Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canton-i: ION eatery

with Alan, Rob, Prof Horolographer

The new-ish ION Orchard was opened with much fanfare. Interestingly, though it had been touted as the most exclusive shopping mall in Singapore, I find this only true from ground floor up. The basements...and there are some 4 huge basements, are a bit cramped, and reminds me of the little underground shops inside the Tokyo subway systems...in the larger stations like Tokyo station.

The prestige and stature are given by the names who occupy floors 1 to 4, curiously only 4 floors of shopping above ground (4 more, much larger floors below ground). And the decor is equally beautiful. Tucked in one corner of Level 3, is Canton-i. A Malaysian chain serving Cantonese cuisine, the decor is certainly very elaborate, as can be seen in my pictures.

But on to the food. First the main courses for the kakis:

Carp fish balls congee

Traditional Cantonese chok...nice, starchy, smooth porridge. With some fairly large, bouncy deboned carp fish balls. I didn't try this, but Rob thought it to be quite good.

The dry wanton mee:

A bit too dry in my opinion. The noodle is fairly typical HK style, wiry noodles. And the wanton is more prawn than meat. Harry had this, so I don't know how it tasted, but he was happy.

And the soup wanton mee:

Very typical. The soup was a bit salty, but not too much. The same wiry noodles were used as in the dry version. I didn't find the dish exceptional, but not bad either.

The pork leg noodles:

The pork looked succulent, and fat...I did not try this dish, but Alan, who ordered it as his mains thought it was quite good.

We also shared the following:

Mixed roast plate:

Not a bad serving. The duck was quite tasty, the skin had the essential crispiness, and the meat had the slightly powdery feel which I found to be quite nice. The roast pork was de rigeur - but no match to those hand roasted by the folks at Overseas Restaurant. I found the char siew to be quite ordinary...but this is in comparison to the superb char siews I have been getting used to in KL recently.

Prawns in salted egg yolk

Done in a similar style to the ones I had at Zhou's Kitchen and Taste Paradise. All the right things seem to be in place - fresh, succulent prawns, savoury, rich sauce, but in the final analysis, the prawns were not special. I think those from either Zhou or Taste beats it.

Crystal dumplings:

Chives, minced meat, minced prawns in a delicate skin, steamed. Simple recipe, great product. The crystal dumplings are tasty, delicious, but again if one compares to what is available in say Lei Gardens in Hong Kong, the craft of the chef seems to be a step behind.

We also tried the fried fish:

I am not sure what fish was used, it was deep fried, but had a very dry complexion when served. The fish was very tasty. The issue I have with this dish is that they don't bother to remove the bones...which are plenty, and interfere with the enjoyment of the fish. The small chilli padi packs a punch, though.

Overall, nice decor, nice food, but I did not find the food to be spectacular in any manner. A bit pricey given the quality and taste of the food, but considering the outlet is in ION, perhaps justifiable.

Canton-i Restaurant
2 Orchard Turn
#03-14 ION Orchard
Tel: +65 6509 8368
Daily: 11am - 10pm
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