Hua Ting Restaurant

Everyone has a stockpile of fail-safe Chinese restaurants that they can hit for a grand dinner, and Hua Ting is one sturdy restaurant that you can include confidently in that list. It possesses an old-world, grand-but-slightly-antiquated vibe which makes you feel as if time moves more slowly. The furniture is vaguely Western, but the food is unmistakably and authentically Chinese. The menu is extensive, but by no means non-expensive (though worth forking out for). The deep fried shredded duck roll with golden mushroom was competent, and the vegetarian dish that’s a departure from the usual—the braised bamboo pith with yu er and seasonal greens—was tender and tasty. However, the star of the dinner had to be the live local baby lobsters which were juicy and delicious. The busy but attentive servers even helped to remove the flesh from the lobsters. The sautéed fresh scallops with fresh pear and apple provided an excellent marriage of sweetness and succulence. End your meal with the sweetened cream of walnuts and sago, and you’ll see why this institution still holds out over the years and why you can even do a bit of celeb-spotting here.

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