The Place I had a birthday celebratory occasion for my mum at Xi Yan Private Dining some time back this year, and was pretty impressed with most of the dishes I had. Therefore, I was quite excited to learn that Xi Yan Shaw has already been opened for about a year at Orchard Road within Shaw Centre, branded as the casual dining arm of Xi Yan Private Dining to provide some of its signature dishes available at the private dining restaurant and other new dishes at wallet-friendly prices. Helmed by celebrity chef Jacky Yu, the space at Xi Yan Shaw has a seating capacity of about 50 pax and there is almost always a queue even before it opens.
The Food Innovative gourmet cuisine at affordable prices is the defining idea of Xi Yan, so you can pretty much expect home cooked or our local zi char fares being presented and cooked in a whole new way.
We started with a cold starter, the Jellyfish and cucumber in wasabi sesame sauce ($7.80/small). Contrary to my expectation, the wasabi taste was not choking at all. Instead, it was a slight tinge of wasabi flavour, which blended very well with the sesame sauce. The jellyfish was really refreshing to go along with the sauce.
I knew I have to order this when I spotted it on the menu, the Black truffle prawns omelette ($17.80/small). This is not a mere truffle oil rendition, so kudos to the aromatic natural truffle smell which came along with the dish. I love how it is such a simple omelette dish, yet it is not your ordinary omelette.
A favourite item at Xi Yan Private Dining, the Okinawa black sugar Zhenjiang spare ribs ($11.80/small) is definitely one of the must try items here. The fell-off-the-bone tender pork ribs was extremely easy to handle, and I still find it hard to believe it is a locally sourced ingredient. Depending on your palate, some people may find the Okinawa black sugar sauce too sweet but the sweetness was acceptable for me.
We tried one of the November monthly specials as it is Xi Yan Shaw first year anniversary. The Deep-fried ginger chicken ($8.8/small) was unexpectedly good. We are usually not a fan of ginger but this rendition of fried chicken had the ginger flavour infused so perfectly that you could almost think it was part of the chicken taste. Topped with fried ginger slices, we would say prawn paste chicken is so yesterday. We are hopping that this item will be considered to be on the regular menu soon.
To load on some carbs, I prefer the Dan-dan noodles ($10.80/small) over the “Pregnant woman” fried rice ($11.80) with olive ginger dried radish and shrimp. Tossed in spicy sauce, the noodles was so hearty to have, especially with the minced meat.
The inspiration for the name of the “Pregnant woman” fried rice was intriguing, as the dish was meant to satisfy a pregnant woman’s myriad craving of flavours by having it all in one dish. Who can testify that this dish works wonder?
Leave some space for desserts to try some of the interesting ice-cream flavours such as Salted egg yolk pumpkin ice-cream with pandan glutinous rice ($4.80/scoop) and Coconut ice-cream with palm sugar jelly in coconut cream ($5.5/scoop).
Rants Not a big space, so be prepared to queue in line. The location may prove to be a little challenging to find if you are not familiar with the new layout of the revamped Shaw Centre.
Will I Return Again? Suffice to say, Xi Yan Shaw is one of my favourite Chinese casual dining restaurant. I always appreciate innovative dishes which challenges the conventional, not all attempts work all the time but Xi Yan has got it right for almost all the dishes, at least for me. Time to bring your folks to try the food here at least once.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Xi Yan Shaw
1 Scotts Road
Shaw Centre #03-12/13
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.00pm
Tel +65 6733 3476
Ranted by The Ranter