[My sister reviews Min Jiang]
Today we went for a birthday dinner at Min Jiang at Rochester Park. I really think this is one of the restaurants in Singapore with a beautiful and romantic ambience, complete with dramatic and glamourous lighting, but that is only true if you sit outside. The colonial bungalow it is housed in and the tropical garden outside make for a lovely and on the right night, windy al fresco dinner.
The seating upstairs though, is noisy, cramped and entirely to be avoided at all costs. One let-down of the restaurant is that they have classically Chinese service, that is, there is almost none and all your requests will be pertinently ignored and the pace of the meal will either be delayed and slow, or rushed and insistent, depending on how close they are to closing time.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures as the lighting was really not ideal and I only managed to photograph the first two courses.
We started with the Specialty Legendary Wood Fired Crispy and Juicy Beijing Duck ($80 – whole, $40 – half) and what sets the Rochester Park restaurant apart is that they have a custom built oven for roasting the duck and a Beijing trained specialist to operate the oven.
The duck was moist, thinly sliced and came with two baskets of paper thin chinese pancakes, as well as an assortment of side spreads, from ginger and garlic, to granulated sugar (for the duck neck), sour cabbage and leeks.
The second dish was a pork rib, honeyed and served in individual pieces with a orange dressing. It was very good, well flavoured and with a firm but plump texture. We also had the steamed fresh fish (a garoupa, $80 for a 1.5 kg fish) and lobster noodles ($16 per person).
5 Rochester Park, Singapore
Ambience: 5/5 if downstairs in the garden
Overall: Good for a date or a special and leisurely dinner