When it comes to deciding where to eat in Jewel, you’re practically spoilt for choice. But if you are leaning towards Chinese cuisine, give Yun Nans on the 2nd floor a try if you haven’t tried the food there.
Yun Nans, or its original name Yun Hai Yao (云海肴) is the largest Yunnan restaurant chain over 150 restaurants in China, but its Jewel outlet marks the first time the chain has opened its doors internationally. It aims to showcase Yunnan-cuisine, using fresh ingredients imported from the province.
First on the table was the Tossed Rice Noodles with Shredded Chicken ($12.90). This appetiser, which kind of looks like yusheng, is a mix of rice noodles (imported from Yunnan), mushrooms, shredded chicken, carrots, purple cabbage, chives and egg — 7 different ingredients representing Yunnan. I kept picking out the deep fried mushrooms, they have a hint of peanut and sesame sauce taste.
Their signature Steamed Pot Chicken Soup is the most interesting dish on the menu and comes highly recommended. Special black feet chicken are steamed without using a single drop of water for 3 hours.
The resulting soup has a natural sweetness that’s nourishing without an oily aftertaste.
Once you’re done with steamed chicken soup, you end up with tasteless chicken meat leftovers. At Yun Nan’s, they serve the Steamed Pot Chicken Soup alongside a plate of peppercorn, bean sprouts and sauce — creating a secondary dish you can mix with the chicken with. That’s why the restaurant calls this signature dish “one pot, two eating styles”.
Between meals, the Raspberry Juice with Tamarind ($4.90) is the perfect palate cleanser. Yun Nan’s signature drink is apparently ordered over 300 times in all it’s restaurants back in China. It’s not mind blowing but it is certainly refreshing.
These Wild Porcini Mushrooms ($24.90) are painstakingly harvested 2000-3000m above sea level by Yunnan local farmers. The mushrooms are flash fried with Yunnan chillies and garlic, giving the mushrooms a slight crunchy texture like potato chips. The garlic isn’t pungent, and tastes somewhat like chestnut.
You’re not wrong to assume that the Poached Pork Collar with Pickled Chillies ($16.90) looks kind of like tom yum. Some of its dishes have Thai influences as Yunnan borders Thailand. It even tastes like laksa with its slightly spicy sour soup. The star of this dish, the premium pork collar, is tender and addictive. I wanted more.
Another dish that may have Thai origins, the Truffle Rice Noodles in Prawn Broth ($13.90) uses prawn stock made from fresh tiger prawns simmered over an hour. This is a dish full of prawn flavour and was not too cloying. The shaved black truffles, also farmed from Yunnan’s mountains, adds a dash of flavour.
It doesn’t look the part, but you will definitely feel the spicy kick from the Grilled Seabass with Lemongrass ($22.90) a few seconds after your first bite. The fish is marinated with 6 spices, including Yunnan wild coriander and chilli padi, then grilled over charcoal fire to give it a smoky flavour. Sprinkled on top is an in-house chilli seasoning mix chilli heads will love.
This dessert was the best way to cap a great Yun Nan feast. This Milk Pudding with Rose Jam was silky smooth creamy and the rose jam added an extra sweetness with every scoopful.
Good word of mouth about Yun Nans has spread, so you can expect a queue if you’re heading there for lunch or dinner. But it’s definitely a spot worth sampling for authentic Yunnan cuisine.