This cosy restaurant is a popular place for diners seeking a tasteful yet convivial atmosphere to indulge in Cantonese fare. The menu is concise, spanning roasts, soups and live seafood, as well as delicacies such as Australian green-lip abalone, with an emphasis on familiar, authentic dishes. Mainstays are well executed – but as this is a museum restaurant after all, dishes are presented with artistic flair. Cases in point include the fried live prawn with a ball of crisp noodles, which the server douses tableside with a flavourful broth; and the steamed thousand-layer tofu, skilfully cut into slices of equal thickness and arranged in a circular fan-like arrangement around a colourful medley of barbecued pork cubes, ginkgo, conpoy and mushroom. As if continuing the gallery experience, the food here is like art on a plate – but it’s done tastefully and certainly with none of the pretentions one might expect from a museum restaurant.
The barbecue items include roast suckling pig served in three delightful ways, but orders must be placed a day in advance.
Yàn brings people together through delicious Cantonese food, in an elegant setting reminiscent of convivial gatherings and intimate Chinese dining, The chef follows a cooking philosophy that focuses on using quality ingredients, which he highlights in the signature dishes presented in creative, modern ways but doesn’t stray away from the authentic flavours we’ve grown to love.
This adapted article was originally published in Singapore Tatler Dining Issue on November, 2017.