Tai Pai Tong in Cantonese directly translates to open-air food stall in English. The restaurant is one-of-its-kind, providing Western specialities with traditional Asian street-stall flavors. At Tai Pai Tong, they offer homey-style comfort food, particularly fresh seafood and grilled dishes that are the talk of the city. The peak times are during the dinner, during which they provide set appetising multi-course menus with their signature dishes for two or even bigger groups of people.
We have visited Tai Pai Tong 4-5 times so far and each time we are lucky to be treated with a different lunch set menu, each time. The weekly lunch set, comes with a Salad, Soup, Main Course and Desert. Guests can even pay a little extra for the Fresh Seafood Platter, which is one of the restaurant's signature dishes.
I went for the Baked Prawns with Egg Fried Rice in a Tom Yum Sauce.
Both the salad and soup were appetising. Simple, but addicting. I did not expect the seafood and fruit combination would work out, however I was pleasantly surprised. The shrimp and papaya were fresh and cool and the lightly-flavored sweet balsamic dressing was enjoyable. The soup was also commendable, but the flecks of fish pieces with the black skin was a little bit disturbing. Nonetheless, it was rich, creamy and everything you would expect out of a good soup.
The Fried Rice, without a blink of an eye, stole the show. It's hard to describe the experience of feasting on the rice. The smell wafted into my nose as the waiter placed the dish in front of my eyes and I was practically drooling. It is sooooo good. A symphony of Chinese and South-east Asian cuisine. The chewiness and softness of the eggs, prawns and rice. The subtle aftertaste of the Tom Yum. I have never tried a variation of the Tom Yum Soup, but this has to be the best way to integrate it into another dish.
Overall, it was a great experience dining at Tai Pai Tong. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very relaxing, with the chatty friendly male waiters and the simple layout which puts all focus on the food. If you are looking for comfort food with a twist, this is the place to go.
50 Jardine's Bazaar