The new Janice Wong National Museum Restaurant recently opened in August 2016. Described as Singapore’s “dessert queen” in a Straits Times article in June 2016, Janice Wong had apparently decided to open this new flagship restaurant to serve dim sum and noodles alongside her delectable desserts. Dim sum and desserts sounded like a nice combination and so we stopped by the Janice Wong Singapore restaurant and discovered a place where food meets art.
There is a retail area just inside the restaurant where some of Janice Wong’s creations such as cookies and chocolates could be purchased. Ice-cream and mooncakes were also available. The latter was offered in quite unusual flavours such as chili padi and laksa leaf lemongrass.
The ice-cream looked delicious. The yuzu citrus (above) and the blue violet lavender (below) looked particularly inviting.
Enough of the distractions, let’s get down to the serious business of eating at the Janice Wong National Museum restaurant. As befitting a restaurant at the museum, you will notice big works of art displayed on the walls and on the table-tops. These were apparently made with edible materials (presumably with loads of preservatives) by Janice and her team. We thought that the most beautiful artwork was the one encased in the surface of our table. You can see it in our pictures below. We also have a video on Janice’s art for you at the end of this post.
Here are some pictures of some pages from the menu. The savoury part of the menu is quite short but does contain things not seen in other places. The dessert section is understandably more interesting. There are even different types of dessert degustation menus. We ordered a mixed bag of items.
These poliwhirl-like buns are known as whimsical buns. They cost $4 each and come in three flavours. We tried a “liquid egg” and a “braised veal”. Apart from the attractive presentation, these buns tasted similar to other types of pau offered elsewhere.
This plate of colourful caterpillar-like objects is the BBQ Candy Pork Buns ($14). These cylindrical char siew pau were garnished with pork floss and XO sauce. The dough part of this item was nice and chewy but the BBQ pork content was rather low. This may be a manifestation of Ms Wong’s priorities that was reflected in her comment in the ST article that “(t)he filling of dim sum is so over-rated…”
This is the Signature 5 Dumplings ($15). An exquisite interpretation of common dim sum items done the Janice Wong way. I can’t remember the individual items, but each small dumpling contained an explosion of tastes. This time, each item had unique skins as well as delicious contents. Now, this is more like what we anticipated.
The basket of xiao long bao “XLB Combo” ($20) is another must eat item here. Each of these xiao long bao had a different taste and all were good. The red one was singled out to be exceptional. It contains some whiskey which combined very well with the usual xlb broth.
The final savoury dish was also the best – the Scallop Somen ($22). This noodle dish was decorated with some interesting ingredients – fish roe, ebi, scallops and salted egg yolk sauce. It also looked beautiful and will not look out of place in a French fine dining establishment.
Time for desserts. It was a hard to decide as all the items had such enticing descriptions. We settled on these two.
The Cassis Plum ($24) was highly recommended to us. Its contents included exotic sounding materials such as cassis bombe, elderflower yogurt foam, chola granita, yuzu pearls. Things which ordinary humans like us have never heard of. But do not fear the unknown – everything combined well together. This lilac ball wearing a bow tie was a refreshing object that merges many flavours. Overall more sour than sweet, which was pleasantly different from the run of the mill desserts.
The second dessert was a Tsujirihei Green Tea Tart. It looked more conventional and not as attractive as the Cassis Plum. We were drawn to this because of the Kyoto green tea description in the menu. The green tea element was lovely and very distinct. The plain tasting jasmine rice sherbet provided some balance. Overall a pleasant dish, but without the “wow” element of the first dessert.
Overall, an interesting lunch at Janice Wong’s new restaurant at the Singapore National Museum. The prices are on the high side but the restaurant setting and the food was like no other place in Singapore. The last time we had tried the Janice Wong dim sum and savoury items was at the 2015 F1 Paddock Club (read our story here). Things have improved a lot since then.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Janice Wong Singapore Restaurant
93 Stamford Road
National Museum Singapore, 01-06
Monday – Thursday: 11am – 11pm (last order 10:30pm)
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 1am (last order 12:30am)
Sunday: 11am – 6pm (last order 5pm)
Tel: +65 97125338
Nearby Stations : Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah