Mom’s Birthday Lunch at Min Jiang One-North

By 28 May, 2013Birthdays, Chinese, Food, Life

Sometimes it can be quite a task to bring my parents somewhere new for lunch – other than getting them to agree to it, I have to make separate calls to my parents, then organize with my brother, and then the most difficult task is trying to tell my Mum (who is a directional idiot, sorry mom haha) and Dad (who speaks only Mandarin) how to get to the location.

Surprisingly though, it was pretty easy this time round because my brother’s a rather proficient driver by now. Phew! Although I had to get calls from both my dad and mum asking me where it is… “Har? Simi? Buona Vista ah?”

Okay directions aside. Parking at Min Jiang @ One North is quite limited, so you’ll have to (or rather, I did) valet my car for $4 in the afternoon (supposedly $6 at night). We visited on a Sunday, and the place was pretty quiet – not too packed, nor noisy – makes a very good and comfortable place for business meetings or huge family gatherings. The restaurant, a two-storey colonial bungalow, is mainly black & white with a touch of bronze, decorated by celebrated architect and interior designer, Ernesto Bedmar (view his works here). They supposedly have an al fresco area, but I didn’t walk around much to explore – the only other thing I noticed was that the toilet is unisex, haha.

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My first experience with Min Jiang was at my deaer friend Anne’s 21st Birthday Party which was at least 8 years back… which was more like an engagement party than a birthday lunch, hahaha. Back then I did not appreciate food that much and I barely remembered anything about the food – that was at Min Jiang’s Goodwood Park Hotel branch, and I also recall that Anne’s family loved going back there for celebrations so I would assume that this place’s food is really good!

Min Jiang serves Chinese / Cantonese food, and you can expect to find Dim Sum on the menu as well. The branch at One-North is pretty new, and I was pretty happy that they have a branch so near where I’m living now so that I don’t need to fight traffic and spend an exorbitant amount on parking in town.

Because this place is more like Chinese fine dining – the simple lunch (about 6 dishes + desserts) cost the 5 of us $448+, so that works out to about $89+ per person? You can view their full menu with the prices here.

Min Jiang @ One-North
5 Rochester Park
Tel: 67740122
Opening Hours:
Lunch: 11am – 2pm
Dinner: 6pm – 1030pm

The Food

Chinese/Cantonese Cuisine

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Their Legendary Wood-fired Crispy & Juicy Beijing Duck costs $90 for a whole duck, or $45 for half. We took the whole duck and had them cook the remaining meat with rice (fried rice).

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They slice the duck differently here, so you get more meat than skin.

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The skin is a little thicker than usual, but still very much delicious to me. They are served in dim sum steamers. We received two trays which was more than enough.

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They also offer a second style of having your Peking Duck – you either pick the usual with sweet sauce and cucumber, or this one above is the Si Chuan style, with White Carrots and 泡菜.

From the official press release:

“Unlike other Chinese restaurants, Min Jiang at One-North serves its Beijing duck at the table in three ways – the skin from the neck is accompanied by granulated sugar; while the rest of the skin and meat are served in two styles – combined with leek, cucumber and sweet sauce and wrapped in a plain flour pancake; as well as combined with Tientsin cabbage, radish, garlic paste and sweet sauce and wrapped in a plain flour pancake.”

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You can choose to wrap yourself, or have the server wrap it up for you – my dad commented that the Si Chuan style wasn’t was pretty refreshing for a change!

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Like most Chinese restaurants, you can choose to have your prawns cooked any way you want and we had them boiled, aka 白蒸. They have live prawns, so it was good – always better than frozen ones. These were sweet and delicious and were served with two dips – the usual one with soy sauce and a sweet chilli (the chicken rice kind).

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Like the prawns, the fishes could be cooked any style you wanted and we picked the Soon Hock, cooked 港蒸 (hk style). While the fish was fresh and it was well-cooked, I am still not a big fan of fish so I took very little of it.

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Sweet & Sour Pork, aka 咕噜肉 was not too bad! Crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside. But to be honest, if you were to put me in Paradise Inn and eat this I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. My taste not sooo refined la, haha.

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干煸四季豆 String Beans with Minced Pork – was okay, but I still prefer the ones I had in Hong Kong. (Oh man I miss that stall so. I believe I still remember how to walk there even though I’ve forgotten the restaurant name, lol)

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Min Jiang’s Famed Lobster Noodles ($20 per person) – was looking forward to this the most, actually! We skipped the rice and had this instead. The lobster was fresh and meat was tasty – the noodles portion was pretty small, so this wasn’t too much at all. I liked it, but not so much the choice of noodles – somehow it tasted a little siap siap to me.

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I had the Hashima with red dates, a favorite of mine for dessert. My brother picked Durian Pudding, which he loved (my family love durians!).

The price tag is a little high for me to dine here on a regular basis, I’d admit, but it was nice trying out this place at least once (I’ve been meaning to visit since I knew they have a branch in Rochester) and the quietly tucked away corner saved me from headaches I usually get at busy and boisterous restaurants.

Lunch was peaceful and enjoyable – We chatted happily about many different things over lunch and had a few good laughs. I loved the ambiance of this place, the servers were attentive and polite (with the exception of one very sour-faced auntie) and they could have better photo taking skills but knowing how to use the camera isn’t a requirement lah, hahaha.

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Ever since I got married and moved to the other end of the island, the time our family spends together have been progressively lesser – but the love isn’t any less, and I’m glad that I have such a loving and understanding family.

I think for my parents, there’s nothing better than seeing your kids grow up well and fine… and for me, I’m very happy to see my parents still so much in love, and most of all, chubby but healthy, wahhahahaa.

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The weekend we had lunch was my Mum’s lunar birthday, and today’s her actual birth date, 28th May.

Happy 49th, Mummy! We love you ; D

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