From the moment we stepped inside Elements' latest establishment, it was clear to us that The Pond would not be just another Chinese restaurant. Rather than the usual dull carpets and tacky chandeliers, we were pleasantly surprised to find a chic, colourful space with graffiti-donned walls, stairwell-spanning murals, elegant glass detailing and a see-through kitchen. The restaurant's stylish decor makes the philosophy of the restaurant explicit: creating a tasty fusion of Chinese cuisine and 'gastrobar' concept.
The menu does not fail to deliver on this philosophy. The drink list is as creative as it is comprehensive, featuring a bold selection of Chinese-style cocktails and mocktails – play it safe with the floral With Roselle Awhile or embrace your adventurous side by ordering an Honours Cheers, a smooth mix of Chinese shoumei tea and bourbon whisky. Happy hour lovers are spoiled for choice with a fantastic stock of gin, single-malt whisky and other quality liquors, in addition to red, white and Chinese wines.
Drunken spicy, crispy chicken
Crispy duck salad
The restaurant's Chinese name (魚塘鴨子), which translates to 'where the duck and fish meet', is directly reflective of its food offerings. In addition to a delicious modern take on the old favourite Peking duck (served with iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber and carrot, garlic duck sauce and sugar), the menu features a bevy of innovative seafood dishes, including deep-fried squid, black pepper prawns and fish soup. See the freshness yourself from the stunning seafood counter on the first floor, which showcases hand-picked delights from some of the world's largest seafood markets.
Diced chicken with dried chilli
Steamed shrimp, pork and duck dumplings
Other dishes that deserve a mention include the paper-thin, melt-in-your-mouth Sichuan translucent beef slices, the tantalising Sichuan spicy, crispy chicken, the strangely addictive ma po French Fries (trust us – it works) and colourful dumplings filled with shrimp, pork and duck respectively.
Shop R002–003, Rooftop Garden, Civic Square, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, TST East, 2258 2278