Intimate dining in a shopping mall
Oriental House opened its first venue on upmarket Anfu Road, bringing creative Chinese cuisine to a neighborhood more filled with Western food concepts. About 18 months later, owner Ruan Beiping decided to expand the brand by opening its second venue at Jing An Kerry Centre.
“I wanted to create a cozy space for eating and drinking in the mall that usually offers more commercial type of restaurant chains,” he said.
What he has done is truly different from the more brightly-lit, typical Chinese eateries found in shopping malls. The restaurant and lounge has an intimate ambience, with mood lighting and comfortable seating. A bar counter offers classic cocktails before or after dinner.
Oriental House is offering tasty, creative Chinese dishes based on Zhejiang cuisine, famed for freshness, tenderness, smoothness and mellow fragrance.
Originally from Zhejiang Province, Ruan pays special attention to the selection of ingredients so as to obtain the natural flavor and taste.
The menu is appealing, from fish sashimi with grapefruit and balsamic dressing, and chopped pork ear and dried shrimps with garlic and herbs to an oyster omelet. It’s an interesting mixture of Chinese dishes inspired by different regions, with a personal twist. I tried several of them and they have got the formula right.
Among the dishes I tried, I liked the crispy pork intestine, which doesn't entice people in general. They have their free range pigs' intestines delivered daily from Zhejiang. The kitchen then marinates and deep fries them, using garlic to remove the smell. The dish turned out to be crispy and crunchy, a perfect pairing with a glass of red.
Ayu fish in boiling chili oil with bean sprouts and bean starch noodles was another surprising treat. The amazing texture of Ayu fish, tasting like tofu, was layered with flavors integrating pungent, hot, aromatic and salty tastes.
The oyster omelet was delicious as well. Originally from Quanzhou in the south of Fujian Province, the recipe had been updated by Oriental House to remove the extra oiliness. Squid is added to give extra texture and flavor.
Don’t forget to order steamed fragrant rice with sea crab topped with Liberian ham as a main course. Oriental House is the kind of place you will often go back to for its delicate yet comforting fare.
Opening hours: 11:30am-midnight
Address: N3-26, North Block, Jing An Kerry Centre, 1515 Nanjing Rd W.
Average per person: 250 yuan (US$40)