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Review: Kai Garden @ Marina Square

Photo 8-12-15, 7 43 59 PM

I visited Kai Garden during its opening last December and was wow-ed away by their unique twists to the otherwise usual Cantonese restaurant offerings. This new restaurant located at Marina Square is headed by Owner and Executive Chef, Fung Chi Keung, and learning about his experience and history, allowed me to understand why his food tastes so amazing.

Chef has been working in the kitchens across Hong Kong since the tender age of 15 and is the brain and the hands behind the ever popular colorful xiaolongbao from the Paradise Group in Singapore. His creativity and perfect execution has gotten him several awards and he even boasts of a clientele that includes celebrities like Chow Yun-Fat, Zhang Ziyi and Jay Chou! I am also a fan of his, and I guess he can add me in the celebrity list also. HAHA!

Kai Garden has 3 main concepts: Dim Sum, Roasts and their Main Kitchen that serves things like sweet and sour pork, soups, etc. The dim sum menu is available only in the afternoon though!

The Place

The restaurant has a 200-seat capacity, and includes a function room for up to 60 seats and 4 private rooms for parties of 4 to 16 people (with a minimum spending, of course).Photo 8-12-15, 5 38 28 PM
Kai Garden is situated in the 2nd level of Marina Square at a corner, in between Milk and Honey and Tenkaichi.

The interior of the restaurant looks like this, plenty of seats for big or smaller group alike. Photo 8-12-15, 5 38 42 PM
Here are some shots of the private rooms that they have:Photo 8-12-15, 5 38 51 PM Photo 8-12-15, 5 39 11 PM
The view from one of the private rooms. Pretty amazing, I’d say.  Photo 8-12-15, 5 47 50 PM

The Menu

The range of items on the menu is too vast and varied for me to list them all down here, but the signature dishes of Kai Garden includes their Signature Crispy Peking Duck, Garoupa in Lobster Soup, Kung Fu Matsutake Soup, and Sweet and Sour Pork on The Rocks, which would all be reviewed in the following section!

The Food

Seriously, just guess what is this? Hint: NOT CHERRIES. Photo 8-12-15, 6 27 32 PM
1. Chilled Cherry Foie Gras

Genius, this guy is. I saw foie gras on the menu and yet we were served cherries instead, and so I just thought it must be some random appetizer they must be serving us, until I saw my friend’s expression change as she chewed into the cherry. She was like omg?! WHAT IS THIS?Photo 8-12-15, 6 34 41 PM
Then we realized that WOW. This cherry is actually foie gras, and thank goodness I didn’t give this dish a pass as I’m not quite a fan of cherries. The foie gras in this was oh so smooth and delicious, and it’s refreshing because this was served chilled. Amazing.

This dish may or may not be on the menu, as it seems like it is served on a Amuse Bouche basis, i.e. according to Chef’s mood.

2. Chilled Mini Tomatoes with Sweet PlumPhoto 8-12-15, 6 30 26 PM
This was okay, nothing to shout about, because no matter how good tomatoes are, I’m always never really impressed. If you’re a fan of tomatoes, you’d love this because it’s so juicy and fresh!

3. SOUPS

a. Double-boiled Japanese Matsuake served in Hot PotPhoto 8-12-15, 6 39 13 PM
Look at how this soup is served! So cute and creative! Photo 8-12-15, 6 43 07 PM
In this pot, it consists of Matsutake mushroom (Japanese version of truffle) and herbs that have been double boiled, giving the entire pot a rich earthy taste. Did you know? The Matsuke mushroom is a super rare mushroom and is also a symbol of longevity for the Japanese? CONFIRM HEALTHY.Photo 8-12-15, 6 50 02 PM
We wondering why the pot still felt so heavy after emptying the soup within. We opened the lid and to our surprise, there were generous, generous chunks of meat in there! AH. WHAT A COMFORTING BOWL OF GOODNESS!

b. Braised Whole “Ya Jian” Shark’s Fin in Supreme Collagen Soup Photo 8-12-15, 6 45 42 PM
My partner had this bowl of soup. This soup uses shark’s cartilage as the core of the stock, and is then slow-cooked for 6 hours until collagen is released, and used to braise the whole shark’s fin, giving it a rich and sweet taste! But I personally preferred the Matsutake soup above!

3. Signature Crispy Peking DuckPhoto 8-12-15, 6 51 30 PM
I’m sure we all have had peking duck before, that rich crispy skin and the succulent duck meat. Mmmm. Thinking about this just makes me hungry!  Photo 8-12-15, 6 57 50 PM
What separates Kai Garden’s Peking Duck with the others is their variety of sauces and wraps. Photo 8-12-15, 7 01 55 PM
FIVE different kinds of dipping sauces – black pepper, sesame, seafood, traditional and a special mixed sauces to go with your peking duck. GO FOR THE SPECIAL, IT IS SUPER YUMMY.

And not only the dips come in 5 flavors, you shouldn’t expect any less from the creator of the colorful XLB, because he has came up with COLORFUL peking duck WRAPS too! Okay lah, actually you can’t really taste the difference, it is just aesthetically pleasing. Photo 8-12-15, 7 12 41 PM
This is the normal original wrap. Oh oh, the yellow thing you see there is the cornflakes crisp they have that goes together with the peking duck – yet another feature that separates them from the norm. And this crisp gives it an additional crunch, really really satisfying!Photo 8-12-15, 7 17 27 PM
This is the beet root wrap. Photo 8-12-15, 7 19 44 PM
Charcoal. Wow look at that crisp skin!!!!!!!!! I wish I could reach into my screen to grab it.
Photo 8-12-15, 7 17 53 PM
Here are the 4 that we had on the day, missing of a green (spinach) wrap. The yellow wrap is made of pumpkin!

4. Garoupa in Lobster SoupPhoto 8-12-15, 7 24 20 PM
I can’t stop gushing over this. Fresh Garoupa poached by the staff to perfection. Photo 8-12-15, 7 26 46 PM
The texture of the fish was firm yet delicate, with the distinctive sweetness from the fresh garoupa. Gosh. I just can’t get enough of this. Photo 8-12-15, 7 28 09 PM
Not only the fish was impressive from this dish, the soup… Instead of using the usual chicken stock, chef uses LOBSTER instead. You could taste the flavors of the lobster in the soup, and together with the fish.. PERFECT.

5. Sweet and Sour Pork on RocksPhoto 8-12-15, 7 43 59 PM
Have you ever seen a sweet and sour pork served in this fashion? Neither have I. This was the dish that got most of us squealing in excitement because it looks so unique and pretty! Not only that, the sweet and sour pork was perfectly crisp, and each ball of this was SO tender and flavorful too! Apparently the ice is there to enhance the crunchy texture of the crisp skin, and accentuate the richness of the meat. Okay lah, I think they’ve done that. Perfectly.

6. Deep Fried Vegetable RollPhoto 8-12-15, 7 45 59 PM
When I first heard the name of this dish, I expected it to be like spring roll. But no. And just as I thought this was probably just a ball of bamboo fungus, which was already a YAY, because I love bamboo fungus, Chef surprises me yet again. Photo 8-12-15, 7 47 49 PM
Hidden within was a GENEROUS portion of mixed vegetables and my FAVORITE MUSHROOMS. I just can’t stop feelings impressed with Chef’s creations.

7. Pan Fried Charcoal Pork BunPhoto 8-12-15, 7 57 23 PM
This is just like xiao long bao, pan fried version. Haha! Seriously, the soup within flows out once you tear through the crisp yet fluffy skin of the bun. The bun is so black because it is colored with squid ink and charcoal. Novelty’s sake yet again, but I thought this should be the restaurant’s signature, because I haven’t had a pan fried pork bun this good before.

This calls for a visit for their dimsum menu. (My post coming up soon!)

8. Chilled Fresh Coconut PureePhoto 8-12-15, 8 17 36 PMThis was what we had for dessert. Refreshing, but I thought it was overly sweet. I couldn’t finish half of it, probably because I was health conscious (after stuffing my face with so much food already) and also cause, I’m not a huge fan of very sweet desserts.

Closing Remarks

I had an amazing time at Kai Garden with the surprising components in each of the dishes, and even better taste! They are officially my favorite Chinese/Cantonese restaurant to go to, and I hope it would soon be yours too!

How to get there?
Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard
#03-128A/ 128B
Singapore 039594

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 11.30am to 3.30pm (lunch, last order 2.30pm); 6pm to 11pm (dinner, last order 10pm)
Saturday and Sunday: 11am – 10pm

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