Exquisite Cantonese Cuisine in Business-Lunch Worthy Surroundings
I organised a lunch for the associates and junior partners in my firm, and lucky for us, I made reservations early enough to secure a private dining room. The view of the cityscape in the room is stunning. Love the service here as well, when I called to make pre-orders, they would caution me if they thought I was ordering too much.
1) Har Gow ($4.80 for a steamer of 3 pieces): This was yummy, a whole crunchy prawn wrapped in a thin translucent skin. The skin was done just right, it was thin without being too filmsy or too thick.
2) Siew Mai ($4.80 for a steamer of 3 pieces): One of their bestsellers. Minced pork and crunchy prawns, and topped with another prawn for posterity, this was huge and juicy.
3) Prawns Wrapped in Beancurd Skin and Seaweed ($1.40 for one piece): Another must-try, the seaweed is an unusual touch and adds that extra umami-ness.
4) Roasted Pork ($8). This was decadent but wonderfully aromatic.
5) Fried Carrot Cake with XO Sauce ($8). This had a delightfully "wok hei" taste.
6) Steamed Carrot Cake ($3.60), this was just so-so, largely because compared to the fried version, there was no contest. Wah Lok does a much better version.
7) Prawns/Char Siew in Rice Roll ($4.50): Both were just as good.
8) Peking Ducks ($60 each). This was perfection. The flour pancakes were a little too thick for my liking though.
9) Prawns Sauteed with Salted Egg Yolk ($60 for 20 prawns), deshelled of course. Jumbo fresh prawns crusted with golden sandy salted egg yolk, this was immediately loved by all who had it for the first time.
10) Bai Cai Miao with Braised Bai Ling Mushroom ($36): This dish came slathered with opulent gravy infused with earthy tones from the mushroom.
11) Assorted Seafood Soup in Melon ($12): Strips of dried scallops (conpoy), diced prawns, sliced dried sea cucumber, chunks of fresh crab meat, fish maw and sweet wolfberries in a clear seafood based soup were served in a hollowed-out melon.
12) Shredded Abalone with 8 Treasures Soup ($15): This was full of umami flavours of the sea.
13) Mango Pomelo with Sago dessert ($4.50): This was cooling and refreshing.
You can check it out at http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.com/2009/11/peach-garden-executives-club.html
Dim sum was on the cards again and this time it was at Peach Garden at OCBC building. Peach Garden appealed with its location, promise of a great view as well as its stellar reviews for dim sum.
Perched on the 33rd floor of OCBC building at Chulia Street, Peach Garden offers a birds eye view of the surrounding area if you manage to get a window seat of course. The interior oozes class with its traditional Chinese wooden decor complete with thick carpets for that touch of exclusivity.
Appetiser - This was really weird tasting to me because it had cordyceps in it, which reminded me of maggots. I shall not attempt to elaborate more.
Steamed Siew Mai with Phoneix Prawn - A staple in any dim sum offering, the siew mai was quite different in the sense that there was alot of prawn in it and though fresh, it overwhelmed the taste of the pork. I'm not really complaining though. What I didn't appreciate was the prawns not being fully de shelled, with the tip still showing. I guess the purpose was to show that it was a whole prawn in the siew mai.
Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling - You can't really go wrong with Har Gao and Peach Garden wasn't just about to challenge that notion. The skin, though a little too thick for my liking, was rather chewy and enveloped a dollop of nice crunchy prawns.
XO Carrot Cake - Okay this wasn't exactly very good, with the carrot cake a tad too soft and salty. Portions were very small as well for the price ($8). On the upside, it wasn't too oily and came across as rather fragrant.
Baked Spare Rib with BBQ Sauce - I've actually eaten this quite a few times from Peach Garden so it was no surprise that it was good as I remembered it to be. Crisp along the edges with a nice sweet aftertaste from the BBQ sauce while succulent and naturally sweet on the inside. But at $7 a pop, I don't exactly find it value for money.
Steamed Rice Roll with Prawn & Steamed Rice Roll with Char Siew - I hate to say this but both the steamed rice rolls aka chee cheong fan, were substandard. For one, the cheong fan's texture tasted rather coarse, not silky and smooth as I would have expected. To put it in perspective, there are a lot of hawker stalls out there that sell the same quality of chee cheong fan.
Boiled Porridge with Century Egg and Pork - The porridge was salty and between the 8 of us, we almost couldn't finish 4 bowls of it. That probably says alot. And strangely enough, the pork tasted more like chicken.
Steamed Xiao Long Bao with Conpoy - Average average average. The final verdict that most of us handed down. The skin was a tad too dry and thick while the juice within wasn't flavourful enough. Probably the only saving grace was that the pork taste wasn't too overwhelming.
Baked Mini Egg Tart - Flaky with a nice and not too sweet custard filling, the mini egg tarts were rather decent but not outstanding. For one, the crust was tasteless and at $1.30 each, its a total rip off.
Steamed BBQ Pork Bun - I personally thought that the flour was a little too thick for the bun, which made it quite a chore to eat. The char siew filling was decent though but it wasn't enough to make me write this dish off.
Steamed Yolk Cream Bun - A signature dish of Peach Garden and rightly so. The delicious smooth molten custard gushed out as soon as an opening was made in the moist bun skin, making for a messy but delightful dish. However, as with the BBQ pork bun, I did find the flour a little too thick as well. One thing I also found lacking was the presence of egg yolk sediment in the molten custard, which would have given it a slightly salty taste and a rougher texture. But all in all, an excellent eat nevertheless.
Baked BBQ Pork Pastry - After the excellent BBQ pork pastry aka char siew sou I had at Yan Ting, nothing else comes close. And Peach Garden's rendition was in no position to contest that claim. Though decent, the char siew did seem a tad too sweet for my liking while the pastry came across as flat.
An uninspiring dim sum session for 8 cost to the tune of $178 after a 15% discount. Service overwall was rather terrible save for a few rather nice gestures by 2 ladies who I presume to be the owners. Prices are still rather reasonable and if you can look past the hits and misses and generally slightly above average dim sum, you will probably like Peach Garden. As for me, I'll be happy to stick to my regular haunts.
See all my pictures here.
Dim sum frenzy or just a simple case of food loving brought 8 people together to celebrate Bobo's birthday one fine day. And we're pretty much determined to try all dim sum offerings at least once to have a feel for the best dim sum Singapore can offer. Thus far, we lag behind Hong Kong in terms of quality and value for money but hopefully one day, we'll find something that is at least on par. On a side note, Happy Belated Birthday Bobo! Sorry we turned your birthday into a blogging session but hey, thats what we do. Cheers!
The restaurant is sparsely decorated with a nice view of the CBD district if you can get the window seat. It is highly recommended to call in advance to book your seats so that you can get the window view. Otherwise, the location is unexciting and rather bland.
Cordyceps and Cucumber ($3) - When i saw this appetizer, it took my appetite away literally. Looking at the little worms on a plate with cucumbers are enough to scare many away. However, it proved quite harmless once you take the first leap to try it. Both the Cordyceps and the cucumber are sourish and surprisingly crunchy which was rather interesting.
Egg Tarts ($10.40 for 8) - Mini egg tarts they are called and mini egg tarts they are. Thin, flaky and crusty, the egg tarts actually lacked much taste which more or less disqualifies it from an order in future. At $1.30 a piece, "expensive" is the final verdict for this item.
Char Siew Pastry ($7.80 for 6) - The char siew pastry is sweet and succulent but came across as too sweet for me. The crust is also crispy and flaky which seems to be the main impression from the restaurants pastries but they lacked the same buttery fragrance from Yan Ting's pastries. Decent but could be better.
Xo Carrot Cake ($8) - The XO carrot cake here had a nice fragrance about it and was not oily but the portion size was extremely small and some felt that it was too salty.
Yolk Cream Bun ($9.60) - The yolk cream bun turned out rather well with a watery layer on the inside accompanied by firm custard yolk. The watery yolk flows out once broken open and emits a strong yolk taste once it is popped into your mouth. We did find the bun to be too thick and they could have stuffed the bun with more custard though. All in all, i wouldn't mind ordering this again.
Prawn and Pork Rice Roll ($4.50 each) - The rice roll came in 2 flavors, the BBQ pork flavor and the prawn stuffings. Both of the stuffings were rather inadequate in my opinion as we ended tasting more rice roll then the stuffings. That would have been acceptable if the rice roll was good but even that failed to live up to the test as the rice roll turned out a tad too thick and difficult to break.
Siew Mai ($11.20 for 7) - There's a general dispute on this particular dish because it was supposed to be pork dumplings. However, it turned out to taste very much like Har Gao due to the overwhelming presence of the prawn which is clearly visible here. That is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on whether you can accept its taste. For what its worth, the prawns were big, fresh, crunchy and succulent enough to be praised but it definitely doesn't taste like siew mai so take your chances and decide yourself.
Century Egg Porridge ($15.20 for 4) - The century porridge is simply too salty to warrant a taste. In fact, the porridge itself lacked much taste apart from the aforementioned saltiness. Skip this if you are here.
Xiao Long Bao ($9.10 for 7) - Xiao Long Bao's are a mixed bag to most as there will be discrepancies on accounts depending on preferences. However, most of us agreed that the XLB here was rather disappointing due to the thick skin and rather simple soup within. Its saving grace lie in the fact that the pork scent within was mild instead of being too strong in others which we've tasted before.
BBQ Pork Bun ($7.20) - The BBQ pork bun was sweet as this seems to be the characteristic of the restaurant. My main complaint on this only lie in the thick fluffiness of the bun which some liked but isn't to my taste.
Shrimp Dumplings ($12.80 for 8) - The Prawn dumplings were done rather well and were bigger then average. Within each dumpling is at least 2 prawns worth of meat and all were crunchy, succulent and fresh enough to be recommended. Try this.
BBQ Pork Rib ($49 for 7) - The meal rounded off with a go at the BBQ pork ribs introduced by FZ. In all fairness, the ribs were done rather well, crispy on the outside and succulently juicy on the inside. The BBQ sauce is sweet but acceptably so and the ribs exude a satisfying aroma. My gripe is that the serving size is not uniform as some ended up with bigger portions while others got much smaller servings. Otherwise, this is pretty good.
The bill came up to $178.20 for 8 people which is manageable but felt too expensive as it wasn't very satisfying.
The experience is generally ok apart from the fact that the meal was served with irritating speed once ordered. The service from the waitress was terrible and she had a black face throughout which didn't help matters. The food was average but price wise is redeemed since it wasn't too expensive to begin with.
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