古琢 Old Days has three branches in Zhuhai and the one at 南方软件 Southern Software Park is the flagship. In China, there is so much ugliness everywhere–rude people, pollution, construction, and constant roadworks–that when you find a haven such as this, there is an immense sense of relief.
The flagship is on the first floor of a co-working space in a container. How hip is it! On the inside, it is equally tastefully done. It’s a huge space and at the front where there is a platform for performances, there is a British red telephone booth and a gigantic teddy bear about 2.5m tall. On one side of the restaurant, an eclectic assortment of armchairs, couches, tables, chandeliers, etc, add to the character of the place.
Different from other restaurants, they actually highlight the chefs behind the restaurant. Even in Michelin-starred restaurants in Macau, I had to scour to find out about the chefs. Chefs are just workers in China and they don’t get as much individual credit as in the West or in Singapore. The two chefs here are Jordan He and Frederic He. Not sure what their experiences are since the menu didn’t state.
The food on the extensive menu is mostly a fusion of Chinese or Chinese-inspired cuisine, which seems to contrast greatly with the modern decor. It took me a while to get around it that they actually serve Chinese food. However, the food is so good that I came here twice: once with a friend (so we only ordered 3-4 dishes) and the next time, to treat my students (so I ate many, many items on the menu). All the dishes are delicious.
The 古琢特制烧鸡 Roast chicken (¥58) is spectacular: skin crispy and paper-thin, and succulent meat. The 德国猪 German pork trotter (¥78) isn’t particularly authentic but it is so tasty: fat and umami but not overly greasy. The 达达啤酒烤肉 beer-marinated BBQ meats (choice of chicken, pork, or beef) are super aromatic, throughly marinated, and very tender (We had both the beef and chicken). The 烤肉排骨 bbq pork ribs (¥49) are a little Mongolian-spiced.
I ordered the 石头烤牛腩土豆 ¥48 twice I was here. it’s beef cubes, capsicum, and onions on a bed of mashed potato in a hotstone bowl. I don’t usually like mash but when the juice and sauce of the beef mix into the mash, it’s umami af.
Another dish that I ordered twice: 煎鲈鱼 fried seabass (¥58). The seafood in Zhuhai is very fresh and even though this is fried, the flesh is so sweet and tender, although they shouldn’t put the fish skin down as it sticks to the plate. What a waste.
What I wouldn’t recommend is the 蒜香骨 (¥44) or garlic ribs wrapped in lettuce on the first layer of the box, and the second layer contains corn and cooked root vegetables such as yam, sweet potato. The lettuce over-covers the ribs, making it bland.
The carbs are just ok: 泰皇海鲜炒饭 ¥29, Thai fried rice doesn’t taste Thai. Anything Italian won’t be authentic such as the 鲜茄鸡柳意面 ¥34, chicken fillet pasta in fresh tomato paste; and 咖喱海鲜意面 curry seafood pasta ¥38.
Also just ok are the desserts. The 巧克力蛋糕 matcha chocolate cake is misnamed; it’s more like chocolate cheesecake which is ok. The 蓝莓派 blueberry tart ¥12 is bad: just a bad tart shell with cream and blueberries.
We paid ¥180 for two persons the first time; and for the second time, we were 10 and paid ¥721.
古琢 Old Days
Zhuhai Southern Software Park，Xiang Zhou District
tel: 0756-3673998 or +86-756-3673998
Price / value: 7/10
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