The black Angus rib eye is grilled medium rare. Photos Provided to China Daily
The Malaysian native honed his craft working in Dublin and for Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong before returning to Four Seasons to open Catch.
"Even though we are only an hour away, we can't get the same type of ingredients that I used to in Hong Kong," Chan says. "But the produce selection is getting better all the time." Necessity is often the mother of invention, and the menu that Chan has created takes advantage of what's available for an eclectic array of seafood and grilled temptations.
We started off with an amuse bouche of calamari citrus salad. The drizzled fruit and olive oil was burst of sunshine on the palette, balanced by the firm texture of the squid.
For the starter, I went for steamed lobster, foie gras mousse and fruit carpaccio with port wine reduction, one of Catch's signature dishes.
In keeping with the restaurant's reputation for careful wine pairings, it was accompanied by a glass of Louis Jadot 2010 Chablis. The vibrant orange Australian lobster tails were sweet and mellowed by an airy yet decadently rich mousse that gave me new appreciation for seafood and foie gras combinations. Diced lobster cushioned on beds of sweet fruit provided good contrast.
Bucking the trend of my fellow diners who all chose to continue with seafood for their main, I enjoyed a 300g black Angus rib eye, grilled medium rare.
It went perfectly with a Louis Jadot 2009 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, with the tender beef rounded out by the acids in the wine.
A light dusting of black pepper was all it needed, though a scattering of lightly charred morel mushrooms and shallots were delicious along with the baby spinach atop a wedge of paper thin potato gratin.
A number of side dishes are available, with three-lettuce salad and mustard dressing providing light and crunchy accompaniment to the generous portioned mains.
Being a fan of cardamom, I opted for a dessert of cardamom creme brulee with a tropical fruit stew, alongside a glass of Chateau Cantegril 2008 Sauternes by Denis Dubourdieu, one of France's celebrity winemakers.
The wine was light, airy and delicately sweet just the way a Sauternes should be at the end of a meal, while the mousse-like consistency of the brick shaped creme brulee was strongly infused with the Middle Eastern spice. Its foundation of tart fruit offset the sweetness, while a dab of foam gave it an artful touch.
Floating away on the sugar high, I gaze at the skyline of Guangzhou and marvel at how while some things change, the city's reputation for excellent food remains uncontested.