To me, dimsum is subjective to personal preference. My older aunties are adamant in that Red Star Restaurant serves the best dimsum, while I cringe in response to their comment. After having my fair share of dimsum (easily, my entire life), I can certainly name a number of restaurants off the top of my head, which deliver superior quality; Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental Hotel is one of them. Cherry Garden has the reputation of serving exquisite and unique dimsum creations – the marriage of traditional craftsmanship and modern flavours.
Drunken Chicken in Hua Diao & Rose Dew Chinese Wine ($12) – A chilled appetizer, the chicken was extremely smooth and tender (pretty obvious from the photos), and laced with the aromas of the Chinese wines. A wonderful starter!
Soup of the Day [Vegetables & pork rib, chicken soup] – When I go to Chinese restaurants I love to order their double-boil soup of the day. At Cherry Garden, they serve soups by individual portions only. The soup was very tasty as it contained all the essence of vegetables like radishes and carrots and meat. Highly nourishing and palette-pleasing.
Crystal Dumplings w Assorted Fresh Mushrooms & Zucchini ($6/3 pieces) – The crystal skin was smooth and thin – definitely works of a skillful dimsum chef. The mushrooms were tender and chewy while the zucchini added an extra crunch – an interesting twist to the usual steamed mushroom dumplings!
Steamed Lobster & Scallop Dumpling w Black Truffles ($10 per piece) – I think you’ll be better off investing the money in other dimsum dishes. Top-notch ingredients were used for this dumpling but after eating it, I couldn’t decipher the difference between this premium dumpling and a normal prawn dumpling/har kao. The truffle taste was rather faint and honestly, it was too small a bite to savour the lobster and scallop meats.
Steamed Onion & Ginger Beef Dumplings ($6/3 pieces) – I rarely see steamed beef dumplings on dimsum menus, so this was definitely interesting. The minced beef fillings were very fragrant and on the first bite, it’s actually hard to tell that you’re tasting beef. Nice!
Steamed Pork Char Siew Mai w Baby Abalone ($8/3 pieces) – Love the chewy baby abalone! Premium siewmai, packed with meaty goodness. Worth a try!
Steamed Kurobuta Char Siew in Fluffy Bun ($6/3 pieces) – Indeed very fluffy, the bun was very soft while the fillings ooze out temptingly. The kurobuta (Japanese black pig) was glazed nicely with honey and cut into consistent pieces. A must order at Cherry Garden!
Steamed Marinated Chicken & Wild Rice Dumpling ($8 per piece) – A modern version of chicken glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves. The wild rice was almost crispy and hard – very innovative in the play of textures! Within the rice dumpling holds the usual ingredients of chicken, salted egg and mushrooms.
Stir-fried Assorted Mushrooms & Vegetables ($24) – A vegetable dish made less boring with the addition of baby corns, peas and mushrooms! I really enjoyed this as there was lots of garlic, tying all the different textures together with its strong flavour.
Stir-fried Vegetarian Rice Noodles – What more can I say? This was so simple yet so delicious. Stir-fried with the optimum amount of oil, the strands of noodles were nicely coated such that they don’t clump up, yet the dish didn’t feel greasy. Though I was full from all the dimsum dishes, I made sure I wiped this all clean!
Cherries in Nu Er Hong & Kuei Hua Chen Chinese Wine Cocktail Jelly, served w Refreshing Lychee Sobert ($10) – I have a penchant for desserts that contain alcohol. 😛 This one that was indeed very refreshing. Basically some slightly tart soft jelly laced with Chinese wine with crushed ice, the flavours were elevated by a wonderful scoop of homemade lychee sobert, which tasted everything like you’re having the real fruit, frozen. The perfect ending to the meal!
The chefs at Cherry Garden no doubt whip up creative, modern and superior dishes and service is excellent. Through the years, this is one restaurant that has always left me highly-satisfied after a meal here. Their roast items are very tasty too, with dishes like Cherry-Wood Roasted Duck and more! They have an ongoing weekend dimsum brunch buffet that is so popular that they have to do 2 seatings! Apart from dimsums, the buffet includes many appetizers, roast items, soups etc. Check it out this weekend already!
Cherry Garden Chinese Restaurant
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Level 3
5 Raffles Avenue