If you have been advised not to travel out of the country due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, you can visit Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant instead for a dose of Japanese-inspired dishes to welcome the cherry blossom season.
From 2 March 2020 to 30 April 2020, Peach Garden has a seasonal menu, ‘OISHI Flavours of Japan’ at all seven outlets (OCBC Centre, Hotel Miramar, Thomson Plaza, NTU Blk N2.1, Chinatown Point, The Metropolis, and Changi Airport Terminal 2).
They serve the dishes a la carte and/or in a 6-course set menu ($68 per person), which doesn’t include dim sum. Only Thomson Plaza and Hotel Miramar outlets offer the new dim sum dishes.
NEW DIM SUM, AVAILABLE ONLY AT THOMSON PLAZA AND HOTEL MIRAMAR
The dim sum items include Steamed Siew Mai with Sea Urchin ($8.80), Steamed Xiao Long Bao with A5 Wagyu Beef ($8.80) and Steamed Dumpling with Japanese Geoduck Clam ($7.80).
Sea urchin adds creaminess and sweetness of the sea to the regular siew mai, a pretty good deviation from the usual prawn toppings.
As for the xiao long bao, I feel that the grade and type of beef do not matter when it is all slivered and steamed in a bun. It tastes like regular beef and it does not achieve the quintessential umami taste like pork jus.
The steamed dumpling is wrapped with paper-thin skin specked with spinach purée and a thick slice of geoduck clam topped with a tiny dollop of garlic and wolfberry. I hardly register the clam as I had popped the entire dumpling into my mouth but the skin is so good and chewy!
A LA CARTE MENU
Flaming Seafood Fried Rice in Whole Japanese Pumpkin ($28) is filled prawns, scallops and copious amount of cut Japanese pumpkin, topped off with a layer of melted mozzarella. The whole pumpkin is set aflame upon serving, the fanfare is more of a visual feast than it has to do with the taste. Nonetheless, the seafood fried rice is delicious with the presence of the sweet pumpkin.
6-COURSE SET MENU ($68)
Nestled in an ice bowl, Chilled Sea Urchin Tofu (available a la carte at $22) is eaten with century egg yolk sauce spiked with sake, topped up by finely chopped translucent century egg ‘white’. This appetiser does its job in waking up the gustatory system. The creamy tofu is accompanied by a crispy, salty piece of Japanese otsumami, dried baby sardine.
I expected the Pan-fried Shirobuta Pork (available a la carte at $28) to be more succulent but nonetheless, the fresh and delectable pork taste makes up for it. Accompanied with seasonal vegetables and edible ‘gold plated’ popped rice, you can choose one of the three house-made sauces – Chef’s Special Mala Sauce, Black Pepper Sauce or Mushroom Sauce. The mala sauce does not taste like mala but a savoury fragrant chilli paste that goes relatively well with the pork.
There is an A5 wagyu beef option for this dish and I assume the black pepper sauce is more suitable for that. In my opinion, the mild mushroom sauce goes with the pork loin best. It does not overshadow the pork flavours and yet it alleviates the dryness of the thin patty.
Poached Surimi-men with Japanese Oysters: Surimi-men is fish paste noodles, and in this case, the noodles are tinted in a pink hue to suit the cherry blossom theme. Served in rich superior broth and fresh plump Japanese oysters, this is my favourite dish from the menu because it tastes so flavourful and comforting.
Also, only found in the set menu is Sweet Temptation, which is a ‘Yuan Yang’ bowl of smooth pumpkin and pandan-infused sweet potato paste, and a striking flower-shaped pastry with red bean paste topped with orange-peel granules.
The pumpkin paste is refreshing and light while the sweet potato paste is starchier and denser. The flower pastry is served warm with a fragrant citrus taste that cuts the sweetness from the red bean paste.
The 6-course set menu is a good choice because it encompasses the better and more interesting fusion dishes in this seasonal menu.
Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant
OCBC Centre #33-01, 65 Chulia Street, Singapore 049513
(Also available in other outlets: Hotel Miramar, Thomson Plaza, NTU Blk N2.1, Chinatown Point, The Metropolis, Changi Airport Terminal 2 Reservation)
11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm, daily
Tel: +65 6535 7833
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Written by Cheang Shwu Peng.
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