Best Peking Duck at Kai Garden Marina Square
I'm pretty skeptical about marketing gimmicks such as labels like 'Top Restaurant in X" and "Best Y cuisine..". You can so imagine this cynical one rolling her eyes when she receive the invitation to taste the "Best Peking Duck in Singapore". BUT seriously, newly opened Kai Garden at Marina Square really lives up to that label. Consider me impressed with Chef-Owner and Executive Chef Fung Chi Keung's traditional Peking Duck when i tasted it. It was indeed the best that i've had.
Chef Fung was previously from the Paradise Group, so you can be expecting a strong Cantonese cuisine at this 200-seater restaurant in Marina Square.
So the glistening Peking Duck ($88/duck) is definitely the star here. The crispy skin was simply amazing (and i don't even really enjoy skin). The layer of fats under the naturally colored, browned crust simply renders beautifully in one's mouth. It doesn't taste too oily even.
Accompanying the duck is an interesting selection of wraps- Original, Pumpkin, Green(Spinach), Bamboo Charcoal, and Beetroot.
While the wraps didn't taste much of their stated ingredient, they added pretty colors, plus a great texture and balance to each bite. It's fairly thin, with just a light amount of chewiness, and it remained fairly moist even as the baskets made their rounds around the huge dining table. There are also 5 sauces that come with the dish (Duck, Black Pepper, Sesame, Seafood, or Special Mixed). Well i was happy with the regular sweet salty original duck sauce.
The Double-boiled Japanese Matsutake served in Tea Pot ($38/pax) was stellar. The Matsutake is Japan's answer to the black truffle (it's very rare and unique) and it gave a sweet and earthy balance to the traditional Cantonese soup.
Grouper in Lobster Soup (seasonal price) is a simple fish dish, flash cooked in a super umami Asian lobster bisque. It's rich without being too heavy. And the fish was given the TLC on the spot for that perfect doneness. I could have a whole pot of this easily.
While i'm not exactly sure if serving crispy food on ice helps to maintain the crunchy texture, i enjoyed the Sweet and Sour Pork on The Rocks ($22/serving). I was afraid that the balls would be cold but thankfully they were warm still. The light crunch batter encased the juicy roughly minced pork and the sauce was balanced with the right amount of acidity and sweetness.
Deep Fried Vegetarian Roll ($22) is a beautiful web of bamboo fungus that holds a juicy mix of vegetables and mushroom with tofu. The texture is amazing and the layers picked up the delicious pumpkin and chicken stock which was an intense reduction that i couldn't stop spooning. But other than that, the filling was pretty standard.
If the bao skin were any indication the standard of their Kai Garden's dimsum, i would be here every weekend for brunch. Or supper if it's available every night. The Pan Fried Charcoal Pork Bun ($6.80 for 3pcs) is actually a xiao long bao in disguise. First the crisp crust, then the fluffy skin, and the juicy pork and broth in the center of it all. -slow clap- tears of joy-
Kai Garden definitely has my vote for Best Peking Duck in town and I'm looking forward to sampling their Dimsum as well. For all you know, they may bag the Best Dimsum in Singapore title too.
#03-128A/B Marina Square
Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039594
Tel: +65 6250 4826
Weekdays: 11.30am - 3.30pm, 6 - 11pm
Weekends & PH: 11am - 4pm
Weekends & PH: 11am - 4pm