Peach Garden at Thomson Plaza is one of those places that uses metal pushcart trolleys to serve their dim sum. Save for dishes such as roasted meats, rice rolls and porridge, all other dim sum are served the old-fashioned method, on these pushcarts. It's a kitschy idea but not enough to distract from the fact that the dim sum was fairly unimpressive. This is surprising, seeing that the restaurant was operating at an overflowing capacity over the weekend. I'd expected more, as I'd really good meals at their CBD and Sichuan branches. The main problem I had was that the dim sum were just so very lackluster, and generally ho-hum. They were below par with the stuff served at the mass marketed Crystal Jade Kitchen branches, which have lower price points than Peach Garden. I just felt that you just don't get your money's worth here.
There was one good thing though, service was warm and friendly, without compromising on efficiency and professionalism. Plus, Thomson Plaza's a very short stroll from Pops' place so we didn't have to contend with the horrendous weekend parking woes. (For those who aren't in the know, there's always a long queue outside the perpetually full and limited underground carpark at Thomson Plaza on weekends and during any peak dining periods.)
We started off with the Siew Mai Steamed Pork Dumpling ($4.20), which had very strong "porky" smell and taste, which put us off a fair bit, because that meant the pork wasn't sparkling fresh.
The Steamed Scallop and Prawn Dumpling ($4.20) fared better in comparison (which isn't saying much). The dumpling skin was thin and chewy, and seafood was reasonably fresh but admittedly not particularly sweet.We had to dip this in a bit of soy because it was lacking in flavour.
The Steamed Radish and Mushroom Rice Roll ($3.90) was probably the best dish, which isn't saying much either, but this is the one dish that actually stood out. The chives-laced rice roll skin was thin and chewy, and stuffed generously with sweet and crunchy radish strips and juicy mushrooms. A most pleasant vegetarian rice roll.
The Rice Roll with BBQ Pork ($4.30) was also quite commendable. Translucent and thin chewy skin, plentiful sweetly charred diced char siew and delicate soy made for a well done dish.
The Pan-fried Carrot Cake ($3.60), however, was also lackluster. This was served tepid so it just tasted like cold mush, which was most unfortunate. It would have been passable if it was freshly fried, or reheated. This is not one dish that should be served on a dim sum trolley. Peach Garden should do this Hongkong-style, where the dim sum trolley has an attached frying griddle to re-fry dishes such as this.
I was hankering for some porridge, so I got the Minced Pork Congee ($6) which had the requisite grainy texture but stock base was tasteless. This was so sub-par. In fact, I think this was something even an ACS boy could cook up in home economics class. (for the record, this isn't a slur against ACS boys, I just think most of them can't cook, based on my experiences with them, I married one and he cannot cook. Some of my besties were ACS boys and they can't cook either. That said, they'll clean up as long as you cook for them, which is such a winning point, I think.)
The Braised Peanuts ($2) were standard and generic, but also served cold. And, they were just a tad hard and crunchy, when they should have been really soft. We didn't finish this.
Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant
301 Upper Thomson Road
Thomson Plaza #01-88
Tel: 6451 3233
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 2.30pm for lunches;
Saturdays, Sundays and PHs from 10am to 3pm for lunches;
Daily from 6pm to 10pm for dinners