With the rice dumpling festival (duanwu jie or 端午节) just around the corner, food stalls and restaurants in Singapore are already selling the dumplings (粽子). We did not plan on it but seeing that they were listed on the rice dumpling festival menu we decided to order some at Jiang Nan Chun.
There were four types of rice dumplings available. We ordered the one with salted pork, mushroom, chestnuts ($14) and the one with red bean paste ($12).
The dumping with chestnuts was quite large. We had rather high expectations as Jiang Nan Chun had always served up very creative and high quality dishes. But this time, we were disappointed. The contents of the dumpling were quite lacklustre. The only saving grace was the chestnuts which were good to eat by themselves but the various ingredients were not sufficient to impart any distinct taste to the rice. It was a good thing that a generous dish of XO sauce was provided. It made a very good combination with the glutinous rice.
The red bean paste dumpling was smaller and even plainer. The red bean content in the dumpling was super low. It felt like a plain packet of glutinous rice. Fortunately we only ordered these dumplings for sampling. We turned our attention to the real food.
Amuse bouche – Jiang Nan Chun style
The two fish dishes – baked cod with miso paste and sea perch ($22 per portion each) reminded us of the JNC that we knew. The sauces provided for the fish were light and did not cover up the natural taste of the fish.
The fried kurobuta pork ($28) and spinach ($24) were simple dishes but cooked very well and made a good meal with rice. My apologies – the dishes have more fancy names and detailed descriptions but I can’t recall them now. All I am sure of is these are very fine dishes and which I am sure will find favour with most people.
Overall, the items that we tried from the rice dumpling festival menu of Jiang Nan Chun were very bland but the regular dishes were good enough to help you forget about them. Sometimes it is better to stick to the tried and tested items. By avoiding the fancy items like sharks fin and lobsters, you can have a good meal in this classy Chinese restaurant at less than $50 per person. But we will have to look else where to buy the goodies for the rice dumpling festival.
We did not have space for dessert but the complimentary ‘petit fours’ – miniature pineapple tart and jelly – were quite sufficient to end our meal with a sweet taste.
Food: 1 for the dumplings; 4 for the regular food
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Jiang Nan Chun
Four Seasons Hotel
190 Orchard Boulevard