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Nostalgic Tea House ‘Peony Garden’ Opens Today at Hong Kong’s New Chinese Cultural Hub Reviving Comfort Food Favourites

July 22, 2019 Food & Beverage No Comments Email Email

Nostalgic tea house Peony Garden opened today at Hong Kong’s new Chinese cultural hub reviving all-time favourite comfort foods in tribute to the city’s culinary heritage. 

Quintessential comfort food classics – from tea house favourites to hawker street-food snacks – are on the menu at the new dining destination in Xiqu Centre in West Kowloon Cultural District.

Beloved traditional favourites are rejuvenated with a new lease of life by ever-expanding hospitality group Bird Kingdom Group at the exquisite 3,000 sq ft, venue in an ‘open garden’ interior design setting.

“Peony Garden revives our favourite comfort food specialties in a unique tea-house paying tribute to Hong Kong’s culinary culture,” says Eric Ting, Founder and CEO of Bird Kingdom Group, which has pioneered Lai Chi Kok dining destination D2 Place.

“Food is an integral part of Hong Kong culture and the theme perfectly complements Xiqu Centre – extending the visitor’s cultural experience beyond arts and opera to dining.”

Peony Garden’s nostalgic menu ranges from Hong Kong street-style cart noodles to popular Malaysian-style curry, braised Chaozhou specialties and Cantonese roast meat favourites like barbecue pork, roast goose, soy flavoured chicken and crispy pork belly.

Helming the traditional cuisine are seasoned Chef Chan Wai-Teng, Executive Chef of Bird Kingdom Group’s flagship fine Cantonese dining room Man Hing at Greater China Club, and Chaozhou Masterchef Chen Ze-Jia.

Chef Chen Ze-Jia is revered among China’s leading masters of Chaozhou cuisine – bringing over 20 years’ experience in braising specialties including premium Goose Fillet (HK$178), Liver (HK$158), and Blood (HK$45); along with his new culinary creation – Home-made Stewed Goose Soup with Preserved Lemon (HK$48). Another signature is Premium Marinated Meat with Taiwan Ramen (Sliced Goose Fillet, Goose Liver, Goose Intestine, Pork Belly and Pork Intestine) (HK$138).

His specialty sauce is made from an elixir of Chinese herbs such as cinnamon, ChaunJiao, star anise and fresh garlic and galangal from Chaozhou, and premium soy sauce from JieYang to bring the best traditional Chaozhou flavours to guests.

Another highlight of Peony Garden is classic favourite Cart Noodles, served from 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., where diners choose from a ranged of noodle choices extending to Handmade Taiwanese Ramen and Black Vermicelli. An array of soup bases are unique broths ofCorianderSeafood (shrimp and crab) and Chicken Chinese Rice Wine.  An array of toppings additionally includes Chaozhou Handmade Fish Ball, Chaozhou Handmade Beef ball, Spicy Snail, Homemade Fish Maw, Spicy Duck Blood Curd, Deep-fried Bean Curd Sheet and more.

Chef Chan Wai-Teng meanwhile revives nostalgic Hong Kong favourites such as Fried Chicken with Fried Garlic ($208); Chinese Fried Dough Sticks Stuffed with Dace Paste & Cuttlefish Paste (HK$118) and Traditional Roast Chicken (HK$208), served daily after 11 a.m.

Iconic rice dishes include Barbecued Pork & Fried Egg on Rice (HK$68) and Signature Baked Pork Chop Rice with Tomato Sauce(HK$78). Local favourites extend to Signature Stir-Fried Flat Rice Noodle with Beef (HK$88) and ‘clay pot’ specialties including Chicken, Wild Mushroom & Truffle (HK$178), Glutinous Rice with Preserved Meat (HK$158), Signature Clay Pot Rice with Eel (HK$178) and Clay Pot Porridge with Crucian Carp (HK$198).

Savoury Hong Kong-style street snacks served for tea time from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. are showcased with Signature Deep-Fried Chicken Thigh (HK$38), Deep-fried Shredded Radish Cake (HK$15), Deep-Fried Fish Ball in Traditional Way (HK$20), Pan-Fried Minced Fish with Eggplant, Bell Pepper, Bean Curd, Red Sausage, Fish Ball (HK$38), and beloved Fake Shark’s Fin Soup (HK$28).

Tea house treats, served up until 5:30 p.m., include crunchy Pineapple Bun (‘bo lo baau’) (HK$9), typically smothered with a slab of butter (HK$12), and also including a green tea version, Matcha Pineapple Bun with Ice-Cream & Red Bean Paste (HK$27).

Nostalgic sweet favourites extend from classic French toast – with shrimp (HK$48) or fig (HK36) versions to speciality sandwiches,include Deep-Fried Pork Cutlet Sandwich (HK$48), Coriander Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon Sandwich (HK$38), and more.

Completing the traditional tea house dining culture, Peony Garden presents local-style drinks such as Milk Tea (HK$19/Hot; HK$21/Cold), Cocoa (HK$22/Hot; HK$24/Cold), Hot Water with Fresh Egg (HK$22) and Red Bean Ice (HK$25).

Paying tribute to Chinese opera culture, Peony Garden, or ‘You Yuan Cha Ji’ in Chinese, is named after The Peony Pavilion, a masterpiece of Chinese literature and kunqu by famous playwright Tang Xian-zu (1550-1616). Tang Xian-zu, also known as the Shakespeare of the East, wrote four drama masterpieces. Other than The Peony Pavilion, there is also A Pair of Purple HairpinsA Dream Under the Southern Bough and The Tale of Handan. These three classic dramas use the word “ji” or “chapter” at the end of the Chinese name.

Inspired by traveler rest-stops in ancient China, Peony Garden’s garden-style design resonates with a scene from the epic drama calledA Stroll in the Garden, taking guests back in time to an ancient Chinese courtyard.  Under a sweeping roof, with retro wooden screens, furniture and beams amid traditional Chinese décor features, the interior features an overhanging 3-metre tall pavilion-shaped frame dramatically mirroring the “Peony Pavilion”.

The Chinese character inscription of “Peony Garden” is additionally noteworthy – by renowned Hong Kong based calligrapher Fung Siu-wah, known as Wah-Gor, who inscribed for classic Hong Kong movies such as “Ghost Story” and “God of Cookery”.

Oriental-style artwork also mirrors the theme, illustrating various forms of peonies, and is a work of art in its own right by British graffiti pop-artist Szabotage, who has exhibited internationally and throughout Asia.

With a spectacular view overlooking Victoria Harbour and indoor seating for 100 and 40 outdoor, Peony Garden is the perfect location for private events and parties.

Peony Garden is located at Unit 2-3, G/F, Xiqu Centre, 88 Austin Road West, West Kowloon Cultural District, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Payment is accepted by cash, Octopus, credit cards (Visa & Mastercard), Alipay and WeChat Pay.

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