金悦轩海鲜酒家(拱北店)Jin Yue Xuan Restaurant, Zhuhai: Cantonese Restaurant Rated Best in Zhuhai

There are two outlets of 金悦轩海鲜酒家 Jin Yue Xuan Restaurant in Zhuhai and the 拱北店 Gongbei outlet is voted the best restaurant in the whole of Zhuhai on Da Zhong Dian Ping, which is the Yelp of China. As a Cantonese restaurant, it serves dim sum and other cooked dishes in daytime but at night, there is no dim sum. However, since Zhuhai is pretty much like Singapore where different people come together to make a living, the restaurant does serve food from other provinces in China because of customers’ demands.

On Dian Ping, most customers recommend their dim sum items but since we were there for dinner, we did not manage to eat any.

But boy! is the restaurant grand. It has a lavish entrance on the first floor, entirely empty, acting just as a reception space. On the second floor, via a lift, is the gigantic dining area with gold chandeliers.

Cantonese are known for their roast meats and Jin Yue Xuan does them well. A platter of two meats goes for ¥108. Although the quality of the char siew pork here is not comparable to Singapore’s, the taste is unique and delicious. It is a complex kind of sweetness that transforms into a piquant, appetising sourness.

I really wanted to eat roast goose since it is banned in Singapore. It tastes very much like duck except it is more tender with a heavy liver-y flavour like foie gras. Although it is more tender than duck (and tenderness usually means a high fat percentage), the goose does not feel fat or greasy, contrary to what the photograph might show. Excellent.

Recommended by the server, the 古法枝竹扣黑草羊 or traditional grass-fed black mutton cooked with bamboo (¥168) comes in a claypot so that the heat is maintained. It is rather unique, something I have not eaten before, but after two to three mouthfuls, I came to enjoy it very much and found it very delicious. The sauce tastes like sesame with Chinese wine and lemongrass and the umami of mushroom. The mutton is moist and tender; not gamy. Outstanding.

When you are almost done, you can add ¥20 to add spinach. The server will cook it in front of you. Spinach doesn’t really go with the sauce and it dilutes the sauce. So it may be better not to add.

My friend, who is from Sichuan, wanted this Sichuan specialty, 川辣海鲜毛血旺 spicy Sichuan seafood broth (¥65), which is less seafood and more pig’s blood, another banned substance in Singapore. It is acceptable to my Sichuan friend, so I guess it is okay.

We paid ¥487 for two persons. Pretty expensive for two persons, but the food is excellent and totally worth the splurge. Come in a big group: the menu is extensive and comes in big portions.

金悦轩海鲜酒家(拱北店)Jin Yue Xuan Restaurant
tel: +86-756-8133133 (or if you’re in China, 0756-8133133)
8am-3pm, 5pm-10pm daily

Food: 7.5/10
Price / value: 5.5/10
Decor / Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7/10

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