Cantonese cuisine, more specifically dim sum, often brings to mind the usual suspects such as comforting porridge, bao, and dumplings of sorts, but over at Song Garden, there is much more than meets the eye than the conventional mix of dim sum treats.
Located on the second level of Mercure Singapore Bugis, this contemporary Cantonese restaurant astounds with its array of elaborate and mouth-watering dishes. Your taste buds are in for a tantalising treat of innovative creations such as Pan-seared ‘Otak’ Seafood Dumpling on Skewer, Baked Abalone Pastry and Deep-Fried Charcoal Chili Crab Meat Ball.
Helmed by Executive Chef Wong Shea Nung and Executive Dim Sum Chef Leung Chi Man—both of whom have decades of experience in Cantonese cooking in Hong Kong—what diners can look forward to is an impressive array of over 30 classic dim sum staples as well as some modern interpretations that are all carefully curated by the chef duo themselves.
From now until May 31 2018 (except for Mother’s Day on 13 May), our readers can quote ‘ladyironchef’ upon making your reservation to enjoy 15% off all dim sum (with min spend of S$60++).
Here’s what you can expect from Song Garden’s stellar line-up of dim sum delights.
Decked out in shades of red and gold with traditional Chinese furnishings and gorgeous art pieces adorning its walls, this elaborate 120-seater Cantonese restaurant sets the mood for some proper dim sum dining, be it for family or friends.
There are also large private dining rooms that can sit more than twenty pax!
PAN-SEARED ‘OTAK’ SEAFOOD DUMPLING ON SKEWER
We are always game for modern dishes with a twist, especially those that creatively blend flavours and textures from our local cuisine. Chef Leung’s Pan-seared ‘Otak’ Seafood Dumpling on Skewer (S$6++ for 4 pieces) is without a doubt perfection on a skewer.
His version of the iconic Siew Mai (pork dumplings) replaces minced pork with spicy mackerel otah paste and prawns. The Siew Mai is first steamed before being wok-fried. Laced with aromatic spices, this siew mai rendition promises a nice crunch and a mildly spicy kick.
MINI EGG TARTS
As far as egg tarts go, it is more than just the yellowish custard that defines a really good one. The short-crust pastry that encases it is just as important—if not, more. Here at Song Garden, the Mini Egg Tarts (S$4.20++ for 3 pieces) are far better than your traditional flaky egg tarts. Buttery, crumbly and filled with a luscious egg filling, this is undeniably one of the best renditions in Singapore.
What we particularly loved about this was the fact that it was small enough to eat in one bite, which for one, does away with the nuisance of crumbs falling everywhere, and allows you to taste every single component at one go.
DEEP-FRIED CHARCOAL CRAB MEAT BALL
New to Song Garden’s menu is the Deep-Fried Charcoal Chili Crab Meat Ball (S$7.50++ for 3 pieces). Perfectly fried and generously filled with a lip-smacking good chilli crab filling, this is truly a treat to behold.
The initial bite excites with a pleasant crunch, followed by the sweet, savoury and spicy chilli crab filling that comes pouring out all over your tongue. The contrast between flavour and texture was struck beautifully and out of all the many chilli crab innovations we have tried over the years, we must say this is among our top few favourites.
PAN-FRIED FOIE GRAS DUMPLING
Although nothing much to shout about at first glance, their Pan-Fried Foie Gras Dumpling (S$S$4.50++ for 3 pieces) is something that left us yearning for more. If you fancy foie gras, then these morsels are the perfect thing to have.
Foie gras is mixed together with marinated pork mince which gives the dumpling a luxurious iron flavour in addition to the savoury pork. Have this with a few strands of the vinegar-soaked ginger and prepare for a flavour explosion in your mouth.
LOBSTER WITH PUMPKIN CONGEE
Boasting a bright yellow hue and robust seafood aroma, the Lobster with Pumpkin Congee (S$28++) is a showstopper in its own right. The porridge contained subtle nuances of pumpkin which made the overall flavour much sweeter than regular congee. The lobster tail was plump, tender and sweet.
BAKED ABALONE PASTRY WITH BLACK TRUFFLE
For those looking to splurge a little more than usual, consider their Baked Abalone Pastry with Black Truffle (S$8.80++ for 1 piece). These luxurious “tarts” feature a very buttery tart pastry which is filled with black truffle and topped with a braised abalone. The complex flavours will definitely get you addicted. We couldn’t stop at one!
STIR-FRIED CARROT CAKE WITH SIGNATURE CHILLI SAUCE
As fans of fried carrot cake, we must say that the Stir-fried Carrot Cake with Signature Chilli Sauce (S$8.80++) is a must-order when at Song Garden. Tossed in a mixture of egg, bean sprouts and their signature chilli sauce, the dish boasts a subtle spiciness and an apparent wok hei.
STEAMED CHEONG-FUN WITH FRESH PRAWN FILLING
If you thought that this Cantonese restaurant’s cheong fun was going to be your typical rice roll stuffed with bits of prawn, you thought wrong. In their Steamed Cheong-fun with Fresh Prawn Filling (S$6++), delicate paper-thin sheets (that are all made in-house daily) nicely wraps itself around a crispy roll filled with deliciously crunchy prawns.
Simple as it may seem, the textural variety from the sweet and succulent prawns as well as the crispy roll will have you rethink about regular chee cheong fun.
No dim sum meal would be complete without some form of stuffed bao. For a sweet treat, go for the Steamed Custard Bun (S$5.80++ for 3 pieces). Molten salted egg yolk oozing out from freshly steamed bun; oh, how we love our liu sha bao!
Both chefs also impress with their Oven Baked Snow Skin Bun (S$5.40++ for 3 pieces). The savoury and slightly sweet char siew filling still had bits of fat intact which made it such a joy to eat, and we liked that the crust was crunchy without being overly greasy.
Presenting one of their new and stellar creations is the Steamed Mushroom Bun with Black Truffle (S$5.80++ for 3 pieces). Made to look like a literal mushroom (stalk included), this adorable bun is packed full of diced up mushrooms with a sauce made with truffles. If you love mushrooms, this savoury treat will most definitely leave an impression.
For reservations and dining enquiries, call +65 6521 9299 or email [email protected]
122 Middle Road
Mercure Singapore Bugis
Nearest Station: Bugis
Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
Weekends/ Public Holiday
Lunch: 11am to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
This post was brought to you by Song Garden.