Where to eat before or after a movie at the Cathay Cineplex? We suggest Assembly Ground cafe. That was where we our brunch the other day. It is a pleasant cafe on the ground floor. Easy to find, just enter the main entrance, walk past these colourful versions of Jeff Koons’ balloon dogs and it is right in front of you. I hope these dogs are not permanent installations. While one of them is cute, the other one is not toilet trained and they don’t match the grand art deco look of the Cathay Building.
Our last visit to the Assembly Ground was years ago. It was renovated last year and is now bright and cheerful. The older look was dim and had more character. The current place is bright and colourful and is probably more practical. What remained the same was the friendly and cheerful disposition of the staff.
The Assembly Ground Menu
The Assembly Ground menu contains the usual suspects in “western food” restaurant – all day breakfast items, pasta, hamburgers and desserts.
We had a truffle scented mushroom & egg pizza ($22) and an Eggs Zoey ($16) with coffee. The orders were placed and payments made at the counter. The food and coffee were served very promptly and we could leave whenever we desired. Which is a good arrangement if there is fixed time to catch a movie without having to call for the bill, wait for the credit card machine etc.
The truffle scented mushroom & egg pizza was very good. It had a thin and crispy crust that we like. The flavours of mushroom, egg and truffles made a wonderful combination. This pizza is comparable to one from a good Italian restaurant. If we have to nitpick, it would be that the egg was a smite overcooked. It was still soft but not gooey enough.
We did not know what to expect when we ordered the Eggs Zoey. It was exactly as described in the menu – soft eggs and smoked salmon on brioche bread with some raw vegetables. It was a bland tasting dish. These eggs were at a good consistency and very gooey, but seemed to have been pre-cooked and were not warm.
The cappuccino ($5.50) at Assembly Ground was as good as what we recall them to be. With the benefit of hindsight we would have been happy with just the pizza and coffee.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
2 Handy Rd #01-21 The Cathay (1.13 km)