Sunday, May 03, 2015

Xi Yan Shaw, Shaw Center

This restaurant (1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-12/13, tel  : +65 6733 3476) was obviously an offshoot of the private kitchen down at Craig Road. I visited that Xi Yan some years ago, didn't think very much of them then. Apparently, some or all of the dishes that they have on menu at this casual dining branch of the restaurant are signature dishes from the private kitchen. Seems to be a whole lotta  signature dishes for a private kitchen to have.

I have mixed impressions of this one.

That's the radish pizza with XO sauce. XO sauce was nice, the "pizza" was okay. Didn't think so much of it and will not be ordering it again the next time. But on the bright side, it also means that there will be a next time!

Their sake dongpo rou was not bad too. Actually, I liked the sweet preserved mustard greens much more than the pork belly. This is stuff that will make you eat loads of white rice.

Spinach with three eggs was competent if ordinary. The garlic needs to boil for a longer duration so that it softens up nicely and more century egg would be nice.

Xi Yan obviously hasn't escaped the need to start using truffle in their dishes as well, so here's their black truffle and Yunnan ham fried rice. Having Yunnan ham was a little more than a marketing gimmick since none of that bodied aroma nor texture gets through with these tiny shreds. It would have worked almost as well with good old salted fish. As for the truffle component, there's definitely better around.

That's the deep fried fish with shrimp paste in a pomelo and water chestnut salad. I had this previously from the private kitchen which was served as a whole fish rather than just cuts of the fillet. I couldn't tell what kind of fish this was.

I remember liking their salad/sauce that they used because it was such an excellent blend of citruses with onions and pomelo. This time round, I noticed that there was also lot of sugars going on too to balance off the tangy elements. Still excellent, but the fish itself didn't taste very good. The meat was crumbly and thin with little to no flavour. I'm pretty sure I'd order this again in a heartbeat, but the quality of the fish would have nothing to do with the decision.

Ginseng and chicken soup. Not bad. Don't mind drinking this again.

We liked their tan tan mian. Nicely nutty flavour from the sauce and ground peanuts along with generous portion of minced meat in firm noodles with bite. I couldn't really ask for much more out of this dish.

Some salted yolk prawn with pumpkin. The salted yolk crust was garlicky. Pretty good, but the prawns were of just average quality. And I suppose I like the those pumpkins to stay in the steamer for a longer period so that the crunch in the texture goes away.

These are fried meat patties with salted fish and diced water chestnuts. Not bad at all. Really. I thought the browning was sufficient and well done.

Dessert was kind of a let down. It says lychee ice cream and osmanthus wine. I could only taste the lychee. I always feel it's bad form for a restaurant to list something in the ingredients and not put them in or don't use enough of it that the person eating it can actually taste them.

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