I had first visited Ding Dong when it was at its previous location on Ann Siang Hill. I always thought the concept — a modern take on traditional Asian cuisine — was pretty cool but I wasn’t too big a fan of the three story venue. The kitchen was on the ground floor, the bar on the second and the diners largely on the third floor.
While there is something to be said for a bit of additional privacy in that situation, I much prefer to be in the thick of the action when eating at a place like Ding Dong that offers a more casual, playful environment for dinner.
So I was pretty pleased to find that the restaurant’s new digs on Amoy Street offers precisely that. With an open concept bar and kitchen, there is an inclusive buzz in the air that makes it a great option for a cheeky date night out. The restaurant’s quirky interior (featuring vibrant posters and eclectic knick-knacks) and dim lighting, really adds to the atmosphere, creating an ambience that encourages convivial conversation.
Food-wise I was similarly impressed. On a recent visit to the restaurant with the hubby, we tried a variety of dishes that really tantalised our taste buds. Of the small plate snacks, the five spice lamb tongue (above) with pickled cucumber and black pepper sauce was a favourite of ours (note: not for those who don’t like the gaminess of lamb). Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, this was like a luxe version of spam fries — truly moreish. Another dish that we liked was the hamachi sashimi with betel leaf, green mango and chilli relish (featured image). The richness of the sambal pairs delightfully with the sweetness of the fresh kingfish and is a great way to start a meal.
On the bigger plates, the ocean trout with spiced quinoa and green mango salad (above) was delicious but the real standout for us was the Wagyu char siew with pickled papaya and cherry tomato (right). The latter isn’t new on the menu but the meltingly soft beef definitely deserved to keep its place on the list. Dessert-wise, you can try the Ding Dong mango with pomelo and sago, a lighter version of the popular traditional Cantonese dessert that comes with fresh pomelo bits.
One of the things I like most about Ding Dong is that if, like me, you find it difficult to decide what to order, there is a ‘Feed Me’ option where chef will send out his favourite recommendations for the evening. The surprise element that comes with not knowing what’s coming next keeps things interesting for the diners and makes for an interesting conversation topic as well. The menu is also pretty versatile in the sense that you can drop by after work for a couple of drinks and some snacks or indulge in a more substantial meal.
All in, we had a lovely time at Ding Dong. There’s a new energy in the Amoy space that really makes for a fun night out. If you’re looking for traditional Chinese dishes, then this restaurant isn’t for you but if you keep an open mind and are willing to explore the Asian-inspired flavours that chef Lo is so adapt at working with, Ding Dong is a great choice.
#01-02, 115 Amoy Street S(069935)
Tel: (65) 6557 0189