Some of us may still remember Shen Tan, former chef of the now-defunct Wok & Barrel, which specialises in gourmet versions of Singapore’s favourite hawker dishes. Now after her year-long break, Chef Tan is fully recharged and excited about her new role as Executive Chef of Ujong, located at Raffles Place.
Chef Tan continues to do what she does best – taking some of our favourite hawker dishes and infusing them with a gourmet twist.
Ujong is open for breakfast from 10am and features dishes such as carrot cake terrine with crispy prawn fritters ($13.90), chee cheong fun with fried spice dried prawn floss ($11.90) as well as Chef Tan’s signature nasi lemak from her former hawker stall at Maxwell Market.
For lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers a hearty selection of modern Singapore dishes such as fish curry laksa ($23.90), beef rendang ($17.90) and claypot rice with five-spice pork ($23.90). You can expect a lot of pork lard in some of Chef Tan’s creations including the hae bee hiam nentaiko capellini ($25.90) and har zi meen ($17.90), a shrimp flavoured noodle dish served with crispy pork and dressed with kicap manis, onion and garlic. Be prepared to gain a few pounds here, for a few mouthful of these dishes can be a dieter’s nightmare.
We were glad that Ujong had included the ba chor mee pasta from Wok & Barrel into the menu. For the dish, the pork is first marinated with a special five-spice rub for two days and then confit to retain the flavours and moisture. The aromatic pork cubes served with handmade tagliatelle is certainly the star dish at Ujong.
Ujong offers a small but adequate selection of local desserts. The puloh hitam pudding with gula meleka butterscotch served with coconut ice cream looks nothing like the puloh hitam dessert we usually have but instead, looks more like a sticky date pudding. We think that the pudding is too dry and dense and would prefer it to be more moist and spongey to soak up the delicious gula melaka butterscotch sauce. Chef Tan’s version of the chendol, Shendol (a pun on her name), is a coconut panna cotta served with homemade red bean ice cream. The coconut pudding here is intensely rich due the use of coconut milk and cream. And again, we would have preferred it to be lighter and more wobbly, particulary since we were having it after the heavy main courses. Prices for desserts are between $11.50 to $15.90.
If you are planning for a meal with friends or family, you can make a reservation for the private room which can accomodate up to 10 diners. Room bookings are on a first-come-first-serve basis with no minimum spend required.
Ujong @ Raffles
Address: #01-10, 328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore 188719
Operating hours 10:00am –10:00pm daily
Reservation Hotline: 6635 6502