Address: 30/F, iSQUARE, 63 Nathan Road, TsimShaTsui彌敦道63號iSQUARE 國際廣場30樓3001號舖
Telephone: 2487 3688
Conveniently situated in iSquare in TsimShaTsui and readily accessible by MTR, Nanhai No.1 is known for its reliable, tasty contemporary Chinese cuisine, charming and idyllic interior design and its panoramic sea view.
Nanhai No.1 is named after the pioneering Chinese naval explorer Zheng He’s 15th-century ‘treasure fleet’ Nanhai No.1, and this name is a metaphor for a culinary voyage of exploration inspired by the sea. This restaurant is part of the Elite Concepts group, whose other distinguished ventures include ye shanghai, cinecitta and 1/5 nuevo. Nanhai No. 1’s chef used to work at the reputable Chinese restaurant, Lei Garden, and praises heaped upon the delicate Chinese soups on the menu. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any soup when we went, as we only knew about this after our visit. The high standards of food has earned Nanhai No. 1 one Michelin star in 2012.
When I called the restaurant to make a booking, I was told that tables by the window would require a minimum spending of $500 per head. I personally thought it was a rip-off, as you should not be charged extra for the sea view which is one of the major attractions of the restaurant! We opted for a table further from the window, and the view was still spectacular where we were. However, apart from this initial glitch, everything else was great, and the food at Nanhai No. 1 was very moderately priced for a Michelin one-starred restaurant.
The waiter who served us was sincere and welcoming, and eagerly recommended many stir-fried and pan-fried dishes to my friends who were visiting from London. He was perhaps stereotyping a bit when he suggested that foreigners prefer fried dishes, but I thought he had good intentions!
(1) For appetiser, we had a Crispy Shredded Yam ($48) which was elegantly perched on a white porcelain dish. It was beautifully fried and gorgeously crispy, and what I particularly adored was the thick, syrupy sauce which turned this savoury dish into a sugary relish!
(2) What followed was this Honey Glazed Pork ($118). The meat was incredibly tender, and was matched with a marvellous soy sauce that was a touch sweet. My friends from London thought that it was simple and brilliant!
(3) It was love at first sight with this Camphor Smoked Duck from Chengdu ($160). The meat was velvety, and while most ducks I eat tend to be fat-laden, this one was not fatty at all! The duck had an alluring smokey and soy sauce taste, and there was just so much depth and finesse in its taste! I also enjoyed eating the adorable steamed buns that we used to sandwich the duck, which were sweet and puffy. Try, however, to eat the buns quickly as they become cold and dry after a while.
(4) This racy Pan-fried Oyster Cake ($148) had a fantastic crunch on the outside, while the inside was filled with pillowy, soft and smooth baby oysters. Dipped in a homemade Thai-style sweet and sour sauce, this dish was an addictive oriental delight!
(5) This classic Pan-fried Noodles with Scallops and Tender Greens ($158) showed off the chef’s techniques and was excellently crispy and well cooked. I personally adored eating the slices of bamboo shoots (“筍”), which were refreshing and had an appealing crunch.
(6) The Pan-fried Rice with Shrimps and Cheese ($160) looked a bit pale, but the strong flavour of butter made it incredibly delicious! This is definitely one dish that would make all dieters cringe. It was expertly pan-fried, and the prawns were crispy and succulent. My only complaint was that while the butter taste was abound, it was deficient in the taste of cheese.
(7) For dessert, we ordered this delicate Wolfberry and Snow Fungus with Osmanthus Pudding ($48). It had a refreshing and floral taste, and my friends T and M thought it tasted like iced-tea jelly! My lack of knowledge in Chinese ingredients made me struggle in explaining to my friends what the dessert was made of. I had to google on the spot, and found out that Wolfberry is “枸杞” in Chinese, and has Chinese medicinal properties such as improving blood circulation, energising your body, and improving your liver’s and eyes’ conditions. Snow fungus (“雪耳”) is a fungus with a smooth texture which is commonly used in Chinese dessert, and Osmanthus (“桂花”) is a type of flower which could be used in Chinese medicine to clear your throat and stop coughs.
Conclusion: Sleek and stylish, Nanhai No. 1 is the destination for scrumptious, contemporary Chinese food and a breathtaking sea view. I am hoping that the one Michelin star will be theirs to keep for the next few years!