Swatow Garden Seafood Restaurant has recently opened a new branch at the Serangoon Gardens Country Club. Although it is housed in a private club, the restaurant and carpark (hourly charges apply) are accessible to the public. Residents of Serangoon Gardens now have a new Teochew restaurant within walking distance to satisfy their craving for steamed pomfret and oh nee. With their first restaurant in Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, this is Swatow Garden Seafood’s second outlet. We stopped by this new Chinese restaurant to satisfy our curiosity.
Swatow Seafood Garden is located on the ground floor of the Serangoon Gardens Country Club, right opposite the bowling alley. Right at the entrance are banks of aquarium displaying the live seafood specimens.
There are a few private dining rooms which are quite attractively decorated. They look nicer than the main dining area, so it would be a good idea to ask for a room if we happen to be there in a large group.
The main dining area is a very big space. Just simple furniture in a large plain hall. Thank goodness for the large windows on two sides which let in enough natural sunlight to give the place a modern clean look.
Here are pictures of some pages from the Swatow Garden menu and the dim sum menu. We ordered a some dim sum dishes and a few Teochew restaurant staples.
The “paper wrapped with chicken” ($4.50) was the first dish to arrive. It took some finger acrobatics to get the paper unstuck from the chicken but the effort was worth it. The chicken was well marinated and very flavourful.
We tried a few types of dim sum – char siew pau ($3 for 2), steamed chive dumplings ($4 for 3), crystal dumplings ($3.20 for 2) and steamed beancurd roll ($3.50). The dim sum items were generally fine but not memorable, other than the beancurd rolls which were quite good.
The pork liver roll ($10) looked promising. The presentation was attractive and we could see that it was stuffed full of different ingredients. But the taste did not appeal to us as the liver taste was just too strong.
Braised duck is one of our favourite dishes at Teochew restaurants. The braised duck with tofu ($15) at Swatow Garden was not one of the better ones we have tried in Singapore. We thought that the meat was dry and the gravy did not have much complexity.
The oyster omelette (orh lwak) ($15) was prepared with the omelette separated from the oysters which were served in a bowl with some gravy. The taste of both the egg and the oysters were good but we are more used to the style where oysters are cooked together with the egg to infuse the whole omelette with the seafood taste. The oyster content was rather low.
Time for desserts. We ordered the Teochew oh nee (yam paste $5 each) and sugar coated yam bars ($16). The oh nee was prepared with both ginkgo nuts and pumpkin. We found it to be a bit watery and the yam taste was not as deep as we would have liked.
The yam bars were much better. They had a good yam taste and although the sugar coating had more calories than we would have liked, the sugar can be easily scraped off to suit the individual sweetness preference of the diner. Although war has been declared on diabetes, this is a dish we would recommend as long as it is not eaten too frequently.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Swatow Garden Seafood Restaurant
Serangoon Gardens Country Club
22 Kensington Park Road
Tel: +65 6343 1717
Weekdays: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Weekends, Eve of PH & PH: 9am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
7.00am – 2.00am
– $2.40 for the first hour
– $1.20 per subsequent ½ hour or part thereof
2.01am – 6.59am $10.00 per entry
Grace Period 15 minutes