Monday, 5 September 2022

9 fine dining restaurants for excellent Cantonese fare in Singapore

In the mood to sample some of Singapore’s finest Cantonese fare? We’ve got you covered with our list of swish dining spots that specialise in the cuisine. These Cantonese fine dining restaurants offer expertly crafted dim sum, nourishing double-boiled soups and perfectly roasted meats. Each is known for their well-guarded recipes and meticulous methods of preparation. They’re also luxurious in décor and ambience.

1. Yan Ting

At The St. Regis Singapore’s Yan Ting, the beige and pale-gold décor with floral wall art exudes a quiet elegance and their tables are often filled with regulars. The menu highlights memorable signature dishes and luxurious takes on Cantonese classics. From their long list of double-boiled soups, a must-try is the Buddha Jumps Over the Wall – though orders should be placed in advance. It is packed with nourishing premium ingredients such as abalone, fish maw, dried scallops, Jinhua ham, pork tendons, mushroom and bird’s nest. Dim sum selections are varied too, and top choices include the steamed lobster dumplings and the steamed rice roll with a choice of fillings. They serve a weekend dim sum brunch buffet ($138 onwards) and their semi-private dining alcoves are just right for intimate family meals.

29 Tanglin Road, The St. Regis Singapore. Nearest MRT: Orchard

Yan Ting
Yan Ting’s classy interior. Photo credit Yan Ting

2. Summer Pavilion

The Ritz-Carlton’s one Michelin-starred Summer Pavilion serves modern Cantonese fare with finesse and artistry. The food is excellent, but other draws are their special menu of artisanal tea blends, six private dining rooms, and exquisite hand-painted tableware. Chef Cheung Siu Kong’s signature dishes include the popular poached rice and Canadian lobster meat, where steamed and crispy rice is soaked in an umami-rich broth poured over generous chunks of lobster. There is also the double-boiled sea whelk soup with fish maw and chicken, a delicate and comforting broth that is served in a whole coconut. Other menu mainstays include quintessential Cantonese dishes such as dim sum, double-boiled soup and roast meats, all executed with the finest of skills and elegance.

7 Raffles Avenue. Nearest MRT: Promenade

Summer Pavilion - Poached Rice with Lobster
Summer Pavilion’s poached rice with lobster. Photo credit: Summer Pavilion

3. Jade

A meal at Jade is a feast for both the taste buds and the eyes. The restaurant’s interior was revamped in 2017 to its current soothing décor that incorporates shades of white, mint and green, complete with specially commissioned wallpaper. Running the kitchen is chef Leong Chee Yeng, whose mastery is in everything, from double-boiled soups and dim sum to roast meats and novel renditions of traditional favourites. From their dim sum menu, do try the pan-fried Singapore-style chilli crab meat bun or the moreish deep-fried crab claw served with a refreshing mango salsa. Jade also has a Singapore Nostalgia menu ($118 per person, two diners minimum) which includes traditional favourites like honey-glazed roasted iberico pork and a heritage-style spicy and sour slow-cooked giant grouper soup. From 1 to 10 September 2022, there’s also a special Mid-Autumn Treasures menu ($138 per person) with seasonal specialties like sautéed sliced duck with Chinese wine, rose wine marinated chilled abalone and other treats.

1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Nearest MRT: Raffles Place

Jade cantonese restaurant Singapore
Jade’s double-boiled kampong chicken soup in fresh young coconut with Japanese dried scallops and snow lotus. Photo credit: Jade

4. Lei Garden

If you’re looking for Cantonese restaurants serving traditional fare that’s suitable for a multi-generational family dinner or lunch, Lei Garden is an obvious choice. They have been serving Singapore’s discerning diners since 1989 (from the old Orchard Road location) and are known for authentic Cantonese fare served in an elegant European dining space. Their bright and classy restaurant within historic CHIJMES has been awarded a Michelin star and meals here are consistent and classic. Signature dishes include well-executed family favourites like the roast pork, which boasts a crackling skin and tender flesh, and the hearty claypot rice with preserved meat.

30 Victoria St, #01-24 CHIJMES. Nearest MRT: City Hall

Lei Garden cantonese restaurant Singapore
Lei Garden serves comforting Cantonese fare such as crackling roast pork. Photo credit: Lei Garden

5. Wah Lok

Wah Lok at the Carlton Hotel is a stalwart Cantonese restaurant that has been serving diners since it opened in 1988. Wah Lok’s interiors offer a grand dining experience and most of the tables are situated in a rotunda-style dining area complete with polished marble, lacquered arches and a beautiful chandelier. Signature dishes include traditional favourites like a double-boiled mixed seafood and yellow melon soup that is served in an actual hollowed out melon. There are also some memorable and unique dishes like the baked barbecue pork buns and steamed crab meat and egg white dumplings. The food is consistently good and a popular choice for weddings and celebratory meals, weekend dim sum lunches and more.

76 Bras Basah Road, Carlton Hotel Singapore. Nearest MRT: Bras Basah

Wah Lok cantonese restaurant Singapore
Wah Lok has been a stalwart in the scene for decades. Photo credit: Wah Lok

6. Mott32

A meal at Marina Bay Sands’ Mott32 is a glamorous experience – right from the dark and sexy interiors of wood and marble to the creative cocktails and inventive Cantonese fare. At the helm is Hong Kong-born executive chef Chan Wai Keung, who has more than 35 years of experience. His specialities include the apple wood-roasted Peking duck ($108, advance orders needed) which is carved tableside and made only with 42-day old Malaysian birds that go through a 48-hour preparation. The dish is presented as crispy skin (to be dipped into raw cane sugar) and tender flesh to be rolled into pancakes. Other menu highlights are the iberico pork and black truffle siu mai where the meat is wrapped around a perfectly cooked quail egg with a runny yolk. For lunch, they serve an expanded dim sum menu, and are happy to cater to diners with dietary restrictions.

10 Bayfront Ave, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Nearest MRT: Bayfront

Mott 32 cantonese restaurant Singapore
Mott 32’s applewood roasted Peking duck. Photo credit: Mott 32

7. Man Fu Yuan

This Michelin Plate awardee is one of the most highly acclaimed Cantonese restaurants in Singapore and known for their modern and creative interpretations of traditional dishes. Man Fu Yuan‘s menu, conceptualised by executive Chinese chef Aaron Tan, are equal parts innovative and delicious. Dishes never stray far from what you’re used to as they are underpinned by traditional culinary techniques. The kung fu soup is a hearty, moreish broth made of double-boiled sakura chicken, abalone, maca and morel mushrooms served in a tea pot, while the chilled Fanny Bay oysters in hua diao wine, ikura, and bonito is a delight, arriving in a tea-infused smoke presentation akin to floating clouds. While there, pair your dishes with the restaurant’s selection of quality wines and premium teas.

80 Middle Road Level 2 InterContinental Singapore. Nearest MRT: Bugis

Man Fu Yuan cantonese restaurant Singapore
Man Fu Yuan’s Fanny Bay oysters in hua diao wine, ikura and bonito. Photo credit: Man Fu Yuan

8. Yàn

The elegant Yàn is where you can get visually attractive Cantonese fare that is both familiar and gratifying. Situated on level five of National Gallery Singapore, the menu boasts both innovative pairings and comfort classics. The steamed cod fillet with enoki mushroom and minced garlic is aromatic and light, while the braised hot and sour broth is hearty and comforting with flower crab claw, scallop and prawns served in a whole coconut with a glass of coconut juice and crispy breadstick on the side. The usual Peking roast duck and crispy roast suckling pig is available for a grand feast, or you could go for the moreish fried soon hock (marble goby) with preserved lemon sauce. Yàn also has tempting five-course set lunch menus for the busy professional ($42 per person, minimum two diners) that includes a dim sum trio platter, soup, a rice or noodle dish, a main (either sautéed kurobuta pork with seasonal vegetables or a crispy cod fillet) and a dessert.

1 Saint Andrew’s Road, #05-02, National Gallery. Nearest MRT: City Hall

Yàn cantonese restaurant
Steamed cod fillet with golden minced garlic is served in one of Yàn’s set lunch menus. Photo credit: Yàn

9. 5 ON 25

Perch on the 25th floor of Andaz Singapore, 5 ON 25 is a restaurant that’s set to impress with its striking modern design that takes cues from 1950s Singapore. The menu, crafted by executive chef Lim Hong Lih, is filled with modern Cantonese favourites that are gussied up with luxurious ingredients. It draws from the “five home-style flavours of Chinese cuisine” and the idea that meals should present a harmonious mix of salty, spicy, sour, sweet and bitter flavours. Chef Lim’s signatures include elevated Cantonese classics like the double-boiled grouper soup with fish maw and wolfberries, as well as intriguing creations like the fried bird’s nest with Sri Lankan crabmeat, beansprouts and superior stock. And if the sheer variety of dishes overwhelms, you can always opt for the family dinner sets ($108-$238 per person, four diners minimum) that include a selection of dishes that are perfect for sharing. 5 ON 25 also offers a dim sum menu with savoury offerings like the scallop siew mai with fish roe, the crowd-pleasing xiao long bao and the honey barbecue pork in puff pastry.

5 Fraser Street, Andaz Singapore. Nearest MRT: Bugis

Shredded chicken with sesame sauce and the deep fried honey pork rib at 5 ON 25. Photo credit: Andaz Singapore

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

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