Restaurants & Bars

Cherry Garden @ The Oriental Hotel, Marina, Singapore

Limster | Aug 24, 200310:57 PM

Exquisite Cantonese cooking, with a few stars from Sichuan.

Prix fixe menu is the way to go, up to 8 courses for ~S$50 per person (S$1.7 = US$1), choices selected from a vast menu that virtually shadows the a la carte menu (only a few things were not on the prix fixe menu).

Perfect dabs of a sweet fermented bean paste bring out the flavour of the thin slices of supple roast duck, complete with a beautifully lacqured skin, served in a flat wheat crepe, almost like Peking duck. The duck was exceptional, what made me take notice was the accompanying fried bean curd skin, a vegetarian double for the duck. Light and crispy beyond belief, it went beyond the clever juxtaposition of real and mock duck, it added a brilliant delicate crispiness alongside the richer, stiffer and deeper crunch on the duck skin.

Elegantly thin slices of fish (what immpecable knifework!) float like white petals in a clear fish broth, full of fish flavour. Additional fragrance from slices of fried crullers (you2 tiao2) and colour and textural interest from pieces of lettuce, perfectly blanched in the broth for a lovely bright crunch. Probably my favourite dish of the evening.

Firm, clean fibres from a smoked cod, slighty sweet with a nuanced smokiness. Paired well with a tropical fruit salad in light mayo.

A very classic rendition of the minimalist kung pao prawns (very very rare in the US, completely different from the common perception of kung pao in the US), heavy smoky sweet and spicy flavours from the generous pile of dried chilli, a moderate amount of garlic, some peanuts, and perfectly cooked prawns, near crsytalline, sweet and crunchy and beautiful under the sauce. Excellent, would have been even better had the peaanuts been stir fried at the beginning, instead of just being added at the end.

Sweet spicy chirps of chilli and resonant black pepper provide a dark cloak of sauce on the tender venison, wrapped around crunch white enoki mushrooms.

A pleasant fried noodle dish, with good mild chewiness on the noodles.

A light, soft, almost floral stewed pear, sweetness likely from rock sugar in the accompanying stewing liquid. Appropriate pieces of frilly white fungus, and deeper fruit-rich statement from a single red date in the bowl.

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