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“[FOOD REVIEW] Ding Dong Presents Asian Cuisine with a Twist”

 

store front

Tucked away amid a mass of quirky joints along Ann Siang Road, Ding Dong is the latest venture by the creators of the Open Door Policy and Tippling Club. Best described as a modern twist on traditional dishes, Ding Dong’s cuisine draws inspiration from a diverse range of local cultures.

open concept kitchen on first floor

dining area on second floor

 

Upon first glance, the exterior of Ding Dong already provides a hint about what diners are in for. Aged tiles, red benches and a curved roof reminiscent of Chinese temples frame the entrance, starkly juxtaposed with a bright neon sign. The restaurant has an open kitchen concept, showcasing the chefs at work while a black spiral staircase leads up to the bar and seating area. Staying true to its oriental theme, the walls of Ding Dong are adorned with a beautiful red floral pattern and bright neon lights.

steps leading up to 3rd floor (private dining area)

 

Cocktail Party

When you first flip through the menu, make sure to take a close look at the impressive list of cocktails. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend trying one of the more peculiar ones like “Pi Pa Gao”, which actually contains the popular herbal sore throat syrup or “Roti Kaya” which is made up of ingredients from – you guessed it – kaya! Other interesting sounding drinks include the “Fujiyama”, a bestseller that combines the likes of yogurt sake and yuzu liquer to create a fragrant and fun cocktail.

pi pa gao - whisky, aged rum, pei pa kao, calamansi, angostura, peychaud's bitters

Pi Pa Gao

Cold Plates

Ding Dong’s menu showcases an array of dishes, each consisting of an interesting combination of elements. We started off with the “Spicy Beef Salad” (bittermelon, asparagus and tamarind), which whetted our appetites with a spicy kick. The milder “Kon Lao Me” is inspired by “Kon Loh Mee” – dry wonton noodles from Sabah, Sarawak. A selection of root vegetables replaces noodles as the main ingredient in this dish, providing a refreshing start to the meal. Another notable cold plate is the “Burnt Nasu” where head chef Jet Lo’s attention to detail shines through through the pairing soft eggplant with crispy shrimp, bringing out a contrast of textures.

spicy beef salad with bitter melon, asparagus, sweet corn and tamarind

Spicy Beef Salad

vegetable kon lau mee with sliced mangalica pork

Kon Lau Me

 

burnt nasu with crab and crispy shrimp

Burnt Nasu

 

Small Plates

For the small plates, diners can opt for selections like the “Spicy Pumpkin Veloute” served with prawn, spicy but not overpowering its rich flavor. Another must try would be the “Nan Ru Pork Ribs”, pork ribs cooked with red and white fermented bean curd. The pork melts right off the bone, and when paired with the accompanying ginger and apricot sauce, is a truly gastronomical experience.

spicy pumpkin, prawn and coconut veloute

Spicy Pumpkin Veloute

 

nan ru pork ribs with apricot sauceNan Ru Pork Ribs

 

Big Plates

Moving on to the bigger plates; the “Crispy Duck Curry” differs from your typical curry dish with its use of passion fruit to add a little sweetness. The duck leg pleases with succulent and juicy meat enveloped within a crispy outer layer. We were particularly impressed with one of the head chef’s signatures – “Asam Pedas Salt Water Barramundi with Okra & Baby Eggplant”. This dish features a perfectly cooked barramundi cut in delicious sour and spicy sauce. Another special dish with a tedious cooking process behind it is the “Wagyu Beef Char Siew”. This dish is what it sounds like – prime beef marinated with a special in-house sauce slow-cooked until tender and plated with pickled papaya and cherry tomato.

crispy duck with curry cauliflower and passionfruitCrispy Duck Curry

asam pedas saltwater barramundi with okra and baby egg plant

Asam Pedas Salt Water Barramundi with Okra & Baby Eggplant

wagyu beef charsiew with pickled papaya and cherry tomato

Wagyu Beef Char Siew

Dessert

Ding Dong introduces some well-thought out desserts that serve to cleanse the palates of diners. The “Mah Lai Goh” highlights the restaurant’s originality through the pairing of traditional brown sugar sponge cake with banana. Playing around with textures has been a large driving force in the creation its dishes, and “Ding Dong’s Mango” is perhaps the best evidence of this. This dish is made up of various versions of mango, from ice cream to dried fruit chips and jelly.

banana mah lai goh steamed malay cake

Mah Lai Goh

ding dong mango

Ding Dong’s Mango

The showstopper however, is the “Frozen Pulut Panggang with Pandan and Coconut”. Exhibiting its attention to detail and presentation, Ding Dong’s interpretation of this well-known Peranakan dessert is served in a large stone bowl with dry ice atop a wire mesh. Be sure to take lots of pictures of this stunning dish before you dig in!

frozen pulut pang gang with pandan and coconut

Frozen Pulut Panggang with Pandan and Coconut

Diners can also opt for the “Feed Me” option that automatically serves up Ding Dong’s favourite dishes, while “Tasting Menu”, although a bit pricier at $80 per head provides a 6-course meal for the indulgent. Ding Dong is also currently promoting a 3 course set lunch menu at a reasonable price of $25++ per pax.

Ding Dong’s charm lies perhaps not only in its attempt to fuse traditional Southeast Asian dishes with modern ideas, but also the consistency and care put into each and every item on the menu from the drinks to the dishes.

The Seoul Story rates : 🍴🍴🍴🍴🍴

Ding Dong

Address: 23 ANN SIANG ROAD SINGAPORE 069703

Telephone:  6557 0189

Opening Hours:

  • Dinner Mon – Sat: 6pm to mid-night
  • Lunch Mon – Fri: 12pm till 3pm

 

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