No, CATO is not the martial arts-wielding manservant to Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther, but it does have the ability to take you pleasantly unawares, leaping out at you brandishing a brace of over 60 types of batch-brewed craft beers from around the world and a stunning menu of modern Asian and fusion dishes, plus some of the most unusual tapas in the city. Run by a group of friends with a love of Asian cuisine, draught Guinness and a good night out, never fear – the service here is more than friendly, and more than capable of guiding you through a selection that celebrates the collision of culinary cultures that Singapore is famous for. Find CATO, before it finds you, at its double-storey premises down South Bridge Road in Chinatown.
CATO’s premises are as much a signpost to Singapore’s cultural melting-pot of a history as its menu, occupying the two-storey heritage-listed building of the first, 1930s-era OCBC Bank down South Bridge Street. Retaining the rustic charm of the old and merging it effortlessly with the rough industrial look of the new, CATO’s a place offering guests a unique culinary experience that will long remain vivid in the mind. Spread over two storeys and 6,000 square feet, and with bustling Chinatown as a backdrop, CATO invites guests to divide their time between the spacious 52-seater restaurant and the long, long bar. It has to be long because there are fourteen taps in action here, each ready with a craft beer carefully chosen from the world’s best limited-batch breweries: Black House, Crew Republic, Schlenkerla, Fruli, and many more. CATO also collects artisanal spirits, stocking KOVAL, High West, and Bakon Vodka, among others.
The kitchen crew here is an eccentric, restless bunch – all the better, for they bring to the menu an incredible array of small (and large plates) of traditional recipes given a modern Asian Asian update, always made using only handpicked seasonal ingredients. Rading a fine line between the comfort of familiarity and the excitement of adventure, the ground shifts quickly beneath regular diners’ feet at CATO, so be sure to check back to see what’s new. Typical of the offering at this special Singapore restaurant in the heart of Chinatown are dishes like the Donnie Ducko salad, with smoked duck breast, duck confit, garden greens and fresh chilli with a yuzu and mustard dressing. Even a salad demonstrates CATO’s delicate fusion touch, but really popular standouts are the Thai-Italian tom yum prawn risotto or the straight-down-the-line Australian grilled ribeye with roasted bone marrow, baked tomatoes, garlic black pepper sauce and charred toast. This last is on the CATO’VORE list, but there are items like the pan-seared red snapper and the summer vege stack for seafood lovers and vegetarians respectively. Lest we forget, CATO do a weird and wonderful selection of tapas (cereal popcorn chicken with spicy and sweet oats, anyone?), which are ideal for an evening spent sampling the incredible drinks on offer. It might be spacious, but be sure you book some space at the curious CATO.
Had a sumptuous and filling meal with my girlfriend today. Even though we used vouchers that we won from a competition, the staff still treated us as any other customer. The ambience was romantic with the candle lights and it was an overall great experience. I would like to thank the staff who were so nice and polite. I would recommend this place to my friends
The food was excellent, and every dish was delicious with a unique and creative taste. The service was great as well, and the wine paired very nicely. Will definitely come back again.
Loved it! The lobster risotto came with an entire lobster tail, which was fresh, meaty and complemented the rest of the dish perfectly. Steak was nicely done too. Value for money with the AMEX promotion going on.
I have lost count of the number of times that I've been to CATO, and I've also lost count of the number of times I've said that I will return back with friends. This is the perfect place to socialize. Be it a heart pounding tryst, an ego celebration, or even a night of blissful solitude to collect one's thoughts while sipping your clam chowder and elegantly stuffing your face with their delicious loaded fries. CATO. An oasis where you realize yourself.
Modern, open, spacious setting with tasty food for sharing with friends. We went for small plates such as crispy squid with Thai glaze, tempura prawns and Cato wings, plus a big plate - Lobster risotto. They only have one dessert - oozy chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream, but it's a goodie. All were delicious washed down with prossecco and shiraz. I'll be back to try some other items on the menu that took my fancy.
The restaurant was not crowded hence the ambience was good and we could chat in peace. The food took quite long to comr around 20 to 30mins. Luckily the food was good. The risotto was moist and plump and tasty while the pork cheek was chewy and delicious. There was only one dessert on the menu. Would advise the restaurant to add more desserts.
Service was a bit laggy, even though there were no more than 3 tables. The pineapple pork curry rice was terrible. Also, it leaves a bad taste when told that tap water was chargeable at $3 when we have spent more than $300 for 5... Other than that, the rest of the dish (especially the lobster risotto), drinks and ambience was great.
While the drink selection is rather limited for a restaurant of such setting, the food was amazing. The pricing of the food was also generous. Will definitely go again.
Food was amazing, 3 rounds of ordering. So good, couldn't stop eating. Fried squid, beer fries, Cato wings and good wine with awesome music! Finally coming back again!
Great ambiance with great food! Really a hidden gem along the shop houses... Will go back for more, esp their tapas and not forgetting -- Oysters!!!