Recently, Peony Jade was bestowed the 2016 Bib Gourmand by the first edition of the Singapore Michelin Guide.
I’ve had the good fortune to dine here and experience firsthand not only dinner, but also remarkable mooncakes made from the kitchen of this Bib Gourmand recipient and based on the food and my personal observations that evening, the prestige of this award was well deserved by the team at Peony Jade!
The mooncakes will be further elaborated in another (because they sure do deserve an individual post!) article, so allow me to first share with you my delicious dinner that evening.
We were truly fed well that night, and that was prior to sinking our molars into a selection of truly delectable mooncakes. Ah, what a wonderful evening!
Peony Jade serves traditional Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine.
But that’s basically a generalization of most Chinese eateries; it has always been Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, Shanghainese or a few others. However, Cantonese food is the most popular style internationally.
I’ve had my fair share of dining at upscale Chinese restaurants in Malaysia and in my travels around the world.
Some stood out more than others, while most experiences were “just another meal“.
The memorable experiences are customarily at outlets where the Executive Chef and his/her team are innovative and work the wok with passion.
Peony Jade obviously has such a team.
It is known for its principle of utilizing the freshest ingredients to highlight the natural goodness and flavours of its dishes.
As foodies, we are all well aware of the important of good produce and how using the best ingredients lays the foundation for great food.
Furthermore, spinning away from just traditional Chinese food, the team injected subtle twists into its cuisine that adapt it to a modern sensibility.
A good example was the lip-smacking fish with truffle dish that evening which I would have never thought could have worked.
Heady truffle scent with garoupa stir fry; my first reaction was “fish and truffle chinese style??” plus a grimace.
However it turned out to be the best dish of the evening!
Deep-Fried Bull Frog Tossed in Special Fragrant Salt
Dinner commenced with fat, juicy frog legs encased in delightful crispy shells.
The seasoning of the ‘special fragrant salt’ was delicious and sets it apart from the usual salt, pepper, 5 spices concoction.
The soft meat slides off the bones easily, and cooked to the right degree, the flesh yields a supple, smooth bite.
Boiled Chicken Consomme with Conch and Maca Root
I’m a big fan of double boiled soups for its nourishing properties and once in a while, it is nice to be surprised with a non-standard Chinese soup.
This particular version was outstanding for the flavours of this clear consomme is clean and deeply sweet.
The intriguing part of it was the ‘neither familiar nor entirely foreign’ nuances, which added a sense of mystery.
It gave a somewhat different flavour from the usual Chinese soups and I reckon the use of maca root could be a reason.
The chicken meat, conch and bulbs of maca root are edible of course, though it is best to just enjoy the soup.
How does maca root look like, you ask?
Well, it’s the one on the most left.
Prime Pork Tenderloin with Japanese Roasted Sesame Sauce
We love this and pity there wasn’t enough for seconds!
The sauce was better than that of the usual black pepper/BBQ/soy based marinade.
And no, it doesn’t taste like “Kewpie“, just in case the description of “Japanese Roasted Sesame Sauce” gives you that impression.
It did taste like the marinated meat for Korean barbeques, but taken further and elaborated.
Having meat served with gresh gardens leaves in a Chinese restaurant may uncommon, but these worked very well with the drizzles of sauce.
Consume it as you would with marinated meat at a Korean BBQ restaurant; in bites together with fresh greens wrapped around the tender, tasty pork loin.
Fillets of Garoupa with Black Truffle & Green Asparagus
This is the star of the evening.
Salted Baked Hairy Crab
The annual hairy crab season is here and Peony Jade offers crafted menus featuring this highly regarded crustacean in a few forms.
We were treated to this delicacy in salted baked form, but no, these weren’t merely salted.
Instead the prized crabs was baked together with herbs in a bag, which in turn was baked within the salt cave.
These herbs imparted a light, pleasant scent and flavour while the salt sealed in cooking heat, besides contributing some brine.
Imported hairy crabs are popular amongst seafood connoisseurs and priced for its naturally sweet flesh and creamy rich roe, both of which we were fortunate to enjoy that evening.
Hong Kong Egg Noodle bathed in Scallion Oil
Last but not least was some carbohydrates to finish the meal.
All in all, my dinner was satisfying and a delightful introduction to Peony Jade after reading and hearing so much about it on cyberspace.
Besides the ala-carte and mooncakes, positive online reviews are abound for the dim sum as well.
Well, Peony Jade certainly didn’t clinched a ‘2016 Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand award’ for nothing.
Not one to rest on its laurels, I’ve been told that the head chef periodically comes up with innovative dishes to keep things fresh and interesting here.
Thus it was to my delight that I’m now able to lay claim to have dined at Peony Jade, and as a bonus, to have sampled their amazing mooncakes too!
Beside the main dining area, there are a few private rooms available a more cosy dining experience with your loved ones or business associates.
The overall ambiance exudes exclusivity though the location was said to be a little inaccessible to non-car owners. I didn’t think it was a problem since the MRT is a mere 15 min walk, but of course, coming from Malaysia where we are used to driving to “non public transport accessible” areas, I have a different purview from my fellow Singaporean friends who was very quick to say it was “difficult to get to”.
Service and Price
Service is great as expected of a restaurant of its class. It’s cuisine is certainly of fine dining standards.
Location and Info
Bukit Chermin Road
Tel: +65 6276 9138
Note: This is an invited media tasting.
Peony Jade has two outlets in Singapore — one at Clark Quay and one at Keppel Club.
How to get here:
MRT: Telok Blangah MRT, then about 10-15 minute walk.