Article By Jin and Francis
5F, Zhongda International Shopping Mall, Keji 3 Rd.
(029) 8881 7880
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 100RMB
We visited Vigor Sky Garden Restaurant on a wet Sunday night to try their Cantonese cuisine. Zhongda Guoji (中大国际) is a tower of steel and glass. We made our way through the atrium, between the Teslas on display to the elevators. Located on the 5th floor, the restaurant is just a short ride up. Unlike other mall restaurants, which are usually hidden in a labyrinth of shops, its location is very convenient. The restaurant is accessible by subway, taxi, shared bike, and there is parking available at the mall.
We were led past several large fish tanks to our seats at a table at the edge of the dining area with curtain dividers that added another level of privacy. We noticed that the dining area was spacious with a lot of seating, and that the floors and tables were immaculate – always a good sign.
To start off, we had a fruit platter with the first watermelon we’ve had this season. After that, we tried an assorted BBQ meat platter, which included traditional red pork, duck, and pork belly. The pork belly is our personal favorite. Cut neatly and cooked to the right degree, it also has a balanced portion of lean meat and fat, which creates a tender yet bouncy texture. The Hong Kong-style egg tarts featured a classic flaky crust around a soft yellow center. For soup, we had a double-boiled duck soup with dried orange peel, which was especially welcome since we had just come out of the rain. The stir-fried beef cubes with onions and green peppers was tasty as well.
We also had a steamed melon with minced pork and caterpillar mushroom (golden thread mushroom, also known sometimes as cordyceps for its resemblance). We had this with a clay pot rice dish (famously known as 煲仔饭 Bāo zǎi fàn) that had preserved sausage, coriander, spring onion, and peanut pieces. Another sweet dish we tried was the steamed buns with a warm, sugary buttery filling.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the meal were the steamed shrimp dumplings. Like small crystal bags with a bright pink light inside, each contained a hearty portion of three full shrimp inside. We learned that this recipe is specific to this restaurant chain and, truly, we had never had shrimp dumplings quite like this anywhere else in mainland China.
Overall, the food reminded us of our visits to Hong Kong, the service was fast and on-point, and the shrimp dumplings were particularly memorable.
Some other notes: there is an outdoor patio seating area. If you don’t want any Cantonese Hong Kong-style food, they also feature many Sichuan and Shaanxi fusion options (although we didn’t try these). The restaurant has 4 private rooms that can be reserved, with the biggest seating about 18 people.