SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) Janice Wong is famous for her gorgeously plated desserts.
Her 2am: dessertbar at Holland Village is the place to be, and award upon award has been heaped upon her, the latest being named the Pastry Chef of the Year by World Gourmet Summit.
Her latest venture is Janice Wong Singapore, housed in a corner of the National Museum (Note: Museum. Don't read National and think Gallery as I did because it is a long, Pokemon-less walk to get from National Gallery to National Museum).
The decor is as artistic as her desserts, but not conducive for any sort of interaction. The tables are an odd, longish shape and you'll be seated two arms' length from your partner. The seats at the bar aren't comfortable either.
Service is tentative - bordering on brusque - but overall, the food is good, which is the whole point anyway.
It opened in mid-August, so it will need a bit of time to find its groove. And when it does, it'll be a force to be reckoned with.
Although Wong is known for desserts, my favourite item here is the Crispy Charcoal Nest ($22). This is a simple-looking dish, but with a rich broth and slices of pork belly. The cherry is a poem written on mushroom paper. I didn't attempt to read the poem, but I am sure those who love interacting with their food will appreciate this. I prefer to just slurp up the whole bowl.
There is no disputing the beauty of the Signature 5 Dumplings ($15) and its classy presentation. thank goodness three of the five dumplings work for me, so it isn't a waste of money. The Elastic (ratatouille) and Matt (chicken) are blasts of flavours, while transparent (mushroom) has a lovely texture.
I wish the noodles had a firmer bite, but the Black Red Duple Noodles ($18) wins for its subtle broth and delicate beef slices. Overall, it is a light dish, but full of flavours. Once the texture of the noodles is figured out, it'll be unbeatable.
The Whimsical Bun ($4) with liquid egg certainly looks inviting, but it turns out to be just a version of the liusha bao - and not a particularly good one. The whole point of this bun is the filling and that is lacklustre.
The dessert for the set lunch is a version of tiramisu with mascarpone, coffee sponge and espresso ice cream, and it is comforting.
WHAT Janice Wong Singapore
WHERE National Museum Singapore
WHEN Monday to Thursday, 11am to 11pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am to 1am; Sunday 11am to 6pm
This article was first published on September 7, 2016.
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