my OPS friend WM & wife J bought an exquisite scrumptious 8pax dinner at xiyan craig road on 18.10.2017. ^^ 2 of us including moi have birthdays this october month. 🙂
i came xiyan only once (the captain lewis chin said must be 12yrs ago) when they first opened. must say i wasn’t much impressed with the food nor the price! it was a very pricey S$88pax at the time, and the only dish i remembered was good & fine was the hokkaido momotaro tomatoes. i looked at the online menu, and after all these time the menu looked quite the same, and price still S$88pax.
WM’s wife J though entertained here a few times & today she arranged for us her “specially curated” menu, and she booked the entire restaurant for the occasion.
just kidding lol! this evening we were the only table in the restaurant. the original date 12oct though was fully booked so we had to change to 18oct. so hard to tell whether restaurant well patronised or not…
today we were served an amuse bouche, kind of unusual – 3 cuts of ham (lewis said they are the exclusive distributor). i liked it. wife not so into the ham thing, slight salty taken alone w/o sides…not the typical amuse bouche..
the special menu was S$98pax, but J has 10% discounts, so back to the usual S$88pax…
the hokkaido momotaro tomatoes were delicious, did not disappoint. the sauce was goma (roasted sesame) with wasabi. 🙂
sauce was nice if nothing special..i do goma with tsuyu for vegetable salads for my 14days vegetarian diet recently.
the prosciutto & smoked salmon salad with asparagus very good too..& so beautifully plated..
salmon was very lightly smoked, almost like cured, nice & not salty.
the prosciutto (aged parma ham) was good, the usual…
the asparagus & mesclun salad were good, refreshing…
the next dish was tea smoked chicken, again nicely presented. thai styled mango salsa was tangy & refreshing.
overall the dish was underwhelming!
chicken was competent and no more. so actually by the standard of the whole dinner, this would be a below average dish…
some parts of the breast my wife had were “old” meaning slightly dry, overcooked. the tea flavour did not stand out…
i almost never order roast chicken outside, whether at chinese or western restaurants, as they usually very mediocre dish….
basically unless one can produce a really moist, tender, tasty chicken, otherwise this would be a very average dish…a filler & not much more…
the captain lewis chin said this dish was akin to chawanmushi, and it was smoother & came with chinese hua tiao wine.
it was a beautifully presented dish, and wonderful colours.
the prawn though was overcooked. my wife told me, and i was thinking the same. prawn texture was slightly tough, not the bouncy, fresh texture…just on the prawn standalone, the simple poached prawn & drunken prawn dishes at peach gardens miramar & tunglok were better.
the taste of the dish, maybe not the chawanmushi t i am used to in good japanese restaurants…
for myself, no comparison with a good, very sweet & tasty chawanmushi especially one with crabmeat & ikura.
the 东坡肉 pagoda was an excellent dish.
a braised belly can easily spray (ie not good texture) if not done correctly, so to be able to slice this thin & having this texture shows the skills of the chef. it is truly 肥而不腻！
it was an outstanding dish in it’s own right, whatever the name.
so i have just 2 comments-
first – same as what my wife also told me, when eating 东坡肉, the i guess non modern experience is to eat an entire piece, and feel the gelatinous texture & flavours. eating this current way felt more like eating 梅菜扣肉though this texture is more tender than 梅菜扣肉.
and second – this 梅菜 was not done well.
it was salty, unlike the very nice flavour, soft & tender steamed 梅菜dish served at xin cuisine.
the best dish for the evening was the blanched red garoupa with crispy rice & silken tofu..
red garoupa was sliced very very thinly, so it cooked when it was added to the soup. it’s like shabu or 涮…
very tasty. really excellent dish!
& the crispy rice was a great variation, added texture & new dining experience to the dish…
the concept is similar also to ozasuke in japanese cuisine, where a very tasty broth is added to rice. this dish was indeed very enjoyable…
the 淮山with spinach & wolfberries was competent dish, nicely done.
nice bit of greens. a healthy dish..tasted great…
the restaurant served a complimentary bomb alaska because we were celebrating our birthdays.
this not on their menu.
it was an outstanding dessert.
the burnt meringue was very light & tasty, and the ice cream was excellent..& the birthday cake WT bought from chocolate origin also very good!
we had a choice of dessert.
the ginger soup with dumplings姜汤 looked great.
the vanilla ice cream with lychee was ok too, wouldn’t have chosen this if we knew we were having that excellent bomb alaska.
overall, it was a very good dinner, and scrumptious, great tasting one. the food ingredients were not expensive items, so not quite sumptuous i guess. but preparation, presentation, colours (like salmon salad, 东坡肉 pagoda and blanched garoupa) were refine, service was good & knowledgeable, so i consider quite exquisite dinner of fine dining standard. & of course the bomb alaska was a really great touch by the restaurant & really enjoyable..
will i come back here?. not sure really…i still think the S$88 price is too high for the food they serve.
if it is like this evening, i would gladly pay the price for this dinner. but J knew them & could arrange the change of menu & 10% discounts, and there was the bomb alaska, so on this occasion i think i would also pay this price. on the regular S$88, i think it would be totally outside my radar…
my wife & i really enjoyed the company of these very good friends (wife told me so) and it was a most fun evening for both of us…this evening especially, WM & J bought such a wonderful dinner & WT bought a delightful birthday cake from chocolate origin.