Cathay House Restaurant
Steamed BBQ Pork Buns
Lobster Special with Ginger Noodles
Egg Custard Tarts
Baked Egg Yolk Buns
Baked BBQ Pork Buns
Crispy Garlic Smelt
Baked Coconut Buns
Sticky Pork Ribs
Shrimp and Crab Balls
Having found KJ Seafood and Dim Sum at the Rio a good value for high quality cart service as a packed dining room assured freshly circulating plates throughout our ninety minute stay it was with a group of five that I sat down at Spring Mountain staple Cathay House hoping to further dispel rumors of Sin City’s subpar dim sum but with slipshod service and too few patrons even on Saturday at noon the results were, at best, mixed. Starting at the door where hasty greetings lead us to the back room it would be less that thirty seconds after seating that the blitzkrieg began – baskets and steamers that had clearly been propped against the wall shoved in our faces with several selections requiring an unannounced trip to the kitchen microwave – and kicking off with a trio of steamed options it was only BBQ Pork buns that proved competent as rubbery XLB and Shu Mai skins undermined otherwise juicy contents. Still frenetic in pace as a $16 lobster special with slippery noodles swimming in ginger found its way to the table alongside a trio of excellent baked pastries it would unfortunately not be long before these gems were lost amidst overly salted garlic smelt and a dry coconut sponge, the duo immediately leaving me parched as beverage refills lagged. Admittedly underwhelmed at this point but willing to go one more round it was at long last (actually only 40 minutes) that Cathay House would rally with a strong finish from a duo of kitchen fresh carts – the crispy duck, sticky pork ribs, and supple shrimp balls all piping hot and reference standard leaving me to wonder what could have been had everything else been delivered fresh.
TWO STARS: Cheap and quick or Affordable and rushed; glass half full or glass half empty?
RECOMMENDED: Baked Egg Yolk Buns, Crispy Duck, Shrimp Balls
AVOID: Anything they suggest needs to be rewarmed, anything wrapped and streamed.
TIP: Request a seat in the main room and pay attention to the kitchen door, only order what is truly fresh.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor