Our next meal with the family friend had me looking for Chinese restaurants. With excellent experiences at Li Bai and Summer Pavilion, it sure takes some effort to find another place with comparable standards. Off we go to explore Yan Ting!
Being the Chinese restaurant of St Regis, Yan Ting emits air of poshness yet retaining a cozy touch with its warm lightnings and cushioned armchairs. The semi-partitioned tables at the side are also great for smaller dining groups. As with almost all hotel Cantonese restaurants, staff had no issue conversing in the dialect and were attentive to our needs.
Ordering ala-carte for the night, we realised that the menu had a mix of traditional Cantonese fare and modern creations with influences from other cuisines. Condiment dips catered to Singaporeans with the appearance of diced green chillis, while pre-meal snack of candied cashew nuts was a nice change from the usual peanuts.
Roasted Pork, Sliced Pig Trotters
Before even digging in, our first appetiser already looked kind of odd as it was one of the, well, shortest cubes of pork belly that I have seen. It also could have been served more warmed. Thankfully, the skin was executed really well, so crispy that the crunching effect could be heard across the table!
Served chilled, the pork slices had tender lean meat and a gelatinous layer of skin, went nicely with a dip of white vinegar.
Pan-Fried Foie Gras
One of their bold creations! You could hardly go wrong with the fatty, oh-man-can-I-have-more goose liver, but what make it stood out was the pairing with Chinese Zhe Jiang Vinegar (浙江醋) to ease the greasiness. Interesting!
Fried Prawn with Mango
This came across as just good prawn rolls. While it was deep-fried to a crispy, golden brown with fresh and crunchy prawns, the mango taste was barely there as I found just a narrow strip of the fruit in every piece. Went well with Thai sweet chilli sauce.
Stir-Fried Jiao Bai, Garlic Pork Ribs
Before you mistaken it as noodles, this really was our veggie for the night. With the texture of bamboo shoot, Jiao Bai (茭白) are actually vegetables grown in the water and are popular among the Taiwanese and Shanghainese.
But I do notice that Chinese chefs tend to have little creativity in presenting off-menu items (think Li Bai's beef steak) or cooking methods. While they had options to fry it with condiments, we requested for it to be served plain (清炒) and it really looked and tasted as plain as it could get.
The pork ribs also didn't particularly stand out, much like an upmarket version of what you could get at Zichar places.
Oatmeal Dusted Cod Fish
My favourite dish of the night! A twist to the usual cereal prawns, Yan Ting used balls of cod fish instead and it was a joy to eat without the need to deshell or debone. The oatmeal coat was buttery and fragrant, perfect to go with a bowl of rice. Cleared every bit of it!
Hokkien Fried Rice, Beef Hor Fun
Don't ask me if this really is a hokkien dish, but I do know that it is very commonly found in Hong Kong but rarely seen here. Somewhat like Mui Fan （烩饭), it is served with a ladle of gravy stock but has greater depth with the fried rice base. The rendition here was good as the gravy wasn't overly starchy and the grainy rice was flavourful with "wok-hei".
The hor fun had the issue of not being served hot enough, but the flavours were there with tender beef slices. Serving portion seemed a tad small for 6 persons.
Mango Sago with Pomelo, Fried Yam
Ending on a sweet note, I liked how the mango mix was thick and creamy, while recalling the fried yam as simple but satisfying.
Dining at Yan Ting will surely cost you a bit, but the few culinary surprises that they managed to pull off, coupled with the pleasant overall experience will make the money more worthwhile. In fact, I made a return for its dim sum offering just a few weeks ago. That's another story for another time!
Yan Ting 29 Tanglin Road St Regis Singapore Tel: 6506 6888