May 27, 2010

Definitely not a happy meal

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It's iPad day, and I went to pick up my new toy from friends who were staying at the W. As they just came back from a grueling few days at the Shanghai Expo, we decided to find somewhere close to the hotel for dinner.  For one reason or another we ended up at Xĭ Yàn Flavours (囍宴 滋·選).  What a mistake it turned out to be!

Cold tofu with shrimp and crab relish (蝦兵蟹將凍豆腐) - I took one bite and knew instantly it was gonna be a disaster.  I was thinking to myself that the dried shrimps (蝦米) were some of the toughest I've ever chewed on, when my friend blurted out the exact same thought.

Greenhouse tomatoes in wasabi sesame sauce (芥末胡麻醬拌日本溫室蕃茄) - one of two dishes that tasted OK.

Sichuan spicy chicken (招牌口水雞) - the only other dish that tasted OK to me.  Nice chunks of cold chicken marinated with spicy vinegar, served with mung bean pappardelle, century eggs and some peanuts.

Crispy stuffed duck with glutinous rice (香酥糯米鴨) - this was so bad but somehow I ended up having two pieces, and I had to ask myself why I bothered with the second piece.  These were really hard as bricks... the duck was tough, made into blocks with glutinous and deep-fried.  My friends were smarter...they refused to eat a second piece.

Radish patty in XO sauce (囍宴XO醬炒蘿蔔糕) - another dish when it took one bite to know we're heading into disaster territory.  The cubes of radish cake - stuffed with mushrooms and sausage - were hard.  I ended up eating everything else but the radish cake.

Fried spring rolls with radish and dried oysters (原隻蠔豉蘿蔔絲春卷) - the only dish I ordered, and wasn't great either.  While I liked the flavor of the dried oysters, the thing was just too salty.

This really was a disaster.  I remember a time when a meal at Xĭ Yàn was something to look forward to.  Has the franchise over-expanded to the point where quality control simply  went out the window?  After this meal, I can't imagine any of us wanting to come back.  Ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my meal at this particular xiyan was also a disaster. the tomatoes tasted like they were in the fridge for way too long. definately not going back


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