Perhaps like me, you would need to google where “10 Raeburn Park” is.
Not that ulu. It is actually near Tanjong Pagar and Outram MRT station (say a 15 minutes’ walk), and within the compound you would find a hidden local seafood and zi char restaurant.
The Garden Kitchen at Raeburn Park which is newly opened has one mission: to serve delectable cuisine from the heart.
However, due the the COVID-19 crisis and “Circuit Breaker”, they met with challenges as diners were not willing to travel that far for food.
Head Chef Danny Shum leads The Garden Kitchen in dishing out a variety of Western and Asian delights, including Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean fare, but his team’s strength is in zi char.
Here you can enjoy multiple cuisines all under one roof and at affordable prices. $49.90 Nett for 3 crabs?
There is also a $19.90 Nett ala carte lunch buffet, while dinner which has more premium food is priced at $43.90 Nett.
But just as a note, the food I tried was when they were still an ala carte concept, and they converted into a buffet later (therefore I cannot comment if the buffet quality and service standards would be the same. Do make your own judgement before heading down.)
The Garden Kitchen is known for its crabs – serving over 2,000 fresh crabs every month. Its menu features classic and premium crab recipes.
Would recommend reservations as only limited stocks are available daily.
Here are some of its signature dishes:
Chilli Crab ($49.90 for 3 crabs)
Under the menu in “Classic Crab Recipes”, you would find the chef signature dish Chili Crab, Singapore’s iconic dish.
The Garden Kitchen uses quality Sri Lankan Crabs shipped fresh from the supplier.
An order gives you three meaty crabs each weighing 300 – 400g for only $49.90 nett. For bigger appetites, upsize to heavier and meatier crabs weighing 500 – 600g for $79.90 nett.
The crabs are wok-fried then slow-cooked in a thick, sweet yet savoury, chilli-tomato sauce.
However, compared to the usual styles which has a stronger sweet tomato flavour, this version had a slight spicy kick towards the end.
Complete your Singaporean-style crab experience by sopping up the gravy with fluffy fried Chinese buns mantou. Get 10 pieces for $8.00.
Salted Egg Crabs ($49.90 for 3 crabs)
What was once a craze became a classic recipe not to be missed by crab-lovers. Salted Egg Crabs feature the appetising flavour and exciting texture of salted egg yolks.
First the live crabs are steamed, then stir-fried in a home-made rich, grainy sauce.
The addictive gravy is made with sauté chopped garlic, chili padi, pepper, butter and mashed salted egg yolks.
Over here, they do not use the usual powdered salted egg yolks, but made from scratch.
You would get a hint of curry from some curry leaves too. Mouth-watering, and the top-seller here.
Butter Cream Crabs ($49.90 for 3 crabs)
Other classic crab styles here include Black Pepper, Spicy Gan Xiang and Butter Cream. Lao ban niang Lady Boss recommended the Butter Cream Crabs.
Combining the tantalising aroma and flavour of butter and the creaminess of evaporated milk, this sauce is further spiced with bird eye chilies and infused with some curry leaves.
I thought that the sauce could afford to be richer for more decadence, though it still went well with the sweet and succulent meat of Sri Lankan crabs.
Seafood Pao Fan ($58, $108, $188)
Not to be missed is Seafood Pao Fan, a comfort dish inspired by Teochew-style cooking.
It is a beautiful melange of fresh seafood and fragrant Jasmine rice (“fan” means rice in Mandarin) submerged (“pao” is “to submerge”) in a light and savoury seafood orange-tinged broth.
Unlike a porridge where rice grains are simmered in liquid until soft, the rice grains in this Pao Fan are first steamed, then drenched in broth to serve.
The draw to me was its flavourful soup with seafood flavours, that would be extra comforting during the cooler weather.
Along with a Sri Lankan crab, you get lobster, prawns, scallops, and sea clams. Adding textural contrast to the dish is a sprinkling of crusted rice upon serving.
Order this dish in 3 sizes (L, XL, XXL), starting off with the large for $58, good for 2 to 3 pax.
Black Truffle Lobster with Noodle ($38, $68)
Under the Truffle series, there are dishes of Black Truffle Pork Ribs Bee Hoon, Black Truffle Vegetarian Fried Rice, Black Truffle Mixed Mushroom, Black Truffle Scallop, and Black Truffle Stir Fry Oyster Mushroom with Kailan.
The Black Truffle Lobster with Noodle features a succulent lobster with heady aroma of truffle.
This signature dish uses a thin style of Hong Kong noodles almost like angel hair pasta, and has a more Western-style of presentation.
Cheese & Wasabi Prawn ($25, $36)
From the zi char prawn dishes, order the Cheese & Wasabi Prawn, a set of 8 daintily-coloured prawn balls.
The contrasting flavours of cheese and wasabi is a surprising match you won’t find elsewhere.
Perfect for sharing with your eating partner, or enjoy by yourself as you explore the polar opposite tastes. I hear that for families, the parents normally prefer the wasabi side, while the kids would savour the creamy cheese prawns.
Herbal Wine Lala In Stone Pot ($20, $30)
Another home-style dish you can try is Herbal Wine Lala in Stone Pot.
The mild, naturally sweet and briny flavour of clams complements the splash of herbal wine infused into them.
Cooked and presented in a stone pot, this bowl is kept warm to sooth your hunger away.
I think this restaurant is quite strong in their broth type of dishes, so I would say first-timers can go for this or the Pao Fan.
Yam Paste with Gingko Nut ($6)
For dessert, the Orh Nee or yam paste with gingko nut is recommended, though there are also Mango Pudding, Roselle Flower Jelly, and even New York Cheese Cake.
Also Teochew-inspired, this traditional dish is made with steamed yam that is pureed and blended with water, coconut milk and sugar.
The smooth-blended paste is steamed until set. As a finale, it is served topped with steamed ginko nuts. Loved that it was neither too heavy nor sweet.
Bubble Tea ($3.90, +$0.50 for pearls)
There is also a range of Bubble Tea with Classic, Earl Grey, Roasted Oolong, and Matcha, for those who have sudden cravings.
The Garden Kitchen Buffet Menu
The Garden Kitchen has also just launched a seafood + zi char ala carte buffet lunch and dinner with FREE-FLOW Bubble Tea.
Due to possible high demand as usually cheap buffet brings in a huge crowd, do be patient towards reservations, operations and give them some time to iron out buffet operations.
Available daily with timing as follows:
Lunch Buffet: 11am – 2.30pm
Mon – Thu: $19.90 Nett for adult, $15.90 Nett for children aged 5 to 12
Fri – Sun & Eve/Public Holidays: $23.90 Nett for adult, $15.90 Nett for children aged 5 to 12
*Option to upgrade to premium selection at $10 Nett
Dinner Buffet: 5pm – 9.30pm
Mon – Thu: $39.90 Nett for adult, $29.90 Nett for children aged 5 to 12
Fri – Sun & Eve/Public Holidays: $43.90 Nett for adult, $29.90 Nett for children aged 5 to 12
*Option to upgrade to premium selection at $20 Nett
Make your reservation online: The Garden Kitchen Reservation
– Minimum 3 pax per reservation
– 90 minutes duration per pax
– One dines FREE with every 3 paying adults
– On a first-come-first-served basis
– Reservations highly recommended
– Dishes for dine-in and strictly no takeaways
– Excessive wastage of food will be charged as per normal selling price of dish
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with The Garden Kitchen.