I stepped into Cherry Garden in Mandarin Oriental Singapore for its weekend dimsum brunch on a rather quiet Saturday morning. The restaurant actually starts its first seating quite early – at 11am – so the timing suits early risers like myself. I had eaten a couple of times at Cherry Garden previously but never tried the dimsum brunch before. Being a dimsum lover, I naturally wanted to give it a try. The ala carte set up similar to the likes of Hai Tien Lo and Jade piqued my interest – with the price at SGD 68++ being somewhere in the middle of Yan Ting’s SGD 108++ and Jade’s SGD 39++ where the spectrum of hotel dimsum brunches are concerned.
Like its other competitors in the 5-star category, Cherry Garden’s dimsum brunch is not merely a showcase of unlimited dumplings and spring rolls. There are also a variety of hot dishes to try and I managed to check out both the lighter snacks and heavier dishes during my dining experience there.
I started off with a smattering of my usual dimsum selection (think: siu mai, various types of dumplings and spring rolls).
The deep-fried escargot dumplings were something I’ve not encountered elsewhere. With generous amounts of snails within a filo pastry crust, it was a rather fascinating start to the meal. The creamy sauce went well with the snails and gave the dumpling a slightly sweet flavor.
The crystal dumplings were also notable. While filled with your typical chopped vegetables and mushrooms, the dumpling also carried a faint truffle-like aroma that made me yearn for more.
The har gow or steamed prawn dumplings appeared green as it came with spinach skin. Save for the skin color, the overall texture and flavor was in keeping to the standard har gow. That being said, the prawn within was generously sized.
One of my favorite dimsum dishes is steamed spareribs so I made sure to try it here. Cherry Garden’s version came lightly seasoned with garlic sauce and appeared brownish, an interesting contrast to the black bean sauce I typically encounter with this dish.
As mentioned previously, you should probably not concentrate too much on the dimsum selections (ironically) in Cherry Garden’s dimsum brunch. This is because many of the best dishes of the ala carte buffet are actually found in the hot dishes section.
I quite liked the prawn dishes they had – namely the crispy wasabi aioli prawns which came with mango and fish roe. Drenched in copious amounts of wasabi mayo, the prawns carried a wonderful crispy texture and had a hint of spiciness which went well with the sour taste of the fresh fruit.
For those preferring something more fresh, the steamed live prawns with garlic makes for a good alternative. The garlic sauce did the trick, and along with a trickle of coriander, left a rather fragrant and pleasing after taste to the prawns.
Speaking of healthier alternatives, the poached spinach with wagyu beef and egg white was excellent. Though the highlight was really on the spinach rather than the beef, the dish overall was a delight to the senses and I had the whole thing as a soup. This is one time where I certainly didn’t mind eating my spinach!
braised beef fillet with five spices
roast selection – roast pork belly, roast duck and char siew
The braised beef fillet was listed as a specialty in the dimsum brunch menu but overall, I didn’t find it exceptional. For meat dishes, I’d rather recommend their selection of roasts, in particular the Cantonese style roast pork belly. The skin was oh-so-crispy with alternating layers of fat and lean meat giving this dish a succulent flavor.
As it was a rather warm morning, I also chose to have double boiled mushroom soup with white fungus. Overall, it was quite nourishing with copious amounts of fungus that added a chewy texture to the soup – an adequate comfort food to have.
A dimsum brunch at Cherry Garden would perhaps be incomplete without sampling the desserts. Among the dimsum brunches I have tried in Singapore, I must say that this restaurant has the best dessert selection in my book. If after stuffing yourself with countless siu mais or dumplings could only afford you with enough tummy space for just one dessert, make that the cherries in nui er hong and kuei hua chen wine cocktail jelly with lychee sorbet. It is such a delightful contrast of flavors – with the sour lychee sorbet contrasting with the cool cherry sweetness and a hint of osmanthus-flavored alcohol. My tummy gladly obliged even though I was already full from all the dimsum.
Prices: SGD 68++ per person on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
Weekend Dim Sum Brunch Buffet
1st Seating- 11.00am till 1.00pm
2nd Seating- 1.30pm till 3.00pm
Cherry Garden Restaurant
5 Raffles Avenue
5th Floor, Mandarin Oriental Hotel
+65 6885 3500