One of Singapore’s most established Chinese restaurants, Min Jiang has reopened following months of refurbishment. The restaurant has been around since 1982, delighting guests with its mix of Cantonese and Sichuan cuisines.
The refurbished interiors at Min Jiang showcase the old and the new. You will find antique furniture peppered throughout the place while the color scheme has turned a tad brighter with hues of warm honey, silver-grey and teal in the textile wall panels. I especially love the tropical vibe in the alfresco area – a bit resort-ish and definitely not what one would expect at a Chinese restaurant!
Min Jiang is one of the very few restaurants left that serve dimsum from a trolley. For the more mainstream dimsum dishes such as egg tarts, siu mai, har gow, spareribs and chicken feet; these are displayed out of a pushcart that roams around the restaurant during lunch time. What it does lack is the shouting that one would normally expect from the usual dimsum pushcart service.
Along with the relaunch, Min Jiang has also developed a few new and creatively concocted dimsum options. The highly photogenic Min Jiang Land and Sea Quartet (S$16.80) reminds me of my experience at their sister outlet, Min Jiang at Dempsey. This restaurant group seems to have a penchant for turning dimsum into animal shapes! This quartet comes with steamed prawn and carrot dumpling shaped like a rabbit, steamed squid and sea cucumber dumpling, steamed prawn and Chinese stem lettuce with tobiko dumpling shaped like a starfish and deep-fried pork char siew and pine nuts in glutinous carrot pastry. Of the 4, my favorite was the latter. Even if you exclude the delightful pork char siew within, the nicely textured buttery pastry on the outside was heavenly on its own – chewy and well-textured. It’s simply quite unlike the oftentimes tough and thick pastry that I encounter elsewhere.
Equally creative is the Deep-fried Bacon Roll with Enoki Mushrooms and Prawns (S$7.80 for 3pcs). While this dish regularly features in the dimsum menu of several places, it is only here that I see it fried to a crisp. They also put in a rather meaty portion of prawns and bacon that’s wrapped around it – so much so that the individual pieces are actually presented standing.
I have always thought of Min Jiang as a rather traditional Chinese restaurant but my most recent visit there seemed to have swayed my mind off that notion. Take for example their Deep-fried Stuffed Dough Sticks with Shredded Abalone and Enoki Mushrooms (S$36 for small portion). The common experience of eating you tiao is turned into something more luxurious here as you get a perceptible seafood paste flavored by adding some savory sauce, strips of abalone, carrot and mushroom.
Further reinforcing that effort to reinvent is the Roasted Chicken Skin with Prawn Paste in Sesame Pockets (S$36 for half). This is Min Jiang’s take on the traditional shao bing. For this case, diners are invited to stuff their partially opened flatbread with as much chicken skin as they like as well as accompanying condiments.
My favorite dish among those I tried at the relaunched Min Jiang was the Spicy Sliced Red Garoupa Soup with Preserved Cabbage (S$18). This was just what I needed – some nourishing broth with just the right amount of spice but most importantly, with that delightfully sour flavor that one often craves in Sichuan cuisine. The soup is made from a mixture of chicken and fish stock, inclusive of fish head and bones for an enhanced flavor. It also comes with plump pieces of garoupa fillet, soft tofu and preserved cabbage.
Despite having more than my fair share of fried items that day, I thought the Deep-fried Purple Sweet Potato Crispy Milk (S$20 per portion of 8pcs) deserves mention. If I happen to be in Orchard and craving for some dessert, I would not think twice about dropping by to try this delightfully chewy sweet potato balls. Everything about it was done right, from the juxtaposition of the crispy and chewy in the skin to the creamy filling within. I guess it’s also a plus that I happen to love purple sweet potato.
22 Scotts Road
Goodwood Park Hotel
+65 6730 1704
Monday to Saturday (11:30AM to 2:30PM. 6:30PM to 10:30PM)
Sunday (11AM to 2:30PM. 6:30PM to 10:30PM)