Simple Chinese comfort food.
Established in Hong Kong in 2000, the much acclaimed Xi Yan Shaw Singapore was set up locally in 2005, priming the scene for contemporary Chinese cuisine where food is art. The restaurant’s modern and inventive Chinese food has gone on to win several international awards for its artistry and innovation, including the modt recent ‘Most Creative Menu’ award by Wine and Dine Magazine for 2014 Top Restaurant in Singapore.
Apart from their private dining concept, Xi Yan Shaw also offers alternative dining options such as catering for buffet and onsite cooking, take-aways and private functions.
The man behind Xi Yan Shaw is Jacky Yu, Creative Chef and founder of the Xi Yan Group. He continuously invents and has revolutionized the concept of Chinese Asian Cuisines. Jacky is also one of Hong Kong’s most beloved cooking instructors, articulating how food inspires our lifestyles.
In a publication by Phaidon, Jacky was selected as one of the world’s top ten master chefs. An impressive list that includes Gordon Ramsay and Alan Duccase, to name a few. Now, let’s get on to the food.
Basil Satay Prawns with Salted Egg Yoke ($16 S/$24 M/$31 L)
One does not have to be a salted egg-lover to adore this dish. The prawns were fresh and sufficiently marinated with salted egg sauce which was sweet and savoury. The prawns were also cooked tender and not over-done and that was brilliant. I personally really enjoyed this particular dish and would definitely come back for seconds.
Kai Lan with Crispy Olive Leaves and Garlic ($12)
The vegetable was well-flavoured with crispy olive leaves giving the dish an added salty zest. The dash of minced garlic cut through the salt gave this vegetable dish a nicely balanced taste. Overall, the Kai Lan was delectable with its crunchy stems and easily chewable leaves marking the freshness of the dish.
Okinawa Black Sugar Zhenjiang Spare Ribs ($11.80 S / $17.70 M / $23 L)
This may look like your typical coffee ribs, but it is far from ordinary. A unique mix of ingredients and seasoning has gone into the making of this dish, taking it from simply standard to top-notch. The seasoning carried a sweet tang and this supplemented my enjoy of the meal well.
If you are not familiar with coffee ribs, this dish may come off tasting slightly odd at first bite, but you will come to realise that the taste of coffee pairs very well with the meaty ribs.
“Pregnant Woman” Fried Rice ($11.80) with Olive Ginger Dried Radish and Shrimp.
The name of this fried rice dish is very comical and strange but there is a good explanation behind it. Apparently the unique mixture of ingredients gives this dish its name. (Not some intriguing story about a woman who went into labour, I’m afraid.)
It’s said that ingredients like olive, ginger, dried radish and shrimps are able to satisfy all the various cravings (sweet, salty, savory, etc.) of a pregnant woman. Taste-wise it was very typical of the commonplace fried rice, but it did have a nice balance of wok hei which rightfully gets a two thumbs-up from me!
Lychee Ice Cream ($4.80)
This dessert is just as light and refreshing as you would imagine. The lychee ice cream is paired with a dash of osmanthus wine and a fresh lychee on the top for good measure. I found the sweet and slightly sour flavor of this dessert to be the prefect end to our meal of delicately-spiced dishes.
Glutinous Dumpling (tang yuan) with Sweet Potato in Ginger Soup ($4.80)
The glutinous dumplings in this dish were impeccable with their thick, chewy layers of skin and peanut-flavoured filling. The ginger taste of the soup was a tad too strong for me, however so if you dislike ginger, be wary.
I found the interior of Xi Yan Shaw restaurant to be very inviting, comfortable and warm. It carries the very typical ambience of a Chinese restaurant, yet its modern decor creates a nice contrast to the typical Chinese dining experience. Overall, Xi Yan Shaw serves great Chinese food with a special twist bound to satisfy the cravings of every diner who loves Chinese cuisine.
Expected Damage: $30-40/pax