I’ve been to both Janice Wong’s 2am Dessert Bar in Holland Village and her dessert bar in Tokyo that opened earlier this year so I was really excited to go to her new restaurant that opened in the National Museum in August for an early birthday celebration last Friday. Named after herself, the restaurant seats around 40 people with tables that are comfortably spread out as well as a bar counter where you can sit.
The interior of the restaurant is dark and elegant similar to that of the 2am Dessert Bar and Janice Wong Dessert Bar Tokyo but with more of an arty feel to it.
The savoury food menu consists of mostly dim sum and noodles, not the usual dim sum you would find though but dumplings and buns that come in unconventional flavours and are made to look like art on a plate. The dessert menu is the same as in the 2am Dessert Bar with a wide variety of classic and contemporary desserts and ice creams. A 3 course degustation lunch menu ($35) and 5 course degustation dinner menu ($68) is available as well as dessert degustation menus, high tea and vegetarian set menus.
We decided to go for the dinner degustation where you can choose either 2 pieces of the Hot Explosion Xiao Long Bao or Ratatouille Siew Mai, either Scallop Somen or Crispy Charcoal Nest and either Chocolate H2O or Strawberry Caprese for dessert. You’re also given Tofu and the Shades Of Green dessert. The dinner degustation menu was a little different from the one on their website as I was hoping to try the Whimsical Buns but this had been replaced with Ratatouille Siew Mai so I decided to get the Hot Explosion Xiao Long Bao in Truffle Cheese Chicken flavour, Scallop Somen and Chocolate H2O. Janice Wong also has her own range of special teas that come in interesting flavours such as Toffee Popcorn and Tea-Cola so as I felt like drinking Chai I got a pot of the Bollywood Chai flavour tea ($8.50) which was served black with no sugar which is how I like my tea and had a mild mix of spices in it typical of an Indian Chai. My friend tried the Japanese Salt Soda ($7.50) as she was curious to see what it was like as she had never come across it before in Japan even though she’s from there. The Japanese Salt Soda although it sounds weird is actually very nice, it is only slightly salty and it’s also a bit sweet which balances out the drink nicely. It’s a bit like a Coca Cola Tab Clear drink if you’d ever tried that back in the 90’s but with a little salt added.
The Hot Explosion Xiao Long Bao was nice, similar to the ones you can find in Paradise Dynasty where you can have Xiao Long Bao in several different flavours. My friend chose to get the Shrimp Konbu flavour Xiao Long Bao so we swapped a piece so that we could try each others. The Shrimp Konbu Xiao Long Bao was juicy and hot, the skin was delicate but we couldn’t taste the konbu (type of Japanese seaweed). The Truffle Cheese Chicken Xiao Long Bao had a hint of truffle flavour but we couldn’t taste the cheese in it. We were given vinegar with fresh ginger and chilli sauce to dip the Xiao Long Bao into but I wouldn’t recommend doing this as it may overpower the delicate flavours of the Xiao Long Bao.
The Tofu was ok but it’s not something I would choose to eat again. It had some pickled purple cabbage and spinach on top and it was in a sambal sauce (spicy sauce made from shrimp paste).
The Scallop Somen was delicious. It came with perfectly cooked slices of scallop, a generous amount of salmon eggs, dried shrimp and was garnished with spring onion, edible flowers and had a salted egg yolk sauce. The somen was soft but still had a bite to it and it tasted mostly of dried shrimp and onion and also had some small pieces of dried salted fish in it which added to the flavour. I don’t think the salted egg yolk sauce brought anything in terms of flavour to the dish. There was very little of it and when eaten together with the rest of the dish, it was overpowered by the other flavours. Nevertheless it was a tasty noodle dish.
The desserts were what I was waiting for since this is Janice Wong’s speciality as she was Asia’s Best Pastry Chef for 2 years in 2013 and 2014. The Shades Of Green dessert was beautifully presented as are all her desserts and consists of a pistachio sponge, coconut mousse and pandan ice cream. Pieces of coconut meringue, wafers and crystallised crushed pistachio nuts added some crunch and texture to the dessert. All the flavours worked really well together and it was a really good dessert, perhaps one of my favourite Janice Wong desserts however the pistachio sponge was very hard and dense and I could barely even cut it with my spoon.
The Chocolate H2O dessert is made from 65% dark chocolate and had a salted caramel sauce, yuzu sorbet made from yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) which is from Kochi (prefecture in Japan that is famous for growing yuzu), a chocolate crumb and yuzu gel. The bitterness and richness of the cold chocolate mousse-like structure in the middle of the plate went well with the salty sweetness of the salted caramel and the refreshing and tangy yuzu sorbet. It was a perfect end to the dinner degustation.
I tried a little bit of the Strawberry Caprese dessert which my friend had, it had a lovely fresh strawberry flavour and was made up of strawberry ice cream, raspberry fluff, sakura pearls and chartreuse (fruit in jelly).
As the dinner was for my birthday celebration, I was given some Janice Wong yuzu chocolates on a plate with Happy Birthday written on it 🙂
I had a really nice and relaxing dinner there and the food was generally pretty good with the desserts being the highlight of the meal of course. I definitely want to go back for the lunch degustation which is good value at $35 for 3 courses plus coffee or tea and also to try the dessert degustation menus. Service at Janice Wong Singapore is smiley, friendly and efficient and there is a shop in the restaurant where you can buy mochi (Japanese rice cake), chocolates, ice cream and other sweets to take away.
Janice Wong also recently opened a small shop selling her chocolates and mochi in the basement of Paragon shopping mall incase you’re in the area.
Janice Wong Singapore
Address: National Museum Singapore, 01-06, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897 (Nearest MRT: Bras Basah / Dhoby Ghaut)
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11am – 11pm, last order 10:30pm, Friday & Saturday:
11am – 1am, last order 12:30am, Sunday: 11am – 6pm, last order 5pm
Hope you’ve enjoyed my Janice Wong Singapore review, please feel free to leave a comment below with your own review of the restaurant or if you have any questions! See here for my review of Janice Wong’s 2am Dessert Bar and this post for Janice Wong Dessert Bar in Tokyo.