Social Place: Wagyu Char Siew, Truffle Mushroom Buns & Other Hong Kong Cuisine At Orchard

Social Place Interior (2) Opt

For some, Italian food might be their go-to cuisine. For others, it might be Korean delicacies. But today we dive into a selection of delectable Hong Kong dishes.

These dishes are created with care and detail by none other than Social Place at The Forum Shopping Mall in Orchard.     

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Hong Kong’s renowned Social Place made its debut in Singapore with their first outlet at Orchard Road. The interior of the restaurant is simplistic and modernised with some of the walls covered in mahjong tiles.

These walls are specially designed for the Singapore outlet, while Social Place’s other outlets have different interior designs. Social Place serves up Chinese cuisine and delightful dim sum creations that will tantalise your taste buds for sure. 

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We were first greeted by the cold appetisers which consisted of cold foie gras, iced okra and pork knuckle. 

Out of all the dishes, I personally liked the Cold Foie Gras in Special Fermented Wine (S$16.80) the most. The secret is in the sauce underneath the slices of foie gras, though we couldn’t get Social Place to share the recipe.

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Atop the foie gras were wolfberries and an edible flower that gave a pop of colour to the dish. The foie gras itself had a lovely creamy texture to it and melted slowly in my mouth, which was an absolute delight! 

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Moving on to the other cold appetisers, we were served up Iced Okra (S$6.80). Okra is another name for ladies’ fingers which you can find at zi char or cai png stalls. The okras are placed in an ice bath garnished with minced garlic. This dish was quite refreshing with the cool and crunchy veggies. 

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The last of the cold appetisers— and my least favourite—is the Pork Knuckle In Sand Ginger (S$9.80). I personally can’t appreciate it well but that’s just because I don’t really enjoy pig’s trotters.

Luckily, the soy sauce was quite delectable with peanut oil mixed into it that brought out a nice fragrance.

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The pork knuckles had a lot collagen, creating a jelly-like and chewy texture. Although for some, collagen might be really delicious, I would deem it an acquired taste. 

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Moving onto dim sum, I had the chance to try out this unique-looking bun known as the Charcoal Custard Bun (S$8.80). The buns are made with charcoal powder which gives it the black appearance and golden streaks are brushed across for that lovely finish.

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The filling inside is a creamy and thick custard which was rich and sweet. It was my first time trying out custard buns so I had honestly no idea what to expect. 

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I can definitely say that I was pleasantly surprised and I’ve since grown to like custard. The custard was slightly gritty or sandy in texture and quite viscous. 

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Another special dish at Social Place is the Truffle Shiitake Buns (S$6.80), designed to look like real mushrooms. 

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The buns are generously filled to the brim with mini diced mushrooms that had a lovely bouncy texture to it. However, I do feel that the truffle scent was slightly overpowering and the flavour of the truffle could have been reduced slightly. 

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Here we have the Pork Sliders (S$14.80)  or kong bak bao. It consists of pork belly sandwiched in-between fluffy buns.

The pork belly was very tender and the fats basically melted in my mouth. The vegetables—a combination of cilantro and pickled veggies—gave a lovely crunch to the dish. The pickled veggies gave their slight sourness which was actually quite unique as the traditional kong bak bao do not have it. 

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My favourite dim sum of all has got to be these adorable deep-fried treats which look like mangosteens—Deep Fried Lobster Glutinous Puffs (S$7.80). The exterior is a crispy and chewy ball similar to sesame balls that I used to enjoy as a child. 

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I’m such a big fan of chewy and jelly-like dishes and this one absolutely amazed me. The interior was a rich and warm lobster broth that is sure to have you hooked! 

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Here we have the absolute showstopper at Social Place—Sweet & Sour Pork on Ice (S$24.80) which I was totally stunned by when it came to the table. 

I’m quite the fan of sweet and sour pork at zi char stalls and this definitely satisfied my sweet and sour pork cravings. The fried pork is tossed in a tangy and sweet sauce and topped with mini spheres of melons and blueberries for added sweetness. 

The ice isn’t just for the aesthetics, but an actual trick of Social Place’s to keep the battered pork crisp. The skin of the pork was indeed crispy and the meat inside was slightly chewy, which I really enjoyed. 

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A classic dish at Social Place is the Roasted Quail (S$9.90) that is prepared by braising the bird in a concoction that is infused with more than ten different herbs and spices. 

To be honest, I wasn’t very satisfied with how this dish turned out. The skin was quite crispy, however, the meat of the quail was rather dry and only parts of it were tender.

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If you’re a total carnivore like me, you’ll probably fall in love with this Social Place signature dish. The Wagyu Char Siu (S$28) features beef, immersed in a soy-based marinade. It is then grilled to perfection and finished with black pepper that accentuates the dish’s caramelised notes. The garnish over the meat certainly makes the dish look more unique and intriguing. 

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Our last dish before dessert is this one-of-a-kind rice dish, named Seafood Rice Crackling Soup (S$24.80). It was my first time encountering crackling rice soup but apparently it is quite a common dish in Chinese cuisine. The rice is deep fried prior to adding into the soup which gives it a crispy texture and it’s delicious even without the soup pairing.

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When the rice was poured into the soup, it instantly got cooked and made a crackling sound—which explains its name. The broth was fragrant and rich with tender pieces of prawns and clams.

I had so much fun eating this dish and I’d definitely recommend trying this dish out if you haven’t!

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To end off your meal, you have to try out these adorable Small Pig Pudding (S$6.80/piece). The pudding is smooth and creamy. The syrup that the pig is sitting in had a coconut flavour that wasn’t too overpowering when paired with the pudding—in fact it brought out the custard-like flavour of the pudding even more.

As a whole, this dish is something I’d really enjoy on a hot summer’s day. However, despite how delicious it is, I have to be frank that I’d only order this dish if I was in the mood to splurge. 

Out of all the dishes, I believe my favourite was the Seafood Rice Crackling Soup and I think I’d want to go back to Social Place just to have it. Which one is your favourite? 

Expected Damage: S$45 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Social Place

583 Orchard Road, Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-22, Singapore 238884

Our Rating 4/5

Social Place

583 Orchard Road, Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-22, Singapore 238884

Operating Hours: 11.30am-2pm & 6pm-10pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 11.30am-2pm & 6pm-10pm (Daily)