Min Jiang at Dempsey opened its doors in April 2019, having moved from its former One North location. At present, this is the restaurant’s second location, with the original one in Goodwood Park Hotel’s premises still delighting guests with its brand of Chinese cuisine.
The Dempsey Hill location of Min Jiang is decked up in a semi-zen look. The interiors are dominated by just one color – a soothing shade of light brown achieved through the usage of wood and rattan in not just the blinds but in the furnishings as well. The restaurant also has floor-to-ceiling windows across three of its four corners which I imagine would look exceptional in the day.
I am not certain whether social media played a part in devising the menu but the Steamed Goldfish Prawn Dumpling (S$4.80) is probably one of the most instagrammable dishes I’ve seen in a Chinese restaurant. This is actually har gau done up in the shape of a fish. It also comes with tobiko on the side. Make sure not to leave the egg white behind – it’s simply divine.
Four types of dimsum consisting of two pieces each form the Deluxe Dimsum Platter (S$38). This particular dish generated a number of “oohs and aahs” when I posted a video of the platter in social media, and rightly so. Of the four kinds, my favorites were the blue pea truffle vegetable dumpling which carried the right amount of fragrance coming from the truffle oil as well as the crabmeat dumpling which is done in the shape of a stingray.
The Braised Sea Treasure Soup in Pomegranate Egg White Parcel (S$48) accompanied with Prawn Spring Roll is a must-try in Min Jiang at Dempsey. The broth possessed a thickness that was almost gelatinous, reflecting the amount of collagen as well as the effort resulting from several hours of braising. In fact, I was so mesmerized by the soup that I almost forgot about the large parcel – its pouch made entirely from egg white – lying in front of me. The soup is also served with a stick which I first mistook for a small piece of grissini but it’s actually a thin but long piece of prawn spring roll.
I was surprised to find Turbot (seasonal price) in the menu. While this fatty fish is common in the Mediterranean, it it rarely seen in Southeast Asia. In Min Jiang at Dempsey, it is done two ways – deep-fried with plenty of garlic, bread crumbs and almond flakes and stir-fried with seasonal vegetables, mushrooms and a hint of truffle oil. After trying both styles, I can’t really say which one I preferred. Both were excellent. While I preferred the crunch and spice of the deep-fried turbot, I also noted how I could fully appreciate the tenderness and freshness of this fatty fish in the stir-fried version.
For a bit of local flair, the Chicken and Kai Lan Served with Ginger Paste (S$34) certainly gives off reminders of Singapore Chicken Rice or even the Samsui Chicken at Soup Restaurant. Do look out for the accompanying ginger paste which I found highly addictive when slathered copiously on the chicken meat. I also wouldn’t mind eating the ginger paste by itself – the 80/20 ratio between ginger and spring onions certainly works well.
It’s no secret that the carbohydrate meal which is served towards the end is usually meant to be a filler in case one is still left wanting of more nourishment by this stage. However, judging from the presentation alone, the Iberico Pork Fried Rice (S$18), served inside a cute pumpkin and accompanied by the house signature XO sauce, does not come as a mere afterthought. The char siu that comes with the fried rice is made from Iberico pork and is actually a special ingredient used just for this rice dish. You can’t even order this Iberico pork char siu separately.
For sweet endings, we finished the meal with Chilled Blue Pea Lemongrass Jelly with Lime Sorbet and Malay Cake with Salted Egg Custard (S$12). The jelly dessert reminded me of conventional Chinese jelly desserts save for the inclusion of the blue pea which by itself doesn’t really have a distinct taste. In contrast, I found the warm Malay Cake much more enjoyable here, partly because of the alternating layers of salted egg paste which juxtaposed nicely with the foam-y pastry.
Min Jiang at Dempsey certainly ranks as one of the better new Chinese restaurant openings I’ve tried recently. The new outlet reinforces the brand’s reputation for serving not just authentic but creatively concocted Chinese dishes. The new contemporary setting also leaves long-timers with a glimpse into the restaurant’s forward-looking direction. It’s not the most conveniently located Chinese restaurant out there – especially when compared to the other Min Jiang in Goodwood Park – but I certainly won’t have any qualms about going back.
Min Jiang At Dempsey
7A and 7B Dempsey Road
Tel: +65 67740122
Daily: 1130am – 230pm, 630pm – 1030pm