Perhaps it’s too early to say, but it feels like we’re at the tail end of the pandemic as flights in and out of Singapore are resuming with minimal testing needed. While group sizes are still limited to five, all the signs point to a return of communal dining.
That means, soon you will be able to celebrate grandma’s birthday in a private dining room while filling up on all your favourite dishes. For occasions that call for such communal affairs, a Chinese restaurant is exactly what you’ll need.
Here’s the thing, just because it’s a Chinese restaurant doesn’t mean the food and vibe has to be run of the mill. Sure sometimes there could be a lazy susan on the table, and the flavours may be familiar – but if your loved ones are adventurous, we have just the thing for you. Here’s more.
If it’s dim sum in an elegant setting that you’re looking for then Wah Lok – and award-winning Cantonese restaurant at Carlton Hotel is your best bet. The establishment is famed for three particular types of dim sum: the baked barbecued pork buns, baked egg tarts and steamed barbecued pork buns. Service here is brisk but polite and they have tables large enough to be able to fit large groups comfortably once that’s allowed.
Peony Jade at Keppel Club
Keppel Club may sound a little out of the way but the trek is well-worth it once you’ve stepped into Peony Jade. For starters, it’s garnered itself the Michelin Guide Singapore’s Bib
Gourmand award which means you will get good food at fairly affordable prices. There’s a dim sum menu here but don’t miss its signatures like the crispy suckling pig (order one day in advance) as well as the eggplant stewed with hand-peeled crabmeat in a claypot.
There are occasions that call for splurging just a little. For those occasions, head to one-Michelin-starred Jiang-Nan Chun at Four Seasons Singapore. The bill here might add up but trust us when we say it’s worth it. The signature item that every diner needs to order is the Peking Duck roasted over wood. It will come paired with all the usual suspects like scallions and the flatbread but also servings of caviar that will elevate each bite into umami paradise.
The Dragon Chamber
Forget the safe and staidly Chinese restaurant serving up the usuals and go for gold with The Dragon Chamber – a progessive space that might raise the eyebrows of your more culinary conservative family members. The food here is playful and innovative – think Firecracker Chicken And Maple Fritters where the classic sichuan dish meets chicken and waffles by way of youtiou drizzled with maple syrup. Other much raved-about dishes include the beef Skewers where wagyu beef cubes are seasoned with cumin and sichuan powder and served with leeks and button mushrooms.
It might seem like a modern space with nary a white table cloth in sight but be rest assured that the food at Shang Social is taken seriously and with no short cuts. In fact, the restaurant specialises in Three Chinese Cuisines: Cantonese, Huaiyang and Sichuan. There’s a decent dim sum selection as well as Hong Kong street like soya sauce chicken rice. But if you’re up for something new, try out the bamboo noodles which regulars love for its springiness.