Kai Garden 嘉苑
Marina Square near Esplanade MRT
Recently opened at the newly refurbished section of Marina Square, Kai Garden might be the latest addition to the list of pretty good yum cha places in Singapore. Sharing a piece of history with the Paradise Group, it is quite inevitable that some of its dishes share similar traits with Paradise Pavilion, which is not necessarily an undesirable thing though.
The pan fried charcoal pork bun could be the hot favourite in the restaurant as every waitress seems to be bringing at least a pan to each table surrounding us. Fried to a beautiful crisp at the bottom, the fluffiness of the bun was still retained and we caution diners to be careful of the splashing sweet pork juices within as they are just waiting to explode the moment you set your teeth onto it. Simply, It functions like a xiao long bao.
Lobster broth with a huge dumpling in it. Packed with loads of seafood and some bamboo pith that adds a crunchy dimension to the overall texture, the dumpling was expectedly good. Interestingly, this lobster broth has been westernised with a taste similar to the French lobster bisque but slightly watered down with its creaminess removed. Crustacean tasted but doesn’t seem to be as intense as the normal double boiled herbal one that was tasted recently. I guess my palates has been spoilt by Yan Toh Heen.
Buttery, flaky, with the char siu already bursting at the seams with all the tastes set right, this char siu pastry is a huge filler for any hungry man.
The Pork Siu Mai may seem skeptical at $8.80 but we understood why. Stuffed with crunchy prawns topped with the savoury pork pieces and some tobiko, these nicely glazed Siu Mai have been given a final grill for the coveted smoky flavour and umami punch. The snow skin mushroom bun was delicious in its own right but would suit the heavier tasting char siu or duck fillings better we reckon as the taste from the buttery crust is a little too similar to the creamy shroom fillings within. And the Efu noodles has the wok hei it all requires but could have been reduced in a more concentrated stock for a heavier flavour.
Despite the ‘could be’s and ‘should be’s, Kai Garden is still one of the more highly recommended restaurants to visit. Not only is its quality stellar, the unhindered view of the majestic MBS also makes it a restuarant with a view. The overall cost for this big meal for 2 costs $72 in total! Very reasonably priced isn’t it.
Verdict: A good restaurant.