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Nanhai No.1 is named after a pioneering 15th century Chinese ship and patrons are invited to take part on a similarly pioneering culinary voyage. Spectacular harbour views from the 30th floor of iSquare make this a popular, trendy venue with locals and tourists alike. Relax with a drink before dinner in the spacious bar whilst perusing the menu. When booking be sure to request a window table in this large restaurant as booths are somewhat dark with only partial views. Tables are spacious and the armchair seating comfortable. Table settings are high standard chinaware and the glassware is excellent.
The extensive menu is primarily Cantonese with some modern fusion touches. Some Sichuan dishes are added and there are a few even Western standards such as pan-fried lamb chop with homemade mint sauce. The selection of seafood is excellent. Some are live and swimming in large tanks with the pride of place going to the massive Alaskan king crabs. For appetisers, the deep-fried squid comes piping hot in light batter giving it a crispy, crunchy effect. Do not miss the grilled or baked king prawn which are extremely fresh and available in many different sauces. Baked king prawn in a creamy Chardonnay sauce is scrumptious, alternatively, the bang sauce is spicy. Stir-fried river shrimp are plump, succulent and the Sichuan spicy sauce delicate. Poultry is plentiful and two specialties are tea-smoked chicken and camphor-smoked duck. Another choice, a barbecued baby duck is a generous size, juicy, not fatty and inexpensive (HK$98). A refreshing choice is the pan-fried lotus root cake stuffed with minced pork, the crispy, crunchy exterior matched by a soft flavourful centre. Noodles and rice come in huge servings. Especially good is stewed e-fu noodles with conpoy and leek sprouts which is enough for at least three. Finish with a delicately, not overly sweet, almond cream which has chunks of aloe, supposedly excellent for the skin.
Good choice of wines by the glass – four each of white, red, and sparkling. Most are priced between HK$60 and HK$90. Wines by the bottle include some famous expensive names but prices start at HK$290. Glasses are of good size and quality. Some Chinese rice wines are also available.
The youthful staff really know their stuff and have an in-depth knowledge of the menu. Cheerful, friendly and helpful with trendy clothes they create a pleasant, lively ambience. Dirty plates are replaced immediately though cold towels are not.
Exceptional value. Full dinner per person can be less than HK$350 with many dishes under HK$100. The set dinner with several signature dishes is HK$480. Lunch with dim sum is cheaper.