Peach Blossoms – an Award-Winning Restaurant in Marina Bay
Finding the stunning entrance to Peach Blossoms – located on the 5th floor of the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay – is part of the experience. Going up in the lift and then crossing the walkway to the restaurant is a breathtaking entrance, as you pass the kaleidoscope of greenery of the indoor garden inside the hotel. The space was formerly the Marina Mandarin, so when cinematic starchitect John Portman reimagined the hotel, he was inspired to create a space that reflected the hotel’s commitment to the environment.
Moving over to the restaurant, the dramatic golden ceiling in the main dining room creates a soft glow during the day. There are private rooms for larger parties, but smaller groups should request a table in the bright main dining room, with gold and brown chairs, and Chinese calligraphy brushes adorning the walls.
Images courtesy of Eva Piskadlo
Executive Chef Edward Chong started his culinary career as a Commis, Chef De Partie at Jade at The Fullerton Hotel, and was head chef at Unlisted Collection’s Majestic before joining Peach Blossoms. Through his innovative techniques and presentation, Chong breathes a new life into the traditional Canto cuisine, with everything finished with a twist on classic flavours and recipes. It is fresh, contemporary, and one of the best Chinese restaurants I’ve dined at in a long time. Service, from the moment we entered to the moment we left, was utterly perfect. Nothing was too much trouble; requests for tea and changing the temperature in our private dining room were granted in a flash; the staff were eager to please.
There's the food, too, of course. The innovation started with the very first course, the chilled abalone dressed with Hokkaido sea urchin - a combination completely new to me. I suspect new to planet earth too, although I reserve the right to be wrong on this. It was great, the mollusc working brilliantly with the crab meat salad and the celtuce stem kicking in as the sweetness dissipated.
A wholesome fish maw soup with Jeju spring chicken was, if not presented in that exacting multi-Michelin-starred way, surely still deserving of the same kind of attention for the incredible depth of flavour and skill of the broth. But best of the starters, in a very competitive field remember, was an incredible deep fried ‘cigar’ roll, the gently crusty casing providing a base for the black truffle, neat swirls of mousse-like foie gras and – a stroke of genius – dainty nuggets of prawn to create that fabulous chewy texture.
Mains kept up the ferocious level of quality. The Applewood smoked jamon iberico char siew pork was world-class. Every single element of it was perfect, from the crispy layer of sugary sweet on top, the theatrical serving, to the buttery meaty mouthful of flavour in each bite. This was a time-tested combination of ingredients perhaps but one that only works if you know exactly what you're doing. And Edward Chong certainly does.
The fillet of marble Goby was beautifully plated, served in a golden pool of Pineapple assam sauce. I loved this dish, and it transported me right back to my Mother’s hometown in Terengganu with the Peranakan flavours and Malay influence.
This dish was a lobster noodle dish and is in most forms usually a spectacular feat. "They're licking their chopsticks!" the waiter whispered to his colleague. It's a bit labour-intensive, we realised when Edward detailed the method, but it was worth it. The noodles soak up the thick egg white broth, so each bite is oozing with flavour, and is paired with a big hunk of lobster flesh.
The desserts spoke for themselves. Chrysanthemum and Dragon Fruit are my two favourite things – and a tour de force of a combination when fused together. This was a deliciously refreshing sweet finale to end our brilliant feast, and a dainty puff pastry carefully crafted in the shape of a bee accompanied the dish. A symphony of colours and an ode to the hotel’s nature theme – what an ending. Having lived in Singapore for 9 years, visiting Malaysia multiple times a year to see my Mother’s family and being half Chinese myself, my taste-buds really do know their stuff when it comes to oriental cooking. And this was one of the best progressive Chinese meals I’ve had in a long while.
Peach Blossoms Singapore, 6 Raffles Boulevard Level 5, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Singapore 039594, +65 6845 1118