The Oriental Singapore's Chinese restaurant reopens with many treats in store
By Wong Ah Yoke, 12 January 2005After massive renovations, The Oriental Singapore reopened last month with a totally new look.
The Straits Times
With its walls clad in natural materials like wood and stone, it exudes a sense of contemporary luxury. Soothing lighting imparts a sense of serenity, giving the interiors almost a spa-like ambience.
The same sense of understated opulence extends into Cherry Garden, the hotel's Chinese restaurant. Formerly specialising in Hunan cuisine, its menu now features modern Chinese cooking that takes its influence from various Chinese regions as well as the West.
While the layout of the dining room remains unchanged, the interiors have been totally transformed.
The brick walls are now covered with gauzy ivory-coloured veils and dark teak panels. The partition wall of one of the private rooms has been replaced with glass shelving that allows one a peek inside where a chandelier creates a jewel-like effect.
On the tables are pretty crystal and chinaware, giving the restaurant the Western touch that is almost de rigueur with today's fine-dining Chinese eateries.
But the most obvious change is the conscious effort to upgrade its level of service.
A waitress greets you with a smile and a cheery 'Welcome to Cherry Garden' as you step in, and bids you an equally effusive farewell as you leave.
At the table, another waitress takes the trouble to explain each dish as it arrives - just like a maitre d' at a Continental restaurant, albeit in less clipped English.
With new chefs on board, the menu has also been revamped.
I tried an excellent lobster rice vermicelli and egg white topped with fragrant garlic sauce ($28). The soft steamed egg white serves as a good contrast to the succulent lobster meat.
Equally delightful is a trio of dimsum ($18) comprising an extremely crispy deep-fried soft-shell crab topped with sweet Thai sauce; pan-fried scallops accompanied by a slice of gooseliver and a chewy abalone siew mai.
For dessert, check out the champagne lemongrass/lime jelly with coconut ($12). This will only be listed on the menu after Chinese New Year but it is worth the wait.
It is like a deluxe version of the popular lime jelly. The champagne adds the glam factor while the hint of lemongrass is subtle enough to just impart its fragrance without overpowering the other flavours.
If you can't wait, go for the Chinese New Year dishes that will appear in the first half of next month.
Set menus are available, with prices starting from $68 per person for lunch to $148 per person for both lunch and dinner.
These come with either salmon, tuna or lobster yu sheng, depending on which menu you pick. Other dishes include festive favourites such as steamed bamboo fragrant rice with waxed meat and abalone, and braised beancurd with black moss and dried oyster.
You can also order your Chinese New Year dishes from an a la carte menu until Feb 23.
The Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square
Opening hours: Noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm
For UOB card-holders:
Spend a minimum of $388 nett on the Chinese New Year a la carte menu from Feb 5 to 23, and you will get a complimentary takeaway Salmon Yu Sheng set. The offer is not applicable with other promotions, discounts and privileges.