Nostalgic Dim Sum Lunch At The Cathay Restaurant Singapore

It may not be known to many Singaporeans that The Cathay Restaurant served European fare when it was first opened in 1940. The restaurant only started serving Chinese cuisine after it closed for renovations and re-opened In 1951. Back then, it was Singapore’s finest Chinese restaurant, specialising in Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine with a dance floor and a resident band which would entertain every night with popular Chinese songstresses such as Ruby Wah in attendance. Long gone are those days but the restaurant continues to dish out delicious dim sum on level 2 of The Cathay – a space that straddles both the original heritage facade and new building, weaving an interesting union of past and present.

The Cathay Restaurant - AspirantSG

Amidst the modern setting, The Cathay also features nostalgic images of former Cathay film stars and Cathay movie scenes and there are also five private dining rooms named after Cathay’s cinemas in the past; Pavilion, Majestic, Odeon, Ruby and Regal.

The Cathay Interior - AspirantSG

To sample its dim sum offerings, my cousin and I visited the restaurant during its lunch time opening hours. We were pleasant surprised by its range of dim sum items available. To buy time, we ordered a Century Egg Porridge ($5.00) to share while we strategise our dim sum brunch adventure! The folks here are pretty generous with their century egg and the porridge was more than enough for 2.

Century Egg Porridge The Cathay Restaurant - AspirantSG

We made a quick check on the signature dim sum dishes with our friendly waitress before submitting our dim sum wish list. The first of our appetiser to arrive was Fried Carrot With Bean Sprout and XO Chilli Sauce ($10).The secret to this dish lies in the awesome flavour from the XO chilli sauce. The crunchy bean sprouts complemented the soft inner texture of the carrot cake perfectly. This, my friend is a die die must order!

Fried Carrot With Bean Sprout and XO Chilli Sauce The Cathay - AspirantSG

The Deep-fried Fillet Of Sea Perch with Wasabi Salad Cream ($8) looks good but wasn’t that fantastic. It is an innovative try but fried fish fillet and wasabi salad cream is not exactly the best combination.

Deep-fried Fillet Of Sea Perch with Wasabi Salad Cream The Cathay - AspirantSG

How can we not order the standard SOP Dim Sum dishes. True to the name, Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling (4 pieces for $5.60) contains fresh, succulent prawns. It would definitely be a lot better if the dumpling skin can be made thinner.

Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling The Cathay - AspirantSG

These Steamed Siew Mai With Crab Roe (4 pieces for $5.20) reminded me of my childhood days when I had siew mai from my primary school canteen. Of course, those were not as luxurious with crab roe. Tender and juicy, these bite-sized munches goes extremely easy on the mouth.

Steamed Siew Mai With Crab Roe The Cathay - AspirantSG

Steamed Bean Skin Roll with Oyster Sauce (3 pieces for $4.20) are pretty new to me. Sweet and nice to chew on.

Steamed Bean Skin Roll with Oyster Sauce The Cathay - AspirantSG

The Wantons In Vinaigrette Sauce (3 pieces for $4.50) are good for the health conscious. They are a lot less oily and command a strong vinegar taste.

Wanton In Vinaigrette Sauce The Cathay - AspirantSG

You will find it hard to resist the allure of Steamed Scallop Dumpling (3 pieces for $4.80). How can one say no to the springy texture of fresh scallop?

Steamed Scallop Dumpling The Cathay - AspirantSG

We were wowed by their Steamed Yolk Cream Bun (3 piece for $4.20)! Delicious hot liquid yolk cream was practically oozing out from the bun! Anything with egg yolk cream taste good…..

Steamed Yolk Cream Bun The Cathay - AspirantSG

Steamed Prawn Rice Roll ($5.50) – bountiful fresh prawns enclosed in rice roll soaked in sweet light soy sauce.

Steamed Prawn Rice Roll The Cathay - AspirantSG

Deep-fried Prawn Roll With Mango (3 pieces for $4.80) satisfies our lust for something deep-fried. The mango adds a refreshing twist to the otherwise run-on-the-mill taste of fried prawn roll.

Deep-fried Prawn Roll With Mango The Cathay - AspirantSG

We ordered the Cranberry Mini Piggy Buns (4 pieces for $4.20) for the fun factor.

Piggy Buns The Cathay - AspirantSG

They are great for camwhoring!


As much as we would love to try everything on the menu, there is only so much that we can stomach. But there is always room for a sweet ending. We had Chilled Mango Cream With Sago and Pamelo ($4.80), Chilled Lemon Grass Jelly In Young Coconut ($6.80) and Chilled Coconut Jelly served in Young Coconut ($6.80). 

Desserts At The Cathay - AspirantSG

Overall, it was a wonderful dim sum brunch experience at The Cathay Restaurant. We love the spacious modern interior, the attentive service staff and the surprisingly wide variety of dim sum. If you are interested to check them out, here are the full details of the restaurant:

The Cathay Restaurant

Address: The Cathay 2 Handy Road #02-01 Singapore 229233

Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm (Mon – Fri) & 10am – 5pm, 6pm – 11pm (Sun & Public Holidays)

Tel: +65 67327888

Email: [email protected]


You may also like to check out my posts on other delicious food places here

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