“Singapore’s largest Pen Cai (盆菜) that comes in a 25kg basin”
Looking for a good place to have your Chinese New Year reunion dinner I see? Fret not. At the expense of my body, this Singapore food blog has braved the storms to eat numerous Lo heis (撈起) and brings you the best Chinese New Year set menus restaurants have to offer.
At our next CNY stop is Cherry Garden (櫻桃園), which offers awesome dim sum and an eclectic menu of Cantonese fine cuisine. Located in the 5 star Mandarin Oriental hotel, the restaurant setting as well as dishes are more than adequate to impress any traditional family.
We’ll be highlighting mostly items from the CNY ‘Success’ set menu 2014, going at $118++ per guest.
As usual, we start with a traditional Prosperty Yu Sheng with Salmon and Crispy fish skin. This Yu Sheng has a lot of fried vermicelli that adds a crunchy texture rather than the usual sloppy biteful. The crispy fried fish skin is also akin to crackers, adding further amusement. There’s also an added olive oil and spring onion green sauce that adds more sweeetness and smoothness.
Cherry Garden Treasure Pot. This is where things started getting insane. A 25kg pot at 45cm in diameter, this monster Pen Cai (盆菜) contains: braised eight-head abalone, lobsters, scallops, sea cucumbers, prawns, dried oysters, conpoy, dace fillet, roasted duck, soy chicken, crispy pork belly, waxed sausages, mushrooms, cabbage as well as black moss.
Truly a sight to behold, as well as a deliciously filling tummy ride. If there is one dish you want to impress your snobbish relatives with, this is it. My only distaste is for the cooked dried oysters, which are powdery, tough and loses the natural sweetness of fresh oysters.
Related Guide: Yan Ting CNY Set Menu 2014
Steamed Cod Fillet with Waxed Meat and preserved Vegetables. I love the sweetness of waxed meat, or chinese sausage, that comes with it. This cod texture is a little firmer, similar to scallop. Very pleasant and light sweetness.
This is an item from the ‘Harmony’ CNY set menu.
Glutinous rice with Waxed Meats. The finale starch staple dish to make sure everyone is filled up. Basically anything with Chinese Sausage tastes sublime. But go easy on this glutinous rice, which makes you feel fuller than you thought.
From top left clockwise: Green Tea Mocha stuffed with Lotus paste and Macademia nut, Chilled Almonds and Snow Fungus in Red Dates soup, Red Dates Nian Gao.
The Green Tea Mocha is like a Muah Chee with stuffing. Sweet and has a surprise Macedemia nut inside. Snow fungus soup was very refreshing and a spectacle to watch as dried ice spouts out from the bottom. The Nian gao also combined well with red dates blended in.
Related Guide: Hai Tien Lo CNY set menu 2014
Cherry Garden has a imperial palace look straight out of a drama series.
Definitely the most impressive Pen Cai in Singapore, the Cherry Garden Treasure Pot is only available for dine-in and is the one dish you must order when you have CNY reunion dinner here.
Cherry Garden CNY menu starts 22 Jan – 14 Feb 2014.
Expected Damage: from $118/ pax
Cherry Garden 櫻桃園 (Mandarin Oriental): 6 Raffles Blvd, Marina Square, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (5th floor), Singapore 039797 | Website
Click here for Cherry Garden’s CNY 2014 set menu and festive goodies.