Restaurant Review – Cherry Garden @ Mandarin Oriental, Singapore

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The last time I ate at Cherry Garden was in 2008 or perhaps even in 2007 when the previous chef was at the helm and revamped the restaurant.  He has left a legacy that is followed quite nicely by the current chef.  I was invited to lunch by my salesperson as I was checking out venues for some of my events.

Everything was pre-ordered and here’s what we had:

This is the first time I had har gao (prawn dumpling) with gold paint.  A bit lavish but you just had to appreciate the finer presentation.  Taste wise, it was like what one would expect of a har gao but I think they added a few bits of crab inside to give it a bit more oomph. The dumpling with the black sesame seeds was filled with chicken and ginger.  Reminded me of minced chicken rice (minus the rice) in a dumpling.  I quite like the vegetarian crystal dumpling, which was light but yet incredibly flavourful.

 Mm…I really like this plate of assorted roast meats.  We have crackled roast pork that’s matched with light mustard. The skin was crispy perfection while the flesh was tender and succulent.  The char siew (barbequed pork) was so soft that it made me question what kind of “crap” was being sold in the food court a stone’s throw away.  The roast duck was paired with a cherry sauce but unfortunately, this duck was the disappointment in an otherwise trinity of meats.  The duck skin wasn’t crispy and I had to politely spit it out because it was chewy and fatty.  I left a slice even because it was a bit dry and tough.  Duck isn’t the friendliest meat to cook so I shan’t deduct any points from an otherwise excellent plate.

We had a bowl of old winter melon soup as well but the picture would’ve been rather bleah so I didn’t bother taking one.  Just imagine a white bowl with a light brown soup.  Enough written.

 Ah…cod fish. Yummy! Simplest dish that just lets the fish speak for itself.  Steamed lightly with soy sauce, the cod fish was fresh and the natural oily taste of it was a nice continuation from the soup and meats but yet allowed your palate a brief reprieve as it was rather light.

Our tongues were then introduced to a slightly stronger taste with their handmade tofu with Chinese spinach and fried monkey head mushrooms.  LOVED the tofu.  I didn’t care much for the tasteless mushrooms which were fried beyond recognition but the tofu…I liked a lot! The spinach was also very well done.

Dessert time! Notice a pattern of 3? Yup…now it’s three shallow bowls of yumminess disguising as a single dessert.  From left to right, we have walnut ice cream in avocado cream, orange sorbet with sago and sour plum jelly, and lime sorbet in mango puree.  Depending on how you like to end your meal, you can eat from the left to the right or the other way around.  My preference for the day was left to right and my rationale is that you start off with the sweetest, creamiest one.  Then once that is done, you can start washing off the creaminess with the tangy, sweet and slightly sour jelly sorbet.  Lastly, you get a refreshing hit of the lime sorbet with mango.  I must say that I’m really impressed with the dessert because it would never occur to me to mix these combinations but they really go very well together!

Gorgeous food, wonderful ambiance and excellent service makes Cherry Garden a great place to dine at least once.  It is also a good place to bring your clients for lunch and impress them 😉  Calling brunch lovers, they have a dim sum buffet during the weekend (2 seatings)! Make your reservation at least 2 weeks in advance.  They take both phone and web reservations.

Cherry Garden @ Mandarin Oriental
5 Raffles Ave
5F, Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Tel:  +65 6885 3538

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