The restaurant was close in 1964, but re-opened once again on 27 January 2007, as the choice venue for exquisite Chinese food set amidst an ambience of understated elegance. It is now located at the level 2 of The Cathay, with a capacity of 200.
HFB was greeted with a saucer of Deep-fried Silver Cod as a complimentary snack. Crispy with a hint of spiciness, it was a really addictive to nibble on.
Dinner proper was started with the introduction of Cathay Twin Combination – Baked Sea Perch done Japanese-style with Egg White, and Smoked Duck Roll ($14.80++). While the former was well-executed – nicely baked and full-bodied with flavour, the latter paled in comparison – it was lacklustre and uninspiring.
The highlight of the evening surely belonged to the acclaimed Double-boiled Shark’s Bone Cartilage with Bamboo Pith plus Shark's Fin in Spaghetti Squash ($28.00++). Painstakingly boiled for 8 hours to a milky white, the hearty soup came with big chunks of shark fins along with natural goodness of nutrients that are critical for bone and joint health (think glucosamine-like compounds). And if you thought that was all, feel free to shred the side of the hollowed spaghetti squash, which gave one strands of the fruit that resembled the Italian pasta. This soup alone is filling enough for a meal – so a portion to share might be ideal for two.
Next up, the Baked King Prawn with Minced Meat done “Portuguese Style” ($12.80++) – and true to its cooking technique, the dish was characterised by its rich, filling and full-flavoured taste. However, HFB felt that the prawn was over-baked, thus the texture of its flesh was slightly dry.
The scallop was of substantial size from the Braised Stuff Fresh Scallop with Prawn Paste in Crabmeat Sauce ($10.80++), and came coupled with a nice silky crab meat sauce. His only gripe was the prawn paste that tasted quite funky – which sparklette quite adequately described it as “those pseudo prawn/lobster balls you find at steamboat restaurants.” HFB agreed.
The staple for the evening was XO Fried Rice ($8.00++) that came with generous servings of Scallops, Prawns, French Beans, Bean Sprouts and a dash of Ebiko, or Prawn Roe. The rice was thoroughly fried resulting in each grain being nicely coated with the XO sauce. HFB would prefer a stronger “Wok Hei” flavour, but otherwise still a respectable dish.
An exquisite dessert, the Chilled Pumpkin Puree with Yam Ice Cream came in a Young Coconut shell ($6.00++). Nicely chilled with thick puree, HFB also thought the pumpkin and yam combined well.
Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Kara, and The Cathay Restaurant for their hospitality.
2 Handy Road
#02-01, The Cathay
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