Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Canton - i, The Gardens, Midvalley

Piggy Buns! This is a familiar sight for those who have patronized the Dragon-i or Canton-i chain. A bit moody recently so I hope I can be as objective as possible while writing this post and avoid criticizing too heavily. I will be as merciful to you, Canton-i after crossing paths a week ago.

Canton-i is mainly a Chinese restaurant chain which focus on Cantonese styled cuisine, taking pride into having close resemblance to the authentic dishes from Hong Kong and also the Guangzhou province. This is slightly different from its sister company, Dragon-i which boast in its Shanghai and other province for China, namely Szechuan cuisines. This is not surprising at all as Dragon-i's name is ‘LONG TI CHUAN REN' (Descendant of the Dragon)

Normally I wouldn't patronize this places while I was still a university student. Reason was mainly because I do not eat out often as one need to budget her PTPTN loan allocated for every semester. And once I go out, it would be non-Chinese food definitely. Anyway who would pay almost RM15 for a plate of roasted pork rice right? But apparently in KL, many are willing to do so, judging by the crowd. This place was near full house at 12pm on a Saturday!!

So well patronized until their Angry Birds bun was sold out! Must be a well hit among the kids... and those young at heart like me!

The drinks - 笼的传人 (named after their sister restaurant name) is actually a combination of Dragon Fruit (thus the word Dragon in its Chinese name), passion fruit and lemon. It has very fruity and refreshing taste with a slight tinge. Except for the price (RM12), I have no complaints on this drink. Ice lemon tea (RM4.50) is ideal for those who do not wish to try their out of the norm beverages.

As I mentioned, the main courses here range from RM10-20 depending on how many portion of meaty accompaniment you wish to go along with your rice, egg noodles or congee. I can't read Chinese but from the photo, its clear that you should not leave this place without trying their roasted pork series. And some of my friends really worshiped their Char Siew and Siew Yoke.

Perhaps its more of the ambiance and presentation though. I tasted them and was not really impressed at all. I have tasted char siews and siew yoke way better than the version here. The 2 meat rice combination of Honey Glazed Roasted Pork (charsiew) + Roast Pork Belly (siewyoke) came with half of a stewed hard boiled egg and some greens (RM13.80). Lean meat were used - the lack of fat layers may appease the health freaks but may disappoint pure food connoisseur at the same time.

Not convinced? Read and try this Char Siew:

Or if you are from Ipoh, try this for one of the best crackling skin siew yoke here:

Stewed Beef Noodles (RM13.80) was a letdown as well. Undoubtedly the portion was quite big. But the noodles texture paled in comparison. I have high expectation since they are charging a bomb but they failed to deliver. The noodles was a bit "dry" and far from being springy (QQ texture). The egg noodles texture from franchise like OldTown White Coffee is way better than this to play fair in comparison. The stewed beef is flavourful and robust in terms of gravy but the meat texture is another failure. I somehow expected mass production in the kitchen but never thought they would overlook the aspect of properly thawing/reheating their chunks of meat. The consequences was the solidified fat layers which is sandwiched or at the edge of the meat. A bit turn off since the meat texture was not very appealing either.

Disappointed with their mains. Now hoping the items offered in the Dim Sum section will do them some justice. The Piggy Bun (RM6.80) is actually red bean paste bun. Nothing really special except for the appearance. Since you have been paying a premium for this item, make sure you really snap more picture of it, camwhore with it if you have too. :p

Finally, the saving grace - their Lao Shar Bao (Egg Yolk and Custard Bun) was not only reasonably priced (RM5.80), it tasted quite decently too. They really took a step to be different by using purple colouring and making it look like a mantau from the decorative lines. I don't blame you if you think this is Yam Paste Bun at one glance.

But once you puncture and do a slight tear to the bun, you can see the golden elixir flowing from within, oozing out with its bright hue and creamy aftertaste. A very good balance of buttery and creaminess and strong aroma of salted egg yolk used - its neither sweet not savoury, which makes the taste unique. And this explain why this is in my must-order list in dim sum eateries.

Total bill came to RM67 for 2 person (10% service charge and 6% GST imposed). I don't think I will be returning to this place again, even though rumours have it that they will open an outlet in Ipoh. I still think the best street food should be sourced from their natural "habitat", and handled by the skilled hawkers. Perhaps KLites really have high living standards and its in their blood to spend for an RM20 Nasi Lemak (Madam Kwan), RM1+ per piece kuihs (Nyonya Colours) and RM15 egg noodles like the one I had it here. Low earning Ipohians better stick back to our own food heaven and not cross the turf to the metropolitan lifestyle. :)

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