Li Bai is one of our go-to restaurants for quiet Sunday dinners. While lunchtime will find this veteran stalwart packed to the gills, dinnertime on Sundays is comparatively tranquil and private, with just a handful of extended families dining out instead of at home.
The classically conservative Cantonese fare is exquisite and consistently flawless. Ditto for the personable service. Attentive without the intrusion, efficient without the stuffiness.
The Roasted Pork & Barbecued Meat Combination ($36) comprising roasted duck, barbecued pork, and roasted pork, with a side of marinated jellyfish, was sublime. Everything on this plate was luscious, flavourful to the bone, and absolutely scrumptious.
The Hot & Sour Soup ($12), a velvety concoction abundant with fresh scallops, prawns, sea cucumber, fish maw, and mushrooms, was an arresting mix of spicy and sour.
While the Hubs preferred the spicy sour soup, I preferred the delicate Wintermelon Thick Soup ($15), choc-a-bloc with sweet chunks of crabmeat, conpoy, silken beancurd, and egg drop.
The Thick Soup of Beancurd & Seafood ($12), choc-a-bloc with fish, crabmeat, shrimp and straw mushrooms was robust but delicate and velvety.
The meltingly soft Baked Canadian Cod ($18 per portion) was glazed with ophiopogon root and honey for a bitter-sweet contrast, and served with poached kailan and pinenuts for a little crunch.
The Chinese-Styled Pan-Fried Fillet Steak ($15 per portion) may look innocuous, but it was insanely good. Imbued with a wonderful smoky char, and burnished with an oyster-based sauce, this was tender and juicy.
A variation of the above stewed chicken in claypot, but boneless and sans any spring onions, was the Stewed Chicken with Ginger & Chinese Wine ($22 for small). Velvety rich gravy perfect with white rice.
The Sauteed Shredded Pork with Capsicum ($24 for small) was a wonderfully fragrant and well-executed stir-fry. A must-order.
The silky and soft Braised Spinach Beancurd ($20 per portion) was drenched in an opulent conpoy-enoki gravy.
The Braised Bamboo Pith with Assorted Fungus ($28 for small), champignons, straw and black mushrooms, carrots, choy sum, and black moss, was a vegetarian's dream.
The Ee-Fu Noodles ($26 for small), simply flecked with straw mushrooms and chives, was silky and scrumptious.
The Fried Rice ($28 for small) was dotted with egg white scramble, crabmeat, and conpoy was exquisite and wonderfully imbued with the "breath of wok".
The appetizer of Yam Chips ($5) costs a pretty penny, but it's addictively delicious.
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
39 Scotts Road
Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel Lower Level (the hotel sometimes calls it the "ground floor" or "level 1" but for the avoidance of doubt, it's actually the basement 1)
Tel: 6839 5623
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch;
Daily from 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Sundays from 10.30am to 2.30pm for lunch