Lan Ting …New Kid on The Block Ain’t No Rookie

 

IMG_4262Barely 3 months into their soft opening, but Lan Ting Cuisine & Wine has proven they are no rookie in any way. The menu is relatively small, not an issue when every dish is well executed. Whether you’re there with family for a midweek dinner or out with friends for a Saturday feast, you will be satiated. The restaurant isn’t too big either.. so get there early or book in advance.

IMG_4288
Sepia tone Chinese art adorn the walls giving the space a trendy Chinoiserie feel.
Nestled within a row of ground floor shops along East Coast Road, the place is comfy, with modern decor, clean lines and cozy ambient lighting. A full bar housing a good range of wines and spirits greets you as you enter.

IMG_4286
A softly lit dark wood mirrored bookshelf at the end of the room lends warmth to a large high table good for 8 people.
IMG_4263
Behind the books, the only private dining room that seats up to 12 people is elegantly decorated with a wall to wall replica painting of Lan Ting, a location in Zhejiang China where poets gathered to drink and compose. Get the whole story when you visit… It is mesmerizing.
Now, on to the food!

Starting with their signature soup, the Huai’an Thick Soup with Crabmeat and Tofu 特色蟹粉豆腐. Each individual porcelain cauldron is filled with freshly peeled sweet crabmeat, soft tofu and crumbs of crab roe swimming in a thick gooey egg drop broth. Add a good dash of black vinegar for that extra kick in this delicious, tummy warming starter!

Get a little teaser taste of their handmade dim sum… The Volcanic Lava Mushroom Bun 蘑菇流沙包 is Lau Sa Bao (salted egg custard bun) disguised as a mushroom! Everyone’s eyes lit up on seeing the adorable funghi in the steamer baskets! The ladies were all “Ooos” and “Ahhhs”. These magical mushrooms melted more hearts than Magic Mike! A thousand points for creativity! The Xiao Long Bao 滚汤小笼包 had a good tablespoonful of sweet clear broth within a wrapper skin which was thin but held up well.

IMG_4306The Mango Cod Fish Roll 香芒鳕鱼卷 is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside! What an appetite pleaser! The cod was fresh and the mango chunk was juicy and sweet. The winning factor was how clean, light and greaseless it was👍IMG_4270Riding on the salted egg craze, Lan Ting’s Deep Fried Salted Egg Yolk Prawns 咸蛋黄焗虾仁 was one of the best I’ve eaten. The large prawn is encased in a thin crispy batter that’s light and airy. The salted egg yolk was subtly infused in the batter… flavorful without being overwhelming. Everyone loved how succulent yet oil less the prawns were.IMG_4487On another visit, the same dish was prepared differently. This time, there was no batter. Instead, the plump crustaceans were quick fried in a salted egg mush. Each prawn coated generously in the sweet, salty moist egg mix. Tweaking recipes is all part of improving and fine tuning a menu, and Lan Ting is no exception. I wonder which version they have decided on or perhaps an invincible third one had been conceived?IMG_4274Like the prawns, the Cereal Soft Shell Crab 麦香炸软壳蟹 was meaty and crunchy and barely greasy. This is undoubtedly evidence of fresh ingredients and fresh oil when deep frying. The crabs are coated generously with crispy fragrant cereal that stick, unlike many versions that see the cereal leave your crab as you pick it up!IMG_4268In the Braised Oxtail & Tendon Claypot 牛筋煲牛尾, small cuts of oxtail are braised to a tenderness that lifts off the bone whilst retaining a good bite. The tendons are soft and teeth-stickingly yummy! This dish is rich and flavorful with strong hints of garlic plus a tinge of spiciness from the red chillis.IMG_4294Braised Intestines and Shallots 葱爆肥肠 … great with a beer! Soft, crunchy & chewy without the jaw ache! The flavor from the onions, chillis and peppers work really well with this organ meat. No funky taste or smell whatsoever.IMG_4284Steam Chicken with Flower Mushrooms 花菇干蒸仔鸡 is such home style comfort food. The chicken is smooth and tender and steamed in a mouth watering savory sauce that had us ordering extra rice! Works anyday of the week, rain or shine!IMG_4289Lan Ting’s Braised Pork Trotters 卤猪蹄…. For all collagen seekers, this is the one! I like that the trotters here come in elegant bite sized morsels. And braised so tender, you barely need teeth for it! Once again, that gravy! This is another one to down with fluffy white rice!IMG_4296Baked Crispy Pork Knuckles 脆皮猪蹄膀 is newly introduced and all I can say is “Where have you been all my life?” Much like a German Schweinhaxe but again, much more elegantly presented. Love Lan Ting for that! The deboned knuckle is sliced into strips. With equal ratios of awesome crackling skin and luscious lean meats. Served with a sweet spicy Thai sauce (though we asked for mustard for that extra zing), this baby was so good we ordered a second portion and contemplated a third!! Usually all the dry leathery meat (a common result of overroasted knuckle) is left behind but not here…The same sidekick managed to remain delicate and supple, much like a pulled pork.. And was devoured as quickly as her popular crunchy leading star! Limited portions daily, so book early!IMG_4266In with the Lan Ting Stir Fried Pork Ribs 野味葱仔骨 and out with Coffee Ribs! Don’t get me wrong, Coffee Ribs are yummy but just a tad passe. Lan Ting’s tender ribs exudes strong chivey flavors. A refreshing change from the usual sweet ribs we’ve been eating for years!IMG_4291Lan Ting has quite an array of rice and noodle dishes, though not all appear on the same page. You have to look out for them! The Lan Ting Special Fried Rice, simply cooked with diced shrimps, spring onions and eggs, packed a good wok of heat and flavor. A superior soy sauce (or soy paste, as preferred by Cantonese Masterchefs), moist free rice (probably overnight!) and high heat is all you need for a smackin’ fried rice but we all know some simple things are hardest to achieve!

Both the Claypot Rice Vermicelli with Crab Meat 米粉煲肉蟹 and Prawns with Glass Noodles in Superior Broth 鲜虾烧粉丝 are semi soupy noodle options to end a meal. The broth in both are savory sweet from the seafood. Great alternatives to the ordinary Braised Yee Mee or Seafood Hor Fun.

Clockwise from top left: Pan Grilled Black Pepper Beef; Sea Cucumber with Wild Rice in Thick Broth; Sliced Fresh Fish Soup; Deep Fried Japanese Eggplant coated with Salted Egg Yolk; Braised Beancurd & Scallops in Claypot. From humble ingredients to fine delicacies, Lan Ting promises fresh produce and fastidious culinary skills.

Dessert fans, not many to choose from unfortunately… Ladies may fancy the Double-Boiled Hashima 冰糖炖雪蛤 given its beauty enhancing benefits. Otherwise, the Pudding in Coconut 椰奶布丁is unpassable! Nice cool jelly with tender coconut strips… everyone’s favorite part was getting to all the coconut meat there is in there!

So, that’s just a start to whet your appetites. I’m certain Lan Ting is cooking up new recipes as I set this up to publish. And frankly, I can’t wait to see what they’ve got up their sleeves!

Lan Ting Cuisine & Wine  @  01-02 Springvale, 907 East Coast Road, Singapore 459107

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s