To go up the Canton Tower or not was a debate between my boyfriend and me, since ticket prices are by no means cheap. But ask us if it’s a good idea to have dinner before going up the tower and you’ll get an easy answer. It’s a resounding yes! 🙂 Problem was, there’s not a lot of restaurants in the area and the more decent-looking ones are really expensive. Left without much choice, we ended up reserving seats at CHOPSTIX Restaurant (筷子荟餐厅). Prices of a la carte items on the menu were high, so we just hoped that they would be justified by the food quality.
CHOPSTIX, located at the basement of the Canton Tower, was the first restaurant we spotted from descending at the Canton Tower metro station. It is an Asian specialty restaurant that caters a unique and festive fusion of authentic Cantonese cuisine and Southeast Asian delicacies.
Review of Chopstix Restaurant 筷子荟餐厅 (Canton Tower 广州塔, Guangzhou)
The restaurant was spacious and well-decorated in earth-color tones. Dominating bright lights, wooden furniture, and brick-imitated walls made the interior ambiance feel cozy in contemporary style and nothing quite oriental. Through the open kitchen and bar counter, dining guests could see the skilled chefs showing their exquisite culinary skills.
Although varying in shapes (round, square, and rectangular), tables and chairs were of the same finish, providing a visual line of repetitive elements that is both attractive and hypnotically fascinating to the eye.
We were third on the waiting list and upon stepping inside, we found that the crowds were not as demanding and not as full. In fact, several tables were unoccupied at the back. Still, the receptionist did not allow people to come in. We guessed that the management was short in staff and more diners could not be accommodated at the peak of dinner hour. Beyond doubt, serving speed was too slow and wait time was long. The staffs were not welcoming, not attentive, and not so friendly.
When far from home, there is always a familiar nostalgic feeling whenever I encounter places that serve authentic Chinese food in an elegant setting. The thing is, once I smell that beautiful intoxicating aroma of Chinese spices and familiar dishes, I’ll somehow feel like home. This happened while waiting for our orders at CHOPSTIX. 🙂
Beef chow fun is a classic entree in the Cantonese cuisine repertoire, and it’s one of my favorites. Chopstix’s version of the Wok-fried Rice Noodle with Beef 乾炒牛河 (RMB 58) was done right, very much like Wan Chai’s beef horfun in Chinatown, Philippines. The rice noodles were springy and firm, sticky and tender. What I loved most about it was the charred flavor called wok hei (or in English, “the essence of the wok”).
Another dish we shared was the Kung Pao Chicken 腰果宫包鸡丁 (RMB 58), complete with slightly gloppy sauce and mild heat. We ordered a bowl of steamed white rice separately to fully enjoy the diced chicken with Sichuan peppers and peanuts in sweet, sour, and zesty sauce.
All we needed was one singular bite of this glorious, rich concoction to confirm our love for it. The kung pao chicken was juicy and with browning characteristics, it was easy to find that the marinade was designed to optimize its natural meatiness.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
Price for value was so-so. Food tastes were good but without that big WOW factor expected from such restaurant associated with the Canton Tower. It’s best to come with an appetite here, since the portions of food are meant for sharing.