Ding Dong is serious about its food, but not much else. With a tagline of ‘a little Ding for your Dong’, a quirky and retro interior and a soundtrack of ’80s ballads, it has cemented its spot as one of Singapore’s cheekiest restaurants, offering fresh South-East Asian flavours with a side of fun.
Located in a shophouse in the heart of historic Chinatown, Ding Dong is part of Cynthia Chua’s Spa Esprit Group – a portfolio of well-known food, beverage and lifestyle brands. For this particular venture, Cynthia partnered with esteemed chef, Ryan Clift, who trained under some of the world’s greatest chefs before opening the renowned Tippling Club. Ryan’s ingredient-driven approach at Ding Dong integrates familiar yet modern flavours and textures to create a unique menu that inspires a true sense of nostalgia.
Executing Ryan’s playful vision on a day-to-day basis is Assistant Head Chef, Miller Mai. Miller’s early experiences working at his parents’ seafood stall inspired him to train professionally as a chef at Singapore’s leading culinary management institution. Miller started his journey with the Spa Esprit Group in 2014 and continued to hone his skills under the guidance of Ryan at the Tippling Club and Open Farm Community before making the move to Ding Dong.
Here, Miller offers diners a playful, inventive and unique take on modern South-East Asian cuisine, drawing on the region’s culture and tastes. For starters, the menu offers a selection of cold and sharing plates, including the fragrant Adobo Duck Rillettes with atchara and Pandesal bun, and Kuih Pie Tee, Singapore Chilli Crab.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, the bigger plates boast dishes such as Red Snapper In Green Curry with white clam, and Pork Belly with char siew and caramelised pineapple. End your meal with the refreshing Durian Alaskan and you’ll be in culinary heaven. For those who prefer an element of surprise, there’s also the Feed Me option of six courses chosen by the chef.
Spa Esprit’s Group Bar Manager, Andy Loudon, explores the unique and diverse flavours that are abundant throughout South East Asia and you will discover bespoke Asian plus a range of ‘Not So Lonely Planet’ cocktails. Using local ingredients, he aims to bring a fun and vibrant drinking experience to Ding Dong with an emphasis on flavours and modern bartending techniques and procedures. A selection of 100% natural wines from Europe, Australia and New Zealand are also available by the glass or bottle to complement each dish.
The vibrant vibe is accentuated in the design of the space. Voon Wong of London and Singapore-based design agency, Viewport Studio, paid tribute to the Singapore of days past with the interior design. Custom wrought-iron trelliswork based on vintage designs surrounds the booths near the entrance, which feature bold retro upholstery, while the walls are covered with bespoke wallpaper inspired by vintage Asian movie posters.
Coupled with the’70s and’80s soundtrack, Ding Dong certainly lives up to its quirky name – promising to take diners on an experiential journey of culinary delights. With modern yet nostalgic fare on offer, a fun take on interior design and a relaxed atmosphere, you can’t go wrong.