Cassia is the in-house Chinese restaurant of the 6-star Capella. The hotel, a re-purposed British barracks, is beautifully restored, so while its colonial facade is immaculately preserved, the interiors are all about modern sophistication.
The swanky restaurant is all vivid reds and inky black hues, and plush velvet and sparkling chandeliers. Its all very polished and swish, but somehow serene and breezy. Its island locale, amidst lush foliage and stunning seaviews had a lot to do with it.
As expected, service was superb: attentive, unobtrusive, and congenial. Only 1 time I informed them of my aversion to parsley, and they took extra care to let me know which dishes contained the yucky herb.
Cassia's Cantonese cuisine was top-notch as well, with many classic dishes given a novel, modern twist. All of the dishes we had were first-rate, and warranted a must-try tag. Prices may be a little on the cha-ching end of the spectrum, but I thought the extravagant touches made the resultant bill worthwhile.
The Steamed Crystal Dumpling with Vegetables ($7 for 4 pcs) was exquisite, with a translucent chewy glutinous skin swaddling a finely diced medley of spinach, carrots, radish, melon and mushrooms.
The Deep Fried Beancurd Roll with Chilean Seabass & Cheese ($8.80 for 4 pcs) was laced with parsley, but my friends liked the unexpected combination of melty cheese and swimmingly fresh fish fillet.
The Wok Fried Carrot Cake ($10.80) with chinese sausage, beansprouts and eggs, was exceptional, smoky with the subtle heat of the XO sauce and choc-a-bloc with succulent prawns and scallops.
The Steamed Barbecued Kurobuta Pork Buns with Black Truffle ($4.80 for 2 pcs) was the perfect marriage of east and west, where the sticky sweet barbecue sauce went toe-to-toe with aromatic black truffle paste weaved into the pork dice. Best steamed pork buns EVER.
The Porridge with Sliced Fish, Crabmeat & Scallop ($10.80) was homestyled comfort food elevated by unbelievably fresh seafood, and impossibly smooth gruel.
The Five-Spice Roasted Australian Yorkshire Pork Belly ($16) was magnificent as well; crackling skin, nice fat-to-meat ratio, and juicy texture.
I usually shy away from 'mee sua' because it reminds me of "sick food", but the Poached Min Sin with Prawns in Chicken Thick Broth ($16) was quite the game-changer. The soup was rich and creamy, but delicately so, and a great setup to the noodles. A couple of gargantuan prawns, and sprinkling of fried whitebait, lent crunch.
As different as night and day, the Wok-Fried Min Sin with Seafood, Lemongrass & Basil ($10) was piquant and refreshing, but also smoky with wok hei. Lovely stuff.
The Amuse Bouche of smoked duck with mango was wonderfully balanced, a fantastic start to lunch.
We shamelessly informed them of an upcoming birthday, so the birthday girl got a complimentary dessert of a Mango Sago Pomelo shooter and Custard Bun.
1 The Knolls
Capella Hotel Singapore 3rd Floor
Tel: 6591 5045
Open daily from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner