I just realized that this will be the third time I am writing about Chef Yong Bin Ngen! The first was my review of the now defunct The Majestic, back in 2007. The next story was about his new coffee crabs at Majestic Bay Seafood in 2013. At the time I thought he might start a new food trend with coffee crabs, but I guess it never really caught on.
Chef has recently opened his latest flagship restaurant which is housed in a capsule perched on the 4th level of Marina One. The location is quite unique but more importantly, our makan kakis all agreed that the food was delicious!
The dim sum is very good, not exceptional, but it is what can be expected of a top end dim sum place. One of the more interesting item is his 藕断丝联 (ou duan si lian). This is a play on the Chinese proverb about how when a lotus root is split, the sticky sap still connects both ends — a reference to how broken relationships can never be completely severed. The flaky pastry is filled with mozzarella cheese, chicken and button mushrooms and shaped to resemble a lotus root. When you bite into it, the strands of melted mozzarella mimics the lotus sap. The actual taste might not blow you away, but the contrasting textures make it a fun item to eat. 4/5
If you enjoy Cantonese double boiled soups, then Chef Yong’s double boiled kampung chicken soup with wild matsutake mushrooms is a must try. The soup is full of tacky collagen-ous goodness and unlike a lot of other double boiled chicken soup, the chicken is still quite flavorful. The soup starts off as a full bodied chicken soup made from kampung chicken. After a long cooking process, the soup is strained, the carcass discarded and a fresh chicken is placed in the pot for another round of steaming! The resulting soup is deep in flavour and full bodied and should cure any cold in an instant. 4.5/5
I enjoyed his crispy marinated mangalica pork as well as the roasted Ireland Silver duck. The duck is fatter than our local ducks and the meat is tender and flavourful. 4.25/5. The mangalica pork has a flavour which reminds me of Hakka zhar yoke, but was extra juicy due to the intense marbling of the Hungarian pork! 4.5/5
Chef Yong brought me to the back of the restaurant and proudly showed me his tank of wild caught Soon Hock (marble goby). Most Soon Hock that we eat nowadays are farmed, so I was surprised that he managed to procure fish that were wild caught!
He steams the Soon Hock and tops it with mustard, olives and black fungas. It was tasty, but I personally couldn’t really tell the difference between the farmed and the wild caught fish especially when it is masked with such strong flavours. Might have been different if it was just steamed Hong Kong style. 4/5
The crab meat fried rice was very good and Chef does it the old school way by cooking the Sri Lankan Crabs, removing the meat and then using it to cook fry the rice. Not mind-blowing, but as far as fried rice goes, it’s very good. 4.25/5
Excellent restaurant for a Chinese food. Chef Yong has always been adventurous with his creations and there were a few dishes that really stood out. The restaurant feels quite isolated even though it is in a huge complex and it is not easy to locate. If it is your first time there, walk to the centre of the open garden and look for the restaurant on the fourth floor. Then walk towards the general direction and look for the lift near the periphery that will bring you to the fourth level.