Kai Garden: Crowd-pleasing Dim Sum
Marina Square has its share of restaurants that work and restaurants that need work.
Kai Garden is a welcome addition to the list of eateries at the mall.
Chef Fung Chi Keung - whose last job was as group executive chef with the Paradise Group, including launching Taste Paradise - has a Cantonese menu that should please most.
The lunch-only dim sum selection is excellent, with many items I will be happy to eat repeatedly. The new Family Favourites menu also contains some winners.
Good service is so rare at Chinese restaurants that I took note of the impeccable service at Kai Garden.
I ate there twice and was impressed both times.
Trust the server's recommendations too - I ordered everything that was recommended and it turned out to be one of the better meals I have had lately.
The deep-fried yam and pumpkin ($4.50) is a mix of textures and tastes. The yam coat is crispy and mild while the pumpkin gives it sweetness and creaminess. You can leave it to the last to eat like we did, and it will be just as good. It is a star on the menu.
Also from the dim sum menu, the crispy cheong fun with mushroom ($5.60) is another item with a melody of textures. It has a smooth coat over a crispy dough and bits of mushroom. It comes with soya sauce on the side, but skip it as the dish does not need the sauce.
For me, the double boiled pig stomach soup ($22) is frightfully expensive. It is served in a tiny bowl meant for one. The soup is lovely though, with a delicate but distinct flavour. I guess good things come in really tiny portions.
HOT POT FISH
The wok-fried garoupa ($38), served in a hot pot, is a winner. Ginger is the predominant flavour, but it goes well with the fish.
One of the dishes that failed is the grilled pork rib in special honey pepper sauce ($22). The meat has a strong "porky" taste and while the sauce is good, it is not enough to make the dish good.
#03-128, Marina square
11.30am to 3.30pm on weekdays (4pm on weekends and public holidays), 6pm to 11pm