The Place With Chinese New Year less than a month away, it is really time to get down to reserve a table if the plan is to dine out for a reunion meal. I had a preview of some of the dishes on the festive menu this year at Peony Jade @ Keppel Club, which I feel is charming for an intimate gathering given its rather offbeat location within Bukit Chermin Road. Available from 6 January to 5 March 2015, the specially crafted “Eight Rhapsodies of Spring” delights and eight other new and signature prosperous dines and takeaways awaits diners this festive season.
Instant Enormous Windfall, Good Health and Longevity” Bonsai-Shaped Yu Sheng: 吉星拱照齐捞生, 捞到八方来财, 生意起 (风生水起,花开富贵发财盆栽摇钱树齐捞生)
Instead of the omnipresent Yu Sheng in the design of a goat, Peony Jade’s version this year is the auspicious Bonsai shape, which symbolises windfall, good health and longevity. I thought that it was quite a refreshing design, being my first, and I know I can expect a plethora of premium ingredients. Salmon, lobster and shrimp are merely the tip of the ice-berg. Alaskan crab claws, tuna belly, and urchin.
For all truffle lovers, Peony Jade uses truffle oil to mix the Yu Sheng in addition to its sweet sauce and yuzu juice, which was evidently aromatic while we were tossing till the ceilings.
Priced at $198.88, this yusheng serves up to 15 guests, and is available for dine-in at Keppel Club only. 1-day advance order is required.
“Prosperity & Smooth Sailing” Hand-crafted Goat-shaped Deep-fried Hum-Soi-Kuok, glutinous rice stuffed with minced pork and mushroom: 三羊开泰, 洋洋得意
It was impossible to dismiss the too-cute-to-stomach hand-crafted Goat-shaped Deep-fried Hum-Soi-Kuok, better known as glutinous rice, which is stuffed with minced pork and shitake mushroom. While the exquisite design stole the thunder before I even tasted it, I can say that this dim sum dish was good inside-out with its good mix of ingredients.
Priced at $9.88 per order of 3 pieces, this platter is for dine-in only. 1-day advance order is required.
“Flourishing Fortune” Steamed Black-eyed Pea Cake with golden pumpkin: “连年堆金和玉”(蒸黑眉豆金瓜发财糕)
The carrot / taro cake we had was stuffed with golden pumpkin, mushroom and jin hua ham. It is heartening to know that the restaurant puts in a lot of emphasis in preparing its ingredients, such as the handmade taro paste n this dish.
Priced at $38.88 (serves up to 15 guests, and approximately 1 kg in weight).
“Reaping Abundance Wealth” Australian Premium Whole Abalone Poon Choi: 生财聚宝盆 (澳洲原粒发财鮑魚花开福贵盆菜)
18 premium ingredients makes up this Poon Choi, a customary dish to have in every Chinese New Year meal. While most Chinese restaurants in Singapore has up to 12 ingredients in their version on average, Peony Jade’s rendition was well-stuffed, to say the least.
The 18 premium ingredients include the whole 10- head Australian abalones (原隻10 頭澳洲发财鮑), whole Sakura Chicken (原隻樱花雞), whole pork knuckle (豬手1隻), golden oysters (蚝豉), roast pork (腩仔肉), South African spikes sea cucumber (海參), fresh whole scallops (鲜帶子), pork tendons (蹄根), fatt choy (發菜), fish maw (魚肚), king prawns (大蝦), whole shiitake mushrooms (北菇), homemade sea-grouper mousse cake (大海班魚球), whole golden dried conpoy (柱甫), taro (芋頭), beancurd skin (枝竹), radish (蘿蔔), and broccoli (西蘭花).
This takeaway poon choi pot is priced at:
1. S$468.88 for the Mini Premium Pot Package (serves 6 guests), and
2. S$598.88 for the Premium Pot Package (serves 8-10 guests).
1-day advance order is required.
“A Wealth of Prosperity and Longevity” Hong Kong Roast USA Goose sealed with Chef’s Special ‘Fa Cai” Broth: 接宝财富到, 包群贺寿满事成首创灌汤靓烧鹅
I rarely come across Goose meat in Chinese New Year menu, which is another testament of Peony Jade’s attempt to be different from other restaurants. I do not profess to be a goose meat lover, but the USA imported grain-fed goose was surprisingly tender, after roasting for two hours. Credit also goes to the rich broth, which is infused with Chinese herbs like Angelica root or “当归”, and Radix Astragali or “黄芪”, and spices like star anise or “八角”.
Priced at $188.88, this serves up to 12 guests. 1-day advance order is required.
‘Abundance Fortune’ Slow-Fire Stewed Lamb with Bamboo Shoots and Chestnuts: 福禄寿喜迎春”(双东焖洋腩)
The aroma of the stewed lamb captured our senses, as the grass-fed lamb cutlets is wok-braised with fresh bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms and beancurd skin for 1.5 hours. It is a shame that I do not usually take lamb to fully appreciate this dish. Nevertheless, the dish was to the liking of the Rantee, my dining partner-in-crime. He commented that while the stewed lamb had a strong aroma, the lamb taste was not too overpowering for even a neutral lamb eater.
Priced at $78.88, this serves up to 6 to 8 guests. 1-day advance order is required.
Reunion Steamed ‘Abundance Wealth’ Claypot Jasmine Rice with Chinese Sausages, Liver Sausages and Home-made Air Dry Duck Drumstick: 油鸭腊味蒸饭
This traditional claypot rice contains the classic Cantonese ingredients such as preserved meats like Chinese sausages and liver sausages, coupled with Peony Jade’s homemade wind-dry duck drumstick. The rice was aromatic, which I credit to the mix of the top-grade meats and the sauce.
Priced at $68.88 for up to 6 guests and $88.88 for up to 10 guests, available for dine-in and takeaway.
Peony Jade’s “Huat Ah!” Prosperity Goats Gift Set: 一羊(样)发财!
This is not plasticine, nor a replica out of an animal farm. Most of us were amazed by the intricacy of the goat carving, which was unbelievably part of our dessert after the sumptuous courses. Beyond the delicate artwork of this snowskin pastry, the prosperity goat was stuffed with salty egg custard. We must say, we were not a fan of it. Too much a sugar candy for us after a rather savoury dinner spread.
Priced at $88.88 per set, 1-day advance order is required.
“Overflowing Wealth” Glazed Kum-Quat with “Fa-Cai” Vanilla Beans: 五谷豐收, 黄金聚满屋
On first look, it may seem like normal Kum-Quats, but Peony Jade’s version is unique by virtue that the kumquats are prepared for 45 minutes over boiling water, before being immersed in sugar syrup for a further seven days, which gives it a sweet flavour. The kumquats are further infused with vanilla pods before serving.
Priced at $18.88 per jar, 1-day advance order is required.
“Triumphant Harvest and Joyous Contentment’” Gift Set: 风生水起花开富贵发财盆栽
One of the new sweet treats at Peony Jade this year is the blossoming peonies pastries, which I think is so apt for the restaurant. Similar to the goat set, the beautifully crafted peony looks so real-like that I initially casted doubts if it can even be eaten. In any case, I tried it eventually though I found it to be quite sweet, despite being filled with premium low sugar white lotus paste with Salted Egg Yolk & Macadamia Nuts. Nonetheless, it was a relief to learn that the peony pastry is preservative-free for the health conscious folks.
Priced at $78.88 for a box of 8 pieces.
Rants If you do not have a car, this restaurant will not be for you. We took at least 20 minutes to walk from the nearest bus stop to Keppel Club, and was starving by the time we sat down (probably the reason behind its location!).
Will I return again? We can always trust Peony Jade when it comes to the conceptualisation of their dishes, especially for this Chinese New Year menu. From the handcrafted prosperity goats to the bonsai-shaped Yu Sheng, it is almost impossible not to feel festive during the course of the meal.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Bukit Chermin Road, Keppel Club
Tel: +65 6276 9138
Opening hours: Daily
Lunch – 11am to 2.30pm (Last order 2pm)
Dinner – 6pm to 11pm (Last order 10.30pm)