Friday, May 21, 2021

Nanjing Impressions (南京大牌档) - Popular Restaurant with Incredible Interior Design @ Plaza Singapura [Singapore]

Somewhat hidden in the newer wing of
Plaza Singapura, Nanjing Impressions is a restaurant with an eye-catching facade guaranteed to make you stop and take a second look. 

Stepping in; it's like going back in time to the dynastic era in China, where teahouses were the norm. Lanterns illuminating the premises, with wooden tables and stools. Even the service staff members were decked out in traditional Chinese garb. To be frank, I initially thought it's just all hype 

But it's apparently a popular chain from China and Singapore is its very first overseas branch. And even here in Singapore, the queue to enter can be long and I first noticed it when I was having kopi-gao at the Ya Kun Kaya Toast store right opposite Nanjing Impressions.

That's when I started asking around if the food is good. Turned out a few friends had indeed checked out the place and they enjoyed it! Anyway, there's a small stage for musical performances but it was suspended due to the darn COVID-19.

I was wondering what words were pasted on the lanterns; maybe some auspicious Chinese sayings? A closer look revealed that they were the dishes offered in the eatery! 

The classic-looking menu; which unraveled into a longer piece of menu with pictures of dishes and their prices (shall share later at the end of the post). The one thing I noticed; there's no size for most of the dishes and that could be risky if you are eating with just your partner! 

Order list - I was fortunate to have seven persons with me! Thank god we had this meal before the enhanced safe management measures kicked in. Pray the community cases remain stable as I love to dine-in! 

Our order! Sorry for the blur image.

Given the setting, let us have a pot of Chinese tea; Chrysanthemum mixed with Pu-erh tea to be exact. As you can see, the crockeries were the type we typically see in period dramas! 

Foods here! Okay, this picture was taken halfway through when some dishes were already cleared. They had to as we didn't have sufficient space for the rest of our order.

Celestial Roast Duck Dumplings (天王烤鸭包)- one of the restaurant's signatures; they looked more like xiaolongbao but instead of the usual pork, duck was used. 

Interesting, this tasted just like xiaolongbao and an incredibly delicious one! Maybe I ate it too quickly and couldn't discern the duck meat within; however, the broth housed inside was both sweet and savoury! 

Jinling Noodles in Light Soy Sauce Broth (老牌阳春面)- maybe I am just not accustomed with such traditional food as to my amateur taste buds, this was plain noodles with diluted soy sauce; not that fascinating in my humble opinion. 

Nanjing Impressions Pot Stickers (金牌煎饺)- this was oily but ignore that unhealthy fact and you would enjoy the dumpling that was pan-fried to a crisp with yummy meat filling. 

Poached Lion's Head Meatball (清炖狮子头)- oops, someone cut off the head before I could take a picture of it. Maybe I should have ordered more as one meatball, even if it is fist-sized, would not be sufficient for 8 persons.

The so-called head was minced meat and it was tender and full of delicious fats! But washed down the sinful meat with the soup it came with, which appeared pretty similar to winter melon. Should be healthy I guess.

Steamed Egg Custard with Shrimps (小葱虾仁炖蛋)- the smooth texture already won half of our hearts and taste was not bad. As this was ordered for the kids, their review was most important and they loved it! 

Baby Rooster Stew with Crispy Sesame Bun (地锅小公鸡)
- if you refer to the reviews on Google, you would have noticed the above; an absolute head-turner that will draw attention. 

Frankly, I don't recommend this; the stew had a mild spiciness to it and didn't have any other flavour  to make it stand out as a stew. Yes, the bun was crispy but more like a tasteless butterfly bun. I presume the sauce would be the dip although with just spiciness, I am better off bringing my own Thai chilli sauce and eating the bun with it. 

Seafood Bucket (江河湖海一锅鲜) - with fish head, shrimps, mussels and clams, my thought was that this would be good for sharing and decided on this seasonal dish (part of their Spring offerings).

The dish had an indication of two chillis on the menu and I assumed this would be manageable. So wrong as this was tomyum-level spiciness! Ingredients were okay, even though I did wish I have a bowl of plain water to wash away their spiciness before eating them. It was torturing! 

Sweet Vinegar Tangy Pork Ribs (金牌糖醋排骨)- this is something I have always heard on Running Man and I guess it would be quite similar to our gu lu rou (sweet and sour pork). What appeared in front of me was like pieces of fish! 

Surprisingly, it tasted way better than its appearance.  The key takeaway was the honeyed layer that was interestingly addictive! Do note that it can get a bit cloying and thick after a while. We did a bit more "exploration" with the sweet layer and our conclusion was that the taste was similar to malt candy! 

Jinling Roast Duck (金陵烤鸭)- since the seafood bucket wasn't well taken, we opted for an extra dish to fill up our tummies. The roast duck was another signature and thankfully, we have the options of quarter, half or whole. A half shall be good enough for us.

It's been a while since I last had such succulent duck meat and it came with a layer of crisp skin! An important component of a duck dish is the sauce and this one here was good enough to go with plain, white rice! Shall re-order this in the future! 

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Overall a great meal with epic environment and I am personally more interesting in visiting the next time for their small dim sum like dishes (e.g. strata cake, imperial scholar spring rolls). Well, will have to wait till we all can dine in again! 😞

Address
68 Orchard Rd, Plaza Singapura
#04-46/51, Singapore 238839

Map
As above.

Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/nanjingimpressions/

Menu
As above.

Reservation
Call 6352-7877

Pricing
Celestial Roast Duck Dumplings - S$5.80 for three
Jinling Noodles in Light Soy Sauce Broth - S$4.80
Nanjing Impressions Pot Stickers - S$3.80 a piece
Poached Lion's Head Meatball - S$13.80
Steamed Egg Custard with Shrimps - S$8.80
Baby Rooster Stew with Crispy Sesame Bun - S$23.80
Seafood Bucket - S$58.80
Sweet Vinegar Tangy Pork Ribs - S$16.80
Jinling Roast Duck - S$32.00
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

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