Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental Singapore welcomes you back with a whole new refurbished interior that spells opulence and elegance at the same time. Rich with hues of natural wood stained on beams and furnishing, juxtaposed against a backdrop of bamboos and garden bushes revealed by the full height glass panels. It is almost a seamless transition as you walk from the main dining area to the outdoor garden. For greater intimacy, there are now extensive options of exclusive rooms with four-seater setting. Along with its refreshed interior, Executive Chinese Chef Cheng Hon Chau has crafted a new menu, set to continue to please your appetite with its well-established refine Cantonese cuisine, coupled with touches of innovation as highlights in its years-long tradition.
Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Black Garlic 4/5
We started off with some light dim sums. The Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Black Garlic ($8) looks like a seashell nestled in a basket. The black garlic has a deep, plumy taste which adds an interesting depth of flavour to the dumpling. And because of that, I actually like it more than the traditional prawn dumpling.
Steamed Crystal Dumpling with Fresh Mushrooms and Black Truffle 3/5
Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao 4/5
Its version of Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao ($7) is simply a sumo archetype - look at how the lovely juice weights down the entire body, which is loose and soft.
Double-boiled Clear Soup with Sliced Abalone Matsutake and Snow Fungus 4/5
That day had been really cold and its Double-boiled Clear Soup with Sliced Abalone Matsutake and Snow Fungus ($28) warmed me up instantly. Clear yet tastes full in my mouth, every sip seems to nourish me inside out.
Steamed Red Garoupa 3.5/5
Steamed Red Garoupa ($22) deviates from familiar flavours with pickled chillies. Altough the spicy and sour sauce is quite appetising, it can be a little overpowering for the delicate fish,
Pan-fried A4 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Sirloin 4/5
I appreciate how Pan-fried A4 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Sirloin ($48) is being treated with a touch of Japanese flair, given that it is, a purebred wagyu beef imported directly from the Miyazaki prefecture. Its inherent robust flavour which just gets stronger on every bite, is well supplemented with a sweet, smoky touch from its garlic barbeque sauce. The charred Shimeji is possibly one of the best accompaniments. If you pay close enough attention to the taste, you will find yourself biting into something minty - shiso flowers. A well thought-out dish indeed. It would have been even better should the beef be less cooked.
Five Grain Fried Rice 4/5
Second to the above would be Five Grain Fried Rice ($24 Small/ $36 Large). Neatly separated, the grains are firm to bite. The black wild rice is extra chewy and the sweet corns remains plump with juice. The rice crisp gives a wonderful fragrance and crunch to this already wok-hei rich plate of wholesome goodness. Stir-fry with Cantonese pork sausage and vegetables, its like having a plate of moreish claypot rice without having to go through the hassle of excavating the burnt rice.
Cherries in Nui Er Hong and aged Kuei Hua Wine Cocktail Jelly with Lychee Sorbet 3.5/5
For dessert, have a sip of the famous Chinese wine but in a less conventional way, with its Cherries in Nui Er Hong and aged Kuei Hua Wine Cocktail Jelly with Lychee Sorbet ($10). As the cherries are served in a ice blended form, I couldn't really taste the wine, which is a pity. I was expecting it to be similar to rum-soaked cherries. Other than that, I enjoyed all components of this dessert, especially the jelly that goes bursting with bittersweet wine.
I appreciate the fact that the cuisine is kept essentially traditional and authentic, with just a right amount of modern flair being added to it. To complete the whole experience, Alongside a wide selection of premium Chinese teas, there is a selection of old and new wines, specially curated to match the menu.
Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
Mandarin Oriental Singapore
5 Raffles Avenue
Nearest MRT: Promenade (CC Line), Esplanade (CC Line)
Weekday Lunch: 12pm - 230pm
Weekend Dim Sum Buffet: 11am - 1pm, 130pm to 330pm
Dinner: 630pm to 1030pm
1) Alight at Promenade MRT station. Take Exit A. Cross the road. Walk to Marina Square. Follow the signage to destination. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Esplanade MRT station. Take Exit B or D. Walk to Marina Square. Follow the signage to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]