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Ju Signatures has joined Serangoon Gardens.
Serving Instagrammable dim sum and Cantonese cuisine, the cafe's kitchen is helmed by a former chef of the Peony Jade group.
Their executive dim sum chef, Wong Kok Shyong, has worked as the Michelin-recognised restaurant's dim sum chef for the past 15 years, where he specialised in dim sum and mooncakes.
The 50-year-old chef has accumulated 30 years of culinary experience under his belt, including at places like JW Marriott Jakarta and St. Regis Hotel Singapore.
Wong is assisted by dim sum sous chef Teo Yee Eng who is a former dim sum sous chef at Shangri-la Hotel.
Prices range from S$4.20 for a Baked Orh Nee Tart with Gingko Nut to S$11.80 for a plate of XO Carrot Cake Stir-Fried with Prawns.
Here's what we tried at the media tasting.
Instagrammable dim sum
The Ju Treasures Trio: Har Gao Gems (S$7.80) comprises three prawn dumplings in different colours and slightly different fillings.
The white one is your good ol' har gao that I dipped in chilli sauce for a bit of kick.
The pink one contains chives and carrots that enhance the texture, which made it my favourite among the three. We were told it also includes grouper fish meat but I couldn't detect it as the prawn flavour was very dominant.
The dominant prawn flavour also outshone the crab meat in the blue one.
Overall, they look a little prettier than your run-of-the-mill dim sum and don't taste too drastically different from traditional dim sum, which makes it a safe yet Instagrammable choice.
Next, we had the Wok-fried Chilli Crab in Mantou Tureen with a Lid (S$8.80), which features the mantou version of a bread bowl.
The chilli crab sauce, which contains small pieces of crab meat, leans towards the sweeter side with just a slight kick.
It's different from what we're normally used to outside, though, and we can't say it's in a good way.
Order this dish if you can appreciate the creativity and its cute appearance but aren't too particular about chilli crab sauce.
The third dish we tried was the eye-catching Yuan Yang Love Swans with Golden 'Lychee Ball' (S$10.80).
ostrich black swan is an elevated version of your typical liu sha bao with flowy salted egg lava encased in a flaky, crispy exterior.
The savoury counterpart in the form of the golden swan contains mushroom and chicken in the same flaky, crispy pastry.
The "lychee ball" looks like the fruit, but is actually a prawn ball in disguise. It was a tad too salty for me, however.
More dim sum
Despite looking less photogenic than the first three dishes, the Quintessential Four (S$10.80) comprises an interesting combination of dim sum.
They are the:
- Crisp-Fried Pork and Chives Dumpling in California Roll Style
- Ju 6-Mushroom Vegetarian Pau
- Lavalicious Orh-Nee Salted Egg Sesame Ball
- Phoenix Siew Mai
The pau doesn't only look like a mushroom, it also contains six kinds of mushrooms such as abalone mushroom and king oyster mushroom. As someone who likes paus and mushrooms, I enjoyed this one.
The sesame ball comes with a thin layer of mochi encasing the orh nee (yam paste) and salted egg filling.
While I appreciated the combination of mochi, orh nee, and salted egg, it feels like it might feel jelak if you eat more than one.
Lastly, the dumpling and siew mai were, well, good. No complaints here.
Among the three fried dim sum we were served, the Crisp-fried Prawn Roll with Banana (three pieces for S$5.20) stood out to me.
I was first hit by the flavour of sweet fried banana, followed by savoury prawn.
As someone new to the dish, the combination threw me off, but those who are familiar with it will probably like it.
The Golden Brown Crisp Prawn Dumplings (three pieces for S$5.80) and Pan-fried Carrot Cake (three pieces for S$5.20) were what you would expect them to be, and make for safe dim sum options.
If you just want good ol' liu sha bao with little frills, order the Japanese Bamboo Charcoal Custard Salted Egg Lava Buns (three pieces for S$5.80).
For a crusty exterior, go for the Original Bolo Pau with Butter (two pieces for S$4.80).
Last but not least, we rounded off our meal with the Signature Duo Platter: Baked Orh Nee Tart with Gingko Nut & Chilled Soursop Delight (S$9.80).
The chilled soursop dessert was not as sour as I thought it would be. The soursop flesh lends a tanginess that cuts through the sweetness of the popping pearls, which makes for a refreshing dessert on a hot day.
The orh nee paste in the tart is very creamy but not too sweet, with gingko nuts that add a hint of bitterness and texture.
If a full bowl of the creamy yam paste might be a bit too much of a guilty treat, these bite-sized tarts deliver this traditional dessert in smaller doses (S$4.20 each).
This place is worth checking out if you enjoy prawn-based dimsum, orh nee-flavoured and/or salted egg yolk lava treats, or just love Instagrammable food.
According to a representative from Ju, there are 40 to 50 types of dim sum on the menu, most of which will be available from June 11, 2022.
The restaurant will roll out the Cantonese dishes and mooncakes at the end of June or July.
All menu items are eligible for a 10 per cent discount during their soft launch on June 11 and 12.
The 48-seater dim sum cafe uses a cream and gold colour scheme with wooden accents.
There's a small table to enjoy a bit of alfresco dining or to rest while they wait for their takeaway orders.
The individual chairs add a pop of colour to the space with booths at the back for more privacy.
Address: 4 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556682 (facing myVillage at Serangoon Gardens)
Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Closed on Monday.
Official Opening: June 14, 2022
Soft Launch Dates: June 11 and 12, 2022, 9:30am to 2:30pm (10 per cent off all menu items)
Top images by Karen Lui.
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