The Garden Kitchen is known for their ala carte zi char buffet. Took me a while to finally try it because I’ve always felt that I could get the same amount of food for the same price. In this sense, going for a zi char buffet made no sense to me. Pleasantly however, The Garden Kitchen proved me wrong.
The location of the restaurant is nothing to shout about, in fact it’s quite out of the way if you travel via public transport, but I’m guessing a big part of the savings goes into the large variety of food. If you’re familiar with Spottiswoode Park, then Raeburn Park is just next to it. The nearest MRT is Outram which is about a 10 minute walk. The interior design is rather puzzling because it gives me contrasting vibes about food that I’m about to eat — should I expect something classy that fits with the english garden theme? Or do I expect a chinese banquet style of dining?
For the dinner buffet, there are premium items in the menu that are limited to a one time serving per table or per person. Some of the items include crabs, deep fried marble goby, braised abalones, and steamed scallops.
The premium items were all executed fairly well and the portions were rather comfortable for my party of 5 pax. The chilli crab is somewhat on the spicy side, so if you are more used to a stronger tomato flavour, maybe try another flavour instead.
What I loved about this buffet, which is think is also their strong point, is the freshness and size of their seafood. The prawns for example were medium sized and were really fresh and succulent. Definitely goes well with the variety of ways each prawn dish is done — herbal soup, cereal, pumpkin butter. The fried marble goby and steamed sea bass too were no exception. Both were fresh and sweet, needing little support from their seasoning. One dish to not order however, is definitely the roast duck. I wasn’t expecting much from their roast duck to be honest, considering how roast meats are not the strength of zi char stalls. Still, I had to try it for myself. It was very nice of them to serve us the drumstick though.
For $39.90 nett, the quality and variety offered by The Garden Kitchen is a bargain and I would recommend this place for a no frills birthday celebration or gathering. It seems that there’s an ongoing promotion where 1 dines free with every 3 paying adults, but do call them to confirm. As with all zi char, it’s best to eat this with a group of people so the portions are shared. For The Garden Kitchen, you can and should try as many dishes as possible.
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