I know I really shouldn't accumulate backlogs, but the amount I have on hand will probably kill me if I am to write them all by this year! So perhaps I shall close a very filling 2010 with a write up on Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, which I visited with the same family friends who brought us Hairy Crabs!
Situated within Sheraton Towers, Li Bai prides itself in Cantonese cuisine and is well-known enough for the friends to hear about it even from Hong Kong. The name however, slightly confused me as I was pretty sure the famous poet wasn't even Cantonese! It was only later that I found out it was due to the executive chef drawing inspiration from his works to create dishes!
With exquisite decor, the place was pretty quiet on a early weekday evening, though it did fill up gradually as the night settled in. Since it was our first visit, the attentive staff recommended the $108++/pax dinner set for a greater variety.
We were served sugar-coated cashew nuts to nibble on, tasted even better with the fragrance of sesame seeds. The later customers were also served prawn crackers on their tables, not sure if I had to make a request for it.
Fruit Salad with Prawn and Scallop
A very colourful appetiser, the sweetness of the juicy mango, kiwi and melon cubes balanced the fresh, saltiness of the seafood nicely. Made me look forward to the upcoming courses already!
Clear Boiled Shark Fin with Fish Maw Soup, Abalone with Mushroom in Thick Sauce
Thanks to the sea delicacies, the soup was light yet robust in flavour, warms you really well from within! As always, chewy abalone was just alright for me, while I appreciated the juicy mushroom, beancurd skin and broccoli more as they mopped up the savoury sauce.
Pan-fried Lamb Chop with Mint Sauce, Pan-fried Beef Steak
Slightly charred on the surface, the lamb meat had a nice smokey crunch as I cut into the tender, juicy meat. Served with a light mint sauce, I liked how it was paired with a slice of tulip that further ease the greasiness of the dish. Good stuff!
The steak was a replacement for the same course as my mom doesn't take lamb. Taste-wise, it was really good being well-marbled and had the melt-in-your-mouth effect. Visually, I thought they could do a lot more than to just serve it naked.
Fish Noodles with Shredded Meat and Preserved Vegetables
I have seen this many times in Hong Kong, but a first for me over here. The noodles were not your regular flour and egg types, but made entirely of fish paste. The result was one with smooth, slurpy texture and bouncy bite. The soup base was pretty hearty and had a familiar, homelike taste after the previous courses. That should fill you up!
Mango Pomelo, Hot Tea
The dessert was nice but not necessarily the best rendition I had, while I liked the simple tea afterwards that cleansed and signified the end of the meal.
For the price paid, I felt that it was worthy for the quality of ingredients used and the ambience of the restaurant, similar to the afterthought of Ritz Carlton's Summer Pavilion. A place to consider for intimate Chinese indulgence!
And in case I don't write till 2011, have a great eve celebration everyone! May the new year be a fantastic one for you!
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant 39 Scotts Road Sheraton Towers Singapore Tel: 6839 5623