Cherry Garden has been on my save-it-for-a-special-occasion list of restaurants for the longest time. In particular, I was really enticed by the ala carte dim sum buffet that many bloggers have written about. The Hubbs and myself finally decided that it would be a befitting place to celebrate our wedding anniversary this year. Cherry Garden is located within the Mandarin Oriental Hotel next to Marina Square in Singapore. Reservations are necessary and for the dim sum buffet lunch, you need to pick from two time slots 11am-1pm and 1-3pm. We took the former slot and arrived promptly, sans-breakfast for good reason.
Overall, we had a very pleasant meal accompanied by great service, in a comfy, peaceful setting. There were definitely more than a couple of hits. We left remembering the Kurobuta char siew bao, the dark chocolate and custard bao, prawn, mango and apple netted rolls, crystal dumplings with mushrooms and zucchini, beef brisket, wasabi aioli prawns, pan-fried XO beef slices and cream of mango with lime sorbet. The food porn follows…
One of the things I don’t like about some dim sum joints is how their wrappers are so thick that you end up tasting more of the skin than the filling. Cherry Garden’s wrappers were nothing like that. In fact, I thought the thin, translucent and springy wrappers were especially outstanding.
Decadent dumplings: Especially liked the Crystal Dumplings with Mushrooms and Zucchini with a touch of truffle oil in the bottom right hand corner
While there wasn’t the classic Lau Sha Bao (salted egg yolk custard buns), Cherry Garden had their own creative version which was a Dark Chocolate and Custard bao. The Hubbs and I really enjoyed this and wondered if it would have been even better if there was a wee bit of sea salt in the dark chocolate.
We ate all the way from 11am to 1pm and, not quite sure what possessed us, but we actually ate more than 30 dishes and dimsum. While we thoroughly enjoyed the meal, I did wish Cherry Garden had some of my favourites on the menu, like Ham Sui Gok (咸水角, fried crescent dumplings), Cheong Fun (rice noodle rolls) and the original Lau Sha Bao (salted egg yolk custard bun).
I must warn you that Cherry Garden does keep to the indicated timeslots, so I would recommend you go ahead and order what you want as soon as you know it. At 12.45pm, we were asked to give our last orders and by 1pm, we were politely asked to settle the bill as they were getting ready for the second seating.
Cherry Garden 樱桃园
5 Raffles Avenue, 5th floor
Mon–Sat: 12pm–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10.30pm
Sun: 11am–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10.30pm