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Saturday, 28 October 2017

[Media Invite] Dinner at Peach Blossoms Restaurant (鸿桃轩) at Marina Mandarin Hotel

6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 4, AquaMarine, Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore 039594
Tel: 6845 1111
Website: http://www.meritushotels.com/en/marina-mandarin-singapore/dining/peach-blossoms.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peachblossoms.sg

Peach Blossoms Restaurant has been a main icon of Marina Mandarin Hotel since its opening in 1987, offering a plush dining setting for hotel guests and all patrons keen on their authentic Cantonese cuisine with a modern twist.

I was honoured to be invited for the hotel's November 2017's monthly highlight, this time being "An Abalone Special", a newly-launched 7-course set priced only at SGD$98++

The starter was Peach Blossoms Trio Appetizer Combination made up of Deep-fried Scallop and Banana wrapped with Mashed Taro, Deep-fried Prawn coated with Mayo and Mixed Nuts, and lastly, Chilled Japanese Cucumber Rolls filled with Jellyfish. Each item was delicious in its own unique way, and this starter platter brought out a burst of textures and flavours, prepping the palate for more good things to come.

Next up, Braised Shark's Fin with Fish Lip and Shrimp Dumpling in Shark's Cartilage Soup served in Stone Bowl, taking "traditional" up one level, hitting all the right notes with the richer, umami flavors of the sea.

Then it was Braised Six-headed Whole Abalone in Superior Oyster Sauce accompanied with Hairy Gourd Rings stuffed with Conpoy. The plump, bouncy abalone was also surprisingly soft, not chewy like how some abalone taste like. The fragrant conpoy-stuffed hairy gourd rings balanced the abalone's flavour beautifully.

Steamed Silver Cod with Black Bean and Preserved Radish Pickle sweetened the palate with its silken, flakey texture; light but extremely pleasing.

Following that, we had the Braised 8-headed Whole Abalone with Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Dried Scallop, Flower Mushroom, Prawn and Black Moss served in a mini claypot. This dish reminds me a lot of my favorite Chinese New Year pengcai, where all the quality seafood items convene in one pot, each one redolent of their own tasty aroma. Again here, the abalone is soft, springy, not tough and chewy at all - very scrumptious.

The next dish, Rice Vermicelli with Assorted Seafood, looked deceptively plain and nondescript, but trust me, the first bite had us hooked. It was blissfully delicious, the rice vermicelli hinting at "wok hei" (wok's fiery breath during preparation) and was basked in broth sweetened by fresh seafood. Not a single sliver of the smooth rice vermicelli was left in the bowl!

Finally, to conclude the luxurious meal, we had dessert of Chilled Coconut Jelly with Snow Swallow and Almond Cream. The cool, calming effect this nectarous creation ended with the linger notes of almond's creamy taste, enhancing the pureness of the healthy dessert.

Overall verdict is that this set is definitely decadent, extremely enjoyable and insanely value for money - imagine $98++ for 7 courses of mainly superior seafood dishes, including 2 whole abalone. Take my money already!

Thank you the team at Marina Mandarin for the invite, and for hosting us.

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