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Fine Dining: Lei Garden

Lei Garden is not an unfamiliar name in Singapore. This Hong Kong restaurant empire has branches spanning across Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore & China & has won strings of award both in Singapore & Hong Kong. The Lei Garden Restaurant Group has often been nicknamed 少林寺 Shao Lin Shi (Famous Chinese Monastery where premier Kung Fu Skills are taught) of the Food & Beverage sector.

Lei Garden has 2 restaurants in Singapore, one in Chjimes & the other in Orchard. Lunch yesterday was at Chjimes, which is also my preferred choice. The outlet is highly recommended for entertaining business clients. While many restaurants are half-empty because of the recession, Lei Garden has its followers & it’s usually fully booked. So if you’re looking for good quality Cantonese cuisine, this is the place to go. To start off, I ordered its Crispy Silver Needle Fish (银針鱼) @ S$7 a plate. This appetizer may look simple but not every restaurant can do it well. To date, only 3 restaurants in S’pore have managed to fry it well enough to have that perfect crunch. Some came soggy while others, too well-done. The fish here is lightly coated with batter & deep-fried till crispy. This is a favourite especially among beer drinkers. The grape juice @ only S$2 is another must-try. The vitamin C comes in a tiny glass & its sourness opens up your appetite, unlocking the gateway to indulge in more sumptuous gourmet. Lei Garden prides itself in serving one of the finest Peking Duck & in my opinion, “world’s best”. I’ve tried the infamous Peking Duck in different parts of the world & I simply love the one served here in Singapore. Nothing bias but this is also the feedback gathered among many foreigner friends who have tried in other parts of Asia etc. Many countries serve their Peking Duck with meat wrapped in sort-of naan, while most restaurants in S'pore serve just the skin. This crispy bird here is skilfully sliced without its meat & wrapped in crepes. The Peking Duck is so popular here that one is often recommended to reserve the duck when making restaurant booking. We ordered half a duck @ S$32 for two of us. The skin is so crispy & melts in your mouth. It’s best eaten with the sauce & scallion that comes with it. Besides the ever-popular double-boiled soups, the Braised Shark’s Fin with Fresh Crab Roe (生折蟹皇翅) is another signature dish of Lei Garden. The golden delicacy was simply too enticing; the smooth blend of stock & precious pieces of shark’s fin & roe immediately sent me to another world. I can feel my pores tightened almost instantly & the collagen in this S$42 bowl, combined with my SKII, made me feel youthful again.I live to eat & anyone who’s familiar with me knows I’m easily “bribed” via my stomach. The next dish is one I can never say ‘no’ to. The day’s special is the Braised 3 Heads Fresh Australian Abalone (蠔皇三头澳洲鲜鮑)@ a promotion price of S$58. Experience a taste of luxury in this lavish dish of tender & succulent abalone served whole & drenched in their home-made sauce. A bite in this shellfish extinguishes any trace of bad mood & makes one smile again. Rating: 5/5

Lei Garden
#01-24 Chijmes
30 Victoria Street
Singapore 187996
Tel : (65) 6339 3822

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