The Place Located at Duxton Hill, Xiao Ya Tou has been opened for more than a year and I am surprised it took me this long to have finally checked it out. The space an dinterior reminds me of old Singapore, with a strong retro vibe, including a cosy space towards the end beside the kitchen where there is a nice dosage of natural light from the glass ceiling.
The Food The one page menu showcases many familiar local dishes with modern touches such as the XYT Hokkien Mee, Char Kway Teow and XYT Li Rou Fan.
I started with the Crispy Otak-Otak Rolls (S$12) with tangy tamarind peanut sauce. It sounds like a normal otak dish but this starter proves to be an additive and delicious one. The otak is cleverly concealed in the crispy and thin roll, with the flavours complemented well by the slightly spicy sauce. This is a must order for me.
I don’t pay S$16 for a plate of Hokkien Mee easily, but curiosity got the better of me and decided to give this a try. The XYT Hokkien Mee (S$16) here is full of ‘wok hei’ and is a good size to share for 2 persons. The Flavours and Pork broth, mixed along with other seafood ingredients is a tasty version, though the price is not justifiable if you are not big on seafood like clams and prawns.
The other dish I didn’t regret having is the XYT Ayam Percik (S$26), basically chargrilled spring chicken with spiced coconut cream, achar and lime. The chicken is very tender and juicy, and I really like the spiced coconut cream flavour which lends it an interesting element as compared to the usual spring chicken. The serving size is quite big, and I will recommend sharing between 2 to 3 persons.
For desserts, the interesting option for me is the Coconut Tau Huay (S$6) with tapioca pearls, a modern rendition of a local dessert which we are all so familiar with. The Tau Huay texture is silky, while the taste is not too sweet for me. The best bits are the ginger nut ice cream and salted butter cookie crumble.
Rants Prices are not cheap if you view paying a premium for commonly found local dishes.
Will I Return Again? I was pleasantly surprised by the food at Xiao Ya Tou. It is hearty, familiar yet innovative in some ways by reinventing some of the familiar local flavours. The ambience is casual and probably an ideal place to hang out with friends to share the calories.
Make your reservations instantly at Xiao Ya Tou here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Monday to Thursday: 12pm to 11pm
Friday: 12pm to 12am
Saturday: 10am to 12am
Sunday: 10am to 5pm
Ranted by The Ranter