Yan Cantonese Cuisine
#05-02 National Gallery Singapore near City Hall MRT
Sleek, modern yet not overly gaudy just like its simple website, Yan definitely gives you an impression that it strives to convey class through its less showy food, cleverly displaying its culinary finesse. Coupled with the beautiful, serene surroundings that the National Gallery has to offer and the more upmarket restaurants that it is housing, Yan definitely came across as one that gives you the prerogative to enter with a relatively high expectation. I did, and wasn’t overly impressed, except for the saving grace dim sum platter.
Well, lets dive straight into what they do best here – The Dim Sum Combination Platter 六小点心组合. 6 little heroes that saved the slightly lacklustre meal that day, with every piece so daintily and meticulously prepared that each is exploding with flavours. The heavier tasting carrot cake and green steamed vegetarian one had the perfect consistency and adequate umaminess while the plump crunchy har gao was made decadent with the bubbly caviar.
It wasn’t an easy choice between the har gao and siu mai but taking centre stage, just as what it was meant to be, this siu mai pulled it off with the decadent, springy abalone on top. $18 for a platter.With such an extensive menu, it is really helpful to have a ‘chef’s signature’ section and this claypot of crab meat broth rice with crispy rice was ordered immediately. My ardent love for pao fan started after I had it for the first time at Lei Garden Hong Kong, which was further affirmed by Forest RWS. The one served at Yan, if not for the non-existent crisp in the crispy rice, could have otherwise been a mind-blowing bowl with its cleaner broth that is exuding with the natural seafood sweetness. I reckon the crispy rice should have been served separately to us before it gets all soggy. $28.
I knew it already when the roast was served. It couldn’t have been a worse idea to have dined at Mitzo the week before as that further accentuated the stark difference. Over at Yan, the Char Siew lacks texture, flavour and tenderising was apparently half-hearted while the Roast duck was decent with its crispier skin, yet unable to distinguish itself from the other hotel restaurants. $22.
Sauteed beef tenderloin cubes with asparagus and white pepper sauce. Drenched in such heavy sauce, we couldn’t savour the natural taste in the slightly tougher beef which didn’t make its $14 tag worthy, inevitably causing us to start doubting its signature menu. That made us turn back to its more hopeful dim sum menu which started out solidly.
While the quality of my lunch was slightly underwhelming, the excellent dim sum platter managed to redeem the restaurant as you know that there is potential in the chefs over here. It was clearly shown in the dim sum platter, and hopefully could be extended to the other dishes. And for that, still –
Verdict: A good restaurant.