Shang Social is a Jewel for Cantonese, Huaiyang and Sichuan cuisine
It may seem that the F&B options at Jewel Changi Airport are limited to just burgers (one returning star, one new entrant), but the variety is quite amazing.
Over the next few weeks, I'll share my thoughts on a few I really like, provided the crowd thins out in time for me to make a return visit.
Just like posing with the Rain Vortex, queuing is now the thing to do at Jewel.
One outlet that made an impression is Shang Social.
This is a project from the Shangri-La Group, combining three Chinese cuisines - Cantonese, Huaiyang and Sichuan - in a space that houses three concepts.
Master chefs from the group - chef Mok Kit Keung (Cantonese), chef Joe Hou (Huaiyang) and chef Rick Du (Sichuan) - were roped in to create the menu.
There is a bar, a casual eating place (MRKT) and a formal dining area (Dining).
And like any good Singaporean concept, there is a retail space.
Each venue has its own menu that combines the three variants of Chinese cuisine, and annoyingly, you cannot cross-order, but it is fine, as each side has its own charm.
Although I am not featuring it here, the dim sum selection at MRKT is good and the overall menu here makes it a must-return .
My favourite item is the Mapo Beancurd with Minced Beef ($18).
When it comes to mala dishes, my bravado outpaces my capacity, so while I was happily pouring this down my throat, the burn was real.
More capable friends also agreed that it packs a punch.
Proceed with caution but savour the bliss.
For impactful food and presentation, Dining is it.
But it does not mean they keep the heat down.
The Chengdu Homemade Dan Dan Noodle with Minced Pork ($12) was a slow burn.
It had a gentle heat that built and built inside my mouth, till it became a pleasant buzz.
I was surprised by the price tag of the Seafood Broth Rice served in Ironpot.
For all the drama, flavours and ingredients, it was only $18 a serving.
The boiling hot broth is dense with umami, lightened by the crispy rice kernels.
There is so muchsatisfaction when you're done.
But be careful with the pot, which retains heat long after you are done with it.
I learnt that the painful way.
While I appreciate the smooth chunk of fatty pork belly, the Huaiyang classic "Jiangnan Wok" Braised Black Marbled Pork ($26) was too sweet for me.
All I tasted was the rock sugar in the sauce.
Usually, nothing will stop me from gorging on char siew, but the Signature Honey Pork Belly ($16) did not do it for me.
It was overly sweet, a bit too lean and maybe with all the other outstanding dishes, a so-so version of a classic just does not get a pass.
Jewel Changi Airport,` #01-219/220/221/222
Opens 10am to 10pm