A Taste of Yunnan at Yun Nans, Jewel Changi Airport
Many Chinese restaurants in Singapore specialise in Cantonese cuisine with a selected few offering Szechuan and Teochew cuisine. Therefore, the opening of Yun Nans has sparked off great interest in gourmands, particularly those with an inclination for Chinese cuisine. The first time I got acquainted with Yunnan cuisine was probably when I was working in Shenzhen in 2017. I was fascinated with the cuisine of Yunnan which is vastly different from the usual Chinese cuisine I was accustomed to.
With over 100 outlets in China, Yun Nans’ launch at Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore marked its very first foray overseas. Specialising in highland cuisine, Yun Nans offers you a taste of Yunnan using prized treasures from its native homeland, including local black truffles and unique porcini mushrooms.
Known for its pleasant climate, crystal-clear skies and natural terrains high above sea level, ingredients such as wild porcini, wheat pumpkin and edible flowers such as jasmine flowers, rose and chrysanthemum are believed to thrive well.
One of the signature soups is the Steam Pot Chicken Soup (S$23.90), a nourishing chicken soup brewed without the addition of water to the pot. The broth is brewed in a claypot with a funnel in the centre. Slices of succulent chicken and Chinese herbs are placed in it and steamed for three hours. As the water below the pot boils, steam rises up the funnel, condenses in the pot and drips onto the chicken to form a clear, flavourful and nutritious soup. It has a sweet, pure and original taste which is delightful to the senses and gratifying to the soul.
The must-try item is of course the iconic Cross-bridge Rice Noodles (S$15.90), which is the most well-known dish in Yunnan with a touching and beautiful love story behind it. According to legend, there was a very diligent scholar who decided to isolate himself to prepare for his examinations. He was so engrossed in his studies that he often forgot to eat his meals unless, it was delivered to him. His dutiful and loving wife had to walk a long distance and even crossed a bridge to deliver food to him. However, by the time the food reached him, it was cold. She was worried about her husband's health and came up with an idea. She brought with her a pot of hot soup topped with a layer of oil to trap the heat in. The ingredients such as meat and vegetables were placed in different containers. When she arrived, she added noodles and ingredients such as meat and vegetables to the broth and her husband could once again enjoy piping hot rice noodles. The scholar fell in love with the dish and regained his health with time and passed his examinations with flying colours.
Another noteworthy item is the Rice Noodle with Spicy Minced Pork (S$9.90) which to me is even more delicious than the Cross-bridge Rice Noodles. The broth is rich and robust with a mix of spicy and savoury flavours. The rice noodles have a springy texture with the right degree of firmness, delivering a burst of delectable favours with every mouthful.
The Grilled Seabass with Lemongrass (S$22.90) is one of my favourites on the menu. I like the aromatic and tantalising herbs used to marinate the fish and the crisp texture of the fish. The seabass is pretty spicy for the average Singaporean, therefore, it would be advisable to request for a milder spice level.
The Stir-fried Pork with Dried Scallion and Dried Chilli (S$13.90) is very appetising and fragrant and goes perfectly well with rice. The various elements blend harmoniously together, imparting homely and palatable flavours to the taste buds.
Overall, Yun Nans Restaurant offers authentic Yunnan cuisine at reasonable prices. The menu is pretty extensive and there's bound to be something that you like. The restaurant does not take reservations so be prepared to queue during peak dining hours.
Yun Nans is located at 78 Airport Boulevard, Jewel Changi Airport, #02-217, Singapore 819666. Operation hours are from 10am to 10pm daily.
For more information please visit their facebook page here.