Canton I is one of my most favorite restaurants for a while now, more then a year actually and I must say I have frequented the place with friends and family at least 20 times or more on various occasions, be it birthdays or get togethers or just wanting to go out to eat.
Today is my Dad’s birthday so we Aunty Beth offered to buy dinner and of course me as usual was not to happy as I had to miss two class at the gym to have dinner, something I seldom like to do, so I suggested Canton I, as I knew the food would be small portions and I could disseminate the food to others without having to over eat.
So after a horrendous trip there courtesy of my brother Keith whose short cut took so much time we could have actually flown to Singapore, we finally reached and what bliss it was when we entered the car park and there was a park waiting for us.
It was a good thing too that Canton I was not crowded as it usually is. There was place and we did not have to squeeze through the crowd. So we were seated right in the middle of the place and ok I start with the negative first. They gave five of us two menus. Now I do not understand why they do such things but they did. Perhaps the menus are big so they wanted to save space but still the fact that our waitress who was pleasant but did not do anything to make us more comfortable by giving us enough menus to discuss what we wanted was a sore point. We had to ask her for more menus which she duly got for us.
Then I asked her for the menu sheet which I know they usually use but she wanted to take the order down manually. Now to me, this made things difficult as it would have been easier to make us tick what we wanted after discussing with each other. Nevertheless, we did make our choices albeit missing out a few things which would have meant more sales for the Canton I.
So here are the photos of our food. We started out with the famous Siew Yoke. Now I must say the Siew Yoke is still one of the best I have had and I am not even a Siew Yoke person. This time however, we had more pieces of meat compared to the last time I was there, which was a few days before Chinese New Year when I went there with a friend from London and then on Chinese New Years day when I went there again four days later with friends from Singapore. Today it was back to normal. Now the meat and the fat ratio is almost 1:2. For some reason I think that seems to be the right combination of getting the right taste. Now the more then 20 times I have been there, I failed to actually examine the skin and eat it on its own so I shall not comment, but it’s still wonderfully crispy and not teeth breaking like some places.
The came my favorite Loh Pak Koh (Fried Radish). This is always really good except once or twice when it was a bit salty, but the radish is fried to a slight crisp, and then refried together. Alas its not the healthiest way of cooking but think of every time you have something nice and crispy, I bet you its been refried. No complaints today, it was perfect. Wish they would put in more bean sprouts though.
We ordered two bowls of congee. One was fish balls and fish and the other was fish balls with century eggs, but for some reason I did not notice it looking anything like it did in the photos. I believe Chan our pretty waitress took the wrong order. I did not want to make a scene and the parents would get riled up and a big scene would ensue. Now the congee (it’s not PORIDGE) is simply silken and thick and while you get to taste the rice but you don’t see it. It is thick but not starchy, kind of milky yet you know they use good rice and not leftover rice like some places. They use three types of rice to make the congee. Now the fish balls are made of Dace Fish. You get the taste of it but its not overpowering and fishy. I am not a fishball person but this one I like. You see the fish meat and you can chew it unlike normal fishballs which has nothing but starch flour and artificial flavoring.
Then the Yau Char Kway (Crispy Fried Crullers) came. Now this is the best you can get in town. Its almost like a bread although Aunty Beth did remark the smell of Alkaline ( kan chui) was rather strong. It was actually, because I took a whiff but you did not taste it. Kan Chui is used in a number of our local kuihs as well. Paying RM3 for Yau Char Kway can be a bit daunting when you are used to paying nothing more then RM1 or even less around town. But this one is really nice, and clean looking. I can go on and on about it, so much so I forgot to take a photo of it. Shocking as well seeing that we had two plates full and I completely forgot.
Then was Char Liung. Now the last time I had Char Liung at Canton I, it was horribly salty as they had given us the wrong soy sauce, so after that I did not order it again. This time it was the right soy sauce but I am used to a slightly thicker coating of Cheong Fun over my Yau Char Kway but somehow, this time it was not to be. The Cheong Fun coating was almost inexistent, in fact it was almost transparent. It was still nice though. I cannot complain. I did think the soy sauce we dipped in should have been more flavorful like the ones I have eaten in Australia and in one other place in PJ.
The Har Kau (Prawn Dumplings) was somehow not as good as other days. It was nice if you have not been to Canton I before, but since I am a regular, I know it could be better. The prawn was crunchy but not as flavorful as before. Perhaps the fact that it is a Monday may have something to do with it.
The Leek and Prawn Dumplings I got because of the sudden need to eat vegetables, and while I am used to a nice big prawn almost like eating Har Kau with Leeks, today it was somehow not there at all. The prawns were smaller. While there was a few prawns in the dumpling, but somehow small prawns to me just did not do it. Aunty Beth did not eat it as she did not like leeks. We ordered two baskets of everything of course.
The Prawn in Beancurd skin was next. Now this dim sum came earlier but since it was hot no one touched it, and after almost ten minutes, it was still piping hot and smoky that when Aunty Beth ate it, she actually burnt her tongue. Such is the beancurd wrapping in keeping in the heat. So be careful when you eat it. Once again, I think I have had better at Canton I. Somehow when I ate it, the beancurd skin was a little too tough for my liking. Usually even when it is soaked in the sauce, there is a slight crunch to it. This was not the case today. I do not know why but again the prawns were the culprit. It was not bad of course but I have eaten better in Canton I.
Char Siu Pao was as usual good, I did not bother eating it but everyone liked it. It had just the right amount of meat and bread as usual. So no complaints here at all. It was piping hot that my camera lense was misted by it.
Now the sorepoint was the Crispy Fu Chok with Prawns. Now I have had this before and there would be a big nice prawn inside each piece. Today there was none. Really there was hardly any prawn in each Fu Chok pouch. Once it came to the table and I saw how flat it was, I knew something was wrong. This was really disappointing. Too much Fu Pei, it was all over the place. I am sure if I go on another day it would be different. I will make sure I check it out next time I am there. Again the prawn was the culprit here.
By the way forgot to mention, our waitress forgot our noodles. And by the time we rectified it, it was too late. We had already lost interest. So no noodles for the birthday boy.
Finally dessert! Now for sure everyone knows I am a fan of desserts, and so is the rest of the family, but because our order was taken the way it was, we had no time to order our other favorites. I will talk about this the next time I go there. So we only ordered the salted egg steamed buns. Now I just love the taste of these buns and the salted egg mixture flowing out like lava is simply a sight. However we were unlucky today, as our waitress was slow in giving us new plates so by the time we opened up out salted egg buns the egg mixture had thickened. This is a typical example of a spoilt meal experience. The buns nice of course except nothing flowed out. The nice salty yet sweet taste of the egg in a slightly sweet bun is simply wonderful. The photo shows one bun, because everyone grabbed it before I could shoot it.
All in all, Canton I is still a favorite of mine. I don’t mind going there again in a few days time if given the chance but I have to watch my girth since today I was told I resemble a certain bodybuilders brother!
Try Canton I. I am a fussy pot, and yet I may grumble about certain things, I will still highly recommend it.