Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel

Min Jiang is one of Singapore's most venerable Chinese restaurants.  A long-time anchor of Goodwood Park Hotel, the celebrated restaurant is a favourite of finicky old grandmothers and exacting businessmen alike. Tucked away at the back of Goodwood Park, and swathed in shades of cream, and punctuated with pops of dark brown wood panelling, it's both sophisticated and understated.

Specialising in classic Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine, Min Jiang's food is conservative but not tedious. It's an oldie but evergreen goodie, where you'd go to for comforting familiar fare.

What struck me about the Prosperity Abalone Lo Hei ($78 for small) was how nuanced it was. Ingredients were pretty standard as far as yusheng went, but the julienned vegetables were compulsively even, and the honeyed-plum dressing was obsessively balanced. A supplement of Crispy Salmon Skin ($22) added dimension.

The riotous seafood salad before the mayhem.

An signature that's ironically off-menu, the Crabmeat Tofu ($44) was perhaps one of the best renditions ever. The thing with this sort of gravy is the reprehensible use of frozen crabmeat, but Min Jiang uses fresh crabmeat, thankfully. Sweetened by wolfberries, the crunchy broccoli lent crunch to the smooth egg beancurd ringlets.

Another signature here, the Roasted Peking Duck ($38 for small) was superb. Paper-crisp skin, with nary a trace of fat, was swaddled in soft egg rolls and burnished with sweet hoisin and fresh chives. The prawn crackers was a nice touch, I hardly see that served alongside peking duck anymore.

The remainder of the duck meat was used to fry up Eefu Noodles with straw mushrooms and yellow chives. Simple, straightforward but scrummy filler.

Another off-menu dish, the Deep Fried Sea Grouper with Sweet & Sour Sauce ($105 at $15/100gm) proved a hit. The fish, sparkling fresh, was lightly battered and fried to a delectable crisp, and served swimming in a pool of sweetly piquant gravy dotted with peppers.

The Mango Pomelo ($8) was sublime, smooth, creamy and refreshing.

The usual pickles were swapped with bak kwa coins, themed for CNY of course ($8.80). YUMS. We took off to Dubai during Lunar New Year so this was my first taste of bak kwa in a really long time, which probably explains why I didn't mind the exorbitant pricetag of 5 little grilled pork circlets.

A popular drink at Min Jiang, the Ingot Flower Tea ($8.80 per glass), was kitschily served as a tight coil, which unwinds with the introduction of scalding hot water.

Min Jiang
22 Scotts Road
Goodwood Park Hotel
Tel: 6730 1704
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Sundays from 11am to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner

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