We have not heard of Lingnan cuisine until we read the review of Circa 1912 in the 11 May 2018 article in the Business Times “A taste of old-world Chinese cooking“. According to that article, the person behind the restaurant is “food scholar-turned-restaurateur David Yip, … And unless you’re well-schooled in the minutiae of knife skills … and have access to (and can read) centuries’ old recipes, you just have to take his word for it that Circa 1912 adheres to the same painstaking kitchen artistry of chefs in Lingnan, China.” Circa 1912 takes over the space previously occupied by Lucky 8 in Shaw Centre. You can read about our visit to Lucky 8 here. Curious about what exactly is Lingnan cuisine, we set out to try it.
Circa 1912 menu
The restaurant space of Circa 1912 looks roughly the same as what we remembered Lucky 8 to be – practical and neat. Here are pictures of some pages from the Circa 1912 menu. We selected items from the different sections of the menu.
These are two dim sum dishes – wor bao ($6) and steamed radish cake ($5.80). The hor bao looked like a deconstructed bao. The skin of the bao was fluffy and well made but the taste of the contents were so so. The radish cake was better – light and tasty.
The final dim sum item that day was the yam puffs. The skin was nice, crisp and light but we thought that the yam taste was rather mild.
We tried the Golden Coin Chicken that was highly spoken about in the BT review. They were quite pricey – $5 for each “golden coin” which looked like skewered pieces of bak kua. I am afraid we did not share the enthusiasm of the BT reviewer. The coins were made of layers of lard, chicken liver and pork. We found the taste of the liver to be overpowering and the overall taste too salty.
The quick fried roast pork with tofu and chives ($18) from the “Home Cooked” section was a better choice.
Finally we had the pan-fried bee hoon and seafood ($18). This was the best dish of the day. The bee hoon had been fried to achieve a ‘wok hei’ flavour before the gravy and seafood was added.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
#03-07/11, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road
Tel: +65 6836 3070
11:30am – 02:30pm
05:30pm – 10:00pm
Nearby MRT Station: Orchard
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