Saturday, August 19, 2017

[Media Invite] Nanjing Impressions 南京大牌档 @ Plaza Singapura

Nanjing Impressions is located at Level 4 of Plaza Singapura. Its decor is purposeful and diners would probably feel like that they have been transported back to the olden days in China. It was interesting to explore the cavernous space and to take a closer look at the carvings on beams, the little touches here and there.

dining space
private room
What exactly is Nanjing cuisine? For one, it has familiar flavours that's similar to Shanghai or Suzhou cuisine. However, I've learnt that Nanjing cuisine leaned towards showcasing of the excellence of knive-works (刀工) of the chefs, and an overall balance of flavours. The signature eats of Nanjing included salted duck (盐水鸭) and "lion's head" (狮子头) meatball.

南京雨花 or rainflower tea

Nanjing's Yu Hua (雨花 ) tea is light in colour and has a clean yet strong mellow taste. Otherwise, there are some specialty tea that one could order as well. I had a chilled 酸梅汤 (suan mei tang) as this brought back memories of Beijing.


Have you tried the Chilled Drunken Virgin Red Crayfish? (how would one knows if the shellfish is supposed to be a virgin?) But I supposed the name came about from the 15-year vintage huadiao wine marinade of Nu-er Hong (女儿红) or Virgin Red.

Chilled Drunken Virgin Red Crayfish @$33.80 (12 pcs)
The crayfish doesn't really have much meat in them but the marinade was superb.The sweet 
and aged taste of the nu-er hong plus the saltiness from the plum was to my liking. Nice.

Jinling Signature Salted Duck @$32 (medium)

Salted Duck (盐水鸭) will inevitably turned up if you do a search for Nanjing cuisine.At Nanjing Impressions, diners will get a chance to taste this 400-year old recipe which involves 10 precise steps from dry rubbing, seasoning. brining to hang-drying. These gets translated into delicate texture and well-balanced taste.

"Was it noodles?"  That was the reaction when fellow diners tasted the beancurd julienne. Soft yet it held itself well when picked up using chopsticks.

Sesame-scented Beancurd Julienne @$8.80/portion
Poached "Lion's Head" Meatball @$13.80/portion

I liked the meatball as it has a melt-in-your mouth texture. The adequate fats ratio helped, I think. Best to share the fist-sized meatballs with at least 2 more pax!

yummy meatball
Baby Rooster Stew with Special Sauce @$23.80

The Baby Rooster Stew had a familiar homely taste to it. Served with sesame bun which was good to mop up the thick sauce with.

I believed that I was smitten by the simple dish of fried rice cake drizzled with palm sugar. Meant as a savoury dish but it felt like a dessert to me! Imagine deep fried tokbokki that's crispy on the outside and soft, chewy mochi-ness on its insides. Sweet!

fried rice cake with palm sugar
so chewy, so good
If you are only in the mood for something light and quick, here are a few good options. Could get the Celestial Roast Duck Dumplings for very light bites. This is not xiao long bao, so don't expect any juice to burst out of its skin! The skin was slightly thick and neatly pleated into 20-folds. The meat inside tasted more like pork though it was roast duck in it.

Celestial Roast Duck Dumplings @$5.80/3 pcs
Another deceptively simple but good dish was the Jinling Noodles in Light Soy Sauce Broth. The broth was so good! The thin noodles were easy to slurp and the hot broth was comforting. The soy sauce tasted abit like those that were used for Hongkong style steamed fish.

Jinling Noodles in Light Soy Sauce Broth @$4.80/portion

One dish that I couldn't wrap my head around was the Madam Chiang's Nutritious Beauty Porridge. Sweet soy milk porridge with lily bulbs and Chinese yam. A beauty food (or food to helps you become a beauty?) and named after Soong Meiling (was First Lady of Republic of China). I think I still prefer savoury porridge.

Madam Chiang's Nutritious Beauty Porridge @$6.80 per portion

Ended the night with the Osmanthus-scented Steamed Sponge. It has a slightly denser body and chewy. The fragrance of osmanthus was rather mild and the sweetness was gentle.

Osmanthus-scented Steamed Sponge @$4.80/portion

Thank you Stella and Nanjing Impressions for hosting the dinner and HGW for the invite. I have enjoyed learning more about Nanjing cuisine.

Nanjing Impressions 南京大牌档

Location: 68 Orchard Road, #04-46-51, Plaza Singapura, 238839
Contact:  6352 7877

Business Hours:
Daily: 11am to 10pm (last order: 9.30pm)

Performance time:
Live “Suzhou Pingtan” performance (storytelling through singing with 3 stringed lute and pipa)
Tue - Thur   6pm – 8.45pm
Fri - Sun    12pm – 2pm / 6pm – 8.45pm


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