In the year after it first opened to the public in 2016, I must have dined at Canton Road every other month. I was quite enamored with the restaurant’s lush interiors, flooded with daylight during the day, and at night, dramatic with all the colors deepened.
Its private rooms became the venue for both parties and meetings alike. I’d surprise my friends and colleagues with its signature desserts, in particular, the sweet salted egg cream that arrived in irresistibly cute Panda-shaped dumplings. And the food? So elegantly served, with the finest service: some of the finest Cantonese dishes I’ve enjoyed anywhere.
But it’s been a while since my last visit, and I have to admit, I was remiss. And I realized that I’d really missed the restaurant. I ventured back recently to sample the restaurant’s new Sichuan, Huaiyang and Mingnan specials, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was akin to reuniting with an old friend, renewing ties, and rediscovering why I liked Canton Road so much right from the very beginning—and finding new things to love.
The updated menu is representative of the restaurant’s bestsellers, along with distinct new entrees. The restaurant’s Chinese Executive Chef, Wang Wei Quing has travelled beyond borders, and is now using non-traditional ingredients, along with premium Philippine produce: mangoes and coconuts, to enrich the Canton Road journey.
The sweet mangoes were excellent in a crisp roll, paired with deep-fried cod fish, a play on freshness and crispness, a tease on the palate when dipped in the accompanying wasabi cream sauce. That, along with the deeply flavorful slow-roasted lamb shank, infused with a blend of traditional and exotic herbs and spices, get my votes as the two most satisfying among the new dishes.
There are hundreds of new restaurants that open every year, but only a handful make it past the first couple of years. And only the most deserving, like this one, really last. It’s on a higher gear in its fifth year, and I can’t wait to find out where this new road will take me.