Grace M.W. Wong
Jacky Yu Kin-chi (above), celebrity chef and proprietor of well-known private kitchen Xi Yan (as well as restaurant Xi Yan Sweets in Wan Chai), has teamed up with Douglas Young, founder of the G.O.D. lifestyle shops. The result is Xi Yan Tastes, which replaces the Home Cooking dining area in the Sharp Street East branch of G.O.D.
'The positive business results from Xi Yan Sweets boosted my confidence. I spent much time scouting for a location [for a second branch] but the soaring rent set me back,' says Yu. 'When I mentioned the situation to long-time close friend Douglas Young, he immediately suggested I consider the Home Cooking space. I couldn't resist the perfect locale so I accepted his offer.'
Still in its soft-opening phase (it will open officially in September), Xi Yan Tastes specialises in Yu's signature light dishes, desserts and drinks. The space is decked out in eye-popping red and pure white - reminiscent of traditional Chinese paper cut-outs. Diners sit at U-shaped red benches or on black chairs at white marble-topped tables.
Of the savoury dishes on the menu, Yu says the fried pork chops with mandarin peel (HK$68) are popular. Fusion dishes include cold beancurd with shrimp and crab-meat paste (above; HK$78) and grilled fugu mirin boshi with Japanese chilli powder and mustard salad dressing (HK$68).
Xi Yan Tastes has a selection of homemade Asian-influenced sorbets.
Yu recommends Thai basil sorbet (HK$28) and an unusual concoction of pickled ginger sorbet with century egg sauce (HK$32). Irresistible desserts include fresh lotus-seed pudding (HK$28) and pandan leaves and coconut rice with ice cream (HK$40).
Xi Yan Tastes is at 2/F, Leighton Centre, Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay, tel: 2881 6693. Xi Yan Sweets is at shop 1, G/F, 8 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2833 6299.