Food Review: Song Garden Chinese Restaurant at Mercure Singapore Bugis | Modern twist to traditional Cantonese food
The Place Located at Mercure Singapore Bugis, Song Garden Chinese Restaurant is one of the newest Cantonese restaurant to open in town. There is a private lift at the hotel’s entrance, which will bring you straight up to level 2 where the restaurant almost occupies the whole space. The main dining area is an elongated design across the floor by the window, so you can pretty much expect nice natural light during the day while dining. The interior of Song Garden is modern, which we feel the ambience is a good balance of formal and casual dining.
The Food We came with high expectations, especially after learning that both Executive Chefs hail from Hong Kong with many years of culinary experiences.
We started with the Pan-seared Otah Siew Mai on Skewers (S$6 for 4 pieces), which I thought is quite a unique twist to the classic Cantonese dim sum. The spicy otah paste is in fact mackerel, topped with some prawns like a traditional Siew Mai.
The Steamed Cheong-fun with Fresh Prawn (S$6) comes with a double layer of skin, poured over by Chef’s special soy sauce. I love the crispy bits of the skin, though I will recommend going light with the soy suace.
The Lobster with Pumpkin Purée in Hot Stone Pot (S$28) is easily one of my favourite. Served in hot stone pot, it keeps the soup hot and nice till the end. This luscious soup is prepared from chicken stock with pumpkin, then added with fish maw and shark cartilage along with the lobster. Don’t miss out on dipping the accompanying black garlic bread stick into the soup!
The Mentaiko Cod Fillet (S$19.80) may not look visually appealing but it makes up for its taste. There is a subtle hint of Yuzu in the cod fish, and I really love the Mentaiko element, a nice Japanese touch to the otherwise predictable fish. Topped with a serving of caviar to add that luxe touch.
The Lamb Rack stuffed with Diced Fish in feather light batter (S$22) uses New Zealand lamb, which is supposedly less gamy. The diced fish is cooked with mushrooms before being stuffed into the lamb. For someone like me who don’t usually take lamb, the taste wasn’t very gamy but I am still not a fan of his dish as I didn’t find the flavours very appetising on the whole.
The Signature Roast Chicken on Bed of Beancurd Skin (S$25 for half chicken and S$50 for whole chicken) reminded me of Peking Duck. The crispy Beancurd skin is surprisingly nice with the tender roast chicken, along with the black bean sauce in the wrap made in house by the Chef.
For a vegetable dish, the Sautéed Asparagus with Wild Mushrooms in White Truffle Oil (S$28) was delicious. I love all the mushroom elements here which lends the dish that fragrant aroma – King oyster, shitake, shimeji, morel and wood ears. The white truffle smell and component was just right too.
For noodles, we tried the Braised Pre-Seared Vermicelli with shredded fish in Silken Egg White (S$24). I like the egg white and fish here as well as the wet texture of the vermicelli, although the overall flavour also came across as too plain for me. We ended up adding vinegar to it to enhance the flavours.
Rants We noticed that the prices of the dishes are relatively on the high end.
Will I Return Again? The food is generally good at Song Garden, though we feel that what it requires most at the moment is a signature dish which diners will look forward to returning for. That said, we are keen to check out the dim sum offerings one day, which has thirty dim sum dishes.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Song Garden Chinese Restaurant
Mercure Singapore Bugis
122 Middle Road, #0201
Tel: +65 6521 9299
Ranted by The Ranter