Alden Boon

Pretty Dim Sum Please, with the Cherry (Garden) on Top

04/09/2016

Thanks to its opulent design of oriental leanings, Cherry Garden’s appeal is immediate and timeless. Two red lanterns front the entrance, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Its stately gate whisks you away to foregone dynasties. Soft lighting, along with wooden furniture and upholstered chairs, sets the tone for an intimate session.

The restaurant plies you with a wide assortment of gingerly-crafted Cantonese dim sum amidst a repertoire of soups, staples, seafood, meats and desserts. There are over 45 items to choose from, such as Steamed Pork Siew Mai with Baby Abalone; Sautéed Hong Kong Young Vegetables with Garlic; Braised Ee-fu Noodles with Nameko mushrooms, Silver Sprouts and Chives; and Braised Beef Fillet with Five Spices.

Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Crispy Wasabi-aioli Prawns with Fresh Mango and Fish Roe: The wasabi was robust and the exterior wonderfully fried to perfection.
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
A pleasant surprise was the Wafer-wrapped Cod Fillet with Black Pepper. Each bite separated the flakey layers so that you end up looking the part of an incongruously-unrefined diner with crumbs on your shirt. The tender fish cocooned within provided a nice juxtaposition to the crispy host.
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Top: Steamed Custard Bun with Yam and Steamed Kurobuta Char Siew Bao. Bottom: Steamed Juicy Pork Xiao Long Bao and Steamed Prawn Dumplings with Spinach. If this were a race of deliciousness, the custard bun would win hands down with its oozing lava. The studding seeds boasted a mild flavour and crunchy texture. The prawn dumplings would trail in second place. For me, all pork buns will always be unfairly measured against Tim Ho Wan's and fall short. The pork dumplings were good but the meat was insipid on the flavour scale.
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Cantonese-style Roasted Pork Belly: Go ahead and put in multiple orders of this melt-in-your-mouth offering. The crackling was superb!
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
An interesting take on the ubiquitous and familiar spring roll: Deep-fried Coriander Infused Chicken Spring Rolls. The noise of each crunch emanating from your mouth might earn you a glare from other diners.
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
Cherry Garden Dim Sum Singapore
A most appropriate way to cap off the induglence: Chilled Cream of Mango with Sago Pearls, Pomelo and Lime Sorbet. The sorbet punctuated with its tang, allowing the mango sweetness to just subtly greet the palate.

Cherry Garden is an ideal address to spend the weekends removed from reality. Is there a simpler pleasure than sippin’ on tea and tucking into dim sum? This writer thinks not. The net price comes up to S$80/person and while steep the experience is definitely well worth the money.

Cherry Garden Weekend Dim Sum Buffet

Address: 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Singapore 039797

Telephone: +65 6885 3500

Timings: 11am to 1pm; 1.30pm to 3.30pm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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