Ding Dong which is now located in Amoy Street has been in Singapore’s restaurant scene for around 5 years now if you count its debut back in Ann Siang. The venue is unique in the sense that it was one of the first to showcase Mod-Asian flavors with dishes coming from all over Southeast Asia. I do come here from time to time as well as the place is near my office and they do have some value-for-money lunch sets that do well for business meetings. Recently, Ding Dong’s menu underwent a revamp with 18 new dishes in its ala carte menu. I went back to Ding Dong again, this time for dinner to check out the novel offerings.
We started the meal with Kuih Pie Tee, Singapore Chili Crab (S$15). As the name suggests, these were filled with crab meat as is opposed to the usual prawn and veggie filling normally found in this appetizer. The flavor was quite sweet overall and light – quite apt as a starter.
The Thai Grilled Pork Collar (S$22) came with Jaew dipping sauce. This was a relatively straightforward dish with the incredibly soft slices of meat grilled to perfection and served with a sauce in keeping with Issan (Northeast Thailand) tradition.
You’d probably need to leave health considerations behind when trying the Stuffed You Tiao, Otah Otah, Kaffir Lime Mayonnaise (S$16). The you tiao is scorched black with charcoal with otah and kaffir lime mayonnaise sandwiched in between. The filling is delicious and less spicy compared to the usual otah to cater to a wider range of palates.
The Baby Octopus, Golden Fragrant Sauce, Curry Leaf (S$17) was very much reminiscent of zhi char dishes, owing to the chef’s family background in the zi char space. The small pieces of octopus carried a whiff of salted egg. I could not help but munch on these throughout the meal.
A specialty of the house ever since Ding Dong was located in Ann Siang, the Vietnamese-inspired Scotch Egg, Nouc Cham (S$22) was a delight with the usage of quail eggs wrapped in a layer of minced meat. It reminded me a bit of relleno which is used in Latin cuisines.
The Pulled Beef Cheek Bun, Rendang, Pickle Cucumber (S$16) would have been flawless with the fragrant juxtaposition of meat and coriander if it were not for the relatively saltier beef. I do realize the meat had to be made saltier than usual in order not to be drowned out by the bun but I thought it would have worked even better with slightly less sodium.
The Crispy Pork Knuckle, Spiced Vinegar, Atchara (S$32) is a rendition of the Filipino Crispy Pata and by that measure, it stays faithful to this Pinoy classic. The skin was delightfully crispy and contrasted nicely with the vinegar. It also came with a side of atsara on the side – Filipino-style achar that is noticeably less spicy than the local version.
Probably my favorite dish that evening, the Beef Short Rib, Buah Keluak, Wingbean Salad (S$38) is a definite must-order here. The use of the classic Peranakan ingredient was quite ingenious and you’d surely want to slather the sauce on to a piping hot bowl of rice.
I have a vague memory of enjoying the duck leg at Ding Dong which was drenched in tamarind sauce. Excellent with white rice, I was curious to see how the new Duck Leg, Satay Sauce, Ketupat (S$30) compared to it. While I still prefer the tamarind sauce, I thought the satay rendition complemented the duck meat quite well. For a satay-based gravy, it was not as thick as I expected.
Alternatively, go for the delightful Lamb Shank, Sauce Merah, Chickpea (S$32) for your red meat option. The lamb was tender with the meat fibers collapsing easily with the stroke of the fork. The sauce merah added complexity with the chickpeas providing for a well-nuanced dish overall.
I am very casual when it comes to durian. I neither hate it not love it but I must admit that the Durian Alaska (S$18) here piqued my interest. The meringue exterior mimicked the spikes of an actual durian but the highlight was the durian ice cream. The flavor and texture was akin to eating an actual durian.
If you are averse to durian, you can check out the Coconut Snow, Gula Melaka Ice Cream Attap Seeds (S$14). Still very much a local dish, the star here is the gula melaka ice cream. The coconut/gula melaka combo gave strong reminders of chendol.
115 Amoy Street
+65 6557 0189
Monday to Fridays (12pm to 3pm; 6pm to midnight)
Saturdays (12pm to 3pm; 6pm to midnight)