Ding Dong's playful, whimsical name is aptly reflected in its food and cooking, and despite the rather cramped seating area, it's neon tones on the outside betrays a classier interior of modern gentrification of the pre-war shophouses.
Chef Jet Lo is also dead serious about his heritage and his cuisine, and his Asian influences that can be found in his dishes can only be termed as inspiring and delightful.
The playful theme permeating throughout the establishment is represented by the childlike and childhood evocations of some of their best plates. It is an ideal marriage of bringing the old into the new, complete with spanking cool cocktails with names that have a great throwback feel.
|Kon Lao Me|
This refreshing take of a Malaysian noodle classic is recreated using only shredded vegetables made to look like thin noodle strands. The seasoning has a touch of sweet and sour and there is just a perfect balance of both to give the noodles such a bright and fresh taste, and the textures just fit the playful name of the place so well.
The protein quotient is nicely filled with the addition of well cooked sliced porks to give it some meaty tones. The overall combination is so appetising that it is so easy to finish in one go.
|Black Miso Tofu|
This tofu dish looks deceptively straightforward, but the flavour profiles are just so bang on. Japanese dressing coupled with a delectable black miso sauce brings the requisite savoury punch, and the ginger and daikon salad brings the necessary respite.
|Crispy Duck Curry|
This is an inspired dish too, with its fried crispy duck skin that is executed to a culinary tee. The addition of Thai flavours with its curry and its citrusy infusion of passionfruit brings to mind the memories of a good lychee Thai duck curry.
Then again, this is so much better in terms of the final dish, and so much more refined. When modern Euro meets Thailand, you get this astronomically delicious curry.
|Wagyu Beef Char Siew|
I am always sceptical of gimmicky fusion plates, and when I saw the name of this dish, I was somewhat hesitant. But seeing it brought to my table immediately gave me a sense of relief. It is plated as elegant as any Michelin dish can be.
But it is the intense char and caramelisation applied on the prized cow cut that truly dazzles. The supreme level of honey glazed sweet and caramelised bitter will leave no one in any doubt as to how beautiful this dish is. The protein is obediently tender and moist, with a naughty burst of fat.
The garnishes of papaya and cherry tomato may not sound that enticing initially, but it not only works in looks, it actually helps to alleviate some of that delicious richness too. A perfect acid cut through that sweet fat.
|Mah Lai Goh|
A well considered and pretty reinterpretation of Malay steamed cake, the sponge is light and airy to the point of a childish laughter. Innocence is rekindled with every mouthful of this nostalgic dessert brought into the modern ages.
Caramelised bananas only add to the joyous occasion with the extra intensity that bananas can bring and more dosage of banana cream and jelly only furthers the dessert ecstasy to the point of no return.
There are also some mischievous little cocktails to go along with the food, and with names like Stylo Milo and Golden Mile, you know you are in for some extraordinary, giddy booze.
All in all, this is just a cosy, fun little joint to hang out, chill and have a good time. The fun and frivolous nature of the food and drinks only adds to the relaxed nature of the place.
Yet, looking around the surroundings and the food, there is also a sense of tribute to the heritage of the place and the cooking that has come before.
There is a deep respect for everything here, and presented in a delightful, light hearted nature that will charm each and everyone that passes through its door.
23 Ann Siang Road