A few months ago I went to Chef Tim Ma's Shaw restaurant Kyirisan with limited expectations. It was still new and I hadn't heard a ton of word on the street which allowed me to go in with a blank canvas. The restaurant was quiet, and my friend Melissa and I were one of the only tables dining at that time. It turned out that it was one of the best meals I ate out over the past few months. Last night I decided to go back, and I'll admit I was concerned it wouldn't be as good as I had remembered it. But it was! The Chinese-French menu is anything but traditional, but each dish is unique, inventive, and full of interesting flavors.
Two dishes stood out to me on my first dining experience at Kyirisan, and both were the standout dishes on my second trip as well. The chicken wings and the scallops are musts. The wings are perhaps the messiest dish around, but they are drenched in the most divine sauce of creme fraiche, oyster sauce, and chili paste. I had sauce all over my hands and face, but it was well worth it. While Kyirisan is a very sophisticated spot, they are kind enough to provide wet naps so you can clean up a bit once you've got nothing left but bones. The scallops are served with a creamy coconut risotto, basil ice cream, and scallions. This dish is beautifully composed, and definitely has stuck with me both times I have visited Kyirisan.
Other dishes on the menu are a bit perplexing, and less exciting. The Buddha's Delight with glass noodles, shiitake mushrooms, and tofu was forgettable and bland, even with the chili paste mixed in. The sous-vide duck confit was very different than I expected. It was served like a tartare with pieces of duck mixed in with brussels sprouts, apple gastrique, and an aioli which held the dish together. It's an odd invention, but it actually worked well. The veal marrow with bay leaf crumble, parsley, and preserved lemon sounded divine based on the ingredient list, but it ultimately didn't deliver.
The atmosphere at Kyirisan is elegant and modern, and the handmade dishes by Cloud Terre are a beautiful detail. Ending the meal on a positive note, I was very impressed with the pandan cheesecake which touts a fluorescent green color that is almost shocking at first glance. Pandan is a tropical plant found in Southeast Asia which is often used for cooking. The cheesecake has a chocolate crust with chocolate glaze and had some nice crunchy elements in addition to candied hazelnuts placed on the plate. This unique dessert was well worth it.