Changs offers trendy dining

Aromatic Chinese cuisine served in
the relaxed and modern surroundings of Changs Bistro in Treasure Island Resort
is making one of the Island’s newest restaurants a Mecca for all those who
enjoy Oriental cooking with a modern twist.

I started a pleasant evening at the
bistro by ordering a plum and lychee cocktail. The aperitif, with its fruity
combination was crisp and refreshing, a pleasant change from less exotic soft
drinks like orange juice.  Scanning
Chang’s extensive menu, I decided to order the chicken lettuce wraps for an
appetiser while my companion ordered the dynamite shrimp.

We enjoyed eating the wraps with
their novel outer case and had loaded up several lettuce cups with the quickly
cooked spicy minced chicken before we sampled the shrimp dish. The dynamite
shrimp proved to be just that. The appetiser set out like a shrimp cocktail was
fully loaded with the large and succulent, lightly battered crustaceans. We
smothered the shrimp in a nice smoky dressing from the platter of condiments on
our table.  Neither of the appetisers was
too spicy, which left diners to decide just how much heat they wanted in each
dish – a wise decision for dishes that are going to be shared in groups, such
as families, where younger palettes usually shun most food that is overtly
spicy.

We followed the appetisers, which
came in generous but sensible portions, with our entrees. We could have chosen
from over 10 chicken, beef and seafood dishes 
opting for the prawn and scallops, the Mongolian beef: Changs’ signature
dish, the intriguingly named Singapore street noodles and Changs fried rice.
Although we were peckish, we weren’t prepared by the man-sized portions brought
tableside.

Served piping hot from the bistro’s
kitchen and set down on over-sized bowls, the smell of the dishes were a
mouth-watering signal to dig in.

The Mongolian beef was prepared in
succulent slithers, which were bursting with zesty flavour and ultra tender.
The wok-tossed fare included scallions and roasted garlic, which begged diners
to take one more bite. I accompanied the beef with the Singapore street noodles
with vegetables. The noodles, which had been liberally coated in a mild curry
sauce, were soft, buttery and extremely filling. The King Pao shrimp with
scallops was dressed in a hearty soy and spice sauce and were tender. The scallops,
which are notoriously easy to overcook becoming rubbery bullets, where plump,
soft and plentiful. The traditional dish mixed with peanuts, chili peppers and
scallion was soon polished off.

Changs fried rice, practically
a  meal in itself, was mixed with shitake
mushrooms, snow peas, carrots and as well as being offered as a vegetarian dish
can also be ordered with prawns, beef or chicken.

Changs make much of their mojitos
which can be served tableside, in the trendy bar area or in either of the
bistro’s two lounges.

Feeling the need to stretch our
legs – even if it was only to the bar – we sampled the Absolut vanilla mojito,
which was sublime. The watermelon and plum mojito was a sweet and breezy taste
of the Caribbean with a shot and a half of heaven besides. The bistro’s Bloody
Orange mojito packed a rich citrus punch, in fact all the drinks which were expertly
mixed by bar tender Lindzy Allen, boasted a refreshing edge to them and were
concoted to be the ideal way of starting a stress-free evening with family or
friends.

If patrons still have room for
dessert, I’d recommend they try Changs’ chocolate rice balls, which really are
a must for chocoholics, as is the lychee mousse chocolate cake, which is best
shared. Garnished with fresh berries, lychee fruit and whipped cream, the cake
could easily serve four who want a small but wickedly decadent dish to close out
the meal.

Fans of cheesecake will also get
their just desserts with a thick slice of Changs’ melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake
with coconut with whipped cream and caramelised bananas, made in-house.

Changs Bistro opened for lunch on
Monday, served from 11am to 5pm when the dinner menu kicks in. Ideal for a leisurely
lunch, early meal (those with young families take note), or a late night meal,
after the cinema or club hopping with friends, the customer-friendly hours
stretch from 11am to 11pm, seven nights a week.

As the manager, Jenna Head, said:
“We’ve got a very chill vibe here at Changs with Iberian and XXX music, played
low, so patrons can enjoy their meal and a conversation and nicely set
lighting.  You’ll find something for
everyone on our menu with plenty of lighter options, which allow you to have a
hearty meal or a flavourful snack at the bar, in the lounges or at your table.
The bigger portions and platters are ideal for sharing.”

With all dishes under $20, Changs
offers a good ambience, tempting cuisine and an impressive selection of mojitos
and cocktails, all at very competitive price points. A friendly and inexpensive
jumping off point at the weekends or a cosy wind down spot; Changs caters for
all.

Take away is available. 

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Changs Chinese Bistro serves watermelon and plum mojitos give and breezy taste of the Caribbean.
Photo: Elphina Magona
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