Fragrant Garden – Authentic Teochew Dishes in Serangoon
The old Serangoon Shopping Centre seems to be frozen in time — in the 70s to be specific. Surprisingly, the ground floor, which is where Fragrant Garden is located, was pretty crowded.
This traditional Teochew restaurant started from a humble zi-char stall in Geylang Serai village in the 1950s. They have withstood the test of time and gained popularity over the years. The restaurant serves authentic Teochew fare so you can expect dishes such as braised duck, steamed pomfret, Oyster Omelette, liver roll, pork trotter jelly, stuffed sea cucumber, Cai Por Kway Teow etc.
We started dinner on a high with the Pork Jelly ($10 / $15) and Combo Roll ($12 / $20). The former is an uncommon dish that requires a few hours of slow cooking. It’s especially appetite-whetting when eaten with the tangy chilli vinegar. The latter is a platter filled with prawn rolls and liver rolls. We don’t often see liver rolls in restaurants now. Deep-fried till perfection, they are full of the fragrance of five-spice powder and creamy liver.
How do you like your oyster omelette? I like mine gooey. Fragrant Garden’s Oyster Omelette ($14 / $20) is on the crispy side. You’ll get a pile of crispy eggs with big and juicy oysters.
Braised Duck in Teochew Style ($15 / $20) is a favourite among locals. Here at Fragrant Garden, each piece of finely-sliced duck is served with authentic Pu Ning tofu and topped with dark sauce and coriander. Look at that layer of skin! The duck was sliced uniformly and the tenderness of the meat was captivating. The braised soy sauce was fragrant as well.
Sea cucumber is a delicacy. It takes about 3 days for Fragrant’s Stuffed Sea Cucumber ($60 onwards) to obtain that slightly crunchy and soft texture. The special meat stuffing adds a textural difference to the sea cucumber.
When we dine at a Teochew restaurant, ordering pomfret is a norm for us. The restaurant handpicks its fish daily at the market so you can be sure that the fish here is always fresh. When steamed well, the fish will be moist and soft. When ordering pomfret, please remember to double confirm the price as it is charged by size. Our plate of pomfret in the picture cost $95.
After all the meat, we ended dinner with Braised Vegetables with Scallop ($12), Fried Kway Teow with Chai Po ($5 / $8 / $12) and Yam Paste ($4 / $20 / $30) served with gingko nuts, pumpkin and shallots. It’s not the best, but I enjoyed the Chye Poh Kway Teow which was full of ingredients such as chopped kai lan, egg, beansprouts and of course chye poh (preserved radish). Stir-fried with pork lard, the kway teow was packed with wok hei. Their orh nee is loaded with lots of shallot oil.
It was an enjoyable dinner because of the company. But I don’t like the pushy service as the waitress kept recommending the expensive stuff on the menu. I caught her rolling her eyes when we rejected her recommendation of Cold Crabs.
Address: 756 Upper Serangoon Rd, #01-15/16, Singapore 534626
Phone: 6289 7301
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm; 5.30pm to 10pm
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.