Mott 32 is something of a household name in Hong Kong, where the restaurant, renowned for its progressive approach to regional Chinese cuisine, rose to the world stage in just six years. Whether we’re talking about its signature barbecue Iberico pork or the applewood roasted Peking duck, this is a brand that never stopped growing, taking to Las Vegas, Seoul, Vancouver, and now Singapore.
Paired with an exception mixology programme and stunning digs designed by award-winning interior designer Joyce Wang, the 149-seater space at Marina Bay Sands is impressive indeed. We think it looks like a Chinese version of the Tao Group’s KOMA, which is also housed on the other side of the mall. There are rich leather seats, muted lighting, and opulent furnishings that make this place look more like a Chinese member’s club than a restaurant.
Helming the kitchen here is Hong Kong-born Executive Chef Chan Wai Keung, who’s had over 35 years of culinary experience in places like Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Seoul, and Taipei. He’s best known for his mastery in traditional Cantonese cooking, so to come to a place like Mott 32 — a rather unique dining experience unlike anything out there in terms of regular Chinese fine dining — is an interesting decision that we’d like to pick his mind about sometime.
Most of Mott 32 Singapore’s menu consists of iconic imports from the Hong Kong flagship. We start with a cold dish, and really like what we taste. The Cold Free-Range Chicken (S$28) takes on a traditional Sichuan starter with spots of black truffle and enough fried shallots to cover the plate. Who knew cold chilli oil and truffle could be so luscious together? We dig the Signature Smoked Black Cod (S$56), where black cod slices are covered in a light batter and tossed over high heat with a golden sweet sauce before being smoked with apple wood. The crispy batter is firm, and the flesh flaky and buttery.
A signature Pluma Iberico Pork (S$48) comes glazed with yellow mountain honey, barbecued in a complicated process that involves meticulous rounds of temperature adjustments for a deep charred flavour. It’s only topped by their iconic Apple Wood Roasted Peking Duck (S$108), presented and carved by your table to create quite the spectacle. We’re told they go through 20 of these ducks a day, so that’s got to mean something, right? Malaysian ducks are aged for 42 days and cured in a special marinade, creating a fatty skin that’s almost crystal-like, if that makes sense. The meat is best enjoyed cradled in the thin pancakes with crunchy cucumber, scallions, and a special hoisin sauce that’s mixed with peanut butter.
Then then are the dim sum favourites. A Singapore exclusive, the Signature Crispy Sugar Coated Peking Duck Bun (S$10 for three), is a riff on regular char siew buns with tender roasted duck in barbecue sauce in a sugar-coated charcoal bun. It’s good, but we prefer the Black Truffle Siu Mai (S$9 for two) for its more delicate Iberico pork flavour. Did we mention that’s a soft quail egg inside? Make your day with the Sweetened Guava Soup (S$9) in all its pink glory, complete with crunchy diced guava and pomelo pulp for an amazing texture.
The drinks list is long, and as it turns out, also heavily copied from Mott 32 Hong Kong’s bar programme. An extensive wine collection (they skew towards New World labels) aside, we find innovative cocktails (all going at S$24) inspired by Asian ingredients — like the Hanami, which sees Tanqueray Gin and Michter’s Bourbon spiked with umeshu, yuzu, and chrysanthemum, or the blackcurrant-heavy Hong Kong Iced Tea that’s loaded with Blanco Avion Tequila and Lillet Blanc. It’s nothing like what you’ll find at a local cha chaan teng, but that’s the point.
Mott 32 is located at B1-42/43/44, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Open Mon-Sun 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 11pm.