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REVIEW: Xiao Ya Tou Restaurant @ Duxton Hill 小丫头 – Serving Naughty Asian Cuisine
Xiao Ya Tou – synonymous to “lassie” or unmarried young girl in ancient China, it can be a term of endearment for a girl or a derogatory way to describe a young maid or servant in the house.
Located at Duxton Hill, Xiao Ya Tou is the creation of the folks behind the popular Symmetry cafe. The restaurant contrives to replicate the ambience of an old Chinese tea house fused with a Sixties’ theme. Lots of red lanterns and colourful paper umbrellas hang from the ceiling, tawdry posters plaster the walls and neon illuminated vintage Singapore street scene display panels bathe the dining place, taking one on a trip down memory lane to a presumably insalubrious Chinese tea house of days long gone.
While the decor at Xiao Ya Tou has a prevalently cheeky retro vibe, the food is a modernised fusion of oriental with a western touch. This premium dining place caters for a more upscale market and is a goto place for the hipsters.
Xiao Ya Tou’s Crispy Otak-Otak Rolls ($12.00)
The classic otak is wrapped like a mini spring roll, deep fried to golden brown and doused with tangy tamarind peanut sauce, good starter for your meal.
Xiao Ya Tou’s Spicy Brussels Sprouts ($14.00)
The Brussels sprouts was served with minced chicken, preserved radish or chye poh and chilli jam, the flavour was surprisingly pleasant as a concoction of sweet, savoury and slight spiciness with the crunchiness of the Brussels sprouts.
Xiao Ya Tou’s Cock Wings ($13.00)
The wings are juicy and tender, marinated with fish sauce coupled with lemongrass, chili and lime fragrance, it was hard to stop at one.
XYT Hokkien Mee ($16.00)
This local classic hawker dish hit the spot! The delectable noodles were packed with the fragrance of eggs. Served with smoked pancetta, clams and prawns, it was a high class Hokkien mee that enticed all your tastebuds.
Twice-cooked Angus Short Ribs ($36.00)
The twice-cooked Angus short ribs is the signature dish here. Slices of ribs are accompanied by sesame butter and smashed cucumber. The cooking process turns each slice of the beef into a melt-in-your-mouth texture and yet retains the much needed juiciness, pairing seamlessly well with the sesame butter and smashed cucumber, one of the dishes that kept our eyes fluttering in bliss.
Xiao Ya Tou’s Pineapple Shortcake ($7)
Honey ice cream is sandwiched between the shortcake and buried in pineapple compote. Similar to the pineapple tarts we have during the Lunar New Year, the tangy citrus curd added the perfect finishing touch to the meal. It is a dessert that allows you to break away from the monotony of simple sweet desserts and allows you to fully appreciate the balance of sweetness and sourness in the plate.
Xiao Ya Tou’s Coconut Tau Huey ($6.0)
This innovative dessert consists of ginger nut ice cream, tapioca pearls (sago) with gula melaka and salted butter cookie crumble served in a bowl.
At Xiao Ya Tou, food is obviously not taken lightly when it comes to innovation and quality. Every dish we tried had a complex composition of flavours, a characteristic that Xiao Ya Tou has proven to excel.
A: 6 Duxton Hill, #01-01, Singapore 089592
H: Mon-Thurs 12pm – 11pm, Fri 12pm – 12am, Sat 10am – 12am, Sun 10am – 5pm
T: +65 62261965