SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) With all the SG50 sentimentality coursing through our systems at the moment, heritage restaurants should be benefitting from this.
Jing Hua is only half of Singapore's age, but it has been popular all these years.
Well-known for its dumplings, it opened in Neil Road in 1989 and the second branch is located at Rochor Road. It opened a third branch on Orchard Road, in time for its 25th anniversary.
It is housed in the basement of the chichi shopping mall Palais Renaissance. It's a curious location, considering the homely food served
at the other two branches, but it's a way to introduce the food to a new breed of diners.
The menu is tweaked a little for this branch and the prices have gone up slightly.
The service remains friendly and parental. Ask them for recommendations and their choices should be good.
Of course, the small menu makes their job easier. There's not much variety but the signatures should please.
The Chinese Pizza ($10.80) is a signature item from Jing Hua. The crispy crust encases a juicy filling of seafood and pork. Each bite contains a mix of textures - the crunch of the pastry, the softness of the pork - and it's a stomach filler. My only complaint is that it is very oily.
NUGGETS OF TASTINESS
The Pan-fried Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings ($6.50 for six pieces) is a variation of the Chinese Pizza as it shares the same filling. It's an open-ended dumpling which is fried and served immediately. It may be because I like the filling but it works in this fashion too. These little nuggets are easier to consume too.
While it read like a comfort dish on the menu, the Zha Cai Rou Si Noodle (noodles with sliced pork and Sichuan vegetables ($8) turned out to be rather ordinary. There was a slight spiciness to the broth but the noodles were way too soft - almost mushy - for me. It was so forgettable I had to refer to my notes and photos to recall the dish.
New to the menu is the Black Pepper Beef Soup Dumplings ($5.50 for four). The black pepper is mixed into the skin but when I first ate it on an unannounced visit, it was so mild. When I was invited back for lunch, the pepper flavour was more pronounced. But the skin was sticky on both occasions. Give it a miss.
TASTY BUT PRICEY
I thought the Crispy Red Bean Pancake was pricey at $10.50. While it was tasty - the red bean filling was not too sweet and it was nicely crisp - it was too much to pay for this dessert.
What: Jing Hua
Where: #B1-04/05 Palais Renaissance
When: 11.30am to 3.30pm (lunch) and 5.30pm to 10pm (dinner)
This article was first published on Jan 14, 2015.
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