First established in 1982, Min Jiang is undoubtedly one of Singapore’s most recognisable and established Chinese restaurants, its name synonymous with fine Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine. Having just completed its refurbishment, the restaurant is reinvigorated with a refreshed menu.
Some of my fondest memories of childhood are the great round tables of the Chinese banquets: the ones with crimson tablecloths and a “lazy Susan” in the centre on which the steaming hot food is laid in all its glory.
My childhood family gatherings were made of glistening BBQ pork, slivers of ginger over fresh steamed fish, the ever-present saucer of cut green chillies and bowls of fluffy white rice, washed down with the bitter, subtle fragrance of hot Pu Erh tea.
There is a sense of communal and familial spirit, the sharing of food across generations and across the table; and although in these times of Covid-19 that sort of 10-person banquet table may be a thing of the past, the memories of the delicious food remain.
Perhaps I stray towards the nostalgic when I say that the food at Goodwood Park Hotel’s Min Jiang reminded me of the tastes and flavours of my childhood, albeit significantly more elevated and refined. I’ve always loved Chinese food, even as my taste buds matured to appreciate cuisine from every corner of the world. I was delighted to once again sit at the round table for a meal — even if the group size is now just five — for a tasting at one of Singapore’s best Chinese restaurants, housed in the iconic hotel.
Having recently completed its refurbishment, Min Jiang serves Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine under the watchful eyes of Master Chef Chan Hwan Kee, who has helmed the kitchen for nearly 10 years. Here, a quaint and yet fond memory of old times comes in the form of a pushcart with dim sum, with some familiar and new selections.
The first item we tasted was the Duo of Dimsum: a rabbit-shaped Steamed Prawn and Carrot Dumpling, accompanied by Deepfried Pork “Char Siew” and Pine Nuts in Glutinous Pastry, fashioned like a carrot ($8.80). Aside to the fact that both are too cute for words, they tasted really good — the deep-fried char siew in glutinous pastry was especially tasty, a savoury-sweet burst of flavour encased in crispy, chewy pastry.
Next we had Steamed Teochew Dumpling ($6.20 for three pieces), a classic dim sum of chopped turnip, chives, mock meat, deep-fried peanuts, and Chinese parsley, wrapped in house-made crystal dumpling skin, then steamed and topped with finely chopped English parsley.
This is followed by deep-fried chicken parcels ($6.20 for three pieces), with king oyster mushrooms, turnip, red carrots, celery and preserved olive vegetables. I also sampled two new, and two mainstay ala carte dishes. The first, Spicy Sliced Red Garoupa Soup with Preserved Cabbage ($18), is a mainstay-- made with sliced garoupa fillet, preserved cabbage, semi-dried tomato, soft tofu, and two types of dried Sichuan peppers. This was hearty, warming and had a great tangy-spicy kick to it, a perfect dish for a rainy day.
There is also the Mongolian Chicken with Almond Flakes ($48 whole) — this was a real standout for me. Here, a 1.5kg chicken is butterflied then deepfried, and served with almond flakes, deep-fried minced garlic, dried chilli, black beans, chilli spice mixture, spring onions, and housemade chilli oil. My concern with a lot of roasted chicken is finding it bone-dry inside, but I need not worry with Min Jiang’s version: the chicken is moist, tender, and succulent, with a perfectly crisp skin. Pair that with some crunchy almond flakes and minced garlic, and you’ve got a real winner. I cannot recommend this dish enough.
Next up is the Slow-braised Beef Brisket, Tendon and Radish ($36 for a small portion, $72 for large), which is the first of the two new ala carte dishes. The melt-in-themouth tendon is absolutely fantastic — and no wonder, it is braised in pepper, bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon, black cardamom, ginger and Chinese wine for an hour or two.
I also sampled the classic wanton noodle — here, it is given a lift in Min Jiang’s Stewed Wanton Noodles with Argentinian Red Prawns ($18 per pax). The addition of Argentinian red prawns is somewhat unusual, but much welcomed; these prawns are so sweet and tender it is a shame there’s only two of them for a serving.
Finally, for dessert, a delightful Deepfried Purple Sweet Potato Crispy Milk ($20 for eight pieces), made of purple sweet potato with a crispy milk filling, drizzled with gula melaka and coconut syrup. No complaints here: I loved the burst of milky, sweet potato contrasted with the crispy outer shell.
Overall, a meal at Min Jiang will be sure to leave you satisfied; this is fine Chinese cuisine that does everything just perfectly, pleasing even the fussiest of palates.
Goodwood Park Hotel,
22 Scotts Road,
Contact: Tel: (65) 6730 1704
Email: [email protected]
11.30am – 2.30pm (Mon—Sat)
11am – 2.30pm (Sun)
6.30pm – 10.30pm (Daily)