Dinner recently was a scrumptious affair at the 4-month old Song Garden Chinese Restaurant which serves dim sum and modern Cantonese delights.
The elegantly-fitted restaurant occupies almost the entire level two of Mercure Singapore Bugis hotel. Besides the main dining hall, there are seven private rooms to cater to groups of various sizes, including one which has a large white marble table that can seat upto 25 guests!
It even has a fully-automated Lazy-Susan which spans about 2.5 metres and can be operated by a remote control. If I'm the one holding it, I will make sure each dish always stops in front of me first hahaha!
You will want to do the same too, as the food at Song Garden are crafted by Executive Chef Wong Shea Nung and Executive Dim Sum Chef Leung Chi Man (formerly of East Ocean). Both masters hailed from Hong Kong and are veterans in this field with 70 years of culinary experience between them.
What diners can expect on the menu are innovative creations, alongside the more traditional offerings.
Signature dishes includes Chilled Five-spice Foie Gras with Blueberry Compote ($26.80), Lobster with Pumpkin Purée in Hot Stone Pot ($28), Roasted Chicken on bed of Beancurd Skin (half bird $15 / whole bird $50) and Lamb Rack stuffed with Diced Fish ($22), just to name a few.
There is also a selection of vegetarian dishes for guests with special dietary requirements.
We tried only 2 out of the assortment of about 30 dim sum items and both were good.
I especially like the Pan-seared Otah Siew Mai on Skewers ($6 for 4pcs). The dumplings are filled with spicy mackeral fish paste and prawns, before being steamed then pan-seared. Certainly an interesting twist to the familiar pork siew siew!
The Steamed Cheong-fun with Fresh Prawn ($6 per serving) was also pleasing with crispy prawn fritter rolled in smooth rice sheet. It just need a dash of homemade soya sauce for that rounded savory taste.
Tell us that the Lobster with Pumpkin Purée in Hot Stone Pot ($28 per person) is collagen-rich, we are immediately sold! Lol!
The pumpkin broth is flavored with lobster stock and thickened with shark cartilage and fish maw, both of which have dissolved after being slow-cooked for 12 to14 hours. Beauty enhancement properties aside, what I enjoyed most is the natural sweetness of the bubbling hot soup completed with delightful chunks of succulent lobster meat.
Even the accompanying black garlic bread stick was likeable. Finished it all.
The mains drew a mixed reaction.
While the texture of the Lamb Rack stuffed with Diced Fish ($22 per person) was tender, I find the lamb a tad gamey and it overwhelmed the delicate flavors of the diced cod fish, mushrooms and spring onions filling. My dining companions love it though.
Mentaiko Cod Fillet ($19.80 per person) resonated better with my tastebud. The fish is gently roasted and slathered with creamy mentaiko sauce with hints of zesty yuzu. It felt light and buttery on the tongue, and paired nicely with the contrastingly crunchy dried white bait tuille.
When the Signature Roast Chicken on bed of Beancurd Skin (half bird $15 / whole bird $50) was served, my first reaction was, "Where is the chicken???"
To save you from the same
If there must be an obligatory vegetable dish at any meal, make it the Sautéed Asparagus with Wild Mushrooms in White Truffle Oil ($28 per serving). The medley of asparagus spears, carrots and a variety of mushrooms including king oyster, shiitake, shimeiji, morel and wood ears was highly delicious.
We enjoyed the Braised Pre-seared Vermicelli with Shredded Fish in Silken Egg White ($24 per serving) with Song Garden's homemade XO sauce which gave the rice noodle dish a needed boost in flavor.
For desserts, the Combination of Fresh Fruit, Coconut Parfait, Mango Pudding and Plum & Osmanthus Jelly ($13.80 per person) was ideal after a heavy meal.
Overall, Song Garden is a Cantonese restaurant with well-executed dishes that's worthy of a visit. Suitable for business luncheons, family meals and large gatherings.
Song Garden Chinese Restaurant
Address: 122 Middle Road, Mercure Singapore Bugis, #02-01, Singapore 188973
Contact: +65 6521 9299
Opening Hours: Weekday Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm (last order 2pm) & Dinner 6pm-10pm (last order 9.30pm) / Weekend & PH Lunch 11am-3pm (last order 2.30pm) & Dinner 6pm-10pm (last order 9.30pm)
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST. Information is correct at point of published date.
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