Kai Garden 嘉苑 – One Unique Peking Duck Experience

There seems to be a sprout in Chinese restaurants lately and well, just in time for Chinese New Year as well. Kai Garden is a Cantonese restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Fung Chi Keung, previously the Group Executive Chef of well-known Paradise Group. Though fairly new, the restaurant saw a rather sizeable crowd and many bookings for Chinese New Year dinners. (Well when I was there, the main area was booked out for Chinese New Year dinners and I could hear the staffs singing and cheering. So haps)

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Wet Paper Napkins

Initially I thought the idea of being different is rather cool. I’m pretty sure we have seen this before. You pour water into it and the compressed item expands into a wet paper napkin. But then later on when the restaurant got so busy and there were not enough staffs to go around plus I was in urgent need of a wet paper napkin cos there was a spill, the idea of waiting for them to grab the plate and tray, find the flask and pour the water in before they could serve it to me seems not-so-cool afterall. Just a suggestion: they might want some wet paper napkins readily available

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Pickled Szechuan Vegetables (Starter)

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Signature Crispy Peking Duck $48 (Half)

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There is some creativity and novelty in Kai Garden’s Peking duck, just cos there were extra elements

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Condiments: Black Pepper Sauce, Mixed Sauce, Crab & Prawn Seafood Sauce, Sesame Sauce and Original Peking Sauce

Unlike your usual peking duck that only comes in one sauce, Kai Garden has 5 choices to choose from. I personally like the original and black pepper. The other sauces are good, but to a certain extent, I don’t really think they go well with the peking duck, well just my personal opinion

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Pumpkin, Charcoal, Beetroot, Spinach and Original Crepe

And also unlike your usual peking duck with only one crepe, they have expanded to 5 different flavoured crepe. Honestly, I can’t really taste the difference, but I give it to them for being different

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Crispy Corn Biscuit

I like the texture and flavour of the corn biscuit and it gave a crunch when you eat it together with the peking duck

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And so this is how it should be done. Well, there was no explanation to how we were supposed to go about eating it, and it was later on we found out we were supposed to pair everything together. I personally find the portion of the biscuit and skin too big as compared to the crepe. It’s like the crepe cannot even cover the whole thing properly. That aside, from what it seemed like a strange combination works well together to give a different peking duck experience

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Remains of the duck meat

Oh, the meat was bad. It was rather tough and lacked the sweet and juicy duck meat we were supposed to enjoy. So don’t eat it like this, but go with the order of frying this with rice or noodles to mask the tough meat texture

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Nourishing Double Boiled Sea Whelk Soup $68 (for 4 pax)

This came in a pot, with 3/4 of the pot being filled with pork ribs and chicken feet #notkidding

You might just feel full from eating all the pork ribs in the pot. Taste-wise, the soup was light and richly infused with the flavour of the pork, ending with the sweetness of the sea whelk meat

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Baked Cod Fillet in Honey Sauce $38

I really like this dish. The cod was nicely done yet not overpowered by the sauce. But what won my heart was the egg white the cod is resting on. A sweet, fluffy egg white dish that gave a different balance to the dish

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Braised Homemade Crispy Tofu in Abalone Sauce $20

The dish was rather different from picture in the menu. The friend went huh? I thought it was supposed to be crispy?! Well… even though it was different, we actually really like the tofu. The tofu was more like a taupok texture, each layer evenly distributed, soft and soaked with the rich abalone sauce

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Stewed Sea Treasure and Mixed Vegetables Served in Casserole $20

They didn’t serve this individually for us, but did it for the next table. Differential treatment, pfft. I was rather shocked at the portion of the dish, it felt like this could feed 4. I’m not too sure what’s the sea treasure here but I do see lots of vegetables in a deeply rich broth

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Chilled Coconut Puree $6.80

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This is really delicious. This dessert is made purely out of coconut without any use of jelly. And at some point you might be wondering if you are having bird’s nest cos of the fine texture that is going into your mouth

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Chilled Mango Puree with Sago and Pomelo $6.80

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A sweet dessert ending with acidity with a punch. I prefer my coconut puree

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There was a lot of thought and creativity behind each dish and I think the flavours were pretty on the mark. We had wanted to try the live seafood but they ran out of bamboo clams. They had a few interesting dishes as well and I’m sure their long list of menu is bound to create some interest. This place feels like one you know you can always go back for decent Chinese food and one day if you find yourself sick of Paradise Group, maybe you can give Kai Garden a try

Kai Garden 嘉苑

6 Raffles Boulevard, #03-128A/128B

Marina Square, S(039594)