I’ve walked past Nanjing Impressions at Plaza Singapura several times this year, but have never gone in since it felt more to be a group dining kind of establishment. Being at Plaza Singapura again today with my elderly ones to settle some telco issue, I took the opportunity to check out the place and suggested having dinner there. My impression of the restaurant so far is that it has to be pretty good. Whenever I pass by it on weekends, it’s positively packed.
We went in at around half past five, and so the dinner crowd has yet to start. This gave us plenty of time to pour over the quite extensive menu, which conveniently comes with pictures of signature dishes to help diners unfamiliar with Nanjing cuisine. Leaving father with the task of ordering, I wandered about snapping some pictures. (With my LG G6, by the way. Camera quality seemed to have improved since an update) To paraphrase what mom said after we ordered, sitting in Nanjing Impressions really feels as if one is dining in historical China. The illusion is further enhanced by the atmospheric ping tan (评弹) music playing over the speakers.
According to online write-ups, Nanjing Impressions, or Nanjing Da Pai Dang in Chinese, has over 40 outlets in China and was the Golden Tripod Winner of the “Top Ten Brands of Chain Restaurant in China” in 2013. Its emphasis is on the preservation and promotion of Chinese Huaiyang cuisine, as well as recreating the glorious days of Nanjing’s past. From what I can see, the restaurant certainly places a lot of importance on its branding, and I not just talking about the décor here. There are lots of small touches to complete that sensation of being in Nanjing’s past, from how the dishes are named, to the job designations of the staff, to the folding menu. Overall, I also found service to be prompt and attentive.