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New Ubin expands into Zhongshan Park with first hotel restaurant

January 22, 2019 Dining No Comments Email Email

 With a rich culinary identity that spans over three decades, two generations, and multiple locations across and off the shores of Singapore, homegrown restaurant chain New Ubin Group is pleased to announce the opening of its third outlet, New Ubin Zhongshan Park, located along the outskirts of Singapore’s Central Business District, in the vibrant Balestier commune.

The 150-seat restaurant, residing at the ground floor of four-star hotel Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park since December 2018, is the hotel’s mainstay dining concept. This marks New Ubin Group’s first hotel restaurant, and is the second outlet the Group has opened in 2018. Earlier in February 2018, the Group opened its first upscale restaurant in the heart of the city, within the icnoic CHIJMES cluster. Prior to this, New Ubin existed as a single tz e char eatery in Hillview Avenue—where it continues to reside—with previous incarnations in the rustic Sin Ming Industrial Estate, Sixth Avenue along Bukit Timah Road, Marina Country Club and Clementi.

Both openings put the family-run business on an exciting growth trajectory as it sets out to create a ‘Truly Singaporean’ tz e char experience that can hold its own in any context, under the second generation leadership of chef and chief executive officer Alexander Pang, alongside founder and chief operating officer Pang Seng Meng, and the Pang family.

“We’ve spent a good part of the last three decades trying to find that ‘Truly Singaporean’ sweet spot – a tz e char offering that can satisfy our innate craving for rustic, home-cooked fare, while appealing to a growing appetite for new culinary experiences from around the world,” shares Alexander, who rejoined his father and New Ubin founder, Pang Seng Meng, to helm the business in September 2017, trading an eight-year career in litigation for a culinary calling and an industry he hopes to transform and reinvigorate.

“As a business, we’ve arrived at a point where we are determined to do more – not just for our brand, but for the people who work for and with us. Part of this includes the development of tz e char and defining what Singapore cuisine means. In bringing New Ubin into a hotel or restaurant setting, we want to offer our promise of a ‘ Truly Singaporean ’ tz e char dining experience to every and any one. Ultimately, our goal is to elevate our style of Singapore cuisine to a playing field that’s on par with some of the world’s best restaurants. We want to offer our staff and regulars the same level of prospects and prestige, whether they work or dine with us. We want to show the world that there’s more to tz e char than coffee shops and chilli crab.”

A joint partnership between New Ubin and HH Properties Pte Ltd, New Ubin Zhongshan Park will be jointly managed and overseen by Alexander and the hotel’s senior management, alongside, a “New Ubin taskforce” comprising of chefs and service staff from the original Hillview eatery. This is done to ensure that the motivation remains the same across all three existing New Ubin outlets – to bring a ‘Truly Singaporean’ experience that’s rooted in a confluence of hearty and innovative tz e char , fresh produce and kampong -style hospitality.

THE SPACE

Nestled in the lush, landscaped greenery of tranquil Zhongshan Park, dining at New Ubin Zhongshan Park will allow one to enjoy the brand’s well-loved tz e char ingenuity with all the modern comforts a four-star hotel affords while retaining a laid-back, casual charm.

Leather sofa booths, accent chairs, marble flooring and wooden details come together in contemporary accents of walnut, tan and mulberry; and play canvas to a series of black and white photography displayed across the walls. Sure to catch the eye is a sprawling chalkboard that runs across the width of the dining room, depicting a specially commissioned, hand-drawn illustration of the “Original Pulau Ubin Jetty & Restaurant North Shore”—where it all began for New Ubin Seafood—complete with eclectic inscriptions of New Ubin signatures by local chalkboard artist Drew of online artist collective Imagined Ideas.

THE ‘TRULY SINGAPOREAN’ TZE CHAR EXPERIENCE

K eeping culinary standards in check is Wyndham Singapore’s Executive Chef Melvin Lim, who brings with him over 20 years of expertise leading some of Singapore’s most demanding kitchens, along with four of New Ubin’s very own. Expect the same level of tz e ch ar ingenuity that has served the brand well for the past three decades to shine through the restaurant’s opening repertoire of signature appetisers, finger-licking seafood, choice cuts of meat, and wok-kissed classics – all prepared with an inimitable New Ubin flair.

Signature starters come in unconventional creations such as the Foie Gras Egg Special

(S$10.50) , a decadent spin on the traditional Singaporean breakfast of soft-boiled eggs, with generous chunks of foie gras and sprinkling of truffle salt; and striking red Carabinero Prawns (S$22 per pc) served sashimi-style, each gigantic head bursting with intense flavours of the sea. Sticklers for tradition can still enjoy the classics – slurp up sweet, supple Live Scottish Blue Mussels (S$36) cooked in a pot of fragrant white wine and French butter sauce; or enjoy some good ol’ “Garang Grill” goodness with the widely raved Crispy Pork Jowl (S14) served with a miso gula melaka glaze.

The heart and soul of every tz e char table, enjoy meaty Live Mud Crabs (from S$48 for 400g) the New Ubin way – garlic baked with heaps of fresh cloves that are roasted to sweet-smoky perfection. Borrowing from the Group’s “Garang Grill” concept again—which has its own space in Swan Lake, Opera Estate—the Barbecued Whole Mackerel (S$48) is cooked on coals in a Spanish Mibrasa oven, and finished with piquant sides of turmeric tartare, spicy tomato chutney and gingered mustard greens.

No trip to a New Ubin outlet is complete without an order of the USDA Black Angus ‘Choice’ RibEye (from S$80 for 500g) – one of the cult “classics” that first placed New Ubin on the culinary map. The rib-eye is grilled over coals to a perfect medium rare and a smoky char, cubed for sharing, and served with caramelised onions, Idaho potato wedges, house-smoked sea salt flakes, and— the musthave accompaniment—wok-fried ‘Heart Attack’ Fried Rice caramelised with sinful beef drippings from the rib-eye.

Hot off the wok is a selection of noodles and rice dishes that are brought to life with elusive wok h ei . Experience umami like you’ve never before with the Hokkien Mee Special (from S$15) stir-fried in a flavourful pork and prawn broth with a heady wok hei to match. A Pang family recipe that’s all about that wok , the Boss Bee Hoon (S$12) is simply rice vermicelli, egg and chye sim —fried “boss-style”— that delivers an unsuspecting wok hei punch.

There’s no reason to not eat your greens with New Ubin behind the wok . Try the Hong Kong Kai Lan Special (from S$15) done two ways: first wok-fried with garlic, then topped with a part of the leaves—finely sliced and deep-fried—with crispy white bait. Carmelised crisp-thin with dried chillis and tossed in a tangy coat of spice, the Brinjal Delight (from S$15) will make a convert out of even the eggplant’s biggest detractor. Sweet endings come in a variety of deceptively simple desserts that don’t fall short on flavours. Kaya On Toasted Baguette (S$8) is an atas take on the quintessential kopitiam breakfast slathered with French butter that will have you going “oh là là”. Banana Gula Melaka (S$10) is a match made in heaven between slices of banana caramelised with palm sugar and house-made coconut ice cream that is smoky, sticky and creamy all at once.

As with all New Ubin outlets, oenophiles will be delighted to know that New Ubin Zhongshan Park will still continue to welcome guests who bring their own wines and spirits to enjoy with their meal at no corkage charge, and remain one of the first and only tz e char venues to provide high quality Riedel stemware, no questions asked.

New Ubin Zhongshan Park is now open at Ramada by Wyn dham Singapore at Zhongshan Park for lunch and dinner seven days a week. All pric es listed are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government tax. For reservations, please email makan@newubinseafood.com or call +65 9740 6870 . For more information, please visit www.newubinseafood.com .

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