Restaurants & Bars

Lei Garden, CHIJMES, Singapore

Limster | Jan 25, 2005 10:11 AM

Glad I listened to the several recommendations for this place. (Can't say anything about the other branches in Singapore.)

Probably the most elegant Cantonese food I've had in a decade. Very detailed cooking, with all the refinements that do justice to this cuisine. Edges out Cherry Garden at the Oriental by a small margin.

Delightful battered deep fried silver fish (not the insect, but a small fish the size of anchovies), crispy without any greasy trace. Nice pickled cucumber, good bite to it.

Peking duck is ordinary for a restaurant of this calibre. The skin is very crispy, but wrapped in a yellow egg crepe (a Cantonese imposition) instead of the traditional flour crepes.

An intricate and graceful consomme of chicken, duck, sea horse, whelk/conch, pork, ham, chinese almonds (tear drop shaped) and wolf berries.

Beautifully composed stir fry of geoduck clam, celery, and some flower that I can't remember the name of, petaled like onion, sweet and delicate. Tender prawns wrapped in crispy filo, a textbook example of textural contrast.

Even the batter on the sweet and sour prawns had a crusty depth, the prawns good sized, fresh and sweet and cooked to the exact level of resilence and tenderness.

A multifaceted stock in the braised black pepper beef, the black pepper resonant yet subtle. Leeks provide sweetness and a soft vegetal counterpoint to the beefy bites.

The prized stems of soft mustard greens bring about a constrasting lightness to the stocky beef.

A brilliantly gentle chewiness in the e-fu noodles.

Very smooth black sesame paste in the exceptional mochi-like glutinous rice dumplings coated with a sesame and peanut powder.

Good tea selection and service. We had a well rounded young pu-erh with the meal. Pu-erh lightened with a single chrysantheum flower was served at the end of the meal in a gai wan (covered bowl) format.

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