Located on the roof of BuyNow Electronics mall, Daddy Four 98 is a musically- themed restaurant that reminds us of that outright outlandish aspect of Asian culture many of us have come to love. The décor is not easy on the eye, and it’s clear the objective is to be as wacky as possible. Wooden surfaces contrast with multi-coloured steel piping and gaudy neon lighting to give a resulting concoction of something between a Texas roadhouse and a children’s play area. An engine block plonked on a table here, a UFO hanging from the ceiling there, and mission accomplished.
The dozens of TVs dotted around all seem to have Voice of China on repeat, blaring out all those crowd favourites that are bound to get you singing (or at least humming) along. Come evening, local and overseas talent will get on stage to give you some live music in native and foreign tongues.
Some of the food on offer is equally out of the ordinary. I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find the Cute Mushrooms (16RMB for 4), were just steamed buns disguised to look as such, sprinkled in chocolate powder and given a sweet filling. If you are a small party, order a Sea bass (79RMB) cooked with your chosen flavor, and for a few extra yuan, throw in some tofu or veg to soak up some of the remaining broth.
All of the signature dishes are safe bets too. Don the gloves and tear apart the crispy-skinned 98 Pole Chicken (69RMB), dip, then devour. Or, order a beer and a dozen Daddy Barbecue Skewers (5-10RMB each) – including Squid, Beef, Chicken Feet, Meatball and Tofu – while you sit back and watch the act. If you’re feeling less adventurous, more sensible dishes are readily available, such as the Curry Seafood Rice (28RMB). A pretty standard selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks is available, including different coloured beers, milk teas and fresh fruit juices to name but a few.
Many words can be used to describe Daddy Four 98, but boring is not one of them. A heavily stylized restaurant that perhaps laughs in the face of the conventional dining experience, be sure to come here in the evening for the full effect. Underground parking is available. Smoking not permitted. Menus in Chinese.