Mention Li Bai and you will get one of two responses. It’s either the name of an illustrious poet from the eras of the Tang Dynasty, or the sumptuous Cantonese cuisine well received at a restaurant in Sheraton Towers. The restaurant’s history at Sheraton Towers goes back a very long way and is popularly known for its dim sum, and a very relaxing ambience. As a whole, Li Bai draws inspiration from ancient regal China, where its dishes emphasise wholesome, invocative flavours that builds on the strengths of every ingredient.
I started off with the Deluxe Combination, comprising a set of deep fried salted crab claw and scallop with black truffle. I particularly enjoyed the crab claw for its crispy nature and intense savoury flavour that simply burst upon the bite.
The pan seared scallop with truffle was a delicate combination that stood decently on its own. Though, in terms of flavour, I reckon more could be done in the memorable department.
The Braised Thick Soup of Bird’s Nest with Homemade “Pi Pa” Beancurd was served up as an introduction to alternatives of Shark’s Fin. With a flavour that reminded me of a thick savoury seafood soup, the broth was smooth and tasty. It went better with a dash of vinegar, and could liven up flavours with a tad more pepper. The Pi Pa Beancurd contrasted the texture slightly and lent a slight nutty flavour to the overall composition.
I was almost jumping for “joy” with the next presentation of Baked Fillet of Kurobuta in Capsicum. My undying love for bell peppers (not) proved unfounded as I managed to make my well well through this dish. The kurobuta was tender in its own right with a lovely smoky fragrance. And yes, I attempted the sliced bell peppers in all forms and was pleasantly surprised by it – maybe due to the savoury sauce that contrasted its raw garden taste. The base contained a hidden spread of leeks that accentuated the flavours of pork very well.
Thumbs up for the Braised Assorted Vegetables with Bird’s Nest. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish through and through. Crisp, crunchy textures in a light savoury sauce unveiled a refreshing flavour in this creation. I thought it was a good contrast to the heavier kurobuta served previously.
When the next serving of Crispy Noodles Rolled with Lobster was served up, everyone at the table was visually impressed. It truly is a sight to notice plates of lobsters standing upright being served. I would give my hearty approval for this dish as I am clear fan of crispy noodles, though some might think there is a tad too much noodle as compared to lobster meat.
Desserts for the night was a preview assortment of Snowskin mooncakes. There was the Mini White Lotus Seed Paste with Champagne Truffle, Mini White Lotus Seed Paste with Cranberry and Chrystanthemum Truffle and the Mini Green Tea White Lotus Seed Paste with Raspberry Rum Truffle. The Raspberry stood out for its slight tartness, contrasting well with the sweet lotus seed paste. An interesting and unique creation.
A sneak preview at the upcoming mooncakes from Li Bai! More to come in another article.
The cuisine at Li Bai was definitely unique and an interesting attempt at invocative textures and flavours. It was an eye opener towards what more the restaurant can offer, and I look forward to making a return especially for its dim sum. As a restaurant getaway with the family, this is one location to consider if you have a dinner to host and are looking for savoury wholesome flavours that would please the majority of palates. For the mooncakes, more shall be said in another article but I’m sure you can just whet appetites with some visual stimuli.
Thank you Sheraton Towers for the invitation
|Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Hotel
39 Scotts Road
Tel: 6839 5623