Tar Pau Nation: Yun Nans teams up with Nam Heong for set meals

There are three collaboration sets, each comprising different dishes.
There are three collaboration sets, each comprising different dishes.PHOTO: YUN NANS

With delivery becoming an increasingly important revenue stream, food brands are pooling their offerings to create a situation that benefits everyone.

For example, stalls specialising in drinks or snacks may find it tough getting customers to pay a hefty delivery charge for a small order.

By working with food outlets, they can find more takers. Restaurants benefit from the additions to their menus and diners have a bigger choice.

The collaboration between Yun Nans, a chain from China specialising in Yunnan cuisine, and Nam Heong, a dim sum chain from Ipoh, seems random because their dishes do not complement one another. But that may well be the point, as it also means they do not compete.

There are three collaboration sets, each comprising different dishes, priced at $38 for two persons, $88 for four and $128 for six. They cost about 10 per cent less than if you were to order the items a la carte.

The two-person set I got has fried rice with minced pork and preserved vegetables, deep-fried pork fillet with homemade spicy dip and two 300ml bottles of raspberry juice with tamarind from Yun Nans. And from Nam Heong, I get two chicken tarts and two salted egg custard buns.

I have a choice of eating the pastries as dessert or as a tea-time snack.

Either way, that leaves just the fried rice and deep-fried pork for the main meal, which is rather paltry.

So I add an extra order of beef stew in copper pot ($29.80), one of my favourite dishes from the restaurant. I need to hit the $50 minimum order requirement anyway.

The dish has beef shin, beef tendon, beef tripe, baby cabbage, potato and turnip simmered for hours with dried pepper, garlic sprout and scallion, resulting in a spicy stew that goes really well with the fried rice.

But the rice is delicious on its own too. The chopped preserved vegetables give it little bursts of acidity that cut through the greasiness of the fried pork, which unfortunately has lost part of its aroma during the journey from the restaurant. The tart raspberry juice also washes everything down very nicely.

I keep the Nam Heong pastries for later and the chicken tart's char siew-flavoured filling brings back happy food memories of Malaysia, where such tarts are commonplace.

The salted egg custard buns, however, are less memorable because of the dense dough.

Yun Nans

Where: Various outlets, including at B1-15 Nex, 23 Serangoon Central and 03-07 Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive
How to order: Go to yunnans.oddle.me . Minimum order of $50
Delivery charge: Calculated at check-out. It is $8.56 to my place
3.5 stars out of 5