Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dian Xiao Er @ Vivocity

I've noticed snaking queues at the main branch of this restaurant in Marina Square, and figured I would drop by to see what the fuss was about.

Dian Xiao Er (Vivocity #02-137/138 Tel: 6376 9786) specialises in herbal roast duck, and the picture of its succulent roast duck is prominently displayed throughout the restaurant.

The decor of the restaurant is quaint, as the interior resembled a traditional inn lifted out of a martial arts (wuxia) novel, where scholars and travelling swordsmen stopped for a rest.

We ordered the 2 person set (SGD 35) and XO seafood fried rice (SGD9.80) to share.

The set came with the signature herbal roast duck, which was very good. The skin was crisp and light, and there was no hint of grease or fat in the duck (which would have made it soggy). The duck was slightly more chewy as a result, but I didn't mind that.

The stir-fried spinach with salted egg and preserved egg was good too. I liked the fact that the bits of salted and preserved egg were not itsy bitsy miniscule bits, but proper chunks that one could bite into.

The soup of day was corn with pork ribs. It was flavourful, and not bad at all.

The best dish in the set was actually their Mongolian pork ribs. It was fantastic. It was probably fried before it was tossed in the wok and coated with that yummy sauce, as it was crispy on the outside. Slightly spicy, slightly sweet, slightly smoky and very tender. My favourite.

The fried rice was delicious, with a good smoky wok-hei flavour. There were generous portions of prawn and beansprouts in it.

The portions were generous and neither my friend nor I could finish it all. Worth a return visit, at least for the pork ribs.

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