The Cathay Restaurant (国泰) is one of the grand dames of Chinese cuisine in Singapore, but little did we know that it actually started out as a Western restaurant back in 1940, before making the identity switch in 1951. Its days of exotic cocktails, dance floor and resident band which would entertain every night with popular Chinese songstresses are long gone, but still stands strong today as a popular destination for dim sum and sumptuous ala carte dinner buffet of over 60 items!
Sporting a contemporary interior with a splash of nostalgic on the walls, I welcome the non-intimidating chicness and spaciousness of The Cathay restaurant's main dining hall. Not just for dinner gatherings, its ambience is also suitable for corporate lunches during the day, and the 6-course Executive Set Lunch ($28 per pax, min 2 to dine) serves this purpose ideally. Private rooms are available as well to add a touch of exclusiveness to the overall dining experience.
It would probably take the Ala Carte Dinner Buffet ($79 for 2 pax, min 4 to dine) to satisfy the superbly healthy appetite of PinkyPiggu, but I try to convince myself that going gentle on the tummy at times might not be a bad idea too.
One good dish to have is the You Mai Cai (油麦菜) ($18, small for 3-4 pax) which was very well stir-fried with preserved bean paste to an enjoyable level of salty savoriness and refreshing crisp. The Pan-fried Pork Chop with Chef’s Special Sauce ($18.00, small for 3-4 pax) was another worthy order for its well-marinated and juicy tender meat.
I would also recommend to give the chef's creations a try. Available only for a limited period of time, it features special dishes such as Steamed Scallop with Golden Mushroom in XO Sauce ($9.90 for 3pcs), as well as Baked Rice with Portuguese Sauce in Mini Golden Pumpkin ($14.80 per pax) for the month of August.
The rice item certainly left a thumbs up impression! Delectable grains of rice fried with mushrooms enveloped in a rich creamy Portuguese gravy and baked to warm soft perfection within a mini pumpkin. The slight hint of curry goes exceeding well with the sweetness of the pumpkin fruit. Love the overall combination of textures and flavors! To end the meal on a lighter note, Chilled Lemon Grass Jelly ($4.80 per pax) would be a good choice of dessert.
I did not get to try the dim sum, nor any of the signature barbequed meat or double-boiled tonic soup that The Cathay Restaurant have on their menu as well, but the few dishes that I had did give an inkling that their food, on the whole, should be of a reasonably good quality. This calls for a return visit, maybe?
The Cathay Restaurant (国泰)
Address: 2 Handy Road, #02-01 The Cathay, Singapore 229233
Contact: +65 6732 7888
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm / Sun & PH 10am-5pm, 6pm-11pm
Prices are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST