To usher in the Year of the Dragon in 2012, Peach Blossoms restaurant at Marina Mandarin Hotel has reopened its doors after a S$1 million makeover. With a new chef at helm and a brand new menu, the restaurant is all set to win over fans with its signature Cantonese cuisine featuring modern twists.
Chinese New Year menu
Besides a specially created Chinese New Year menu to welcome the start of a brand new lunar year, the newly renovated Peach Blossoms also boasts an expanded seating capacity and major facelifts for both private and main dining rooms.
S$68++ for 4-6 persons / S$118++ for 10 persons
It’s a chancy move to do without the usual sweet and sour flavours of fresh salmon slices and plum sauce, but Peach Blossoms’ bold combination of charcoal-grilled beef slices with Hong Kong-style sesame dressing in the Wagyu beef yusheng creation fares well.
The Hong Kong-style sesame dressing enhances the dish without being over powering. Its creamy texture blends well with the crunchy refreshing mix of select greens and succulent beef slices, making this an appetising yusheng dish. For diners who do not take beef, you can certainly opt for the standard salmon option, as well as vegetarian or fruity alternatives.
To prevent our hands from getting caught in the mess during the tossing of yusheng, a pair of extra-long chopsticks is provided. I like that everyone also gets an additional pair of serving chopsticks to get food from the dishes. A very thoughtful gesture in terms of Chinese dining etiquette.
While I enjoy the double-boiled chicken broth, which is light and not overly rich with herbs, the chicken turns out to be a tad tough for my liking. Still, it serves as a nice soup to cleanse your palate and warm your stomach for more festive feasting.
Available in the S$1,488++ Harmonious set menu for 10 persons
In this Year of the Dragon, lobster – a clever play on its Chinese name (‘long’) using homophonic puns – has also been incorporated into the various festive set menu. The baked lobster is both juicy and lavish. Its firm, sweet meat is easily removable from the half-shell for enjoyment. I personally fancy the modern touch of fragrant white truffle oil, which enhances the freshness of the lobster.
S$248++ for 4-6 persons / S$398++ for 10 persons
Originating from Hong Kong, the Abalone Treasures Pot is a treasure trove of ingredients! A symbol of family reunion and auspiciousness, the dish includes 10-head quality whole abalones, fish maw, quails, sea cucumber, dried scallops, marinated soya chicken, roast duck, roast pork, deep-fried live prawns, flower mushrooms, black moss, abalone mushrooms, radish, lotus root, baby corns, pig’s tongue and fried bean curd skin.
Of all the ingredients, I especially enjoy the crunchy crisp skin – not an easy feat considering the amount of gravy – of the roast pork. The pig’s tongue proves interesting and has a surprisingly delightful texture. Each ingredient retrains its own distinctive flavour while covered in gravy.
Available both a la carte and in set menus (from S$388++ for 4 persons)
The marble goby flesh is sweet and extremely fresh. While there may have been too much garlic for my liking, a bit of the raw garlic helps to cleanse the palate, in preparation for desserts.
Red date cake with coconut milk
S$28.80++ for a whole cake
With a cool, floral taste, the water chestnut cake with osmanthus makes a light dessert with an interesting texture, with juicy bits of water chestnuts. The chewy red date cake with coconut milk has a richer flavour, in comparison, with a hint of coconut milk aroma.
Made in whole round cakes, the nian gao are designed to resemble Chinese auspicious coins, making suitable gifts during for house visiting.