Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Xi Yan Private Dining, Singapore

Golden Fish in Lemongrass Sauce

Xi Yan (38A Craig Road, 6220-3546) is one of those private kitchen concepts from Hong Kong that we never made it to given that it required a minimum party size. They've since removed that requirement and allow you to pick your arrival time now, but it is still a fixed menu that one has to reserve in advance.

We generally liked the dishes tonight, including an abalone ginseng chicken soup that was savory without tasting like medicine, as well as a glutinous rice whose steamed crabs were refreshingly light without being drenched in any sauce to overwhelm it. The fish above worked too, even if I'm a bit tired of the idea of a deep fried fish in a sweet and sour sauce.

But this isn't a good place to come to if one is in a rush. Dishes move at a leisurely pace, so one has to set aside a good number of hours to go through it all. The decor, while artistically funky and fitting, wasn't quite as upscale as I would have thought it to be either. I respect what they do, but it won't exactly be a top of mind place for me.

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