Grace M.W. Wong
It has taken seven years, but celebrity chef Jacky Yu Kin-chi has finally extended his Xi Yan empire across the harbour. Xi Yan Flavours, in the Elements mall, joins the island establishments: private kitchen Xi Yan and the light snack outlets Xi Yan Sweets and Xi Yan Tastes.
The 1,000 sqft restaurant seats 42 and is decorated with Xi Yan's signature red and white hues.
'I was invited by the Elements team to open Xi Yan Sweets in the mall. I like the potential market of the adjacent ICC Tower, W Hotel and the upscale residential building,' explains Yu, who has come up with several new dishes for the restaurant.
One hot seller is 'Mum's turnip pancake' (below left; HK$62), which Yu says is his mother's creation.
'When I was young my mother would make these pancakes to celebrate Chinese New Year. The cooking method is different from the usual Cantonese turnip cake. I cut the turnips into strips and simmer them in chicken broth, blend them with glutinous and regular rice powder then add dried shrimps and preserved Chinese meat. Instead of making it into a cake shape [and steaming it], I prepare it as a batter then pan-fry it as a thin pancake.'
Another new dish is fried rice with ginger, olives, salted fish and pickled vegetables (HK$68), created by adding Yu's favourite ingredients to fried rice.
Other dishes include reasonably priced bird's nest desserts (bird's nest with tofu ice cream, HK$58; with lotus seeds, HK$138; and lotus seed paste, HK$68), homemade ice creams (guava yogurt or basil and passion-fruit ice cream, HK$28) and durian cheesecake (HK$36).
Xi Yan Flavours is at shop 1027, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2628 3909; www.xiyan.com.hk.