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Peony Jade Restaurant @ Keppel Club

Last week I took a breather from the daily grind for a much-needed appetite boost at Peony Jade at Keppel Club. A sleek and elegant interior greeted guests as they entered – a sea palette of red and black and draping lanterns, accompanied with simple oriental furnishings.

Taking a nostalgic hike down the streets of Hong Kong like it was 50 years ago, waiters were clad in the simplest of frocks to match the theme: a white T-shirt with knee-length pants, traditional clogs and a morning glory towel hung around their neck. And to cement that time-traveller experience, an old heavily dubbed Chinese film was screened at the back of the room, while guests have their meals. The essence of Hong Kong’s bygone era was restored momentarily in this glossy vision of the 1960s.

We were first introduced to a fine selection of appetising sweet and savoury teasers. This dish comprises of Sweet and Sour Marinated Assorted Mock Meat, Deep-Fried Mud Fish Ball with Clam Sauce, Pan-Fried Homemade Healthy 'Pi Pa' Soya Tofu, Pan-Fried Lotus Root Cake with Minced Pork and Conpoy, and Deep-Fried Dough Fritters Stuffed with Minced Prawn Paste. Seems like a mouthful but an ideal starter to get our taste buds rolling in.

What came after was a familiar dish to most. Served in individual bowls, the Fish Maw Broth with Conpoy and Chives was just enough to get us settled in before the mains.

A main of Stewed Homemade Soya Tofu with Mixed Seafood arrived in a large clay pot. I grew merry over a generous find of mouth-watering ingredients as I piled my plate with at least one of each kind. A handsome dish that comes in a wide palette of local flavours, the combination was generally quite traditional – perfect for a family reunion.

No doubt a personal favourite, the Braised Duck in 'Teo Chew' Style Combination with Steamed Ginger Chicken is said to be their specialty. It was heavily garnished but cooked to perfection in a wonderfully savoury base. This delectable dish used to be served only during special occasions, so we’re told, and I can see why. The flavours were spot on and a definite winner in my books.

Albeit the sweet and sour Fried Pork Ribs with Pineapples paled a little in comparison to the other dishes, it’s still as authentic as it comes. There’s something home-styled about it, just the way my Ah Ma used to make it.

The Beef Tendon Noodle Soup with 5 Spices holds up its end of the deal. A perfect end to all that’s savoury, the beef was oh-so-tender and simply bursting with flavours.

At this point, dessert was already on my mind. We ended the day with the Homemade White Sugar Sponge Cake Combination and Homemade Healthy Soya Tofu. This traditional accompaniment has just the right amount of sweetness to neutralise our taste buds before stepping out.

Grab your loved ones and sink into an ambience of traditional oriental indulgence.

Peony Jade is at 10 Bukit Chermin Road, Keppel Club. Tel: +65 6276 9138

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