Golden Peony

Rating

Date of reviewAug 04, 2016
Cuisine Chinese - Cantonese
LocationCity Hall / Bras Basah

2 Temasek Boulevard, Level 3 Conrad Centennial Singapore Singapore 038982, City Hall / Bras Basah, Singapore

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Overview

Lunch hours

Mon-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm

Dinner hours

Mon-Sun 6.30pm-10.30pm

Dress Code

Smart Casual

Corkage

$45/Bottle

Reservation

Yes

Buffet

No

Private Room

1

Accept Credit Card

Yes

Smoking Area

No

Review

Setting

The restaurant is on the third floor of the Conrad Centennial, a grand, luxury, corporate hotel located in Millenia Walk. The interiors are heavy in creams and beiges, neutral to the point of being instantly forgotten, which is good in a sense as it allows the focus to remain on the food. Overall the décor is fairly polished, a few framed paintings adding some colour, and a wavy ceiling in the centre of restaurant that recalls the sea.

Food

A good place to start when judging, or ordering at, a Cantonese restaurant is the quality of the soup, a cornerstone of the food from Guangdong province. Here, thankfully, it excels.

Take the baby abalone soup, the sweetness of the marine creatures enhanced by the lovely, intoxicating aroma of the coconut water and pulp. A double-boiled fish maw soup comes with large, intact pieces of the air bladder (not melted or broken up, as is often the case), while even the vegetarian soup is silky and soothing, heady with a subtle, truffle-esque fragrance courtesy of the mushrooms. What is most remarkable about the soups is that they hold so much flavour and depth in a broth that is clear—pour it into a cup and it looks like tea.

The modern take on Peking duck is served like a piece of edible art, a small parcel on a long strip of rice flour. The conceit works—roll the meat in the crepe, and the rice skin acts to cushion the typical crackling sensation of the duck, making the dish unexpectedly tender.

There is also subtlety in the Canadian sea perch, with the red wine sauce bringing out the sweetness of the fish, its flesh cooked to make its consistency soft like a cod fish; the dish comes with a satisfying layer of gelatinous collagen/fat and as a whole displays a great control in its preparation.

The lobster is a touch overcooked, though its spring onion and ginger base is packed with flavour. Consider ordering dim sum and vegetables—both the golden fried taro pastry (crispy, not oily, the taro dense and smooth) and the sautéed Chinese broccoli (cooked with young ginger that is light and yet invigorating) are outstanding.

Wine

There are 16 wines by the glass, a solid selection albeit each glass is pricey. It includes a house pour Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir from New Zealand that is light, not oaky or woody as one might expect. There are also wines from Italy, France, Switzerland, Chile, New Zealand, and China. The best vintages are those only offered by the bottle and include, perhaps surprising for this type of restaurant, Chateau Mouton Rothschild (more than $2000 per bottle), showing that wine aficionados are certainly catered for.

Service

As expected for a restaurant that caters largely to the corporate market, the staff are quick, efficient, and knowledgeable, if not super chatty and relaxed. The pacing of the dishes during our meal was a little irregular, with no sense of when the next plate would come out.

Price   $$$$$

$120 dollars per person for an a la carte lunch, including wine, though expect to spend less when ordering from the set menus

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