Full The Cathay Restaurant review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2015/01/the-cathay-restaurant-tasting-session.html
Operating under the Cathay Organisation, The Cathay Restaurant has a long historical legacy, reaching the height of its popularity in 1951 with its Chinese Zi Char, Cantonese, and Shanghainese dishes. Despite closing in the 70s, The Cathay Restaurant reopened in 2007, and has now come full circle, serving up solid, delicious, and authentic Chinese dishes in an elegant oriental setting.
Ambience at The Cathay Restaurant exudes an elegant oriental sophistication. Colours of red, black, and white within the brightly lit, spacious 190-seater interior lend a sense of luxury and space. Traditional Chinese lanterns hang overhead, while aluminium-screened private function rooms feature Chinese movie posters in a nod to its cinema links. Portraits of 1960s Chinese movie actresses adorn the walls, while pillars bear Chinese motifs. Tables are suitably large for communal dining, and the modern cushioned chairs are comfortable.
Service at The Cathay Restaurant is attentive, yet unobstrusive. Staff are quick to offer a change of plates after a few courses, and clearing is done efficiently. Topping up of tea is also performed proactively, without asking. I also like that staff are professional, and rather knowledgable, able to describe the ingredients in each dish with general terms.
Food at The Cathay Restaurant features fine dining Chinese Zi Char, with a predominant Cantonese and Shanghainese style to dishes. We sampled the ala-carte dinner buffet, which features an extensive menu of 62 different items. Dishes are generally well executed with good wok hei (breath of the wok), well balanced and tasty, with good quality, fresh ingredients. Costing about SGD $50 per person, the ala-carte dinner buffet is good value for money. The only catch: It has to be communal dining, the minimum number of diners is 4 people.
The Marinated Sea Whelk has a nice, pliant texture with a slight chew. But the best thing about this dish is the marinade, a spicy, slightly sour, Thai inspired chili sauce, which is a burst of bright citrus flavour and some heat.
The signature Cathay Roasted Crispy Chicken was easily the best dish of the evening. The chicken meat is moist, succulent, fragrant, and tender, coming off the bone easily. But the best part is the crispy skin, with a good salty, savoury flavour that isn't overpowering. Dip it in the slightly spicy, sour dipping sauce for maximum enjoyment. So good we couldn't stop eating it! Definitely a must-try dish here!
Overall, The Cathay Restaurant maintains the same high standards they've always been known for. With efficient, polite service in an elegant setting, it's no surprise that The Cathay Restaurant has maintained such a long, and delicious, legacy. And with 2015 being the celebrations for SG50, The Cathay Restaurant is a perfect place to celebrate whilst embracing a slice of Singapore's history.