Founded in Hong Kong, Social Place is a retro-chic contemporary tea house imbued with nostalgic touches from olden Hong Kong days, which serves an innovative spread of Chinese fares and Dim Sum offerings.
Located at Forum The Shopping Mall, Singapore is their first overseas outpost since their first establishment in 2014.
Upon stepping into the restaurant, you will be greeted with sleek modern interior accompanied with fun vibrant elements such as, using ping pong table for dining and a whole mural wall made up of mah-jong tiles.
I secretly hope that by touching the mural wall, the mah-jong aura would bless me with some “huat”.
Couple of years back, I remembered patronizing their store at Central and was pretty much sold by their creative food offerings and table cutleries embedded with houseflies and ants design.
They were probably the OG innovators for the now already available dishes in Singapore such as Flaming Pineapple, Fried Chicken Pieces with Chillies served in Nest, and Truffle Mushroom Buns.
A quick scan of their menu and I spotted a few familiar dishes from Hong Kong such as Rose Floret Bun ($1.80 per pc), Pig Buns filled with Yam ($2.80 per pc), Century Eggs in Silken Tofu ($9.80) and Flaming Pineapple with Beef ($28).
Unfortunately, some of my personal favourites such as the Jar of Ginger Chicken and Aged Balsamic Chicken Wings were not available on Singapore menu.
I went for their signature Roasted Quail ($9.90) and was served with two petite-sized quail glazed with honey coating. The meat itself was flavourful with spices, but the texture was slightly tough for my liking.
The Sweet & Sour Pork on Ice ($24.80) was an eye-catching dish served with fuming dry ice smoke. I think it was a relatively decent plate of sweet and sour pork with each piece of fried pork pieces lavishly coated with tangy dressing, and yet I could still taste some slight crispiness embedded within.
My dining companions then commented, “Isn’t it the same as Gu Lou Yok just that it is cold.”
Not too sure if the chilling process was supposed to alter the taste profile, but apparently it didn’t make much difference to us.
What left an impression was their Pork Sliders ($14.80) aka Chinese Kong Bak Pao which came with a slice of tender braised fatty pork meat sandwiched in between soft fluffy buns which literally melts in your mouth.
I also liked how they added sourish pickled vegetables in the bun to ease some greasy feeling from after consuming fatty food.
Also worth a mention was their Beetroot Fried Rice ($16.80) that came in bright shades of pink and topped with almond slices and diced prawns. While it wasn’t mind-blowing, I enjoyed its subtle balanced flavour which may appeal to older generation.
For desserts, the adorable Small Pig Pudding ($6.80 per pc) which jiggle with every shake would probably captivate your heart. Would you bear to eat it?
Mah-jong fanatics like me would go for the Mah-jong Jelly ($6.80) which came with a set of 6 coconut jelly. Since they originate from Hong Kong, I felt that the tiles combination should at least be meaningful with proper combinations rather than just randomized tiles.
Since my expectations were benchmarked from Social Place Hong Kong, I was slightly disappointed with some of the food taste and execution.
But for first timers, Social Place Singapore would probably satisfy those who are looking for fun and innovative food creations.
Social Place Singapore
Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-22, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
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* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.