I usually think of the standard Cantonese fare when I step into restaurants such as Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin.
However, their new menu available from April 2018 exceeded all expectations and throws us surprises at every turn.
This new menu marks Executive Chinese Chef Edward Chong’s first full-fledged menu release since he joined the team late 2017. He brings a bold take on traditional Chinese food to the table with his fusion creations, backed by 16 years of experience.
His menu features influences from both the East and the West. One of the signatures, Chilled Abalone with Konbu and Jelly Fish served with Yuzu Sauce ($16), ties Japanese flavours to the essentially Chinese dish.
When eaten together, all the components of the dish were pretty refreshing. The citrusy yuzu sauce with a touch of sesame was another aspect of the dish which made it so delectable.
Perched on top of the sliced abalone is a portion of crisp ikura, which were surprisingly smaller and firmer than the ones served with sushi.
A recurring theme in Chef Chong’s repertoire is that all the dishes are literal works of art. The Tom Yum Soup with “Otak” served in Whole Coconut ($26) was both delicious and gorgeous.
The soup contained a large prawn ball, large chunks of crabmeat, and pieces of fish maw. At this point, we were wondering where exactly the otak was. It came as a pleasant surprise to us when we found that there was a cube of fragrant otak hidden within the chewy prawn ball.
The soup itself was savoury and mildly spicy, but lacked some of that characteristic acidity found in tom yum soup. But since it boils down to a Chinese dish, we weren’t too pressed about it. In fact, I loved it so much I almost asked for a second serving.
Continuing with the visual display, the Flambeéd Chinese Wine Spring Chicken ($32) gives the conventional drunken chicken a new look. It features a whole spring chicken soaked in Chinese wine then fried, giving it a crispy exterior accompanying the tender flesh.
The flambé happens at the table when Chef Chong ignites a whole cup of Chinese wine and pours the flaming concoction over the beautifully fried chicken. It’s definitely a spectacle not to be missed.
Even after being set on fire, the chicken remains tender and juicy. Do eat the chicken quickly though, as the downside is that the chicken may absorb too much of the wine if left sitting for too long, giving it a bitter aftertaste.
You’d think these dishes were impressive enough, but when Chef Chong carried the Roasted Tomahawk Steak in “Xin Jiang” Style accompanied with Green Papaya Salad ($180) out on a chopping board, we knew for sure that was going to be the showstopper.
The steak is cooked with care at low temperatures to achieve that perfect medium rare level of doneness. Although Tomahawk steaks are more commonly found in Western cuisine, this particular steak had seasonings which are prominent in Asian cooking. The steak was rubbed with a spice mix containing cumin, lemongrass and other spices.
Accompanying the steak was a salad comprising of pickled green papayas made with Chef Chong’s family recipe. The crisp, slightly tart pickles act as perfect palate cleansers after eating the rich pieces of beef.
The steak itself was melt-in-the-mouth tender and flavourful all the way through. Those who are squeamish about fatty pieces of meat, don’t have to worry too much as there are leaner parts of the steak. However, I really recommend eating the fatty pieces as it’s an explosion of flavours you’ll have difficulty getting elsewhere.
No Chinese meal will ever be complete without rice or noodles; the Stir Fried Fish Paste Noodle with King Prawn in XO Chilli Sauce ($36) is the best dish to have to end your meal at Peach Blossoms.
The thick fish paste noodles were chewy and substantial and had a nice wok hei fragrance. In addition to the savoury noodles, the dish came with a large succulent king prawn, cooked to perfection.
Accompanying the noodles and prawn was a thick XO sauce which was only slightly spicy, good for people who can’t really handle the heat. Having said that, the sauce will still warm you up from the inside.
The best part about this bowl of noodles is that it’s not too filling, as the noodles are made out of fish paste. This means that you’ll be able to eat to your heart’s content without worrying about feeling overly stuffed.
The dishes you’ll get at Peach Blossoms are created with such care, every course will leave you craving for more. So if you were thinking of taking your family, or someone special out for a treat, do consider Peach Blossoms latest menu offerings!
Expected Damage: $70 – $150 per pax