Expensive Average Dinner Poor Service @ Cherry Gardens on 26Oct2013

braised abalone & tofu

braised abalone & tofu

was looking for a place for my birthday dinner with family. comparing the set menus between cherry garden at oriental & peach blossom at marina mandarin, cherry garden’s came up tops PLUS they have 15% discount on set menus. we had not gone to cherry gardens for many years & the last we were there the weekend ala carte buffet lunch was pretty good, the ambience was good too, we chose the S$88pax menu with 15% discount. 🙂

cherry gardens restaurant @ mandarin oriental hotel

cherry gardens restaurant @ mandarin oriental hotel

7-course orchid menu

7-course orchid menu

small starter dish - jellyfish & topshell

small starter dish – jellyfish & topshell

roast duck, roast pork & char siew appetizer

roast duck, roast pork & char siew appetizer

sweet soup seafood soup

sweet soup seafood soup

braised abalone & tofu

braised abalone & tofu

prawns done 2 ways

prawns done 2 ways

fish fillet with tofu

fish fillet with tofu

rice with black sesame, garlic

rice with black sesame, garlic

杨支甘露 & lime sorbet

杨支甘露 & lime sorbet

the small starter dish (like japanese kobachi) of jelly fish with sliced top shell was ok(looked pretty on photo). they called it amuse bouche but hardly qualified,,haha. 🙂

the first course roast combination of roast duck, roast pork & char siew was very average or perhaps below average,

the second course sweet & sour seafood soup was an excellent dish, just slightly sour, enough of trademark peppery taste, and a very tasty soup & pleasant to the eye as well, much better than most places, and something i would enjoy though its not my favourite soup like most lie tong were. 🙂

the third course of braised abalone with deep-fried beancurd was par excellence. the abalone was tasty & had great bite, and the braising sauce was super, like in all good braising dishes – abalones, sea cucumber or goose webs. the beancurd was excellent as well. 🙂

the next 2 courses though were very average for this quality of restaurant. individual serving & prawns in 2 ways did not make it fine dining (the deep-fried prawn was done wasabi prawn style but with sweet & sauce) and they did not come out better than or as good as a good zi char stall. i think a wasabi prawn like the excellent ones i just had at tunglok signature would be far better. & the fish fritter with tofu hardly fit the fine palate. kok sen zi char would do better for these 2 dishes.

the black sesame crabmeat fried rice was an unique, interesting dish & quite nice & tasty. 🙂

the dessert, the usual 杨支甘露 served with lime sorbet, was good. 🙂

overall rather surprisingly, my recent excellent dinner tunglok signature @ central was so much better than this – taste-wise the sea cucumber was superb & as good if not better than the abalone here, and all the other dishes were better!

overall the food, ambience etc was quite pleasant & enjoyable, the service though was very average for this class of restaurants, made worse by the attitude of the restaurant manager. we asked for carpark redemption and was first told only valet parking could be redeemed. we don’t usually valet park however it was jam packed that evening & we did valet park (S$15). the server came back with our valet parking chip which was signed over & i asked “so is parking free?” first she said “you pay S$15” but when i asked her to ask the manager she came back after some time & said it was free. as she obviously had difficulty speaking & understanding english as we were leaving the restaurant i asked a second time the reception lady (maybe filipino). she understood but she had no idea so i asked her to call the restaurant manager. it was a small place & i could see the manager taking an inordinately long time to come over after adjusting tableware etc for an empty table (quite unnecessarily). and when he came, he flashed an artificial smile and made an incredibly senseless comment “ö…did you dine at the restaurant?” when he was the one who helped usher us in when we arrived.  he was no help at all, the staff were good in attitude poor in language & training & the manager needed to take lessons from his staff on service attitude & how to nicely cheerfully reassure customers & make warm friendly buddy gestures.

hope it was one off..anyway it mattered not as customer would just vote with their feet. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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