On the hunt for the next another food adventure, we will be exploring Chinese cuisine courtesy of Foodirector.
Located at the Oasis Boulevard in Sunway Pyramid, Xia Mian Guan might be a tricky place to find as it stayed hidden in a narrow corridor tunnelling outside the mall, this Shanghainese restaurant exterior decor looks ever inviting with the open window, sighting the chefs at work.
The Arch Decor of the Entrance
Chef at work
From the entrance, artistic work on its decor gives the hint of what is the must-haves in this restaurant and the well positioned placing of the tables which allows movement and space with minimal obstruction is added points. The designs would suggest the place for yet another Chinese restaurant but the comfortable ambience in Xia Mian Guan is definitely a great start to our gastronomy experience.
The Main Dining Area
Whilst exploring the decor, notable on its unique art on the dividers to allow more private dining for some section.
Dividers for dining sections
After exploring their extensive menu, it was time for the appetizer to be served and lets get feast.
We start off with some greens and mixed with ala Western style on their, “ Caesar Salad with Crispy Soft Shell Crab and Boiled Egg”. The salad is served with two different sauces (Mayonnaise with Black Pepper, Sesame Sauce) and topped with the Soft Shell Crab. As we dug into this appetizer,the well balanced subtle taste on the sauces blends well along with the ingredients. The soft shell crab compliments in every bite as well as the boiled egg to give the fulfil taste and texture.
Caesar Salad with Crispy Soft Shell crab and Boiled Egg – RM 48.00
Next we have the “ Winter Melon with Chillies Flakes ”. As rookies to Shanghainese dishes, the serving of the cold winter melon had caught us off guard as we bit into the soft winter melon with its accompanying chilli flake and saltish garlic with a hint of sour sauce dressing. We have to say though it is an interesting experience.
Winter Melon with Chillies Flakes – RM 8.00
Following, we have the “ Crunchy Pork ”. The stacks of fried pork were similar to the beancurd that is fried and served with condiments on top, along with a dash of thai chilli sauce. The slight tangy and spicy were overwhelmed by the onions which makes it pungent and the lack of sauce didn’t blend well with the overall serving as the texture was slightly dry and the base serving of vegetable shreds was tad too much.
Crunchy Pork – RM 16.00
Serving next is the “Crispy Beancurd Skin”. The golden looking dish is definitely inviting as we sunk our teeth into the crispy exterior and the inside comprises of 3 different types mushrooms which is cut into thin slices and then wrap into the beancurd skin that compliments the overall taste.
Crispy Beancurd Skin – RM 12.00 (8 pcs)
Serving on a spoon next is the “Homemade Smoke Egg ”. The wobbly looking egg sits right on the spoon and it’s an open invitation to have it in one go. The smooth texture of the egg and the runny yoke is just delish as the infused herbal taste, gives it character in taste which is sets it apart from others. They use duck egg which draws out the aroma of the egg.
Homemade Smoke Egg – RM 5.00 p/spoon
With that, we conclude our appetizer. Wonder what is store for us as we are on track to continue on to the main which is comprises the list of gastronomy galore.
Serving in the hot claypot which still sizzles upon serving, we feast on the, “ Braised Pork Cubes and Dry Beancurd in Soy Sauce” that might surprise diners on its big cube of pork chunks. The slightly dark looking dish is every bit that one would imagine, however the simmering of the braised pork cubes and its accompanying ingredients in this pot has brought out the flavours of the pork cubes that is marinated overnight and the thick meat is balanced with its fat which almost melts upon biting it. Well got work those gym classes after we’re through with these dishes.
Braised Pork Cubes and Dry Beancurd in Soy Sauce – RM 28.00
As we raised our hands and stretching up, the sudden emerging of one huge round looking dish had prompt a quick snap as serving next is the “Braised Meat Ball with Abalone Sauce ”. Don’t let its unusual size fooled you as the texture inside of its minced meat with salted fish chunky bit is soft and tasty as the flavour is balanced and the abalone sauce compliments the dish well with the vegetable serving.
Braised Meat Ball with Abalone Sauce – RM 20.00
Another serving sizzling hot is the “Fried Rice with Cheese and Roasted Pork in Hot Stone Casserole ”. Thethick cheese covers the top portion of the rice would entice taste buds but not for lactose intolerant. We were somewhat let down by the slightly bland taste though the roasted pork goes with the rice and the cheese didn’t compliment the overall dish well.
Fried Rice with Cheese and Roasted Pork in Hot Stone Casserole – RM 18.00
Following we have the “Braised Imperial Beancurd with Crab Meat ” and “Braised Imperial Beancurd with Shemeji Mushroom”. The uniqueness of this dish lies in its beancurd made in house which uses fine soya, battered with egg and topped with vegetable, then left to be steamed and fried subsequently. The soft texture of the beancurd is maintained and the taste from the soya is evident whilst infused along with the flavour drawn from the egg which complements the overall taste. The serving with crab meat gives the taste of the crab meat shreds which is similar to the shark fin broth. The shemeji mushroom serving is every bit of savoury delight as the tangy mushroom blends with the thick broth which blanket the beancurd along in every bite.
Braised Imperial Beancurd with Crab Meat – RM 20.00
Braised Imperial Beancurd with Shemeji Mushroom – RM 20.00
Next we have the Xia Mian Guan’s Signature Dish, “Deep Fried Spare Rib in Red Wine Sauce”. It was mentioned that thespare rib is left overnight for the marination to infuse into the riband then cook after. The result is the rich taste drawn from the marination along with thick red wine sauce which is just heavenly.
Deep Fried Spare Rib in Red Wine Sauce – RM 16.00 p/pcs
Also another meat serving is the “ Smoked Farm Chicken with ‘Pu Er’ Tea Leaves”. The smoked taste is evident as the chicken is pre-marinated, thus, with a single bite, its juiciness can be tasted and the flavours that have been absorbed in its meat which is cooked along with the ‘Pu Er’ Tea Leaves. It is slightly salty which prolly due to Shanghainese cuisine leans towards more to salty that attribute to most of their dishes served.
Following next is one of their Chef’s recommended dishes, “ StarGrouper in Two Varieties”. We start with their, “Stir Fried with XO Sauce”. The grouper fish is fillet and cut into smaller chunks to be stir fried along with the XO sauce and other ingredients. The evident pepperish taste mixed with capsicum and celery along with small shrimps, goes well with the fresh taste drawn from the grouper though tad oily. Next is the “Deep Fried with Homemade Sour Sauce” where the grouper fillet is tossed into the batter and deep fried. The batter were tad thick and the sauce was supposed to contains traces of pamelo though unable to taste it.
Stir Fried with XO Sauce
Deep Fried with Homemade Sour Sauce
(Star Grouper in Two Varieties – RM 188.00)
Serving next is the “Ying Yang Kailan with Chicken Floss”. The presentation of the serving looks good however we were quick to learn that looks might be deceiving as the leaf is shredded and stir fried along with the chicken floss which left salty and the stem is too chewy. This dish might go well over a couple of beers as sides due to its salty nature.
“Ying Yang” Kai Lan with Chicken Floss – RM 20.00
Next up we have the “Chef’s Claypot Curry with Fried – Man Tou ”. The bright yellowish hue and strong aroma emit from the claypot had definitely drawn several attention and stirred up some appetite as the dish is served. The thick curry broth is equally as good as the smell drawn from the spices and serai though it’s slightly salty which having the “Man Tou” along with it, would complement the overall taste. The fresh tiger prawn had infused with curry broth which gives the strong taste of absolute delish. The ‘Man Tou’ also stands out as the slight crisp on the exterior crust with the soft texture inside goes well with the curry.
Chef’s Claypot Curry with Fried “Man Tou”
(6 pcs – Tiger Prawn) – RM 36.00
(1 pcs – King Prawn) – RM 38.00
Continuing on, we have their signature noodles which is varies in taste and also a wide variant to cater certain preference.
We start with their, “ Stewed Noodles with Minced Pork and Eggplant with ‘Teo Chew’ Sauce”. The noodles are specially made to order, hand pulled which is surprisingly tangy and springy.The minced pork with the eggplant in ‘Teo Chew’ sauce that is stir fried with noodle had fared well though its tad salty and spicy.
Stewed Noodles with Minced Pork and Eggplant with ‘Teo Chew’ Sauce – RM 16.00
The next dish is the “Noodles with Pork Bone Soup”. Though the noodle is tangy, however the soup is rather bland and it is served plain with no additional ingredients.
Noodles with Pork Bone Soup – RM 6.00 (Normal Serving)
On the following dish, we have the “ Noodles with Shredded Pork, Shrimps and Spring Onion in Soya Sauce”. The shrimps served were pretty decent which combined with the shredded pork though the dish is leaned towards saltish side. For balanced taste, there is a side serving of soup that helps to even the saltiness which might not appealed to some.
Noodles with Shredded Pork, Shrimps and Spring Onion in Soya Sauce – RM 16.00
Overall, we find that the food leans towards a more salty side due to the “Shanghainese Style” however was satisfied with the overall quality of food presented here. The exploration of different styles and flavours is great. The price range goes towards premium, judging from the dishes served and also the portion. Special thanks to Foodirector for the gastronomy experience and Xia Mian Guan for their efforts to present those great tasting food.