Food and cocktail review: Yum Sing! at Blk B at Clarke Quay, Singapore 179021

Disclaimer: I was only intrigued by Yum Sing!, a trendy local food gastrobar that recently opened up at Blk B of Clarke Quay because I read it was by the Putien founder. It's quite risky, opening a restaurant in the sort of midst of a pandemic, especially in the suppressed Clarke Quay area due to the 10.30pm drinking curfew and social distancing in place. But they were confident enough to stake their bets on it, so I thought I'll give it a try with a couple of ex-colleagues on a Friday evening. The best part about Yum Sing! is the ambiance and decor, hands down. I'll get to the food in a bit. But for now, enjoy the interior pics in all their glory. They no doubt spent a lot on the renovations to capture the "New World" parks of the 80s feel. 

Horsies on the ceiling! Big tentage! Huge murals!

There's even a huge stage for when hosting events or performing live is possible again. Maybe someone might want to hold a wedding here? 

Here's the drinks / cocktail menu to start off with. One thing for sure - Yum Sing! is not lacking in creativity when it comes to their cocktails. Prices are also on par with what other bars are charging at the $15-20 range, though for sure the $20 cap is appreciated. As you can see from the wine selection of erm, Cloudy Bay and Casillero.. they are appealing more to the mass drinking crowd. 

My friend ordered an Avocado Milkshake (S$8) which I would too if I wasn't saving space for food, since this is super filling. By the way they don't serve tap water here, so.. yea. We are getting into why this restaurant is a conflicting one for me...

I did get the Kaya Toast Set (S$18) cocktail to try also because of .. *sheepishly* Instagram. I mean look at the super authentic kopi cup with saucer! The wafer biscuit representing the toast above had Kaya infused cream, and the cocktail itself was a sweet, pandan flavoured one with possibly egg white foam. Pretty novel and not a bad cocktail with the local spin, even if it was quite sweet. 3.5/5

On to the food, here's their one-page ala carte menu. There's a couple of tasting sets behind this page which MIGHT be good value (we weren't sure so just went with the ala carte). As you can see, this is like the Greatest Hits (remember NOW! That's What I Call Music album compilations??) of local fare. I wouldn't say it's a full zichar menu since there's items like Chicken Rice, Prawn Noodles and Laksa in there. But there are definitely favourites from that such as prawn paste chicken wings, salted egg prawns and Moonlight hor fun. There's even Black Pepper and Chili Crab, if you're feeling festive! And ok, this is where I start my erm, tiny rant.. if you look at the prices.. they might seem ok for a gastrobar in Clarke Quay. But upon ordering.. please scroll down. 

This is the $10 Laksa. The kopi cup behind is the scale for comparison. The egg you see in there is a quail egg. As you can see, it is a TINY bowl. That's where my tiny disappointment lies as well. Granted, it was a good bowl of laksa - the laksa gravy was quite rich and the ingredients are all decent. But this portion.. I don't even think this is enough for 1 pax. I guess it's just that laksa to me is a go big or go home type dish so I wish they will increase the portions (even if they had to raise the prices, since it is actually not cheap to make). If it's just for the taste, I'll rate it a 4/5. Minus a point for the portion. 

The next dish is the normal sized eggplant with special pork floss (S$8) sharing dish. It was quite shiok with the fried eggplant contrasting with the sweet floss crunch (err but nothing really special?). 3.5/5

Ok this is weird but this Satay (S$10) also pinched a little in the value aspect. 6 sticks, a side of peanut sauce, some cucumbers (no rice). -_- is the face I would make. Granted it was a good dish to go with my Tiger beer (I ordered it after my cocktail to cleanse the palate a little) but the satay wasn't amazing, especially after sitting there for a while. 3/5

The moonlight hor fun (S$10) with dried beef was better. Am not sure how I feel about eating raw egg after some egg scares recently but overall this was decent with a tinge of wok hei popping through. The beef though were non-existent. Just lots of oil and beansprouts, as you can see. 3.5/5

My friend got a Kopi-O Gao (S$20) signature cocktail as well. It was surprisingly not sweet, and I think either bourbon or whisky was the liquor used. 

Next, because 3 of us were like totally not full, we got the carrot cake (S$8) to share as well. This was probably the best dish of the night for me. It's more like a grilled egg with carrot cake cubes encased inside, which felt sturdy and wholesome. I can taste the tradition but also the reinvention, just a little bit. The others felt like the cooks were following a Best of Singapore recipe book. 4/5

Oh I forgot, we also got the salted egg fish skin (S$8) at the top corner of the photo here which was super moreish and well-made with the salted egg just at the right level. I would say it's one of my favourites too and goes well with drinks. 4/5

Lastly we got two desserts to share. The chendol (S$6) and cheng tng (S$6) were more palatable in pricing. Both were good, pretty standard fare again, and nothing innovative or new. 3/5

Ok we were stuffed by the time we got to the desserts with our cocktails and the various erm, 'tapas' style dishes. The service was pretty good though with the servers being quick to get to us. Food also didn't take too long. So I guess this place has its pros and cons. The cons is the food could feel out of place considering the ambiance and location, and portions/pricing could be improved, but the ambiance, service and theme of the place does work well in creating a fun dining atmosphere. I wouldn't rush to go back, but this might be a good place for gathering next time when drinking is allowed past 10.30pm. 

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Yum Sing!
3 River Valley Road, #01-06/07 Clarke Quay, Block B, Singapore 179021
Daily 4pm to 10.30pm
Reserve on

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