(Written By Dora)
Xi Yan Shaw is a casual offshoot of the Chinese fine dining restaurant, Xi Yan. While obviously not as fancy as the latter, the outlet in shaw provides a more casual ambience for diners to enjoy quality Chinese food at a reasonable price.
Truffle fried rice($13.80)- The aroma of the truffles was a nice complement to the flavour of the fried rice. Thus, other ingredients such as the yunnan ham could stand out as well. Overall an interesting dish that would pique the interest of truffle aficionados out there!
Spicy chicken($10.80 for Small)- This chilled chicken dish had many things going for it. The fact that it was chilled made the dish rather interesting and allowed the spiciness and the century egg flavor to shine through. However, I felt that the sourness from the vinegar did mask the flavour of the chicken, but it may be a favourite for those who like their food on the sour side.
Eggplant hotpot with mince pork($14.80)- One of my favourite dishes there, the eggplant was cooked amply and managed to soak up the sauce which was not overly salty. The minced pork added a nice bite to the dish as well!
The Marinated Pork Ribs($10.80 for Small) were certainly interesting. The ribs used were from Okinawa. As a result, it was more tender than those you usually get in Chinese restaurants. The sauce however, was slightly too over powering for me, with Chinese five spice being just about the only thing I can taste in the dish.
Braised bittergourd with Pork ($14.80)-The Pork Belly used in this dish was not overly fatty and had a nice bite. But this was overshadowed by the unpalatable bitterness of the bittergourd, which was due to the oversight of pre-soaking the bittergourd before cooking to remove some of its bitterness. Overall my least favourite dish of the night.
Now on to the 2 highlights of the night. Shrimp paste fried fish with a sour pomélo sauce($21.80 for Medium). The fish was lightly fried and the shrimp paste was extremely subtle and was an excellent complement to the sauce. The sauce was served cold and was both sweet and sour. This made the dish extremely refreshing. I also loved the generous serving of pomélo bits in the dish. A must try!
Yunnan Niang doufu($19.60 for Medium)- the star of this dish is definitely the minced pork filling. Both flavourful and not too mushy, it was a delicious filling to the capsicums, tofu and taupok. The broth itself was light and flavourful without overpowering the main components of the dish!
In conclusion, Xi Yan Shaw is indeed an innovative Chinese Restaurant. Also, its hype for being opened by Celebrity Chef Jacky Wu is definitely justified! They also have a Private Dining version of this restaurant at Craig Road… And I am hoping I would be the opportunity to dine there soon!!!
Xi Yan Shaw Causal Dining
1 Scotts Road
#03-12/13 Shaw Centre