When I first heard of Ding Dong, I immediately thought of the iconic quote from 'The Wizard of Oz': "ding dong the witch is dead"...remember?? It's the munchkin song!! I thought that was very cute. And just like its cheeky and catchy moniker, the food at Ding Dong was just as memorable.
A modern fusion tapas joint under the Spa Esprit brand, Ding Dong is refreshingly innovative. Dishes here are unique, and I like its contemporary spin on familiar Southeast Asian flavours.
Save for the glitch of an inordinate lapse between the small plates and mains, service was personable and knowledgeable. The staff was able to relay which dishes contained parsley/cilantro/coriander leaves, without having to check with the kitchen, and proferred worthwhile suggestions.
A cold starter, the Hamachi Sashimi ($18), dotted with a mild chilli relish, a slice of green mango, and set atop a betel leaf for wrapping, was crisp, clean, and fresh.
The Spicy Beef Salad ($19), strewn with bittermelon and asparagus shavings, sweet corn, fried shallots, crushed nuts, chilli strips, and tossed in a tamarind dressing, was a lovely balance of the tart, spicy, and bitter.
The Thai Basil Quail ($19), burnished with a hoisin glaze and sprinkled with crispy garlic and sesame seeds, was tender and luscious, with nary a whiff of game.
A must-try, the Carbon-Battered Prawn Tempura ($16), subtly flavoured with a red curry marinade, and sided by a soy wasabi mayonnaise dip, was wonderfully crunchy and addictively delicious.
Taking notes from Thai 'kaeng phed ped yang' and French duck confit, the Crispy Duck Curry ($27) with cauliflower and passionfruit, was robust, rustic, and fall-off-the-bone delicious.
The Spiced Braised Iberico Pork ($26) centered upon a soft poached egg, and topped with a lime & jackfruit tempura, was mellow, nuanced, and well-rounded.
The Char-Grilled Ocean Trout ($24) riotous with spiced quinoa, fried shallots, and a chilli-spiked oyster sauce, was contrasted with a refreshingly piquant green mango salad.
115 Amoy Street
Tel: 6557 0189
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 12midnight for dinner