With a rich history that dates all the way back to the colonial era, The Cathay Restaurant, a subsidiary of the Cathay Organisation; is arguably one of Singapore’s less known heritage gem. Little might know that this modern day Chinese restaurant started off as a European one prior to the war and a little time before independence, the focus was shifted.
The setting of the restaurant is of the usual Chinese styled tables, fitting for large families with option of a private room. For what it’s worth, the restaurant does cater to young couples and smaller families with the usual two and four seat tables. Service was prompt and meticulous, though it was a rather quiet evening.
Deep-Fried Prawn with Lemon Grass ($8.80++)
The first delight of the night was the Deep-fried Prawn with Lemon Grass. Elegantly placed onto a basket that resembles a bird’s nest, this number was the embodiment of modern Chinese cuisine. One would find the fresh tasting prawn brushed lightly with Lemon Grass sauce that carried a hint of wasabi, a delightful find. I would hope that this bimonthly recipe to quickly find itself a crowd favourite and before long – a menu regular.
Baked Fillet of Sea Perch with Raw Salt ($12.80++)
The Baked Fillet of Sea Perch with Raw Salt was a beauty in its simplicity by itself, keeping true to its roots; it came plated with western influence. The fillet proved to be a well-baked delicacy boasting a subtle crisp though it could have been a show stopper if not for the slight generosity in salt used. One thing to note, this is the second half of the Chef’s bimonthly new creations.
Cathay Crispy Roasted Chicken ($24.00++ per Half)
When paying a visit to The Cathay Restaurant, the Cathay Roasted Crispy Chicken is a classic that’s not to be missed. The skin crackled under pressure and as the teeth sunk into the meat, the abundance of crisp flakes flowed into bite, giving sensation to a great depth in taste and texture. If the taste is not suitable, there’s always option of a chili dip alongside this.
Vermicelli Soup with Sliced Garoupa and Crab Meat ($38.00++)
The Vermicelli Soup with Sliced Garoupa and Crab Meat was yet another showcase of generosity in the use of ingredients by the restaurant was the pot was jam packed with fresh sliced fillets and of sweet tasting crab meat. It’s hard to go wrong with a well-balanced saltiness and an addictive soup base. Something definitely went right with this one.
Chilled Coconut Jelly in Young Coconut ($6.80++)
Easily one of the most impressive dishes of the night, the Chilled Coconut Jelly in Young Coconut is an all-natural dessert. In a seemingly simple yet refreshing move, the jelly is made entirely of the original coconut juice. If the coconut goodness is not enough, one can always look to peel off the pulp of the coconut husk it is served in. A definite must have at the restaurant.
One’s parents might find nostalgia with the name as it was the perennial restaurant to go to during its heyday. It’s heartening to see Cathay Organisation keep its family heirloom over the years and it gave me a sense of excitement to see how far the restaurant has come since it’s re-opening following the renovation of The Cathay.
Many thanks to Miss. Christine and Miss. Yvonne for the kind invite and warm hospitality.
The Cathay Restaurant
2 Handy Road
Contact Number: 6732 7888
Mondays to Saturdays, 11.30am till 3.00pm and 6.00pm till 11.00pm
Sunday and Public Holidays, 10.00 till 5.00pm and 6.00pm till 11.00pm