Ding Dong @ 115 Amoy Street

Established in 2013, Ding Dong has been the go-to-restaurant for many diners for its experimental menu that screams passion, creativity, and excitement. The restaurant which was once located at Ann Siang Hill, has now re-settled at the corner of Amoy Street – a well-known dining enclave with serious competition. Despite the relocation and refurbishment of this beloved restaurant, the essence of their menu has not changed a single bit – Asian-inspired cuisine with modern twists.

Assistant Head Chef Miller Mike currently helms the kitchen of Ding Dong, bringing onboard a novel perspective to traditional flavours, and conjuring new dishes that never fails to leave diners impressed. To take the dining experience a level higher, Head Bartender Angeline Lim has also stepped up her game with an array of signature cocktails to complement any dish on the menu.

Stepping foot into Ding Dong is like entering a scene from the 80’s – vintage and decorated with old-school motifs, floral-patterned sofa, and a neatly arranged row of high stools facing both the bar and open kitchen. This clever design, amidst the warm lighting and upbeat music, draws diners further in and shakes up the mood for small chats and mandatory alcohol orders.

The Scallop Ceviche with Thai Mango and Kuih Kapit $18 was an expensive appetizer to kickstart dinner. Priced at 18 bucks, it took us no time to question if the tiny dish was indeed worth the steep price tag. Sadly, the ceviche lacked the characteristic acidity and had an overbearing sweetness which made the scallops almost unidentifiable.

On the other hand, the Miso Cured Salmon with Ikura Shoyu and Yuzu Sorbet $22 was nothing but delightful. Chef imports the Norwegian salmon and cures it with white miso for half a day, before serving it with house-made seaweed salad, salmon roe, yuzu sorbet, and edible flowers. The unconventional pairing of cured salmon and yuzu sorbet was impressive, and we certainly enjoyed the refreshing citrus notes that the sorbet brought.

Served in an oriental bowl, the Boneless Beef Shank with Rice Noodle and Lemongrass Dressing $18 was pleasant yet unexciting. The slices of beef were a little tough and chewy, but more importantly, lacked the curry flavour which the menu promised. Noodles, however, were well-cooked and generously coated with an addictive lemongrass dressing.

Crispy and absolutely to-die-for was the highly recommended Crispy Pig Trotter with Spiced Vinegar $29. The trotter is first soaked in a brine solution for a couple of days, sous vide, and deep-fried till the skin becomes ultra-crispy. Slicing through the golden knuckle was sufficient to make us salivate for the harsh crackling of the blistered skin was music to our ears. Best enjoyed with the spiced vinegar dip which cuts the richness of the meat in half.

Although aesthetically beautiful, the Yam Ring with Asparagus and Poached Egg $20 was pretty disappointing. Heavily flavoured with Chinese five-spice powder, the yam was dense and sticky whilst the ring felt a little too empty – missing the familiar ingredients that are present in the zi-char version. If anything, the oversized flower was somewhat gimmicky.

For something compact, the Rendang Beef Brisket Bun with Turnip Omelette and Pickled Cucumber $21 makes a lovely snack to accompany the alcohol. The tender beef brisket is coated with a sweet and savoury rendang sauce, and nicely snuggled within the cavity of a Chinese steamed bun alongside a slice of turnip omelette and pickled cucumbers. The price is once again off-setting, nevertheless a great dish.

Our favourite dish was the Pork Collar Char Siu with Pineapple Salsa and Chicharon $26. The pork slices were moist and tender, and had the perfect ratio of meat to fat. To cut the richness of the meat and accentuate its flavours, chef has prepared a tangy pineapple sauce, dusted with leek ash for a subtle hint of smokiness. The dish comes with a bowl of char siu sauce-drenched rice.

Fish lovers could opt for the Tuna Loin with Green Papaya and Sweet and Sour Sauce $28. Lightly seared around the edges, the tuna is neatly sliced and served with julienned papaya strips and micro tomatoes. As the flavours are rather light yet pleasant, the dish is best eaten first before trying other mains.

Quite the “Thai-tanic” as the Lobster Tail and Sriracha Crab Cake in Tom Yum Broth $30 was the least spectacular item on the menu. The crab cakes were, unthankfully, blessed with a copious amount of salt whilst the tom yum broth felt like another of Campbell’s canned soup. A pity the dish didn’t do justice to its glorious name.

Moving on to desserts, the Ginger Lime Parfait with Sichuan Pepper Crumble and Lychee Sorbet $11 felt a little over-the-top. Chef deserves praise for thinking out of the box, but the main problem for us was the bitter sorbet which was constantly raging war with the other flavours.

The Banana Cannoli with Peanut Butter and Vanilla Ice Cream $15 rekindled memories of piping hot, deep-fried turon (banana spring rolls) from Lucky Plaza. Bite through the crisp and extra flaky phyllo pastry, and you will be generously rewarded with a warm filling of caramelized bananas and peanut butter.

The last dessert, Coconut Snow with Pandan Jelly Noodle and Gula Melaka Ice Cream $11, was influenced by Singapore’s local dessert – cendol. Its gorgeous façade belies an unbearably sweet combination of coconut snow, gula melaka ice cream, coconut meringue, and house-made pandan jelly noodles. Although we found the dessert, especially the meringue, to be overly sweet, kids may perhaps disagree with us.

The dining experience at Ding Dong was certainly memorable for the dishes were quirky, unique, and one-of-a-kind. However, some of which were too experimental and require a deeper sense of restraint for them to be successful. Prices were also on the steeper side, and therefore definitely not the most budget-friendly restaurant for one to relax and unwind. Having said that, spending a little more for food and drinks on a Friday night is always acceptable!

115 Amoy Street,
#01-02
Singapore 069935

Opening hrs:
Monday to Friday: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 12am
(Last order for food at 10.30pm)
Saturday: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 12am
(Last order for food at 11.30pm)
Closed on Sunday

==========================

Words and Photography by Kenneth Lim (@rancid.sugar)
The writer is an avid tea drinker who enjoys slicing cakes with his golden fork. 

Singapore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>