The Cherry Garden dim sum buffet served as brunch on weekends is popular with fellow Singapore diners. This lovely Chinese restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel next to Marina Square was full when we were there on a Sunday, despite the pricey price tag of $68++ per person. It is so popular that there are two 2-hour sittings for brunch – 11 and 1.30 pm. We took a 11 am slot which required us to finish by 1 pm.
Nothing major had changed at Cherry Garden since our last visit some time ago. The Chinese pavilion style decor that also serves to break up the dining space into smaller zones is still quite beautiful. The granite walled entrance makes us feel like we were entering a fortress. Once inside, the Cherry Garden Chinese restaurant has a warm and luxurious feel.
The Cherry Garden dim sum buffet is served on weekends and cost $68++ per person. Quite expensive, but we decided to try it because it has the reputation to be one of the best weekend dim sum buffets in Singapore. To be more accurate, this is best described as a Chinese restaurant brunch buffet as the range of items served goes beyond just dim sum. There are many other Chinese dishes on the menu. Here are pictures of the menu.
The Cherry Garden dim sum buffet is served “ala carte style”. In other words the buffet items are not laid out on a large buffet table. Rather, the diners order any of the items from the list. This manner of serving a buffet has its obvious advantages – fresher food in small portions, proper service at the table and a nicer ambience. In theory at least, because the situation gets a bit hairy when things get very busy and there is a 2 hour limit to get it all done. We will elaborate more at the end of this post. We now show you the food first.
As you can imagine, we ordered and ate more than we normally would. Rather than trying to describe all the items, we can say straightaway the food served at the Cherry Garden dim sum buffet and brunch was top-notch. We will only highlight the ones we especially liked. We know many would shun the char siew pau at dim sum buffets as they can be quite heavy. But these ones at Cherry Garden are worthy of some stomach space. The skins are super fluffy and light and the kurobuta pork fillings are very flavourful. Some of us thought that these were the best CSP they had ever eaten!
The starter items were also interesting. The best items were the two prawn items – deep-fried wasabi prawns and steamed live prawns with garlic. These are the two must eat items at this brunch buffet.
As for the meat dishes, we liked the beef fillets and the beef tendon cooked in claypot.
It is highly advisable to leave room for dessert. There were only five types available. We tried all and they were all very good. The organic black bean pudding and cherries in lychee sorbet were the best.
Overall, we would highly recommend the Cherry Garden dim sum buffet and brunch, except that to truly enjoy the meal, it is best to opt for the 1.30 pm seating. Our experience during the first part of the meal that day was peaceful and calm. Once the first hour had passed the otherwise very polite staff became edgy and started reminding us of the last order curfew at 12.30. Which was fair enough as it was part of the deal to complete the meal by 1 pm and they had to prepare for the next round. However, with a full house and each table feeling the same pressure, it was hard to get the attention of the servers to place orders or to have the messy plates refreshed.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Level 5 Mandarin Oriental Hotel
5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square
12 – 2:30pm
11am – 1pm (1st seating)
1:30 – 3:30pm (2nd seating)
Sat-Sun & Public Holiday
6:30 – 10:30pm
Tel: +65 6885 3500
Nearby MRT Stations : Esplanade, Promenade, City Hall