UPDATE (18/09/2017): The restaurant has closed down.
Occupying two floors of Thye Shan Mansion near Outram Park MRT Station, Grand Mandarina is a Chinese fine dining restaurant that combines tradition, modernity and elegance. All the good reviews online prompted me to walk down from my house to have a sumptuous dinner.
As the first floor was fully occupied, I was escorted to the second floor, where the ambience was so peaceful and relaxing.
After completing my order, I was presented with a free appetiser of prawn with wasabi mayonnaise. Topped with fish roe, it was savoury enough to whet my appetite.
Barbecued Duo Combination S$26.00
Between the two, I truly savoured the signature soft shell crabs topped with curry leaves and chicken floss. They were delectably crunchy with a nice touch of curry flavours that weren't overwhelming. As for the roasted pork belly, each cube had a nice balance of meat and fats. The skin could be crispier though.
Deep-Fried Prawns Coated with Cream Lemon Sauce S$28.00
It's been quite some time since I gave an almost perfect score to a particular dish. The prawn dish for the evening certainly deserved it. Each of the crustaceans was dreamily succulent, almost uniformly coated with the thick and buttery lemon sauce that made me go crazy. The sweet and sour balance was stunning.
Stir-Fried Cod Fillet with Wild Mushroom in Yellow Bean Sauce S$32.00
I'd say the expensive dish of cod fillet wasn't value-for-money, but it tasted more than decent. The lightly breaded fish was fresh and succulent, but it was just a tad too salty overall. Thankfully, the mushrooms and onions offered a respite with their natural sweetness.
I felt that the chef could've done more justice to the romaine lettuce as it was a tad overcooked, thus losing its crunchiness a little bit. Having said that, the dish was flavourful overall, made aromatic with ginger strips.
Stir-Fried Romaine Lettuce with Preserved Beancurd and Shredded Chili S$13.80
Refreshing Green Apple Jelly Served with Lime Sorbet S$8.00
True to its name, the green apple jelly was enjoyable and refreshing indeed, especially since it's not something commonly found in Chinese restaurants. The zesty lime sorbet lent a sour note to the mildly sweet jelly.
I don't know if it's crazy, but I've made another reservation for this coming Saturday to dine with my BFFs. Pika's advice: If you feel like splurging, the restaurant is one of the few in Singapore to offer the legendary Empurau, which is known to be among the list of most expensive freshwater fishes in the world.
325 New Bridge Road
(Mon-Fri: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 11.00pm; Sat-Sun: 11.00am - 2.30pm, 6.00pm - 11.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.
Have a nice meal,