I had gone to this place on a separate occasion and was thus very excited to bring my family to this place today. However, when I learnt that the labelled charsiew wrap no longer had charsiew, I asked to change my order to brown rice set. The storeowners were very immature and handled this by throwing tempers when things do not go their way. The male boss and his son started slamming the doors so many times, and as the only customers in the store, me and my family felt very unwelcome. The owner snactched the money from my hand, and meanly commented that I was joking around. Well, they should not misrepresent their dishes if they don't want any changes. The food served to us was subpar at best. Also, the cherry on top of the cake was when the lady boss demanded if we had paid from our meal as we were leaving. What horrible attitude. They may be an old couple, but their immature attitude proves otherwise. Please save yourself the unpleasant experience and go elsewhere for your meal. I know that we all wish to have a pleasant enjoyable experience when we have our meal and don't want to ruin our trip to chinatown because of bad attitude.
I visited the restaurant with my spouse and parents on a sunday evening. With the rave reviews on HGW, we had expectations for both the food and service. We tried calling before going down, but our calls went unanswered from 5.30pm to 6pm. It turned out to be a very disappointing visit, especially for my parents who rarely eat out and were looking forward eating at this restaurant, which I told them was highly recommended by many people. We arrived at 6.30pm, and asked for a table for 4. The owner looked around the restaurant, and told me to come back later without any explanation. I could see an empty table right in front of me. At this time, a couple entered the restaurant asked for a table for 2. He snapped back rudely, telling them that they could leave if they didn't want to wait. Many were offended and left the restaurant after being told off for no reason. We felt like leaving as well, but we did not know if there were any other vegetarian restaurants around the area. We managed to get a seat when the lady sitting at the table of 8 offered her place to us. No one took our order after we sat down. I decided to walk up to the owner to place an order, only to be told angrily that there were 3 orders before mine, and that I will have to wait. He didn't confirm if he is accepting my order, so I was confused and unsure if we were going to get food. Eventually, the food arrived but 1 dish that we ordered was not served. It was only upon asking that we were told it was sold out, and we were not informed at all. The restaurant's only main dish, Claypot Brown Rice, tasted ok, but we felt it was a tad too oily. The pumpkin soup was salty. Overall it was a huge disappointment.
This organic restaurant on Smith Street has become my personal retreat, a place to chill and relax over a healthy uncomplicated menu served up by a family that I have grown quite fond of. I noted one rather negative review and will not take issue with it. If you come to Ci Yan on a really busy day, you may have to wait for a table. As it is run by the family - Tony, his wife and son, they can get overworked and rushed at times. The menu is very simple ... 5-6 dishes written on a blackboard. Open Seating. No reservations, No fancy ambience or wine list. It's very cool. dark and solemn with a Buddhist motif. You help yourself you your own chopsticks and cutlerty, choose your drinks from a fridge and clear your dishes when finished. The price is quite reasonable. The real value is the home cooked fresh food. All natural ingredients, no garlic, exquisite seasonings. You may even have to wait to pay your bill. But Tony keeps everything lively with his banter, rushing back and forth betweent the kitchen, the tables and the cash register. The diner may have caught Tony on a bad day but I respectfully suggest he give the place a second chance. I have never failed to walk out of there without a smile on my face.
Took a group of friends there and we were the first customers of the day. Initially they were a bit surprised by the limited menu chalked up on the board but when they tasted the food, all was forgiven. The soup was unbelievably good and tasted like it had been cooked with care over a long, slow fire - after we tried a bit of one bowl, we all ended ordering one each. We all had the brown rice set and nodded our heads appreciatively as we tucked in.
In all, an inexpensive, very healthy vegan lunch.
Very healthy food. Not expensive too. For those who want to know what real healthy vegetarian food is all about, Visit Ci Yan. It has been around for some years now and has its group of regular customers.