Peach Garden @ Novena Gardens

Tucked among a nondescript row of shops and food stalls, Peach Garden stood out because it looked like a “real” restaurant. This made us a little wary, as we’ve been burnt at places like this before—high end glam outside, but basically just hawker food with tablecloths inside. Peach Garden, however, is a happy exception, which we discovered as soon as we walked in and saw the stylish but understated décor, the tables full (and we mean full) of upscale diners, and the pleasant, well trained and smiling staff. It was almost too good to be true. All became clear when we learnt that the managers of Peach Garden spent years at the well known Hua Ting restaurant in Orchard Hotel and struck out on their own a couple of years ago. They have taken their love of quality food, and their considerable people skills, and created a gem of a restaurant. The menu is not extensive, but there is a clear focus on seafood and roasted meats, such as abalone, fish, goose, and suckling pig. One got the sense that the people behind Peach Garden had chosen to do fewer dishes—and do them very well—rather than roll out the typical laundry list menu found in many other Chinese eateries. The result was delightful renditions of yummy traditional dishes, such as the succulent and flavorful roast chicken with plum sauce and crispy egg, the baked spare ribs, and the wonderful double-boiled yellow melon soup with seafood. The menu also included a few surprises, such as the house special deep fried prawn salad with wasabi, and the delicious black glutinous rice dessert, which was served in a coconut with a dollop of ice cream inside. A strange combo, but it worked, as did almost everything at Peach Garden. You really can’t go wrong here for a family dinner, business entertainment, or just a meal when you’re in the mood for tasteful food in a tasteful place.

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