Canton Table is a high-end Cantonese restaurant within Three on the Bund. It’s a glamorous space with decor inspired by Shanghai’s Shikumen buildings, with of course, the Bund’s glitzy flair. Helming the kitchen is Master Chef Eason Man, who holds more than 30 years of vast knowledge and solid experience of traditional Cantonese cuisine.
The latest opening from Three on the Bund group, Canton Table is yet another Cantonese restaurant trying to modernize the classics. But before you sigh at the thought of more dim sum and barbecued pork (which in our opinion is never enough), hear this: the food is excellent, and the prices are much lower than you’d expect at a Bund-side establishment known for its high-caliber, upmarket venues. Here, dim sum plates start at RMB22.
About that dim sum—it is damn good. There are crusty milk buns (RMB36) packed with sweet charsiu (roast pork) and tangy pineapple, and steamed dumpling purses filled with veggies that gleam like gems in their crystal-clear shells (RMB28), and egg custard tarts topped with delicate slices of black truffle (RMB42). All divine.
Main dishes rival the dim sum. Like most Cantonese restaurants, the menu is massive, so let’s stick to the standouts. First, the must-order salt-baked free range chicken (RMB268 for a whole bird) is crispy-skinned, amply salted beauty, presented in a way that’ll have you grabbing for your camera as flames lick the edge of the brass dish.
Starters of cloud-like, melt-in-your-mouth tofu puffs on a bed of perfectly fried garlic (RMB58) and deep-fried Yunnan mushroom spring rolls wrapped in crunchy bean curd skin (RMB48) make for the ideal way to begin your meal. Both dishes are easy crowd pleasers.
The barbecued and roasted pork (RMB128), a quintessential dish for any Cantonese restaurant, is simple but wonderfully done. The roast pork is capped with a golden crackly skin, to be dipped in a light mustard sauce, and the honey barbecued pork plump and juicy. The pan-fried lotus cakes with water chestnuts (RMB88) are savory little pork patties of pleasing textures, with tender bites of minced and mashed meat assuaged by a crunch from the root veggies. The list of masterful favorites goes on and on.
One last hot tip: don’t miss the sugar artist’s ornate works of burnt caramel creations (or at least take a moment to watch him work).
The look of Canton Table almost outdoes the superbness of its fare. Colossal flowers and Shanghai ladies in jewel-toned clothing painted directly onto brick and cement walls make for an edgy but sophisticated look that lends a bold stylistic counterpoint to glass museum-style cases bearing Chinese antiques.
Altogether, the design creates a unique setting reflecting a difficult-to-achieve success that can come from meshing old world ornaments with modern artwork verging on street-style.
The main dining room is enough for entertaining groups of up to eight, even 10 per table, but if it’s privacy you seek, there are also plenty of private rooms for that.
Address: 5F, Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (near Guangdong Lu) 中山东一路3号5楼 (近广东路)