Designed by London and Singapore based design agency Viewport Studio, every aspect of the restaurant, from the interior design, food and drinks menus, serveware and soundtrack, contributes to the fun, retro and kitsch atmosphere. The immersive atmosphere conjures up a nostalgic familiarity for the Chinatown of the seventies and eighties, a time when Viewport Studio architect Voon Wong was coming of age in the city.
The starting point for the eclectic decor came from the menu itself, which shows surprising reinventions of traditional flavours. From the 5 spice lamb tongue with pickled cucumber & black pepper sauce to the homemade banana bread with duck liver & kimchi, the modern take on Asian Fusion by Head Chef Jet Lo makes for a fun and playful dining experience."We felt that loud food needed a loud backdrop," explains Viewport's Ian Macready. "Inspired by Singapore's vibrant food court culture, we sought to marry this bustling dynamism with a more traditional approach to fine dining, and create an environment in which every element can take centre stage. It's sensory overload, but in a good way. "Guests step from the street into an entrance vestibule between two banquette enclosures to begin their ascent into the wonderful, vibrant world of Ding Dong accompanied by the thumping seventies and eighties disco soundtrack. The walls throughout are wallpapered with a custom design composed of vintage film posters with an Asian cinematic theme, creating a 'white noise' backdrop that provides immediate intrigue before fading into the background as the culinary journey begins.
One of the most prominent architectural elements in the space are the white lattice grilles, inspired by the traditional wrought iron trellising typical of the twenties and thirties throughout South East Asia. Working from a sample of this recognisable motif, Wong has stylised and replicated the design across the restaurant to create natural divisions within the space without obstructing the overall sight lines. These grilles are further echoed in the bar height tables, where reclaimed grilles form the footrests.Seating beyond is located around loose tables or along the combined drinks and kitchen counter, offering guests differing perspectives on the Ding Dong spectacle. The banquette seats, vintage chairs and stools are upholstered in mismatched patterned bouclé fabrics, adding to the riotous and colourful interior. Above, globe lights with brass holders help to unify the disparate elements within the space, as does the neutral ceramic tile arranged on the floor and front face of the bar in a herringbone pattern. The open-kitchen and counter-seating layout allows guests to observe and interact with the chefs as their food is being prepared, enhancing their experiential journey. The brass clad combined counter separates the service and served spaces and overhead, white steel framed shelving and a glass box define the open bar and kitchen zones respectively. The glass box envelops the existing skylight, a common feature in shophouse architecture.
The innovative new food menu by Head Chef Jet Lo and refreshed cocktail programme crafted by Joe Schofield can now be enjoyed at Ding Dong's new home on Amoy Street, serving lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, and dinner on Saturday.
Ding Dong, 01-02, 115 Amoy Street, Singapore 069935
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