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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.
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.
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!!!
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.