Cherry Garden @ Mandarin Oriental, Singapore

April 19th, 2010 15 Commented

I arrived at entrance of Cherry Garden restaurant in the late evening and was pleasantly greeted by a series of metal sculptures by Baet Yoke Kuan. Interesting decor, I thought to myself, a soft sweet name like Cherry garden to be sheltered by strong, granite, metallic elements on the exterior. Nevertheless, I like the serene and strong quality it exudes.

Cherry Garden Restaurant

After informing the staff of my reservation, I was escorted by a waitress dressed in an oriental themed formal uniform to my table. Along the way I was greeted by a row of waiters and waitresses hailing “Welcome, welcome!”, which caught me by surprise. I instantly felt like a King! Ha. Soon after, I witnessed the hard serene exterior morphing into a cozy and intimate tea house.

Cherry Garden's decoration Restaurant

The crimson lanterns, in multiples of them, with wooden furniture, intricate oriental wall carvings with contemporary Chinese porcelain ware. We were pretty much romanced by the place itself without even tasting the food.

Crimson lanterns

Crimson lanterns

At 7.30pm on a Friday night, there wasn’t a rowdy crowd in sight, but just a handful of people who seemed immersed in their food or their partners. The tranquil but cozy ambiance of this place is something I admire.

My wife and I deliberated on what to order while looking at the fabric padded menu. They have individual and sharing portions thus, it was little confusing at first. But after you get an idea what you wish to share with everybody, and the other items that you would like to have more to yourself, it becomes much easier.

While waiting my food to arrive, I checked out the two cheerful looking sauces right in front of me. A waitress then gleefully came over to explain what the two specially concocted sauces are made of. The reddish sauce on the left is a spicy mixture while on the right is a mix of garlic, ginger and a herb. We were given a complimentary plate of golden tofu each while waiting for our first dish to arrive. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good picture of that. But it tasted absolutely splendid.


Here comes our first dish – Crisp-fried scallops with salted egg yolk and crispy Asian spice crumbs. The first bite seduced my taste buds into a frenzy. The skin was crispy on the outside and the milky white flesh was soft but firm. The natural sweetness of the scallops was oozing out with the fragrant spice crumbs in my mouth. Wow. We fell for this dish instantly!

Crisp-fried scallops with salted egg yolk and crispy Asian spice crumbs

We also ordered one of their signature soups – Imperial hot and sour seafood soup. This soup is like spicy version of your usual shark’s fin soup sans the shark’s fin. It’s not too starchy but it is full of spicy and sour power working on your taste buds. My wife didn’t really like it but I absolutely loved it.

Imperial hot and sour seafood soup

Wok-fried prawns in chili and ginger sauce topped with crispy spices. This is one of Chef Hiew’s unique creations, whereby the blending of lemon grass, ginger, cracker, garlic and chili results in a seafood dish that is simply unforgettable. That tag-line on the menu itself is an understatement of the dish. It would be regrettable to miss this dish! The prawns were fresh and crunchy. The sauce and the cracker bits were a fantastic combination – tasty, slightly sweet and a fragrant nutty flavor.

Wok-fried prawns in chili and ginger sauce topped with crispy spices

This Steamed cod fish fillet in homemade soya sauce was ordered by my wife for an individual portion which she kindly offered me a huge chunk to try. The texture of the fish was just right! It tasted great with the home made soya sauce. My wife was raving over this dish.

Steamed cod fish fillet in homemade soya sauce

Baked baby abalone-fresh mushroom-chestnut pocket in rock salt. This dish doesn’t look as interesting because of the overall muted color of this dish. I didn’t get to try the baby abalone because my mom accidentally ate it up. This is another individual dish ordered by my wife and she was once again kind to share with the rest. But sadly she didn’t get to taste the abalone. The flavor of this dish is great too, with sauteed shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms and chestnuts.

Baked baby abalone-fresh mushroom-chestnut pocket in rock salt

Wok-fried beef tenderloin with pepper in Chef’s concoction style. This was my individual dish. The beef was fragrant, the meat texture was just right, soft but not too chewy. One of my favorites!

Wok-fried beef tenderloin with pepper in Chef’s concoction style

Braised ee-fu noodles with conpoy, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts and yellow chives. The seasoning was done just right, not too salty nor bland. Not a bit oily, but soft and lightly peppered with some vegetables. The noodles were slightly thinner than usual. If only I had more room in my stomach, I would have gladly wiped out the entire plate.

Braised ee-fu noodles with conpoy, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts and yellow chives

Stir-fried crab-meat, asparagus with Hong Kong kai lan and honshimeiji mushrooms in spicy XO sauce. This dish had an unusual combination of asparagus and kailan that was perfect. One of the best tasting asparagus dish ever! It was slightly spicy and not over the top. There was a generous amount of real crab meat on top of the vegetables too.

Stir-fried crab-meat, asparagus with Hong Kong kai lan and honshimeiji mushrooms in spicy XO sauce

Dessert time! My wife and I ordered a Chilled cream of mango with sago pearls, pomelo, and lime sorbet each. We were both won over by this dessert. The presentation was splendid with dry ice coming from a bottom glassware. It tasted awesome! The perfect combination of sweet creamy mango puree with a tinge of bitterness from the pomelo and topped with a refreshing sour lime sorbet. We are both craving for this dessert now.

Chilled cream of mango with sago pearls, pomelo, and lime sorbet

Then came a surprise! The waitresses brought out a cake and sang happy birthday. Well, it was my birthday! Thanks to my wife for her thoughtful surprise. =D

Birthday cake

They offered to cut it for us after I had done my first cut. They gave me the slice with the happy birthday wordings. Their service is impeccable!

Birthday cake

I would definitely patronize the Cherry Garden once again, where it has blossomed my love for their food, impeccable service, beautiful decor and delightful ambiance.

Official Cherry Garden website

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15 responses to “Cherry Garden @ Mandarin Oriental, Singapore”

  1. Nopy says:

    Wow, the restaurant looks beautiful, and the food looks so good, now I’m hungry. I’ll try to remember to visit this place the next time I’m in Singapore.

  2. statzwiz says:

    very beautiful restaurant *_*
    by the way Happy Birthday ^^ sorry didn’t know that

    • softz says:

      Thank you :)
      I must admit that I’m in love with their food. I’m thinking of patronizing there again for their dim-sum buffet. Though I must save up some money first. It’s not cheap dining there.

      • statzwiz says:

        well birthday is once a year I think ^_^ people will happy and don’t mind spend so much money for just one night dinner right.same with wedding spend really (so much money) just for a one night party ^^ maybe your next dinner there is when your wife birthday ;)

        • softz says:

          True, well said. I just realized that this is your new account huh :)
          I’ll update the link for you.
          Let’s see. We spent about SGD 210++ after 15% discount, which means roughly 70 per person since my mum followed along. (that’s price of 3.5 nendos?)
          But again, I try to make fine dinning with my wife every month or twice a month if time permits, since we both can be busy people at times.

          • statzwiz says:

            softkz I must thanks you mention your wife since I am gender blind in the internet (*cough*I tho you was woman*cough*) ^^;;;;;;
            woah that’s very expensive >.<;;; but yeah spending time with someone you love more important than anything :D

          • softz says:

            Wah… sad man.. must be the name I used (softz). Anyway, it’s good to have it clarified :)

  3. Yi says:

    Happy birthday!

    That dessert looks absolutely enchanting and delectable.
    It’s such a beautiful restaurant. The lanterns, the atmosphere, and the foods all seem so fancy and elegant. I hope you enjoyed your birthday.

  4. Xine says:

    Happy Birthday! ^^

    I love the lanterns and the food looks delish!
    Is Mandarin near Suntec?
    I miss Singapore.

    • softz says:

      Thank you Xine. Yep, it’s very near Suntec. In fact, those famous hotels are clustered together there. You should try when you visit Singapore again.

  5. Fabrice says:

    Yum Yum , looking forward in going there when i come back to singapore :D

  6. AS says:

    Happy birthday softz ^^.

    Wow, delicious looking food :9. I especially like the looks of the scallop and mango dessert ^^. I am a mango fiend >: ). The cake looks really savory, my stomach is rumbling just looking at it (yes, my stomach has its own set of eyes lol).

  7. heathorn says:

    Happy Birthday softz!
    The food looks super yummy, and the way they serve it, really pro, like watching cooking films ^^

    the interior of the restaurant is nice! All the artificial lighting gives a very high class feel.

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