Admittedly, I have yet to travel to Yunnan in China, but heard much about its beautiful landscape, snow-capped mountains, and of course Yunnan cuisine. Yunnan food is vastly varied and colourful in flavours, as it is known to be the province with the largest number of ethnic minority groups.
It is not every day you will find a premier Yunnan specialty restaurant in Singapore. If you are curious enough and keen to explore this type of cuisine, then the place to go to is YUN NANS.
YUN NANS with its flagship outlet located at the Jewel Changi Airport, has expanded to its second outlet at Westgate Singapore. Good for the Westies who may find it far to travel all the way to Changi.
Here, you can access their popular and best-selling menu mainstays as well as new, exclusive additions.
A bit on the restaurant’s origin: YUN NANS is the first overseas presence of “Yun Hai Yao” (云南肴), the largest Yunnan casual F&B chain in the world.
Originally from China, Yun Hai Yao now has more than 150 outlets spanning across the country. It began in Beijing in 2009 and since then has captured the hearts of local gourmands.
The brand specialises in Yunnan ethnic highland cuisines (高原料理 gao yuan liao li). This type of cooking sources and uses fresh mountain ingredients from the Yunnan Province of China, where you can discover regional cooking nuances in China.
And I heard so much about their chicken soup, and wanted to taste if it lives up to its reputation.
Of course, there are other specialties such Braised Wild Porcini Mushrooms, Beef Stew in Copper Pot, Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles, Spicy and Sour Egg Salad, Charcoal Grilled meats and seafood to embark on a gustatory journey. Here’s more:
Crispy Hor Fun with Yunnan Truffle Prawn Broth ($15.90++)
Taste this dish exclusively at the new Westgate outlet, with horfun (rice noodles) cooked two ways for double the goodness.
A portion of the hor fun deep-fried while the other is stir-fried, thus you will feel the different textures intermingling in your palate – some parts crisp, others smooth and slippery.
While most horfun dishes already come with the base sauce within, the comforting dish is served accompanied with hot saucy broth separate.
It is a fragrant and eggy Yunnan prawn broth topped with Yunnan truffle shavings. Rich in umami-goodness, the flavour may just remind you of a robust bowl of Singaporean prawn noodles.
And if you would prefer something more soupy, go for the Truffle Rice Noodles in Prawn Broth ($13.90++).
Steam Pot Chicken Soup ($23.90++)
Can you imagine preparing a pot of soup without even adding a drop of water? I was very curious about this soup.
So apparently that’s how uniquely brewed this steam pot is, using a pressure-steaming technique for three hours on a special breed of black-feet chicken. The water found in the soup comes from the condensation of the steam alone.
Prepared in a special hand-made Jianshui claypot, this dish rewards you with a clear, delicate soup with a robust and nourishing flavour.
This is probably one of the best chicken soups I had in Singapore – light, flavourful, yet not greasy.
You know how the chicken chunks in soup often turn out to be quite bland? The restaurant serves the soup with an additional plate of beansprouts, peppercorns and a mildly-spicy sauce. Pick out the chicken pieces and mix it with the sauce, almost like you are having a dish of mala chicken.
One soup dish – two ways of eating.
New Mystery Steam Pot ($33.90++)
Available only at the Westgate outlet, this signature iconic dish takes the Steam Pot Chicken, YUN NANS’s best-selling dish, and revs it up with an added “secret ingredient”.
Clue: this ingredient is Japan’s answer to the black truffle.
Charcoal Grilled Pork Belly ($9.90++)
Yunnan barbecue is said to have different styles, from Jianshui, Gejiu, Dai, to Zhaotong – varied seasonings but the same good taste. Therefore, it is a must to experience the deep, aromatic flavours of charcoal-grilled dishes here.
A popular char-grilled dish is the Charcoal Grilled Pork Belly, prepared by marinating fresh slices of pork belly with 6 types of spices, including lemongrass, chives, Yunnan wild coriander, and chilli padi.
The well-seasoned meat is then grilled over charcoal up to the right degree of doneness and that smoky finish. Served with a generous dash of their in-house chilli seasoning mix that adds some tanginess to the mix.
You can go for the other popular choices of Grilled Pork Trotters with spices ($13.90++) and Charcoal Grilled Chicken Wings ($3.50++ each).
Or if you prefer non-pork options, try the Charcoal Grilled Tiger Prawns ($5.90++ each), or Charcoal Grilled Seabass with Lemongrass ($23.90++).
Steamed Red Grouper with Green Peppercorns ($48.80++)
While I am personally not the sort that would always order a steamed fish in an outing, I would say order this if you come in a family or group. (Price tag and slight spiciness aside, this is the kind of this mummies and ah-mas will like.)
The sizable red grouper (which is about 600 grams or so) is steamed with fresh green peppercorns that results in a lightly-spicy and numbing sauce.
A wok-fry soy-mixture and hot oil are also poured over the fish just before serving, so you get that additional fragrance and the sauce is very, very addictive. The type you would just pour over a plain bowl of white rice.
As for the fish, it has that delicately tender yet firm white flesh. Very fresh.
However, take note that as the dish is available in limited quantities, reservations are highly recommended.
Stir Fried Wild Porcini Mushroom with Dried Chillies ($25.90++)
Those with penchant for umami flavours will gravitate towards this dish made with quick-fried Porcini mushrooms.
These mushrooms are wild and grow along the pollution-free tropical belts in Yunnan. To harvest them, YUN NANS works with local Yunnan farmers who also pick black truffle, wheat/green pumpkin, and edible flowers.
Order this savoury dish of slightly crunchy fungus made spicy with the addition of dried Yunnan chilies.
Bean Curd Pudding with Brown Sugar ($4.90++)
All right, this is so smooth. Besides, this protein rich tofu-based dessert is a healthy choice to cap off your meal.
Sweetened with brown sugar, this pudding has a texture that is wobbly and just melts in the mouth (much softer than the typical tau hway). My main complaint is: I wished there was more in that bowl.
If you would like to order some other desserts for sharing, get the Milk Pudding with Rose Jam ($4.90) and Double Boiled Pear with Golden Fungus & Snow Lotus ($5.90).
Ladies, you would want to know that the Double Boiled Pear dessert that is steamed for two hours can ‘nourish the lungs’ and has beautifying properties.
Raspberry Juice with Tamarind ($4.90++)
For a refreshing accompaniment to the meal, this signature drink is so famous in China that each restaurant sells more than 300 glasses per day.
The base is a tangy yet sweet tamarind-flavoured water combined with blended raspberries, creating a beverage that is cooling and fruity.
YUN NANS Westgate Outlet Opening Special
To celebrate the grand opening of its Westgate outlet on 1 November 2019, YUN NANS will offer the following promotions:
Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Hot Dish (from 2 to 15 November 2019)
• No Splitting of bill
• Limited to 1 redemption per transaction
• Lower or equal value item is free
Free specially imported Yunnan Tea Nugget for every diner at Westgate (while stocks last)
YUN NANS – Jewel
Jewel Changi Airport, #02-217 Singapore 819666
Tel: +65 6908 3677
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with YUN NANS.