Holland Village is probably one of those rarities in Singapore where fast food chains like KFC, Burger King and then Wendy’s don’t survive. So in place of the former Wendy’s location is a new fusion Cantonese styled restaurant by Li Bai. Personally, the name doesn’t strike me as “appetizing” nor imaginative, but if the food is good who cares?
Like I said, its pretty much a Cantonese restaurant with fusion elements like truffle beef noodles, Yuzu Char Siew and Illy coffee. Of course, it has the standard Dim Sum, rice and noodles fair. Personally, truffle flavor is the other over-priced and done to death flavors currently in vogue, together with salted egg yolks stuff.
So, I had their recommended mango and prawn roll. The skin was very light and crispy and not oily at all. The prawn was plump and has a good bite, but seasoned bit too salty if you ate it by yourself. I found that the mango was not sweet or fragrant enough to balance the saltiness of the prawns. Also the mango in the first roll was a bit on the sour side. Added to that, the garnish looks really sad; I mean garnish yes, but it must look fresh. Attention to details is lost here. Overall, I get a crispy and light salty prawn roll with a tint of either sweet or sour taste mango.
Next up are the duo signature buns of braised pork and salted egg yolk shrimp. The braised pork was soft juicy, but quite ordinary. Also it lacks the kick of parsley flavors for me. The shrimp was firm, the crust was crispy and you can taste the egg yolk sauce. Overall, I think they are pretty ordinary given that 2 buns cost around $10. Also the filling should be bigger; it should either be the same size as the bun or bigger because the filling will tend to be the first thing your finish and leaving only the buns near the end if its not big enough.
Still feeling hungry, I order a classic preserved meat claypot rice. It came rather quickly, which means that rice is pre-cooked and would not have been infused with aroma of the preserved meat. There are some flavored sauces drizzling into the rice to add flavors, but it was not enough. For one, the rice below kale has no flavors from the sauce and the rice was still rather dry and bland despite mixing up everything. I had to ask for dark sauce to make the rice more moist and palatable. Its a pretty sub-par dish if you ask me.
At the end of your meal, you get a fortune cookie with this rather quirky quote.
Overall, I understand that they are trying to bring in a hip and updated element of Cantonese cuisine. Perhaps the dishes, tastes and attention to details will evolve over time to be more outstanding, but at the moment, the dishes that I had just didn’t peek my interest enough for a recommendation.