Si Wei Yan 思味筵: Fall on Deaf Ears

The title will explain itself in awhile... but now let me proceed to mop off the beads of sweat that have gathered at my temples as I scroll through the feed of dishes carrying too much spiciness in its wake.

Si Wei Yan, the newest Szechuan cuisine restaurant to reside along wild child alley Club Street, may seem a tad out of place in the bar saturated zone - it's imposing outfit reminiscent of a Chinese spa rather than a racy szechuan restaurant. The pet project of the owners of Si Wei Mao Cai in Chinatown -  思味筵 oozes finesse; the blast of cold air within its facade preparing one for the flavor assault about to unfold.

The meal gets off to a peculiar start with Mixed Vegetables in Special Szechuan Sauce ($14) offering a 'draw straws' type notion with diners picking up sticks of random ingredients dipped in a cold spicy broth. Not exactly the most picturesque appetiser, I shuffle along to the Eggplant topped with Homemade Green Chilli ($11) - This one gets top marks from me; winning instant favor especially since I'm a big fan of eggplant. Slip your chopsticks into the stack and you'll delighted to be able to hold up the slice of eggplant with dignity intact. A mix of garlic and green chili is strewed all over the sturdy sticks, giving a formidable kick to the cold starter.

Moving on to spicier things, the ominous presence of the color red flecked fervently through the dishes just slightly intimidating at this juncture; taste the Beef Tongue Slices with Ginger ($16) and try not to be revolted by its provenance. Beef Tongue, braised till melt in your mouth tender, is sliced so paper thin that they're almost weightless. Delicate against the floral backdrop of ginger and herbs, this is a dish that may take a more matured palate to enjoy. 

Dishes that I would strongly recommend include the Beef Shank Slices in Sze Chuan Sauce ($16) and the 一個茄子 with a mildly spiced meat gravy to top the steamed eggplant off. The former consists of thinly sliced pieces of beef shank doused in a pool of spicy sauce all fired up with szechuan peppercorns and good handful of spring onions to cut through its blatant pungency. 

I'm tempted to polish off the platter of gregariously yellow Corn Fried with Salted Egg Yolk ($18), but a few kernels in and the sweetness of the corn manages to mask the weak attempts of salted egg yolk in the dish. To be frank, not the most wallet friendly offering around. Instead, get the Prawns fried with Chinese Tea leaves ($28), the tea leaves lacing the crustacean with a teensie ounce of complex smoke. 

Just when you thought the debauchery has reached its end, then comes the rainbow-esqe Si Wei Signature BBQ Pork Ribs ($48). Go gaga for a moment, snap a couple of shots before returning it back to the kitchen (advisable) to request them to strip it down for easier consumption. The enormous rib is first braised, then grilled and finally deep fried before being sprinkled with spices and handfuls of spring onions. Despite the mixed reviews around the table, I appreciate the fact that there was a crispy crust in tact from the deep-frying process, and even though that might have compromised on the overall suppleness of the meat - if you dig deep enough, you'll be able to hunt down a lovely scrap with the best of both worlds in tact.

Now, you'll ask why 'Fall on Deaf Ears' as the title of the post; well, my reason simply being the dreaded memories of a singular 3 minute Chinese Instrumental piece being put on re-runs as we sat through our entire 2 hour ordeal in the closeted space of the private dining room. No shit Sherlock; if that doesn't drive you mental, I must say you're either deaf or just flat ignorant. Upon traversing out of the restaurant, the stark realisation that the music was broad casted on the peripherals of the restaurant too brought chills to my spine... really?

That issue aside, with food so spectacularly spicy and authentic, it's hard to begrudge that tiny detail. For that fact, I'm proud to share that Si Wei Yan is extending a discount to all my readers. All you have to do is quote "SIHAN10" to enjoy 10% off your total bill. Note that this promotion is valid for the entire month of April only.

Si Wei Yan
1 Club Street
t: 6221 6836

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 11 30am - 2 30pm; 5 30pm - 10pm
Sun: Closed

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