There was a period in Hong Kong when private dining restaurant was really popular it was like a new trend. However, trends in Hong Kong never last long. Xi Yan was once one of those popular private dining restaurant in Hong Kong that was fonded by Jacky Yu in 2000.
The private dining restaurant is located in a building in Wan Chai area of Hong Kong. The building looked like a shabby block of flats, but it actually house a range of restaurants and shops. The restaurant has two section, the main dining area has two large table. It was not totally private as we shared the evening waith another table. But since we arrived earlier we had most of the space ourselve.
Usually a private dining restaurant there is no menu and the chef themself will create and cook for the table. But Xi Yan now a day has become more commercial and menu are available in advance and you have to choose one of them for the whole table. There is an advantage to this, as in you will have an idea of what food will be served that day.
The menu at Xi Yan changes daily so although I booked in advance, I did not know until about three weeks before the menu was available during the period I was dining. We had three menus to choose and pre-order that was price at HK$368, HK$528 and HK$628 per head.
We choice the HK$528 per head menu (excluding 10% service charge) which is not cheap. But Xi Yan was doing an offer which we took advantage, where we dine as 6 people but pay for the price of 5 people. Therefore, it actually worked out less than the menu originally costed.
The dishes are fusion, combining Chinese and Western, which is served like a Chinese banquet that is based on the number of heads you have booked. So do not expect to just bring another head if you have not let the restaurant know in advance.
Pan fried Hokkaido king scallop with sea urchin sauce (海膽汁香煎北海道帶子皇) – It was a nice light start to the meal with beautifully cooked scallops.
Crispy silver anchovies on mustard thin beef slices with Singaporean sauce (香酥銀魚伴燈影牛肉) – The texture of this dish surprise me, it was crispy but not hard that I could not bite in to it. This dish reminded me of the upmarket version of a dish that you commonly find in UK Chinese restaurant or takeaway, deep fried shredded beef.
Steamed crab with egg white in Huadiao Wine (花雕蛋白雞油蒸蟹) – I thought this was beautifully cooked and full of flavour with the Huadiao wine. It was even better than the one we had at The Chairman in Central area of Hong Kong.
Braised pork belly (雲上東坡醉千層) – The presentation of this was artistic and brings a traditional Chinese dish of brasied belly pork with preserved vegetable to life. The intense flavour was great with a bowl of rice and it brought the feeling of home.
Longnan and jujube sorbet with aloe (養顏桂圓紅棗蘆薈雪葩) – This was a palette cleanser and really suited to have it after the braised pork belly.
Deep fried grouper with lemongrass and shrimp paste (香茅蝦膏炸鮮斑) – The presentation of the fish brought “woah” to our table. It is not often you get your fish served like this.
Double boiled chicken soup with Chuan-Bei, red date and pear (川貝秋梨棗皇燉土雞)
Sautéed fish maws with asparagus, Chinese yam and fresh lily bulb (花膠鮮百合蘆筍炒淮山) – The main courses was finished with a light dish which was beautifully presented on a plate that had a sauce drawn picture.
Walnut puree pudding with glutinous rice dumplings (養顏核桃露伴流沙湯圓)
We completed our meal with a shot of sour drink which was a great way to digest all the food.
There were in total two waiters serving us that night and each one was friendly and provided us a great service on the night. They would explain to what each dish was and was patient to let us take a photo of each dish before helping us serving the dish to each of us.
I and every one really enjoyed the meal, which was Chinese style cusines but giving it a modern touch. It was well worth the visit.
(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of dining)
Xi Yan Hong Kong 囍宴 廚‧藝
3/F, 83 Wanchai Road, Wan Chai