Last Updated: November 7, 2016
Brought to you by the same folks as the well-reviewed Si Wei Mao Cai that was opened in 2011, Si Wei Yan opens its doors as another branch, offering authentic and unique Sichuan dishes just a street away. If you fancy Sichuan food like me, you’ll be delighted to know that Si Wei Yan serves up even more flavour variations of this specialty fare.
Situated at the juncture of Cross St and Club St, Si Wei Yan has a classic and chic layout. I like it that the concept used is simple – dark-coloured and enamel-finished furniture that shines with an air of elegance. Making use of bamboo shoots illustration draped all over its walls, the restaurant portrays a hearty association to the Sichuan culture.
Mixed Vegetables in Special Sichuan Sauce 思味上上签 ($14)
The Chinese dish name for these mixed vegetables and ingredients on sticks has a fortune connotation to it, associating the idea of having Sichuan vegetables are preserved food items served on skewers.
The skewers are likened to fortune-telling sticks, hence selecting on the sticks while savouring this dish implicates a random, ‘draw lot’ concept of what vegetable or food item you get.
The items on skewers include black fungus, chicken feet as well as other cold-served vegetables which are signatures of the Sichuan liang cai a.k.a. vegetables served cold – a Sichuan signature dish.
The highlight of this cold dish lies in the sauce, one of a clear base, but tastes similar to ma la tang. Just a nibble of my skewered food dipped in this sauce gives me a lingering numb sensation on my lips.
Red Grouper in Si Wei Dry Chilli ($88 for small serving, $118 for large serving)
This red grouper is steamed to a firm texture, emitting a fresh taste as it flakes with bites. I’d say that it is done to a good degree of perfection. The dry chilli flakes gave the fish a fiery spice, definitely not for the faint-hearted.
I personally like the fragrance of the dried chilli flakes and seeds. Topping it well, these chilli flakes gave a good complementing crisp with the tender meat flakes of the fish.
Prawn Dry-fried with Chinese Tea Leaves 观音茶香虾 ($28)
I felt that this dish is really special and interesting, as I wouldn’t have thought of cooking prawns with tea leaves. The tieguanyin tea leaves were fresh and crisp, exuding a slightly sweet flavour upon bite. A good pairing of texture with the chewy and succulent prawns, enhancing each of their flavours.
Corn Fried with Salted Egg Yolk 金沙玉米 ($18)
I was delighted when this dish was brought to the table. With salted egg yolk being one of the recently popular flavour for dishes of the Hong Kong and Chinese cuisine, I had high hopes for this one.
Not failing my expectation at all, the salted egg yolk flavour was in the form of a juicy, delectable crisp. The corn balls burst with a light salty flavour with chews of them.
SiWei signature BBQ pork ribs ($48)
I was fascinated with how Si Wei Yan’s pork ribs was served. Shaped like a bridge with ma la based mixed vegetables, the presentation is intriguing.
Though it looks dry, I was delighted upon biting into the pork ribs which exude much juiciness and tender. Paired with the ma la vegetables, the dish is very rich and satiating.
I’m definitely glad that I tried the pork ribs in ‘the Szechuan way’. This is something unique and new to me.
Stir Fried King Oyster Mushroom 小炒杏鲍菇 ($18)
Here at Si Wei Yan, the king oyster mushroom is done in the style of finely-cut chips. I felt that they were very crispy and delectable. I like it that it ain’t greasy, and it includes slices of non-deep fried mushrooms as well.
It was overall, a good blend of crispiness and smooth texture. A dish that is fragrant and healthy at the same time.
Signature Boneless Beef Belly in Sour Soup 酸汤去骨肥牛 ($32)
Lightly sour-flavoured soup was warm and luscious and I find the broth unique to the cuisine. The beef belly slices were very supple and are an appetising pairing with the soup broth.
I also love the tiny pieces of chewy mushrooms that which were a delightful munch with the soft and delicate beef slices. This bowl of soup was warm and hearty, and the diner has the choice of whether or not to have it with the few chilli slices that form the topping of the dish.
Signature Beef Stewed in MALA Soup with Potatoes 麻辣功夫牛肉 ($36)
Cooked to a degree of well done, the beef gave a bouncy texture upon biting into it. I felt that the standard was impeccable.
The small, ball-shaped potatoes were crunchy but not too hard. A good balance of texture with the meat that has a harder texture.
Apart from the splendid pairing of food items, the showstopper for this beef stew is the mala soup. Not only did it give a tad tinge of spiciness, it gave a numbing sensation which lasted more than a minute.
This dish has a kick to it, and I am most avid in testing my endurance of spiciness with its delicious flavour. Will probably come back again for this.
Stir Fried Pork Belly 四川小炒肉 ($16)
These pork belly slices were served in thinly-cut strips which were able to vividly absorb the ma la sauce it is served with. I especially love the texture of these pork belly strips, they were so smooth and delicate.
Eaten with the ma la based sauce with chilli bits and seeds as toppings, the dish exudes a lingering spicy tang. Not to forget the numbing sensation paired with the savouring of these delectable pork slices. It was overall, flavourful and appetising.
Stewed Beef Brisket with Vegetables in Pork Bone Soup 粗糧牛腩 ($22)
A contrast to the beef belly in sour soup served earlier, this stewed beef brisket with pork bone soup offers a lighter broth. Consisting of boiled radish, carrots and corn, this bowl of soup is healthy and nutritious at the same time.
Stewed with good quality beef and pork bone, I find feel that this dish is a very good round up to my meal here at Si Wei Yan. It sure does relieve the numb and lingering sensation from several of the ma la dishes served beforehand.
All in all, I am very satisfied that Si Wei Yan has a menu that is unique to its identity which sets it apart from other Szechuan restaurants we have in Singapore. I am glad that Si Wei Yan strikes a balance in its range of dishes, in that they were able to highlight the spicy and fiery side of the Sichuan cuisine and at the same time, serve up other modern dishes to balance the flavour.
Expected Damage: $50 – $80 per pax