love to see more of the durian ice cream and less of the meringue.
Durian Alaska, Pandan Sponge, Kaya at S$18.
Overall, I love how Ding Dong transform the traditional Asian dishes into innovative and modern dishes suited to the youngsters and foreigners’ palate. In addition to the beautiful appearance, each dish is crafted with thoughts of injecting some modern flair into the traditional flavours.
*Service charge(10%) and GST(7%) applicable.
Share this post with your friends and loved ones.
This article is written by Yi Xuan.