Saturday, 3 August 2013

Mia's Review & Update: The Cathay Restaurant

I should be reviewing Seventh Heaven first, but I decided to jumble it up a little and do The Cathay first. In fact, I've just visited the restaurant yesterday afternoon with J and Ling for a dim sum lunch.

The restaurant is located at 2nd level of The Cathay, easily within sight as you come up from the escalator. Be sure to make reservations when dropping by on a weekend, J did a last minute reservation and we were only given a slot 1 hour after our planned meeting time. 

First up, yes the chilli. They have the perfect chilli sauce as dips for the Har Gao and Siew Mai (and other dim sum we dip in chilli sauce). Just spicy enough to not be biting on the tongue, with just a barely there hint of slight sweetness. It's just my type of chilli. :)
FYI, DTF's chilli is the exact example of what's totally not my type of chilli. I never used the chilli as dips when I'm at DTF. 
And what's behind the chilli is just a small sauce plate of pickled i-really-have-no-idea-what-is-that-thing. Well, just pickles. Nah, not my type of pickles either. I only like tsukemono (Japanese pickles), nothing else. 

First up, the cheong fan with crispy thing. Yeah, it's so not the actual name of the dish, but that's the most apt description of this dish. Strongly recommended by J, this dish is the first to be served. Ling and I had the same reaction, "Huh, where is the crispy thing?" 
Our answer came in the form of a resounding cackle of the crispy thing when Ling bit into hers just as I was getting a piece for myself. They're wrapped inside the cheong fan! 
Needless to say, the cheong fan is smooth, yet not (disgustingly) mushy. I won't say it's Q (chewy), but it's definitely soft yet able to hold up the crispy thing wrapped within without slipping all over the place. The sauce is just as yummy as any cheong fan's sauce we get from all the reputable dim sum places. In case you're wondering, the crispy thing is actually rice paper (popiah skin) folded and deep fried till crispy and just slightly golden brown such that it doesn't have the strong toasted taste to it, which might have overpowered the overall taste of the cheong fan. It's also able to hold up the crispiness for quite some time despite being wrapped inside the cheong fan and literally enveloped in moistness. Definitely is a brilliant creation, a must try!

Another more special dish will be this carrot cake with beansprout in XO Chilli Sauce. Yes, I'm a sucker for carrot cakes and whenever I see it on the menu, I must order it! Which is why I did, despite it being rather pricey at $10 for a pretty small serving. To be honest, I was expecting the bigger, squarish cut of carrot cake topped up with a dollop of XO sauce and beansprouts when I ordered it. Hence, to see it being served in hawker style was quite a surprise. Nevertheless, the carrot cakes were cut into huge pieces and seemingly lacking in minute bits of carrots and dried shrimps. 
In other words, this is really a hawker style fried carrot cake, albeit raised up a notch in terms of class (atas-ness) by cooking it in XO sauce. 
The carrot cakes were extremely soft, at times even crumbling when picked up by the chopstick. Chewing will be truly redundant only if they were cut into smaller cubes, for they'll easily be mashed up and 'melted' off in the mouth. Being generously drenched in XO sauce, every bite is savoury with just a slight tinge of spiciness. Flavourful. However, value for the money? I'm afraid not. Sometimes, being simple can be a winning point too.




 And the common dimsum: Siew Mai, Har Gao, Xiao Long Bao and Liu Sha Bao. All going at $4 plus per order.

You can see that while their siew mai, har gao and liu sha bao are of normal sizes, their xiao long bao is actually pretty big, with a lot of soup kept within! Comparing them to the other best on my list (DTF), theirs is obviously bigger, with softer skin (see how they're slightly translucent at the edges), and a whole lot more soup, which justify their bigger size. There were 2 spoonfuls of soup in mine! The ingredients wrapped within also seem to be significantly more, as I have trouble eating the whole dumpling in one bite, something which I can do with DTF's dumpling.

The Liu Sha Bao is also slightly different from those I've eaten at most of other restaurants. Their filling is much more runny, which kind of shocked me when it started dripping all over the place when I tore the bun apart. Although having the exact same creamy savouy taste of the salted egg york custard filling as other liu sha bao, the texture of the filling is less solid and grainy, a very distinctive texture of liu sha bao's filling in general. I would have taken a picture of the runny filling if I could, but I was creating a mess over my plate so I didn't.
While others may dislike this liu sha bao due to the watery filling, I actually prefer it as the somewhat icky grainy texture of most other liu sha bao is exactly what has kept me from truly enjoying the awesome taste of this brilliant creation.


And after the dim sum lunch with the girls, I went shopping! $100 spent in 10 minutes. :)

 Meet my new friend, stripey. That's her cousin, Rainbow,sitting beside her. Rainbow will be moving to Ade's place next week.

And my favourite shopping item.... Nope, not going to show you what's inside. :p
But La Senza is having this awesome bundle promotion. 3 bras for $100 and 8 panties for $40 (older seasons) or 7 panties for $55 (newer seasons). And they'll be stuffing you with this bundle voucher of $10 off bra bundle or $5 off panties bundle, so they're actually going for $90, $35 or $50. Mind you, one of their panties is priced at $13. So what are you waiting for?

Till then,
Mia

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