food

Xcelyn @ The Patio, Sembawang: “They’ve got it all — even for the most picky eater”

Last Updated: October 1, 2021

Written by Ariel C.

Craving a decadent serving of piping hot seafood for dinner, but unwilling to shell out the big bucks? I’ve got you. It’s not often that we associate premium seafood dishes with affordable prices, though your opinion on that might just change real soon. Enter Xcelyn @ The Patio, a hawker stall situated in the Northern heartlands of Singapore that promises a hearty meal of seafood.

Xcelyn @ the patio's storefront

Whether you need something homey and comforting, that extra spice kick, or something to indulge in on a long-anticipated cheat day, they’ve got it all—even for the pickiest of eaters.  

What I tried

Xcelyn's seafood in a pot

The first thing I noticed (and admired) about Xcelyn was their menu. Despite being a humble hawker stall, they had range. The Seafood in a Pot (S$15+) caught my attention first— not only does each seafood pot contain a mix of prawns, squid, and mussels, but customers are also allowed to pick from a large variety of sauces. 

Take your pick from Signature Chilli (S$16), Nyonya (S$16), Laksa (S$16), Sambal (S$15), and more—there’s something for every mood. We went with their Garlic Butter (S$15), which turned out to be a clear and aromatic broth. I wish the broth packed a stronger, more garlicky punch, but if you want something that feels homey and comforting, then this will be the right option for you.

xcelyn's mussels in a pot

I personally enjoy my seafood paired with something spicy, so I opted for the Signature Chilli (S$13) flavoured broth for their Mussels in a Pot (S$13). Their Garlic Butter (S$12) was something I’d been eyeing, along with the Black Pepper (S$12), a flavour that never goes wrong when it comes to seafood.

There are zero regrets—the portion is heaping, and mussels fresh. Xcelyn’s Signature Chilli was definitely my favourite of the two, and I was shamelessly dipping mantou after mantou into the broth to soak it all up. It was a bummer that the chilli wasn’t as strong as I’d wished for it to be, but it’s worth a try, even if you’re not one for spicy food.

nyonya style pan fried sea bass 

Their Nyonya Pan Fried Sea Bass (S$14) was up next; a small bowl of nonya-style curry coloured bright orange with tamarind and fried until fragrant with onions, before garnished with parsley leaves. Just like their Seafood and Mussels in a Pot, their Pan Fried Sea Bass comes with Signature Chilli (S$14), White Wine (S$14), their bestselling Garlic Butter (S$13), and more.

 The sea bass was commendably soft and smooth, but my only gripe was that the fishiness ended up creating this jarring contrast with the fragrant curry I could have done without. I’ll admit that this dish showed incredible potential, and someday maybe, I’ll revisit Xcelyn and have my mind changed.

a photo of fish and chips

And of course, no seafood menu is complete without these classic options. The Xcelyn Fish & Chips (S$13) boasts of sea bass coated in homemade batter and deep-fried to golden perfection. The batter certainly deserves a gold star the same colour it turned out, but 

I’ll admit that sea bass in Fish & Chips is a step taken out of the comfort zone that didn’t quite pay off, even if it makes it a more premium option.

A reliable ol’ dory fillet has never failed, so why fix it if it ain’t broken? 

chicken chop by xcelyn

Maybe seafood isn’t your thing, and one good thing about Xcelyn is that their versatile menu means that there’ll be something for everyone. Their Fried Chicken Thigh (S$10) is deep fried and served alongside coleslaw and your choice of a side—mantou, fries, or white rice. 

It’s everything you’d expect fried chicken to be: slick, sinful, and savoury. I find that I can be nit picky when it comes to fried chicken, and this one lacked the crrrunch that it looked like it would have. Regardless, if you just want something comforting that won’t go wrong, this is a safe and fulfilling option that will keep you ful

Final thoughts

a photo of fish and chips

Hawker food is something that reliably gives you the best bang for your buck, and it’s clear that Xcelyn has passed that test. It’ll be a good contender when planning family dinners or small gatherings with friends once our dining restrictions are loosened. Whether you’re searching for comforting flavours, or trying to take baby steps out of your comfort zone, Xcelyn will have something for you.

 Expected damage: S$10 – S$16 per pax

*This post was brought to you in partnership with Xcelyn @ The Patio.

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Xcelyn @ The Patio

1018 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758495

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Xcelyn @ The Patio

1018 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758495

Operating Hours: 12pm - 10pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thu

Operating Hours: 12pm - 10pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thu
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