Monday, January 26

Little bundles of joy at Jing Hua, Palais Renaissance

Jing Hua first opened doors at “Qun Zhong Eating House” and now, second generation has taken the old mother hen out for a modern spin and even expanded it beyond our sunny shores.

Due to my love-hate relationship with town (love the bustle but hate the crowds), I liked how quiet this outlet at Palais Renaissance was. Thanks to its location, it is hardly surprising that this outlet has a noticeably more ritzy décor than the Neil Road and Bugis outlet.

An appetizer of sorts were these cigar-shaped egg spring rolls. I was recenelty blown away by the spring rolls at Shanghai Ren Jia (oh those delectable plump pillows with juicy scald-your-tongue fillings!) so these were rather underwhelming. At least they were served warm with a gratifying crisp within each bite.

You get ‘em boiled

You can argue that there isn’t much to be offered here as the menu is as tight as a corset, and the dumplings are more or less made with the same "mixed seafood and pork" filling; however, to me, this exudes a wholesome, home-style charm absent among their overtly commercialized competitors.

Hastily thrown on a plate were some boiled mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings. Filled with pork, shrimp and crab, I am happy to report they were really satisfying despite the haphazard presentation.

You get ‘em boiled deep-fried

There is also a deep-fried version with them dumplings resembling golden ingots. 

You get ‘em pan-fried

The Pan-Fried Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings were just as delicious and it was easy to pop one too many into your mouth before you realize the damage done.

Another dish that I really liked was the Chinese Pizza (though I really dislike the need to westernise the name of this dish). Essentially a pancake stuffed with the same-same-but-different mixed seafood and pork filling with crisp crimped edges. A word of advice: You have to eat it quick before soggy bottoms set in.

Spinach with oyster sauce – token vegetable dish.

The noodle dishes - Zha Jiang Noodle and Sliced Pork Sichuan Vegtable Noodle - were meh and severely lacking oomph, compared to the other dishes. Skip them unless you… You know what, hmm just skip them.

A popular dessert among the family is the crispy red bean pancake, which was pleasant though a little doughy and over-fried. Nonetheless, I lapped up 3 pieces, given my love for this dessert. 

If you need to relieve yourself of the oiliness of the meal, the Sweet Osmanthus Flower Rice Ball Soup would delight. The rice flour skins might be thicker than usual but it bore a pleasing mochi-esque texture and each bowl was blessed with an assortment of different fillings such as black sesame, peanut, red bean and lotus paste. Sharing might mean hanging onto a lottery ticket, so yup, get your own bowl.

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