Review: Ding Dong Turns Heads with Contemporary Southeast Asian Cuisine

Review: Ding Dong Turns Heads with Contemporary Southeast Asian Cuisine

Experimental takes on nostalgic flavours that’ll change the way you look at Southeast Asian street food

Chances are, you’d be enticed by its neon-lit signs, kitschy posters from the 70s and 80s or the ever-present crowd of boisterous locals and expats. Ding Dong has the sort of energy that draws you in, particularly when you’re yearning for a night of merrymaking - and it’ll be the best decision you’d make in a long while.

The reason is simple. Head chef Miller Mai doles out a moreish menu of Southeast Asian plates that are as experimental as it is authentic. (The well-stocked bar doesn’t hurt either.)

Decision making at Ding Dong is easy. Every dish is a gem. (There is an option to leave it up to Mai in a prixe fixe tasting menu from $68 for four courses to $108 for six courses if you’re feeling adventurous.) 

But if you really need some recommendations, start off with Mai’s rendition of the kuih pie tee with Blue Swimmer Crab ($17). Essentially a marriage of the Peranakan dish of an Asian-style pastry stuffed with stewed turnips and the iconic chilli crab, Mai uses the bright flavours of tomato relish to whet appetites.

Meat lovers will adore the hot appetisers of Balinese Pork Satay, nicely charred and paired with a tomato sambal and crispy garlic ($7/stick) and the Ding Dong Scotch Eggs ($10/piece) that gets an extra oomph from the zesty nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce). 

You’ll definitely see hints of Mai’s childhood as the son of zi char store owners in the menu as well. The Scallop Cheong Fun ($22) with crab and tiger prawn is the most intriguing. Scallops are blended with egg whites and steamed as a thin layer, much like the rice sheets you’d see at the neighbourhood kopitiams

As for the mains, you’ll make easy work of the Iberico Pork Collar Char Siew ($34), a hefty chunk of fatty pork collar that’s been swimming in a sweet yet savoury marinade before grilling over a roaring flame, as well as the Red Snapper and clams ($32) that’s doused in a velvety green curry sauce. The latter, needless to say, is best enjoyed with a piping bowl of Thai Fragrant Rice ($2).

Dessert gets experimental with the eponymous Chendol Mai ($15). A self-proclaimed lover of Chendol, Mai pays an ode to his childhood memory of digging into the chilled treat after school with his rendition.

But don’t expect the usual bowl of slushy ice. Keeping to the traditional flavour, he has, instead, changed up the textures with coconut meringue chips, coconut snow, a thick pandan noodle and homemade gula melaka ice cream. But if you’re more of a durian fiend, go for the Durian Alaska ($21). 

Do make an effort to pop by for lunch. The menu switches over to their original Bao-ger (a fusion between a fluffy Chinese-style bun and burger) that’s available in a set ($26 with a side). There are four flavours to choose from but it’s hard to say no to the flavoursome Kam Heong Seafood sees a generous patty teeming with tiger prawns and barramundi chunks.

Cocktail made with Chinese traditional cough mixture Pei Pa Gao

Those looking to imbibe - Amoy Street known for their bars, after all - will enjoy their craft cocktails. Split into six regional countries, the bar team infuses classic tippics with quintessential flavours from Singapore to Thailand. Oenophiles don’t have to feel left out either. Drunken Farm (under the same parent company) often stocks up the bar with a unique selection of natural to biodynamic wines. 

Address: 115 Amoy Street, 01-02, Singapore 069935

Tel: +65 6557 0189

Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 12.00pm-3.00pm (lunch) and 6.00pm-11.30pm (dinner)

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