“What’s the two things they tell you are healthiest to eat? Chicken and fish. You know what you should do? Combine them, eat a penguin.”
~ Dave Attell
I love fish. I love cheese. But together? That sounds about as crazy to me as eating a penguin (don’t worry Mom, I would never do that). So when we went to lunch today and I saw this on the menu, I thought I really needed to try it. Not only was it a strange combination to me, but it was made even weirder that it was at a Chinese restaurant. Granted, we were at Cafe Bakery, which specializes in Hong Kong style cuisine (different from traditional Chinese food), but in general cheese just does not make it on to Chinese food menus in the first place.
But it’s a daily special! That either means people like it … or they need to use up the cheese on Mondays because no one ever orders it. I have to admit, chicken with black pepper sauce sounded much more appetizing, but I really was intrigued. What sane Chinese person would come here and order FISH and CHEESE? There had to be a reason it was on the menu.
When ordering at Cafe Bakery, you get a choice of rice or noodles. I haven’t had noodles in forever, so I thought I’d see how that would go. That sounded even weirder. Salmon and Cheese on Spaghetti? Eh. We’d see. When it came, here’s what it looked like:
Whew! It was a white cheese. That didn’t seem too bad. Still, it was totally covered! But this was looking pretty interesting. Fish and cream sauce doesn’t seem too weird – it was just the “cheese” part that worried me.
I tried it. YUM! The “cheese sauce” was really more of a cream sauce, and it wasn’t too heavy in texture or flavor. I’m not even really sure what kind of cheese they used because it was so mild. Not that the dish was bland, but the sauce complimented instead of overpowered the fish. The star of the dish was really the salmon. They did a spectacular job with it. Not overcooked at all (which is so common with fish in restaurants). It was great!
I was so pleasantly surprised by this dish, I needed to take another picture, to try to do it justice! Fish, cheese, noodles … goooood. Even their standard mixed frozen vegetables mixed in seemed to be just right in this dish. It’s not fancy, it’s a little different, it’s more like comfort food, and it’s delicious.
I’m so glad I tried this! Normally I would have never ordered fish and cheese together, and certainly not at a Hong Kong style restaurant. LIke I said, I was so pleasantly surprised. And now I know they cook fish well at Cafe Bakery! I’ll be ordering fish more often when I find myself here now. The next time you see something strange on a menu, consider trying it! You might not be crazy about it (like when I tried Pei Dan for the first time), but who knows? You might find a new favorite. And you never know until you try.
Cafe Bakery (on Yelp)