Kris Leong 465 •
13 Sep 2011 • 79 reviews • 5 followers
Located on the second floor of a shophouse in Chinatown, Xi Yan (http://www.burufly.com/travel-and-food/photos/
) offers discreet dining in an elegant setting. Paintings flank the entrance and walls. I love the serving dishes used at Xi Yan. Obviously clear thought has been put in to not just the food, but the presentation of the food. Even the tea cups are distinct, with each guest having a tea cup with different motif. It would be a venue to bring overseas business associates or in-laws…!! Max capacity is 60+ heads and advance reservation is needed.
We were a party of 7. The server thoughtfully provided additional chairs for our bags. The chef decides the menu : ) and menus are refreshed weekly.
The meal started with Xi Yan’s signature tomatoes in wasabi sesame sauce
. The tomatoes were huge, juicy and succulent, and the sesame sauce provided interesting contrast. The wasabi was barely discernible. A very refreshing dish. It was followed by ginseng, red date and chicken soup
. The soup was full bodied and flavourful.
Next up was the stewed beef with tangerine peel
. This was my favourite dish of the day. Beef was tender and well marinated. While the salivating chicken with century eggs and konnyaku noodles
was a sight for the eyes, it did not strike a chord with me. The noodles were tossed with chilli oil and you can specify mild, medium or hot level of spiciness. We settled for medium level and it turned out to be rather spicy.
The lemongrass chrysanthemum fish
was a sight to behold (it basically was fish that had been sliced into thin strips, deep fried to resemble the chrysanthemum flower) and required culinary skill to execute, however, I was unable to taste the fish as the strips were thin and had been deep fried.
Dessert was poached pears
with good texture and an appropriate level of sweetness.
Visited Xi Yan on couple of other occasions. Two dishes that are indelibly engraved in my mind are beef and sweet potato stew
and steamed fish on bed of hor fun
(flat rice noodles). Beef and sweet potato sounds strange companions but the dish was wonderful. Both the beef and sweet potato had been stewed to just melt-in-your mouth and the flavors complemented each other perfectly. The steamed fish rested on a bed of hor fun and the juices of the fish was absorbed by the hor fun. A stunning dish.
Also to add that the jasmine tea that was served was very fragrant and smooth. Xi Yan imports their tea leaves from Hong Kong.